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Bred by English gamekeepers in the 19th century to assist English wardens or gamekeepers guard estates and capture poachers. As a result, the Bullmastiff is known as the Gamekeeper's Night Dog. The preferred color, by gamekeepers, was brindle, as this color works as a more effective camouflage, especially at night. The Bullmastiff was a cross of 40% Old English Bulldog (not the short, chubby Bulldog of today) and 60% English Mastiff for its size, strength, and loyalty. They bark much less often than other breeds; however, they do bark on alarm.The Bullmastiff was recognized as a pure-bred dog in 1924 by the English Kennel Club. In 1934, the AKC recognized the Bullmastiff. The first standard for the breed was approved in 1935. The standard has undergone several revisions since then; the most current version is available on the AKC website.

The Bullmastiff shares the characteristics of molosser dogs, and was originally developed by 19th-century gamekeepers to guard estates. The breed's bloodlines are drawn from the English Mastiff and the extinct Old English Bulldog. It was recognized as a purebred dog by the English Kennel Club in 1924. They are quiet dogs and very rarely bark.

 

Bullmastiff Size

Males should stand 25–27 inches (64–69 cm) tall (American Kennel Club (AKC) standard) at the withers and weigh110–130 pounds (50–59 kg). Females should be 24–26 inches (61–66 cm) at the withers, and 100–120 pounds (45–54 kg). Exceeding these dimensions is discouraged by breeders.

A Bullmastiff's coat may appear in fawn, red, or brindle. These are the only acceptable colors in the AKC standard. The fawn can range from a very light brown to a reddish brown. Red can range from a light red-fawn to a dark, rich red. Brindles are a striped overlay of the fawn or red. A Bullmastiff should have no white markings, except for on the chest where a little white is allowed.

The bullmastiff is gentle and quiet, a devoted companion and guardian. It is not easily roused, but once threatened it is fearless. It is stubborn and cannot easily be goaded into action against its will. Some can be aggressive toward strange dogs, but it is generally good with other household dogs and pets. It is good with children, but it may not be playful enough to satisfy some children. The bullmastiff needs a firm but loving home. It is not for fragile or timid owners.

 

AKC RANKING 48

FAMILY livestock dog, mastiff (bulldog)

AREA OF ORIGIN England

DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s

ORIGINAL FUNCTION estate guardian

TODAY'S FUNCTION companion

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 25-27 Weight: 110-130

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 24-26 Weight: 100-120

Bullmastiffs are strong, powerful, but sensitive dogs. For a Bullmastiff to become a well-behaved family member, consistency is needed. Training and socialization is of high importance, as the breed can be independent. Dogs of this breed are natural guardians of their home and owners. No special guard training is needed for a Bullmastiff to react appropriately if its family is endangered. During training, a Bullmastiff requires a special approach, because these dogs do not like to repeat the same actions again and again. Activities Bullmastiffs enjoy include obedience, agility, tracking, and carting.

A UK survey puts the median lifespan of the Bullmastiff at 7 to 8 years old. A Bullmastiff does not stop growing until it is about three and a half years of age.