Learn About Bullmastiffs
Bullmastiffs comprise a breed of large-sized dog originally
bred in England in the 19th century. They were first
bred for use as guard dogs, and were put to work assisting
wardens and gamekeepers. Bullmastiffs were first created
by crossing English Mastiffs with Old English Bulldogs,
with Mastiff heritage being more present in the ultimate
product's genotype than that of Bulldogs. The Bullmastiff
was first recognized as a breed in the early to mid-20th
Bullmastiffs are smaller than true Mastiffs, measuring
25-27 inches in height and weighing 100-130 pounds.
Young Bullmastiffs continue to grow for longer than
smaller breeds, becoming fully grown at about three
and a half years of age. They are sexually dimorphic
in that males are slightly larger than females. Bullmastiffs
are bulky, solidly-built dogs and have wide, deep chests;
short, straight backs; large heads; and short, square
muzzles. Their skin is wrinkled on their heads and muzzles.
Bullmastiffs' coats are short and dense, and feel slightly
rough to the touch. They may have a red, fawn, or brindle
coat. Brindle Bullmastiffs have a base coat color of
red or fawn that is overlaid with the brindle pattern.
Some white fur may appear on a Bullmastiff's chest.
Bullmastiffs have characteristic masks of black on their
muzzles, black markings around their eyes, and black
or darkly colored ears. A certain genetic anomaly may
cause a Bullmastiff to have either a liver-colored mask,
or no mask at all.
Bullmastiffs are truly gentle giants; they love the
company of people, crave attention, and have amiable,
docile temperaments. They are devoted and loyal to their
humans, and are highly responsive and obedient to strong,
confident leadership. Though they are unlikely to attack
a person, they make good watchdogs and guard dogs, as
they tend to bark on alarm and will knock and hold down
any intruders. Bullmastiffs may be aggressive toward
other dogs, and should therefore be socialized carefully
to avoid or minimize this behavior.
Bullmastiffs make great family dogs, as they are known
to be excellent with children, particularly when raised
with them. However, one should be sure to supervise
very small children with Bullmastiffs, as accidents,
while unlikely, are possible due to their sheer size.
They require daily exercise and do best with at least
a small yard at their disposal; however, they will fare
well in an apartment if they are adequately exercised.
Bullmastiffs cannot tolerate extreme temperatures, and
do particularly poorly in hot weather.
Though they have a somewhat demanding exercise requirement,
Bullmastiffs are very low-maintenance with respect to
grooming. Though they do not require frequent grooming,
they shed a fair amount, which may make brushing a Bullmastiff
once or twice a week ideal so that shedding can be kept
at a minimum. Bullmastiffs are known to drool a fair
amount, and may snore while sleeping. Bullmastiffs are
prone to hip dysplasia, with about one quarter of all
Bullmastiffs being afflicted by the disorder in their
lifetimes. They are also prone to elbow dysplasia, progressive
retinal atrophy, cancer, arthritis, hypothyroidism,
bloating, and becoming overweight. On average, Bullmastiffs
live for 8-10 years.