Bullmastiff are powerfully built, strong looking, large dogs that have great endurance, strength, and a solid body. Never cumbersome looking, the first impression when you see a Bullmastiff is a muscular, menacing looking dog. Their wrinkled, broad head has a dark, square, short muzzle, large nostrils, a black nose, and alert, medium sized dark hazel eyes that give the Bullmastiff an intelligent expression. Their have wide-set, V-shaped dark colored ears. Between the loin and withers, their short back is level, straight and the Bullmastiffs high set, tapering tail reaches the dog’s hocks.
A natural guardian, this breed is very protective and fearless when it comes to protecting its master and family. They are often standoffish with strangers but are loving and affectionate towards friends and family members.
The dense, short coat of the Bullmastiff gives the dog good protection from the cold, snow, and rain. The coat comes in brindle, fawn, or red with dark ears and muzzle. Occasionally, on its chest, a Bullmastiff will have a small white mark.
Obtained by crossing 40% Bulldogs with 60% Mastiffs in the late nineteenth century, the Bullmastiff was an excellent poacher-hunting dog. It was not until 1924 that the English Kennel Club finally standardized and officially recognized the Bullmastiff as a purebred breed followed in 1933 by the American Kennel Club. Over the years, the Diamond Society of South Africa has used Bullmastiffs as watchdogs and people used these fierce, intelligent dogs as aids in police and army work, assistance animals, and as hunting guards. Bullmastiffs are reliable, smart family guardians and companions that love comforting, playing, and living with their human family.
Bullmastiff are an extremely loyal, devoted, courageous dog that make an excellent, natural guard dog because of its love for his master and human family and its need to defend and look after them. The dog’s natural instinct in a serious situation is not to attack and wound anyone but to place himself between its master and stranger for protection or knock the intruder to the ground and hold him down. Although they do not normally attack or bite, if they are afraid for their master or their own life, they will become more determined, aggressive and maul the intruder, if trained to do this.
The Bullmastiffs become extremely devoted to their loved ones and is usually loyal, calm, loving, and docile around anyone it trusts. With an even-tempered nature, this wonderful breed of dog has no fear but can occasionally become willful. It is important to have your Bullmastiff thoroughly obedience trained and socialized at a very early age so they understand what is appropriate behavior and learn how to get along well with older children and other animals. Because of the Bullmastiffs large size, young children require supervision when around the dog so they do not get hurt accidentally. Many Bullmastiffs get along well with other male and female dogs, while others will only tolerate male dogs or only female dogs or, in some cases, neither.
Bullmastiffs are generally a healthy breed of dog but some health conditions and problems they may be prone to include:
• Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – Common in large breed dogs, this heritable condition can lead to lameness and severe pain.
• Bloat or Gasteric Torsion – This life-threatening, serious condition usually affects large sized dogs with deep chests. Bloat often occurs if you feed the Bullmastiff one big meal daily instead of several smaller ones or he exercises or plays vigorously right after a meal, drinks huge amounts of water after eating, or eats too rapidly.
[-]Hypothyroidism – Signs of this thyroid hormone deficiency include lack of energy, obesity, and infertility.[/-]
[-]Skin Problems – The Bullmastiffs sensitive skin is prone to irritation, sores, and rashes.[/-]
Other health issues include eye problems, cancer, tumors, and cardiac disease.
The slightly rough, shorthaired coat of the Bullmastiff is very easy for owners to groom. Brush and comb the dog when necessary using a firm bristle brush or rubber brush and metal comb . This helps remove dead and loose hair and dander while keeping their coats healthy and shiny looking. Because Bullmastiffs do shed, regular brushing also cuts down on the amount of fur found around the house and on your clothing. Only bathe the dog when required using a good quality shampoo made specifically for dogs.
Always check the dog for fleas, ticks, skin problems, and injuries to their feet. Check the Bullmastiffs ears, eyes, and mouth for any signs of infection or irritation, brush his teeth at least three times weekly and trim his nails once a month. Grooming your pet also gives you and wonderful chance to bond with your canine companion.
When it comes to exercise and activity, Bullmastiffs are not active dogs, actually have a lazy streak and are happy lazing around the house and doing as little as possible. When they are outside, these dogs are more active. It is important that your dog gets enough daily exercise to keep him in shape and this includes daily walks and playing in a large fenced backyard. Moderate, regular exercise and monitoring your companion’s meals will keep him from becoming overweight.
Bullmastiffs need early socialization and training, as they will grow into massive, strong, large, powerfully built, protective dogs. Well socialized, well-trained dogs grow into trustworthy, confident, noble creatures. These dogs need to know how to behave in certain situations and understand that their master is top dog. A devoted, alert family dog that has an intense need to shield and protect their family from any type of danger, the owner needs to have the ability to control the Bullmastiffs protective ways. Socializing a young puppy by letting him experience new sights, smells, sounds, places, people and animals helps it turn into confident, well-adjusted, non-aggressive animal. When raised with children and other animals, Bullmastiff often ends up with a very loving, affectionate and playful relationship with them. They understand who their family members are and are protective of them naturally, without their owner having to train them.
Socializing or training your Bullmastiff means always using positive reinforcement, kindness, and patience. Make the training sessions interesting and fun for both you and your pet.