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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Bullmastiff


Origin: Great Britain

AKC Group: Working

Height: 24 inches (Male)

Weight: 100 pounds (Male)

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Great Britain
Male height: 
24 inches
Male weight: 
100 pounds
Short and smooth.
Red, fawn or brindle.

In an attempt to decrease the massive size of the English Mastiff, the Bullmastiff was created through crosses with the Bulldog during the late 1800s. This resulted in a more agile, quiet tracker. Originally called "gamekeepers night dogs," they were put to use to bring down poachers on large estates. Poaching carried the death penalty in England, so gamekeepers were in constant danger from desperate poachers. Bred for speed, tenacity and power, the dogs used to catch these gamekeepers' foes and needed to be fearless and insistent to bring them down.

Bullmastiffs were brought to the United States by John D. Rockefeller to guard his country estate in Tarrytown, New York. Today, as the need for an estate guardian has waned, the Bullmastiff is primarily a family pet and companion. His guarding abilities have ensured his continued popularity, although he is certainly a more mellow and tractable dog than his fierce ancestors.

Devoted and alert, the Bullmastiff is essentially calm. He is affectionate and trustworthy with his family, on whom he keeps a close eye. Should he feel that he or someone close to him is in danger, he will respond. He is protective but not aggressive. The Bullmastiff's size and strength can be intimidating, so training and socialization are important.
At home: 
Despite their large size, Bullmastiffs can do well in apartments as long as they are given a few walks a day. They love being near their owners. Because of their shortened faces, they do not tolerate extreme heat. Bullmastiffs rarely bark.
This breed does not require large amounts of exercise, but it does need some type of daily of activity. Because the Bullmastiff can be lazy, it's important to get him out and about.
This large breed requires a high-quality, nutritious diet. The Bullmastiff eats a large amount of food, and attention must be paid to ensure that he does not become overweight.
The Bullmastiff is an intelligent, independent dog who needs a firm but fair leader. Training should start from an early age so that he understands his place. These dogs grow big and strong fast and so should be taught basic manners so that they can be easily controlled. Socialization is crucial for this large breed.
The Bullmastiff adores children and is typically dependable with them, but as with any dog - especially a large one - both child and dog should be taught the proper way to interact. The Bullmastiff is naturally suspicious of strangers, and he may be aggressive with other dogs and see smaller pets as prey.
The average life expectancy of the Bullmastiff is around ten years. Health concerns associated with the breed include a higher than usual incidence of cancer. They are also prone to allergies; bloat; elbow and hip dysplasia; eye problems; and hypothyroidism.
Fun fact: 

Bullmastiffs were used to guard the Kimberley diamond mines in Africa.

Grooming blurb: 
Like his relative, the Bulldog, the Bullmastiff's face is the area that needs the most attention to keep clean and infection-free. Otherwise, his short, smooth coat is no problem to keep clean with a few swipes with a hound glove.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.