Bullmastiffs are imposing, self-confident dogs. These show a great strength and impose respect; they are the result of the crossing between the Bulldog and the Mastiff. It is a robust and active dog.
The Bullmastiff officially comes from the United Kingdom (dating back to the final stages of the XIX century). This breed’s name derives from its two ancestors, the Bulldog and the Mastiff, and its creation was the result of a very clear need: an animal strong and fearsome enough to frighten strangers without violence. During the second half of the XIX century, forest rangers who worked for important British landowners were overwhelmed by a great number of determined furtive hunters, who were desperate to hunt big preys so they could feed their families, as they lived in a society which had very defined differences between the rich and the poor. Facing this reality, both landowners and workers came to the conclusion that they needed the help of a dog which could do some night watch and control furtive hunters without violence, because the Forestry laws from England in the XII century did not allow the forest rangers to use violence when controlling thieves. These should be brought to the police without causing them any harm.
Due to in those times there was no dog capable of doing the job, breeders did different crosses between big and brave breeds, and the best result was given by the crossing between the Bulldog and the Mastiff. This last one was not very fast, and the Bulldog was not big enough to face illegal hunters, but a combination of both came up with an agile, fast dog and with a great sense of smell.
The breed was finally recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1924.
Bullmastiffs are big-sized dogs, which as adults, tend to weigh around 60 kg in the case of males and 45 kg for females.
However, it mainly stands out because of its extraordinary compact, square-shaped, huge head; embellished by a broad and also square-shaped snout, and lays on a powerful neck; which alights as well on an equally powerful and broad chest. All these characteristics show the extraordinary strength of this animal.
It is also gifted with a relatively square-shaped, compact body; some well-built, powerful, and parallel back legs, and strong, with moderated angulation front legs, which end up in some strong and round paws. The tail is relatively long because it gets to the hocks; it is broad on its base but then narrows to the tip. The animal uses its tail as a helm to control its movements and the propulsion of the whole body when it needs to pounce on its enemy, to knock it down and immobilize it.
After the male has its physical structure completely developed, mostly when they are three years and a half old, it tends to have a height between 63.5 and 68.5 cm to the withers, weighing between 49.5 and 59.5 kg. A female adult, after the eighteen months of age, tends to weigh between 41 and 49.5 kg, and has a height between 61 and 66 cm.
It is an intelligent, discreet, effective guardian which has a great discrimination capacity. It does not bark much; is very home-loving and moderately active, which is why it can easily adapt to an urban or apartment lifestyle.
Unlike molossers, it is characteristically docile and follows orders from all the members of the family even the little ones, and they are not “a one-master dog”, which makes the cohabitation with the family easier.
Its maintenance is very simple because it is a short-haired dog, which has an annual moult in spring. Vigorous brushing sessions through and against the grain, three times a week will be enough to keep its coat clean and shiny and avoid body odor. The baths, which alter the pH of the skin are totally discouraged and if it is ever necessary to give it a bath, it is essential to do it with shampoo with a neutral pH and warm water, rinsing abundantly to remove all the remains of soap and then drying meticulously the whole body.
It is essential that the exercise is very controlled during the critical stage of growth (up to 15-16 months males and 10 months females), to avoid musculoskeletal problems in the adult. For this reason, overweight should be avoided in the puppy.
Offense training is totally discouraged.
The Bullmastiff is prone to gastric dilatation volvulus and hip dysplasia.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/157g02-en.pdf