The Bullmastiff's name reveals his ancestry. He is part Bulldog, part Mastiff. To protect the game of large estates from poachers, English gamekeepers tried Mastiffs. They were protective, but not fast or fierce enough to catch the thieves. The Bulldog was then a ferocious dog, but not big enough to be frightening. Combining these two breeds gave them just the right dog. Dark brindle colors were considered good camouflage in the forests. Today's Bullmastiffs usually sport the soft fawn color of Mastiffs.
The Bullmastiff is a levelheaded, steady dog. He gets along well with other family pets and loves children. He is brave and protective. He saves his deep bark for really important matters.
The Bullmastiff is large and strong, so early obedience training is a must. He must learn not to pull on the leash--he easily could be stronger than the person walking him. He does well in the country or suburbs, and is polite and calm in the house.
The Bullmastiff's puppyhood can be challenging. His chewing needs are big, too. His short dense coat is suitable to any weather. Weekly brushing will keep it in order.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Powerfully built, but active.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, 25 to 27 inches at the withers; females, 24 to 26 inches. Weight--males, 110 to 130 pounds;females, 100 to 120 pounds.
The Bullmastiff used to be known as the Gamekeeper's Night Dog. The breed was developed in the 1800s to deal with the problem of "poaching." Poaching was when people would sneak into the forests of the rich landowners at night in search of birds and rabbits to eat.
Not wanting to get caught, poachers became extremely clever and fast. To protect their game, the landowners needed a fierce and courageous dog. They created the Bullmastiff to knock poachers to the ground and hold them in place until someone arrived. The dogs did not bite the poachers.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.