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The Bullmastiff has evolved in the nearly 200 years of his existence, from the companion of gamekeepers charged with protecting the hunting land of the upper class to a beloved companion now, the breed may be a bit mellower but it is still playful, devoted, powerful and reliable with remarkable stamina and tenacity given its size.  While its exercise requirements are not profound, the breed is large enough and active enough to require space for movement.  A dog of this build will require a significant amount of room just to get to "full speed".  Nevertheless, the Bullmastiff readily and deservedly finds a delighted contingent of supporters who recognize the treasure in having such a friend.
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By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Working Height: 24-27 inches
Weight: 90-130 pounds Longevity: Rarely more than 10 years
Colors: Brindle, Fawn or Red often with black masking, minimal white acceptable and Coat type: Short, hard and weather resistant. Lies flat to the body.
Recognized Registries: FCI, CKC, AKC, UKC, NCA, TKC and others
Overall Appearance: Substantial and powerful dog but not cumbersome. Head and expression clearly indicate Mastiff and Bulldog characteristics of their ancestry.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate to high
General Nature: Actice, devoted, strong, playful
  with Children: Generally very good with children if properly introduced and children are well mannered
  with other pets: Generally good
  with dogs: Variable
Socialization requirements: moderate: while the idea of an aggressive or shy Bullmastiff is scary (and possible) the breed tends toward an easy going nature, a reasonable amount of socializing while young often insures a happy, friendly adult
Ideal home characteristics: One that recognizes that without GOOD (not just an attempt) basic manners training that this dog will be powerful AND out of control. Otherwise, accepting of the potential health problems and short lifespan and the demands placed on the home by a Giant.
Temperament Notes: Extremely loyal and devoted, not particularly suspicious of strangers but woe unto the stranger they do have concern about, with family very loving, playful and docile.
Training requirement: moderate: the difficulties created by early mistakes are hard to measure with a dog like a Bullmastiff is only because they are so hard to fix later. So commit to heavy socialization (be on the safe side) and solid basic manners training.
Trainer notes: The Bullmastiff is the rare appearance in many dogsport arenas.  While definitely an athlete, he/she lacks the agility, speed and precision that makes other breeds so appealing for the competitor.  However, there is something beyond compare in the love that a Bullmastiff doles out when attempting the wishes of his human training partner.  For the trainer that has positive and happy methods, eye contact is rarely an issue since the Bullmastiff will immediately seek that satisfying reward of praise, a smile or contact for his efforts.  For the trainer that utilizes other methods, they will quickly hit the steel enforced, brick wall with a solid concrete foundation that is otherwise known as the Bullmastiff stubborness.  This tenacity is a characteristic that the breed required for their work and is still there today (though often not as valued). This is a breed that enjoys a strong intuitive relationship with its people so training is not difficult given the proper methods.  With that said, it is surprising then that more Bullmastiff owners do not seek the fun of the performance ring, even if they don't expect the highest score.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 1800s
Country of Origin: England
Original Function: Protect the upper class' lands from poachers
History: The Mastiff was too easy going and slow, and the Bulldog too ferocious for capturing and holding a poacher until the gameskeeper arrived. A strong, powerful dog was needed since the poachers faced death for their crimes and would try anything to escape.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: bloat, hip dysplasia,hypothyroidism, kidney disease, panosteitis,SAS, glomeruloephropathy
Health Testing: OFA, CERF, Thyroid Panel, medical history
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Bullmastiffs?
  • Why do you have Bullmastiffs (show, pet therapy, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Bullmastiff?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Bullmastiff?
  • How would you describe the ideal Bullmastiff home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Bullmastiff?
  • How do you assist or help Bullmastiffs in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites: - Bullmastiff Rescue - Bullmastiff Rescue Resource - A GREAT place to start your search for a Bullmastiff! - American Bullmastiff Association, just click RESCUE in the top bar - Bullmastiff Rescue Canada - Bullmastiff Rescue Information


    Other Resources
    Breed standard: - The Kennel Club (UK) Standard of the Bullmastiff - FCI Standard for the Bullmastiff - UKC Standard for the Bullmastiff - Canadian Kennel Club Standard for the Bullmastiff - American Bullmastiff Association Standard

    Breeder Ethics: - Bullmastiff Association of the UK Code of Ethics

    Other: It is very surprising that the American Bullmastiff Association seems to lack a code of ethics posted on their site.  This invaluable tool is of great assistance to potential homes that want the best for the dogs as well as an indication of how seriously the custodians of the breed hold their responsibility.
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