Breed Group: Working Group
Shoulder Height: 25-27 in.
Weight: 99-130 lb.
Life Span: 8-10 years
Colors: Fawn, brindle, red, black
- Bullmastiffs are a fairly young breed, having been developed in the United Kingdom in the late 19th century by gamekeepers to help guard estates
- As their work was predominantly done at night, early breeders preferred the brindle coat because it was the perfect camouflage for underbrush in the dark
- Their ancestors include the modern Mastiff as well as the previous generation of the English Bulldog
A member of the Mastiff family of dogs that include the popular Mastiff, the Bullmastiff is a smaller and quieter version of the breed and so has seen a steady rise in popularity recently. Just as powerfully built as the Mastiff, the Bullmastiff is a wonderful alternative for fans of strong dogs that don't want to deal with the size of a larger breed.
Bullmastiffs are affectionate family dogs and respond well to consistency in their training. They are brave and loyal, which makes them solid guard dogs. Just like their larger counterparts, they are quite gentle with their people and typically take greater care around smaller things.
While a Bullmastiff is not the most active dog in the world, exercise is still a necessity for prolonging the happiness and lifespan of the breed. They do not have a strong chase instinct, so it is possible to train them to walk off the leash but always be aware of what's around them. They get along well with other dogs, but it is important that they are socialized as puppies and supervised as adults so they don't accidentally hurt others, either in a misinterpretation of danger or because of their size and strength.
Grooming is quite easy thanks to their short coat and they do not shed too badly. They also rarely bark, doing so only when they are raising an alarm.
As members of the Mastiff family of breeds, Bullmastiffs are very large dogs and so have recurring problems.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia affects over a quarter of all purebred Bullmastiffs in the world. Both of these conditions lead to arthritis.
- Cancer is the most common cause of death, with lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumors and osteosarcoma being the most frequently diagnosed types of cancer in the breed.
- Eye disease can occur. Progressive retinal atrophy is a common hereditary condition that causes the dogs to lose their eyesight. They can also suffer from ectropion and entropion, both eyelid problems that cause irritation, pain and infection.
- The family dog from Little People Big World, a reality show about a family of dwarfs getting by in the world, is a Bullmastiff named Rocky.
- Mudge, the title character in the children's book series Henry and Mudge, is a Bullmastiff.
- The mascot of the Cleveland Browns NFL football team is a Bullmastiff named Swagger.
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