The Bullmastiff is the result of a cross between the now extinct Old English Bulldog and the English Mastiff. It was developed in order to combine the courage of the Bulldog with the guarding instinct of the Mastiff, while being faster and more agile than the latter. The Bullmastiff was originally used by gamekeepers in Britain to warn them of the presence of poachers and help them in a fight. Known as the "Gamekeeper's Night Dog", he was a silent, agile dog that could attack on command, knock down a man, and hold him down without mauling or biting. He has also been used as a police and army dog, as well as a guard dog by diamond companies in South Africa.
The Bullmastiff has an aristocratic, attentive and intelligent appearance. Powerful, active, alert, fearless and courageous, he is however, docile and laid back with those he knows. The Bullmastiff is extremely devoted, loyal, and affectionate to his family. Today, the breed is primarily a companion dog who is an excellent guard dog. With his natural guarding abilities and a somewhat stubborn nature, the Bullmastiff is not for everyone. Early socialization and training is paramount for this breed.
Males — 25-27 in (63-69 cm) at the highest point of the withers
Females — 24-26 in (61-66 cm) at the highest point of the withers
Males — 110-130 lbs (50-59 kg)
Females — 100-120 lbs (45-55 kg)
Females are feminine in appearance, of somewhat lighter bone structure than the male, but should still convey strength.
Health Issues for the Bullmastiff
The number one killer of Bullmastiffs, along with many other breeds, is cancer. Some of the most common health concerns found in this breed are:
• Joint problems including hip dysplasia; osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD); and panosteitis (Pano)
• Immune system dysfunction
• Heart conditions
• Eye problems (i.e. entropion, ectropion, PRA)
• Bloat/gastric torsion
If you are considering adopting a Bullmastiff puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases.