Breed of the Week: Bullmastiff
Bullmastiffs generally range from 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh anywhere between 100 to 130 pounds, though many exceed these limits. Bullmastiffs come in three basic colors: fawn, red and brindle. They have a short, smooth coat and black mask around their face. With a shortened muzzle and deep chest, they are an impressive breed.
A fearless, yet docile breed, the Bullmastiff is generally calm and laid back at home. However, they are surprisingly agile for their large size while working. Requiring more socialization than other breeds, Bullmastiffs can be wary of other dogs, though they are generally good with people, children and animals when properly introduced. Bullmastiffs are actually quiet and can do well in almost any home size from urban apartment to farm life.
Like many brachycephalic breeds, extra care needs to be taken in extreme cold or heat. Eye and palate issues can be also be a concern. Bullmastiffs are also prone to bloat and dysplasia, so appropriate breeding precautions should be taken.
• Originally bred to work as an utilitarian guard dog for poachers, the English Mastiff was too large and docile while the Bulldog was too small. The Bullmastiff was developed as a compromise between the two, approximately 60% mastiff and 40% bulldog.
• Referred to as a night watchmen’s dog, brindle coloring was preferred in the original Bullmastiff breeding for camouflage. Now fawn has become the dominant color we see in pets today.
• Though bred as a guard dog, the Bullmastiff was specifically selected not to cause injury, but to run down and hold perpetrators until the right authority arrived.