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Bullmastiff - Care and Grooming

Although the mastiff is one of Britain's oldest breeds, its immediate descendant, the bullmastiff, is probably a fairly recent development. It is true that occasional references to the bullmastiff, or crosses of the mastiff and bulldog, can be found as early as 1791; however, no evidence exists that these strains were bred on. The documented history of the bullmastiff begins near the end of the 19th century, when poaching game from the large estates had become such a problem that the gamekeepers' lives were endangered.

 

They needed a tough courageous dog that could wait silently as a poacher approached, attack on command and subdue but not maul the poacher. The mastiff was not fast enough, and the bulldog was not large enough, so they crossed the breeds in an attempt to create their perfect dog; the aptly named "gamekeeper's night dog." The preferred color was dark brindle, as it faded into the night. As the breed's reputation grew, however, many estate owners chose the dogs as estate sentries and preferred the lighter fawns, especially those with black masks, a coloration reminiscent of their mastiff ancestry. Breeders began to aim for a pure-breeding strain rather than relying upon repeating crosses between the mastiff and bulldog. They worked for an ideal animal that appeared to be 60 percent mastiff and 40 percent bulldog. By 1924, the breed was deemed to be pure and was recognized by the English Kennel Club.   

Bullmastiff Temperament

The Bullmastiff is a giant animal, and has great loyalty and devotion, as well as a fearless and protective streak. Strong, alert, and calm, the Bullmastiff is confident yet gentle and mild mannered. This is an intelligent breed, and is quick to learn, but he is also very stubborn and this can make training difficult. The Bullmastiff is an animal that is best suited to a more experience dog owner, and required someone that will be confident, assertive, yet attentive. These cheerful dogs make great companions and family pets, and their protective outlook makes them effective watchdogs.

If you have children then you will normally find that the Bullmastiff gets along well with them, and when raised and properly socialized with children this breed is an excellent playmate, although his size may prove a problem around smaller children. The Bullmastiff will also be fine with family pets, although he may want to express dominance over other dogs and will not be happy about strange animals coming onto his territory. The Bullmastiff can be aloof with strangers, but will always be loyal and loving with their family. The Bullmastiff does like to exercise, and his energy levels outdoors are moderate but remain low indoors. However, he should not be exercised in intense heat due to his tendency to get heatstroke.

Bullmastiff Appearance

The Bullmastiff is a powerful, sturdy, and muscular dog, which has remarkable endurance and strength. This dog has an athletic build, and strong, sturdy legs. The weight of the Bullmastiff is around 100-135 pounds, and the height is around 24-27 inches. The Bullmastiff's coat is short, sleek, and close fitting, and the coloring varies and can be red and fawn, fawn, brindle, and red. The breed is a medium shedder.

Bullmastiff Grooming

Grooming for the Bullmastiff is low maintenance, and all you need to do to keep his coat in good condition is to occasionally brush it. You can also use a massage glove to rub down the coat and remove any dead hair. The Bullmastiff is a medium shedder. During times when he is shedding more heavily you may need to brush on a more regular basis.

Bullmastiff Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Bullmastiff has a lifespan of around 8-10 years, which is relatively low compared to many other breeds. There are a number of health problems that are associated with the Bullmastiff breed, and this includes HD and elbow dysplasia, bloat, torsion, ectropion, entropion, and also a tendency towards respiratory difficulties. This breed should be kept out of extreme heat and sun, as they can suffer heatstroke.

Bullmastiff History

The Bullmastiff was developed in Great Britain, and originates from the mastiff and the bulldog. Developed by gamekeepers, the Bullmastiff was used to provide protection against poachers.

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