The Bullmastiff is known for their gentle spirit, docile personality, and quietness around their family. Does this sound like a breed for you?
Where did the Bullmastiff originate?
The Bullmastiff was developed around 1860 in Great Britain by mating an English Mastiff with an Olde English Bulldog. They are a very large breed - some can weigh up to 130 lbs!
Their original purpose was to catch and hold poachers without hurting them. They were often used to guard estates of gamekeepers, therefore they were known as the "Gamekeeper's Night Dog." A gamekeeper was a person who managed private land to maintain "game" for shooting, and other outdoor sportsmen activities for the owner of that land.
The Bullmastiff is in the guardian category for purebreds. Although they are rarely used for this type of work, the Bullmastiff will be happy to catch an intruder in your home, and hold them down until help arrives.
A gentle giant that builds strong bonds with their family members
The Bullmastiff is known to be an extremely gentle, docile, and quiet dog with their family and friends. They love children and have a strong desire to be around their human pack. However, they will not hesitate to protect or guard their family if they feel threatened.
This is a breed that does very well indoors, and only requires a small yard. They make excellent apartment dwellers.
Establishing a leadership position with the Bullmastiff
They require a strong presence of leadership, and if left untrained, they can become unpredictable and forceful in order to get their way. Early puppy obedience and positive socialization experiences will enhance the relationship that the Bullmastiff has with their family members and other pets.
Low energy, calm demeanor, an overall easy breed to live with
All dogs enjoy the experience of travel and exploring. Therefore, the Bullmastiff requires a daily walk for approximately 30 minutes. Training a Bullmastiff to not pull the leash on walks will make these trips more pleasurable for both of you.
They have a very calm-spirit about them and are not an overly rambunctious breed. As puppies, they can have moments of energy, but will quickly lie down, and they prefer to rest and sleep instead of playing fetch.
One of the major bonuses of being a pet-parent to a Bullmastiff, is their non-existent bark! They have a voice, they just rarely choose to use it. Occasionally, they'll bark to alert a stranger at the door, but even that is short-lived.
What is the typical life span of a Bullmastiff?
The average life span is under 10 years. Sadly, bigger breeds don't have a long life expectancy.
Do you have a Bullmastiff?
If yes, what do you enjoy most about being a pet-parent to a Bullmastiff? Did you participate in a puppy obedience and socialization course? If so, how did this benefit the leadership role in your relationship with your Bullmastiff?
As you begin looking for a Bullmastiff, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe