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Breed Notes

The Bullmastiff is a cross between the Bulldog and Mastiff in order to attain the basic characteristics of both but of smaller size than the Mastiff. Their original purpose was to hunt poachers and thus they needed to be tough, fearless, and silent. The new breed was recognized in England in 1925 and by the American Kennel Club in 1933.
Today, the Bullmastiff is protective of people and property and often used by police and military as guard dogs. They also make a calm but alert pet.
The head of the Bullmastiff is large, with a square skull and short, broad muzzle. The eyes are medium-sized and dark in color. They are set wide with a furrow of skin in between. The upper lip should not hang below the lower jaw. The ears are v-shaped, set high and wide apart. They fold down and back along the cheeks and are of darker color than the body. The coat of the Bulldog is short, coarse and lies flat against the body. Coat color is dark brindle, fawn or red with a black mask across the muzzle. Any white should be on the chest only. The body is solidly built with a deep, broad chest and short, level back. The tail is set high and is long, carried straight or curved slightly upward. The average height is between 25 and 27 inches while the average weight is between 90 and 130 pounds.

vikster69@yahoo.com of Belgium writes:

The best dog I've ever owned.
I got my Bullmastiff from a friend who had to move. He was only eight months old but weighed almost 100 pounds; he was the biggest dog I'd ever seen. We became instant friends. He was and is by far the most gentle, bullheaded, loving, sensitive being I've ever encountered. He now is four years old and just as much fun as ever. My children (twelve and fourteen now) love this dog. He has never so much as nipped or growled at any of us. Not only are Bullmastiffs beautiful but strong and sometimes a little sneaky. They can be a lot of work and sometimes loud. Mastiffs also require a lot of attention but if you decide to get one trust me he will be your very best friend. Not to mention your favourite entertainer just so he can be the center of attention. Let this dog know who the big dog really is and you'll have a dog like no other. They get along well with other animals (we have cats, fish, birds, guinea pig and a female Pitbull) and I can honestly say we have never, ever had a problem. I will always stick with Bullmastiffs &shyp; they are by far the best dogs ever.

granite@i1.net of Fredericktown, MO writes:

You will never be owned by another breed.
We have had Bullmastiffs for almost ten years now. Our first dog will be ten. He changed our lives forever. He taught us the true meaning of unconditional love. We currently own five of these truly unique dogs. Each one has its own personality. To describe the breed in three words: loyal, protective, gentle, and first and foremost their owner's best friend.
Bullmastiffs must be socialized and trained like any other guard breed. Given the proper early socialization and training they need, there is no other breed for me. My love affair with these gorgeous animals started ten years ago and is even stronger today. I have a special relationship with all five of my kids that can never be expressed in words! No better breed!

knightbmf@hotmail.com of Lake Village, IN writes:

The best dog is own if you are willing to socialize and obedience train.
Being a Bullmastiff breeder, I am quite biased, but I do feel the Bullmastiff is an outstanding breed. They are very smart, loyal, and loving. They must be socialized and obedience trained at an early age though, if you are not willing, or able to do this PLEASE do not even think of purchasing a Bullmastiff.

hack29er@hotmail.com of UK writes

The best there is.
I have an eight-month-old Bullmastiff and I wouldn't have any other breed again. He is very protective and loyal; I can go to sleep with my front door unlocked. Also I found him good with my son and daughter. My daughter can play with him and I don't have a single thought that he would hurt her in any way.

Klimakazee@aol.com of Indiana writes:

Absolutely the best!
Bullmastiffs are absolutely, hands down the best breed of dog there is. I've owned many other breeds from German Shepherds, Staffordshire Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Labs, Rottweilers, and muts, but now that I've had the privilege of owning a Bully I will never own any other breed; they've won my heart. These dogs are great all-around. They are loving, friendly dogs, great with kids, gentle and easygoing. They love their families and would give their lives for them. They are as gentle as they are big. These dogs love to be a part of the family and would love to just lay on the couch with you all day.

limerick@blkhawk.net of Stockton, IL writes on 11/24/00:

Do your homework.
So you are interested in a Bullmastiff? I personally think they are the greatest breed on earth, but definately not suited for everyone. I am a second generation Bullmastiff owner who grew up in a household full of Bullmastiffs and still am surrounded by a houseful today. I show my dogs in conformation, agility, obedience and tracking. I am also a breed rescue foster person and in being so, I have seen the reasons why people get and discard so many wonderful bullmastiffs.
Many people see a Bullmastiff, admire their physical appearance and buy one without thinking about all that this breed involves. When the dogs grow up and are not the cuddly puppy they once were the problems begin. It is my sincere wish that EVERYONE contemplating adopting a Bullmastiff into their family think about the following facts:
1. Bullmastiffs are a SERIOUS guard breed. In being so they need proper socialization and obedience training from day one. They are motivated by kindness, praise, and food and easy to train and socialize. If not you have a 100 lb plus, untrained, unruley and possibly untrustworthy dog on your hands...with a mind of his own! This dog is NOT a cuddly couch potato all of the time, he was bred to GUARD and will do so when he feels the need. So many people forget this. Be aware of situations that will provoke the guard instinct in the bullmastiff.
2. Bullmastiffs can be dog aggressive. Yes every dog you have seen may have been a cream puff, but the tendency is still a VERY real part of the breed. In my opinion, dog aggression is a major reason why Bullmastiffs are given up. Along with socialization to many people, Bullmastiffs must be exposed to many dogs in puppyhood to help curtail this trait. It still may always exist. Same sex aggression is common, with males being almost always hostile towards other males. Neutering does not help much.
3. Bullmastiffs can be very unhealthy. Orthopedic problems, allergies and cancer are rampant in the breed as well as countless other illnesses. Purchase your puppy from a REPUTABLE breeder with health screened parents. Even this may not insure a healthy dog. Veterinary costs are very expensive and an unfortunate reality of many homes with a Bullmastiff.
4. Bullmastiffs can be messy. If you are a clean freak, get another breed. Many Bullmastiffs drool. They are sloppy eaters. Be prepared for a little extra clean-up time with this breed.
5. Bullmastiffs are not always good with children. They must be introduced to children and taught how to behave. Children also must be taught to respect and be kind to the Bullmastiff. When done properly, the Bullmastiff almost always develops a great love and tolerance for children. Children and Bullmastiffs must always be supervised.
I don't mean to concentrate on all of the negatives of this breed, but sadly it is these facts that often times lead to a mismatch of a home and a dog. If you are interested in this breed I would encourage you to contact the American Bullmastiff Association and spend some time with a current Bullmastiff owner and their dogs. See what life is REALLY like with a bullmastiff. Don't every buy a dog on a whim. Research reputable breeders as they should do to you. Make plans for your Bullmastiff when he or she arrives. Sign up for obedience classes, purchase supplies and books, and have a mentor in the breed who you can always turn to for help and guidance. NEVER buy a puppy from a pet store or a dog broker. Be very weary of newspaper ads. And please, don't get a bullmastiff with the intention of breeding them to make money. There are far too many people doing this and it is a tragedy for the dogs. If you love the breed, pay your dues and stay in it a reasonable amount of time and learn all that you can before producing more. We need more people concerned about putting only the highest quality Bullmastiffs on this earth.
I love this breed for many reasons, but the main one is that they are the only breed uniquely suited to the lifestyle of my family. They are loveable, fiercely loyal, protective, intelligent, caring and simply beautiful. My heart breaks each time another one comes into the rescue program because someone didn't take the time to consider what I have just mentioned. Please do your homework and if you do decide this breed is for you, be a genuine caretaker and steward of the breed. We owe them nothing less.

michellegloade@hotmail.com of Nova Scotia, Canada writes on 2/6/00:

Once she wakes up, the intruder is in big trouble!
My Bullmastiff is a wonderful dog. She is slightly undersized at about 85 lbs but is Bullmastiff through and through! This little girl is everything we had hoped. She is lazy and loveable when we want her to be and alert and extremely athletic at other times. When someone comes to the door, she waits at about 10 feet from the door, quietly waiting to see who it is. When they step in, if she knows them, she says "hello" and goes about her business. If she does not, she waits for my reaction, watching my face to see how I react to this person. She almost decides for herself, I think! She relishes her comfort and loves laying beside the fire. However, it is my limited experience that says if you are looking for a watchdog there are probably better choices. She doesn't hear alot of little noises. Sometimes we come home and (not quietly) will walk upstairs to find her snoring away. We wake her up and she has the most sheepish looking grin on her face! That being said, once she wakes up you better belong there I think! Once, my brother Mark came home in the middle of the night(he doesn't live here) and I could hear him moving around downstairs. All of a sudden she caught herself in the middle of a snore and exploded out of bed and , after pausing at the stairs for a moment, huffing and chuffing she took off down. I yelled "MARK! SAY SOMETHING!" and he goes "it's only me, Stormy!" She met him around the corner and licked him to death, Thank God!
I often read how they tend to be dog-aggressive but there is none of this in her at all. She is very dominant , even marking her territory and mounting other dogs. She just assumes she is the happy leader. Maybe one of these days she'll meet her match! She excels in obedience, winning ribbons in her classes(she is just 19 months). I did however try to bring a cat in the house and she said "no thank you" but I have read many times if brought up with them they will be fine. Please, do your research and ask lots of questions. Find a breeder that will work with you after the sale and on
that asks you lots of questions too. We had to do a video of our place and us first. Do not find this an intrusion of your rights but be glad that the breeder cares enough about where and to who his dog is going. I still bug the poor guy alot. But, he never complains and answers all my questions. Lastly, I am not sure that this is a first time dog owners best choice. If you are knowledgable and willing to put the effort into learning about your dog, then maybe but if not, they will walk all over you and rule your world!

castrocastalia@retemail.es of Spain writes on 10/11/99:

Bullmastiffs are a MUST.
My family and I have been owned by a big bunch of Bullmastiffs, since 1988. Previously we had had other breeds of dogs, but none like Bullmastiffs. They are special. Gentle, kind, intelligent, sensible and a joy to live with. They adapt to all circumstances and behave perfectly at home and outside. With the kids they are the best possible babysitters, with other pets they are patient and kind. All they need is to know and feel that they are respected and loved by "their" family and they will respond 100%. No, 1000%. You really cannot say that you have experienced all the joys of living with a dog, until you share your life with one or more Bullmastiffs. Believe me. At home we share not just the roof but the sofas, armchairs and beds with ten of them! So I really know what I am talking about!

sloviter@aol.com of Boston, MA writes on 10/2/99:

Once you own one, you'll never own another breed
When my husband first told me three years ago he wanted a Bullmastiff (we had a Beagle at the time), I was skeptical; the three I had met up to that time were not particularly friendly (each of the owners suggested I not come too close because their Bullmastiff might not like me). Coincidentally, that weekend, I saw an ad in our local classifieds for a litter of Bullmastiff puppies. To be fair to my husband, who had begun to seriously research the breed, I told him about this litter and suggested we visit the pups. Both parents were on site, and all eight squirmy offspring were playing and sleeping in an outside pen. It was love at first site, and after playing with the pups for more than an hour, we unequivocally purchased one, (the litter was only 6 weeks at the time, so we returned two weeks later to pick up our choice).
The last three years with our Bullmastiff have brought nothing but sheer joy, companionship, pride and laughter. Bullmastiffs are not active by nature (they enjoy being outside once you can get them off of the couch) and are not well suited for owners who want a constant frisbee-retrieving companion. However, our Bullmastiff is fiercely loyal and - contrary to what I had experienced prior to owning one - unbelievably friendly. In fact, she would much rather spend time hanging out with homo sapiens than with canines, and she always enthustically greets our friends at the door with a healthy kiss.
Finally, Bullmastiffs are not a common breed, and many times our dog has been mistaken for a Boxer, a Pit Bull, a Rhodesian rRdgeback mix and a Great Dane mix, among others. And, her comparatively large size have made people cross the street when they spot her. However, those who venture to meet her often fall in love with her expressiveness and gentleness, two qualities I believe most well-socialized bullmastiffs possess. After owning one Bullmastiff, I don't think we'd ever want to own anything else.

ynotbullmastiff@uswest.net of Hooper, Utah writes on 10/1/99:

big gentle giant
This breed is truly a big gentle loving dog that with the proper training is a wonderful family companion. Not for everyone who will not take the time to socialize them. They are big and the true bullmastiff temperment is loyal, loving and gentle.
I wish I knew about this breed when I first started showing back in the 70's (Bulldogs is what I had)
I got the best of both worlds with the Mastiff and Bulldog mix, which is the Bullmastiff.

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