Bullmastiff (English Bullmastiff)

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    History & Overview

    Sometimes referred to as English Bullmastiff, the Bullmastiff is a large working dog that originated in Britain in the mid 1800’s as an estate guardian to ward off poachers. The breed was created by gamekeepers and was originally known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.

    The tough, heavy and aggressive Bulldog of the 19th century was crossed with the large, strong, less aggressive Mastiff. The Bullmastiff breed was deemed pure by the Kennel Club in 1924, with a genetic background of approximately 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog, hence his name.


    Bullmastiffs are an excellent choice for a guard dog; however, a stubborn streak makes the animal resistant to obedience training and overly protective of his human family. He is not easily alarmed, but if he feels threatened, the Bullmastiff is fearless. Keep a towel handy because the Bullmastiff is quite a drooler.

    At A Glance:

    Country of Origin:

    Great Britain




    FCI Classification: Group 2 – Pinschers, Schnauzers, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain- and Cattle Dogs and other breeds. Section 2.1 – Molossoid breeds, Mastiff type
    AKC Classification: Working Group


    Large (24 – 27 inches at shoulders)


    Any shade of brindle, fawn or red; color to be pure and clear. A slight white marking on chest permissible. Other white markings are undesirable. A black muzzle is essential.

    Litter Size:


    Life Span:

    8 – 10 years

    Grooming Requirements:

    Brush weekly




    Stubborn, alert and very suspicious of strangers, yet has a calm and dependable disposition. Loyal and fearless. Craves human attention.

    Social skills:

    Early socialization is required. Should get along with other household pets.

    Suitability for Children:

    The Bullmastiff tolerates children rather well.

    Exercise Needs:

    Until 12 months old, limit exercise. Too much at an early age may cause bone and joint problems later in life. After 12 months on light exercise is necessary.

    Train Ability:

    Begin obedience training early. Consistency and patience required. The Bullmastiff responds well to a sensitive but firm owner.

    Health & Behavioral Issues:

    Overall, recent study shows evidence of ancestral inbreeding in Bullmastiffs, and unequal founder contributions during breed establishment. A relatively small effective population size may be improved by systematically utilizing the available genetic diversity. Health concerns within the breed include:

    Video Credits: Dogumentary TV


    1. Mortlock et al. – Comparative Analysis of Genome Diversity in Bullmastiff Dogs


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