Bullmastiff is a large, strong, and dominating presence in any backyard. Territorial, fearless, and lazy all at the same time they’re unique for not being energetic while having been bred for guarding the estate of prominent England owners.
Around the 1860’s in England owners of these large estates were in desperate need of a dog that can stop their problems of people stealing from their properties. Bred for protection the Bullmastiff could provide several tasks that were needed.
In need of a dog that could find intruders and pin them down without killing them. Physical presence was a big part of why they would want a huge dog to serve as a deterrent. Unfortunate for them the big dogs didn’t show that aggression that they were looking to get.
Choices came down between the slow Mastiff and the vicious Bulldog, but it was one problem. They both had the characteristics that owners were in favors of, but it was not all in one. Mastiffs was big enough but too slow. Bulldogs were too vicious at the time.
Mixing the dog sixty percent Mastiff and forty percent Bulldog gave them the best of both worlds and those are the beginnings of the Bullmastiff that shares both breeds name.
They were bred in the 1800’s in England but came to America in the 20th century. Breed standards were already existing from different respectable Kennel Clubs. After the 1920’s the Bullmastiff ready to become a member of the AKC. American Kennel Club in the 1930s shows breed recognition for this dog.
Here are all of the popular Kennel Clubs that feature the Bullmastiff as an official breed.
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
- Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
- Kennel Club United Kingdom (KC)
- New Zealand Kennel Club (NZKC)
- United Kennel Club (UKC)
Male Height: 25-27 inches
Female Height: 24-26 inches
Male Weight: 110-130 pounds
Female Weight: 100-120 pounds
The size differences are apparent with the males being larger than the females.
8 to 10 puppies are the normal litter size. Large dog breeds always have more puppies than a smaller dog that will have around 2 to 3 puppies. No known health issues about the mother dog while delivering.
- White spot on chest
Bullmastiffs are a member of the Mastiff family. Here are the dogs that make up the Mastiff family.
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Tibetan Mastiff
A high-quality Bullmastiff puppy is $1,000-$3,000 per puppy. It will cost a lot of money regardless of location, but Bullmastiff prices will vary depending on country and other factors.
Dogs without papers will not tell you if the dog is full blood or if it has different bloodlines within the generations. $250-$500 for Bullmastiff prices without documentation is standard.
Bullmastiff have a short and dense coat which makes them low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Although there isn’t much to do here are some tips for taking care of them.
- Professional Help
Dogs with short coats still need brushing. They don’t need you to brush them daily or all the time, but you should brush them from time to time. Once a week would be a great amount of time.
There is nothing to comb on this dog. One of many that don’t need anyone to take a comb to their coat on a regular basis. Stick to brushing the coat and there should be no issues.
Bathing is important and should be a part of routine or when you feel it is time. This is up to the owner to wash them every Sunday or bathe them when they feel like the dog stinks or is dirty.
Ears of a big dog that is outside a lot, especially around dirt, will be prone to ear infections. Owners should clean the ears often and avoid ear infections that have a vet price tag.
Nails can be trimmed by the pavement when you exercise them or when you cut them with clippers. I’m not a big fan of trimming the nails because we exercise so much daily. Either way that decision is up to you.
Professional help isn’t a recommendation because you don’t need to do anything unlike some other high maintenance breeds that exist.
8-10 years is the lifespan of a Bullmastiff. Information regarding how long a dog will life is great for any owner to know. Sometimes owners are not aware that their dogs are approaching some of their last days on Earth.
Bullmastiff Health Issues
American Bullmastiff Association only recommends taking tests with the vet that will determine if the dog has multiple health issues affects the breeds. Bullmastiff health issues that will happen frequently are noted below. Those health tests include the following
Hips with bigger breeds are always going to be susceptible to hip dysplasia. Sockets inside of the hips don’t align properly and cause high discomfort. Lack of enthusiasm to exercise is a common symptom. Take them to the vet and they can determine at a few months old if they have this condition or not.
Elbow dysplasia is a growth on the elbow that can continue to grow, getting bigger and bigger. Medical treatment or natural remedies are available, but they will continue to have this issue. Stiffness is a common symptom. Taking your dog to the vet will determine how severe the condition is.
Thyroid dysfunction is common with a lot of dog breeds. You will need to understand if they have this condition early so that you can work on improving what you can control.
Eye problems includes tearing up, cherry eye, cataracts and glaucoma. Although these conditions seem common, they can lead to more serious problems. Persistent eye problems will cause blindness or an inability to see clearly.
Heart problems with large breeds, over 100 pounds, are common. Big amounts of dog food they eat tends to make them candidates for heart disease and other heart issues. Annual checkups can help detect early signs of irregular behavior.
Bullmastiffs are members of the Working Group. These diverse group of dogs all have one thing in common. They all did some type of job that was assisting humans at some point in history.
This breed is on the list because they were guarding large estates for gamekeepers. Other dogs found a spot on the list because they were pulling sleds or doing rescues. In most cases they did jobs that their human counterpart wasn’t capable of accomplishing.
Here are some of the dogs in the Working Group
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Saint Bernard
- Siberian Husky
- Tibetan Mastiff
As you can see this is an outstanding group of different dog breeds with different jobs and characteristics they bring to the table.
Bullmastiffs have moderate exercise needs. That’s fantastic because they aren’t high energy and the over-excitement should be easier to contain. Maintaining a strong exercise program will help you train a manageable big breed into a gentle giant.
Regular exercise is the only way to accomplish an effective training solution. Taming the energy levels is the most important step in any training program.
Since the dog is lower energy here is what we recommend.
Morning: Hour of exercise
Evening: 30 minutes of exercise (optional)
Depending on the type of dog and exercise session in the morning you will most likely see that the dog is too tired to go out for another session. You have earned yourself the evening off.
When the dog is jumping, biting, nipping, barking excessive, and not listening to anything the owner is telling them then it is time to increase the exercise.
On the flip side, when the dog isn’t displaying any bad behavior you should maintain or decrease the exercise. Staying calm, great body language, tail down, ears down, mouth open, and lower energy levels are all signs that you are meeting their exercise requirement.
Understanding that boredom and not having an exercise outlet will lead to the dog engaging in undesirable behavior on a regular basis. Providing an outlet will have the opposite effect where the dog doesn’t engage in those behaviors.
Owners who understand this connection will make better dog trainers immediately. Mastiffs that become aggressive while being low energy in nature is due to the owner neglecting their duties to provide mental and physical exercise.
- Exercise program
Any training program that doesn’t have this basic area covered fails to meet the mark. Have you ever watched any documentary about any four-legged animals? You will notice they’re all running and walking the entire time. Facing this reality that the dog would exercise themselves daily we have to take on that same challenge. First part of the program consists of this principle.
Commands are a function of doing the same thing over and over. Picking up on the body language first and secondly, they start making an association with the verbal command. Repetition in this area will serve as the best teacher for the dog owner and for the dog at the same time. Remember, it can take up to two or three days before you start getting consistent responses.
Socializing from day one will be the best option. After exercise is the best way to let them meet other dogs and humans. Two exercise sessions a day and your dog will be in the right state of mind the entire time you try to socialize. Before you take them to the dog park, vet, doggie dates, dog beach, or even let a friend baby sit them exercise beforehand.
Correcting the door should be the last thing on the list and it is. Whether verbal, leash, or hand corrections make sure the dog sits or lays after the correction every single time.
Are Bullmastiffs Dangerous?
No, a Bullmastiff is not dangerous at all. Failure to train this huge breed and blaming the lack of socialization and exercise is more dangerous than anything.
Doesn’t matter what breed of dog it is they will go crazy at some point and may turn aggressive. Unfortunately, the dog gets the blame somehow.
Taking responsibility for our lack of training is the first step to recognize that we have a problem that needs to be fixed and pointing the finger at a dog will do us no good in the future.
Are Bullmastiffs a Good Pet?
Yes, they’re great pets. Family, kids and other dogs are all something the Bullmastiff can get along with. As they get older the energy requirements will fall off dramatically and turn this breed into a great family dog.
Low energy that barely lifts their head will be a great site to see in the future. Doing your part of training this dog will make the biggest difference in how long it takes them to achieve this level of calmness.