It's not a Bulldog or a Mastiff... it's a Bullmastiff!!! According to the opinion of experts and qualified trainers around the world, this is one of the most well-balanced dogs. For centuries, this breed has been the preferred choice of gamekeepers and landowners to confront and neutralize illegal hunters and intruders in the regions where it lived without resorting to violence. It's a firm, obedient, protective, and affectionate dog at the same time.
If you decide to adopt or buy one, here we'll tell you everything you need to know, from breeding to its current market value. Keep reading and you'll know how to take care of your Bullmastiff in the best way possible.
- Size: Giant
- Weight: Between 110 and 130 pounds
- Coat type: Short, smooth, and hard
- Temperament: Intelligent, calm, sociable, and affectionate
- Health: Healthy
- Life expectancy: Between 8 and 12 years.
History of the Bullmastiff
The Bullmastiff is a breed that was recognized as such in the 19th century, but its origins date back to the 13th century.
It is originally from Europe, specifically from Great Britain, and from there it spread to the Iberian Peninsula and other regions of the continent. Its crossbreeding emerged from the need of English gamekeepers to have a dog that could pursue poachers who lurked in wooded areas and illegally entered the private estates of large landowners, usurping existing fauna. This illegal activity had become a major problem and due to the cunning of these poachers, it was not ending. So, they thought of finding a canine guardian that was large and strong like the Mastiff and at the same time agile and cunning like the Bulldog, without being aggressive, but also very obedient. From that crossbreed, the Bullmastiff was born, and the results were surprising, as its keen sense of smell to track its prey for several days, combined with its great endurance and strength, made the Bullmastiff the ideal dog for this surveillance and protection task.
Initially, the name given to this breed was "Gamekeeper's night dog".
It should be mentioned that, although it is a breed native to the United Kingdom as described in the records, its existence was already known in Spain under the name of "Perros de toros" (bull dogs), and evidence of this can be seen in the oil paintings of the Spanish painter Goya, which date back to 1800, and in those of Manuel Castellano, from subsequent dates, where these specimens can be observed with a very similar appearance to what they have today.
Another breed of dog that is also English is the Border Collie, and you can read about it on our blog.
Physical characteristics of the Bullmastiff
The Bullmastiff is a large but not giant dog. It is within the category of dogs known as molossoids due to its large muscular and robust build. According to the FCI classification, it is classified in Group II. Due to its characteristics, it functions very well as a guard dog, but at the same time, if raised correctly from puppyhood, it can be very affectionate with its owners and with the rest of the family members.
On average, males have a height between 60 and 70 cm (23 - 27 in) and females are a little shorter, usually between 60 and 65 cm (23.6 - 25.5 in). They reach their maximum height at around 3 and a half years old.
Males are of a thicker and heavier build than females, as in other similar canine breeds. Males weigh between 50 and 60 kilograms (110 - 130 pounds) and females weigh between 45 and 55 kilograms (99 - 120 pounds).
Head and snout
Wide, robust, and square-shaped with wrinkles. The snout is short, wide, and square in appearance. The nose is round with open nostrils.
Eyes and ears
Their eyes are medium-sized, dark, and squinted, with a deep gaze. Their ears are small, droopy, and triangular, with a darker color than the rest of their coat, just like their snout.
They have a sturdy body with a short, straight back that becomes more robust, wide, and muscular towards the chest and back. They have a deep chest.
Long, high-set, and strong.
The Bullmastiff is a breed that drools a lot. There are no records of their biting type since they are not trained or used to bite but to knock down and immobilize their opponent. Their lower jaw is wide, with large canines and a strong dentition.
Their coat is short, smooth, and tough, in light brown (beige), red, or brindle. They usually have a white patch on their chest. This type of coat is ideal for withstanding extreme weather conditions. The black marks on their face are always present, regardless of the coat color.
Between 8 and 12 years, but it all depends on the care and feeding we provide.
Despite appearing fearful at first glance, they are very calm, reserved, and always on alert. They are very docile and protective towards their owners and always stay calm. They inherit from the Bulldog that friendly and protective attitude towards children, so leaving them alone with kids poses no risk.
Despite being a large dog, they like and feel comfortable living indoors, adapting to the environment without causing any damage. The only thing to keep in mind is that they need regular walks to stay happy and in good shape.
The Bullmastiff is a very brave dog and nothing seems to startle or scare them. On the contrary, they inspire a lot of confidence. They are very calm and non-aggressive towards strangers, and they don't bark a lot either. There must be a very good reason for the Bullmastiff to start barking, and their bark is loud and can be intimidating when there is imminent danger. However, most of the time they are quiet. If an intruder invades their territory, like a good watchdog, they will detect their presence and instead of barking to scare them off, they will try to take them down and neutralize them without attacking or biting until they receive a command from their owner. If you have a Bullmastiff, you will know that what we are saying is true.
A small weakness of the Bullmastiff is that they are not very friendly with other dogs, whom they seek to impose and dominate. Therefore, during their training, it is important to socialize them with other canine breeds so that they maintain the same balance they have with people.
A large dog like the Bullmastiff needs a high-quality dry food that will help him perform well as a guard and protector.
Feed him twice a day. Use food from brands that contain a proper balance of protein with adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. This is because an excess of protein would be counterproductive, especially during his growth stage, as it can cause joint problems. Avoid letting him become overweight at any age.
Daily portions vary according to your Bullmastiff's life stage. Until 5 months old, portions should not exceed 400 grams per day. Until 8 months, provide portions of up to 500 grams per day. At one year old, portions should not exceed 550 grams, and from 12 months onwards, reduce portions back to 400 grams. We do this to achieve the appropriate weight and not have an obese pet, but rather a healthy, agile, and happy dog.
You can add small portions of raw food like beef to your Bullmastiff's diet. Other options include beef tongue, heart, and combine them with salt-free vegetables like spinach, celery, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, which will provide the vitamins that dry animal food often loses during the manufacturing process. Thaw the natural foods and provide them at room temperature in small pieces. Natural foods should be introduced gradually and with the advice of your veterinarian. Do not combine the two types of food at the same time.
Remember that dry food causes more water intake than natural foods, so if you opt to feed your Bullmastiff natural foods, you may notice a decrease in urine output. Water should be changed daily, and dishes should be cleaned to prevent the presence of germs and fats from food residues. Avoid letting your dog eat too quickly during meals, as this can cause episodes of hiccups due to swallowing air.
To maintain optimal health, you should brush your Bullmastiff two to three times a week and bathe him every 15 days with a neutral shampoo. Combine his care with 2 or 3 moderate walks daily.
Generally, Bullmastiffs do not tend to have hereditary diseases. However, it is advisable to protect them against diseases that affect dogs, such as canine respiratory complex or cutaneous leishmaniasis.
The first thing you should know is that you should not acquire a Bullmastiff younger than two months old because their nursing process is crucial, and if they are weaned before completing this process, they will not receive the nutrients provided by mother's milk.
These puppies are very playful and can be clumsy with children due to their puppy condition, so don't think that the dog is a threat to the smaller members of the family, but it is an indication that they need training from 6 weeks old.
As we don't want an obese puppy, as being "chubby" is not a sign of good health, you should feed them with a dry food with an adequate balance of proteins, cereals, vitamins, and calcium, ideal for large breeds in the growth stage. Don't forget to be strict in vaccination control and stay in contact with their veterinarian more than twice a year.
If you have adopted a Bullmastiff as a pet... Congratulations!!! You have made a great choice. If, on the other hand, you are interested in buying a specimen of this breed, the price varies depending on the breeder, age, sex, training, and feeding they receive.
Buying a Bullmastiff
When buying a Bullmastiff, you should know who their parents are, as well as their health status and the breeding facility they come from. The price of a Bullmastiff with a pedigree and all the necessary paperwork up to date varies, but the cheapest is around 300 euros (about $330 USD). From there, the price can go up to 1300 euros (about $1430 USD). A female Bullmastiff for breeding can be purchased on average for 500 euros (about $550 USD). Some people on the internet offer a litter of three puppies for around 750 euros (about $820 USD). As you can see, if you're truly interested in this breed, it requires a significant investment, but we assure you that you won't regret it. Another reference that may help you is the age at which you acquire the dog. You can buy a Bullmastiff that's around 50 days old (with a pedigree and vaccination card in order) for about 800 euros (about $880 USD). You can also get a puppy that's already dewormed, vaccinated, and comes with a health guarantee for about 900 euros (about $990 USD). A five-year-old Bullmastiff is sold for 500 euros (about $550 USD).
In conclusion, the Bullmastiff is an exceptional dog, especially for living with a family. Despite being categorized as a guardian dog, the truth goes beyond that, as it is an excellent companion. Its loyalty to its owner and to the rest of the family members make it an adorable pet. If you have the availability of having a pair and having a litter of these specimens, you won't imagine the moments of happiness you will have. Despite its robust and firm appearance, it has a very sweet character, especially towards the youngest members of the household, with whom they will not miss out on hours of entertainment and care towards them. Dare to acquire a specimen of this breed and share with us your moments of happiness and experiences.