The Bullmastiff breed of dogs appeared as a result of the experiments of breeders with the Mastiff and Bulldog breeds. This happened because for the functions of tracking and hunting people (yes, you heard right), the mastiff, in itself, was good, but he lacked aggression and a death grip. And the bulldog, despite the fact that he could very well grab his prey, is not large enough and powerful, and therefore it is problematic for him to stop a man on the run.
The breeders were huntsmen in England who needed a dog that could catch up and stop poachers in the forest. At the same time, the dog had to combine strength, speed, courage, large size and at the same time be silent enough so as not to scare off the victim from afar with its barking, but, on the contrary, sneak up to it as close as possible, and then, with a quick jerk, catch up and knock down to the ground. Further work was done by the huntsmen themselves, who usually followed the dog.
The main work on crossing began in 1860, however, until the beginning of the 20th century, the bullmastiff was not bred as an independent breed. In fact, everything happened in a narrow circle of connoisseurs, the mastiff and the bulldog were crossed among themselves, and the resulting dogs were called “gamekeeper night dog (gamekeeper)”.
In fact, he soon changed his role in catching poachers to the role of a watchman and security guard, since in this capacity he also had no equal. One of its kind bullmastiff can scare off an intruder, not to mention a fight with this large and ferocious dog – an adult male can weigh up to 75, or even 80 kg. In the early stages, breeders did not care about appearance, with one exception – they needed a dark color so that the dog could not be seen at night while tracking poachers.
However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the situation changed. In 1901, a breeder named Burton from the Thorneywood kennel made a collective wager with the audience at a dog show. The prize was one pound sterling – a considerable amount of money at that time (a worker in a factory could receive less a month). The task was to run the distance before this new, outlandish dog catches up and knocks you down. At that time, the breed was not yet widely known, and was not even recognized as a breed.
A volunteer was a man who worked as a security guard in tandem with a dog, that is, there was experience, but it did not save him. He was knocked down three times, after which he was forced to abandon further attempts. The breed was recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1924. American Kennel Club – 1933. Moreover, the first bullmastiff registered with the AKC was a dog with a very unconventional name – “Fascination of Felons Fear” in 1934.
It is a massive dog, heavy, and mainly its weight is muscle mass. The ribcage is voluminous, wide, protruding slightly forward, the limbs are of medium length, strong and muscular. The head is rounded, the muzzle with a black mask is slightly flattened (bulldog genes), the ears are folded. The tail is medium, the coat is short. The color can be red, fawn, brindle.
The Bullmastiff breed of dogs is large, formidable with intruders, but very kind with their family, animals. They get along well in a family of any size, and, at the same time, they can be a loyal and devoted friend of one owner. The breed has a high adaptability to various living conditions, and even despite its large size, it may well live in a city apartment. Another question is that in a small apartment you yourself will be uncomfortable with such a large dog.
The bullmastiff has a balanced, and even calm character, but everything changes, if he feels a threat to close people – then he himself becomes a threat. And a serious threat. On the other hand, these dogs, despite their power and size, do not have uncontrolled aggression, and may well neutralize the intruder and stop there, keeping him in a prone state until the police arrive. Accordingly, this tendency is reflected in duels with other dogs.
That is, the bullmastiff will not continue the fight if he sees that the enemy has retreated, or the owner takes control of the situation. This is a wonderful watchdog, which is very vigilant, knows its territory and will protect its owner, home and family at the cost of its own life. There is no doubt about that.
And with all this, the dog has amazing patience in communicating with children – sometimes the owners note that as if there are no such pranks that their pet could not endure from a child. Moreover, they have a rather high threshold of sensitivity, which, by the way, requires additional attention, since it is not always clear that the dog is seriously ill or injured, because it may simply not feel this acutely enough and not show it.
A bullmastiff dog has an average energy level, needs walks, but can spend most of the day at home. By the way, if you have to be alone often, it’s okay. These animals love active games, love to spend time with the owner and loved ones. They are generally very affectionate and friendly, both for their size and specialization. Strangers can be perceived differently, depending on the situation.
If this is an intruder who sneaked into your site or entered your apartment, this is one thing, but if they are strangers in the park, or guests who came to your house for the first time, this is completely different. In the first case, there will be a duel, the outcome of which can be predicted. In the second, the dog will rather behave with restraint, but politely and without a hint of aggression. They need early socialization to broaden their horizons and make the character more flexible. It’s best to be friends with cats at an early age, at least if you plan to have them. I mean cats, along with a dog.
The bullmastiff breed generally lends itself well to training. With regard to upbringing, here you need the character of a self-confident, consistent owner who has a stable psyche and is not afraid of big dogs. But a bullmastiff can sometimes be on his own mind, that is, to show independence, and try to do everything in his own way.
This must be prevented by showing consistency and perseverance, but without losing his temper. Sometimes it’s akin to playing who will overdo who – but here you must always emerge victorious by repeating the command and getting it done. You can fix it in everyday life, for example, command “sit” before giving the dog a treat or toy.
The bullmastiff dog breed has short hair and almost does not shed. It is not recommended to be in the hot sun for a long time, or, on the contrary, in winter in severe frost in the open air. Always keep your dog’s ears clean, clean your eyes daily, and trim your nails three times a month. Bathe the dog at least once a week. Due to sensitive skin, it is recommended to frequently change the bedspread on the dog’s bed.
The bullmastiff breed is prone to some diseases, like most other dog breeds. Among them:
- dysplasia of the hip joint;
- elbow dysplasia;
- subaortic stenosis;
- cystinuria is inherited;
- enlargement of the stomach Volvulus, twisting of the stomach;
- torn anterior cruciate ligament;
- cancers common in bullmastiffs include lymphosarcoma, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and mast cells;
- Skin Problems – Bullmastiffs have sensitive skin that can be prone to rashes, sores and irritations. They can also be susceptible to contact or inhalation allergies. Check your bullmastiff’s skin regularly and treat the rash quickly.