- Dogs suitable for experienced owners
- Extra training required
- Need to be aware of potential health issues
- Enjoys active walks
- Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
- Large dog
- Some drool
- Requires grooming once a week
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Barks, alerts and may be physically protective/suspicious of visitors
- Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
- May need additional training to live with other pets
- May need additional supervision to live with children
- Needs a large garden
- Can live in semi-rural areas
- Can be left alone with training
These dogs are very protective of their family and other household pets, and so have to be socialised from an early age. The Bullmastiff will only accept strangers if they are introduced to them by someone they trust. Other visitors/strangers will be quickly halted in their tracks. It is not really a breed for the novice owner, due to its strength, stubbornness and over-protective nature.
History and Origins
The Bullmastiff dog breed was originally called the 'Gamekeeper's Night Dog' as they were used to catch poachers. The base stock of the Bullmastiff was 60% English Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. They were created in the late 1800s. When the need for gamekeepers and the Bullmastiff declined they were used in sport. Someone would run off into the undergrowth and, after a short time, a muzzled Bullmastiff would be released to see if the person could be found. They were not trained to maul or kill, but to overpower their target.
As with many breeds, Bullmastiffs can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. They are also prone to a particular bladder condition and ligament problems in the knee (cruciate disease).
This dog should be carefully controlled until at least 12 months old. Too much exercise too young can lead to bone and joint problems in later life. They do enjoy exercise and games with the family, and a couple of hours of exercise daily will keep an adult Bullmastiff content.
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Bullmastiff is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
Grooming the Bullmastiff is relatively easy, as the coat is short and low-maintenance. A grooming mitt is all that is required to remove any dead and loose hair.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.