Dog Health & More
The Bullmastiff dog breed is a firm and fearless family guardian. While standoffish toward strangers he's got a soft spot for his loved ones. He has a short, easy-care coat, but he is a drooler.
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In 1901, a Mr. Burton of Thorneywood Kennels challenged a group of spectators at a dog show to take on the task of escaping a muzzled dog he had brought with him, the prize being one pound — a large sum of money at the time.
The volunteer was a man experienced with dogs, but he must have soon regretted his act. Despite being given a head start, he was pursued, caught, and knocked down by the dog three times.
Anyone who knew the dog was a Bullmastiff wouldn't have been surprised. Developed by gamekeepers on England's great estates, the dogs served as guardians of the grounds and were bred to be courageous, confident, strong, and fast.
Large and powerfully built, the Bullmastiff has a formidable appearance that's a wonderful deterrent to would-be attackers or intruders. He's a determined protector when needed and a loving family companion the rest of the time.
When he's well-trained and well-socialized, the Bullmastiff is a confident, trustworthy, and noble credit to the breed and to dogs in general.
In one sense, he's a clean breed, with a short coat that's easy to groom and doesn't shed excessively. On the other, he's a drooler. With this breed it's advisable to keep a hand towel with you at all times.
Despite his size, the Bullmastiff isn't a high-energy dog. A couple of short walks or playtimes a day will meet his needs. He's mellow enough to live comfortably in an apartment or condo, as long as he gets his daily outings.
Of course, a puppy will have more energy than an adult dog, but he should settle down by the time he's two years old. Being low-key doesn't mean he's lazy. The breed can excel in dog sports such as agility, conformation, obedience and tracking. Bullmastiffs are also super therapy dogs, thanks to their calm nature and comical expression.
When it comes to training, he's an independent thinker. Guide him with firmness, fairness, and consistency from an early age, and he'll look to you as head of the household.
Let him go his own way and he'll soon be running things, so don't let that happen. Early socialization — exposure to many different people, places, sights, sounds, and experiences — is essential.
With this breed's history of being a guardian dog, the Bullmastiff can do well in homes where both people work as long as he gets plenty of human interaction during at-home hours.
It's okay for them to spend time in a fenced yard or kennel run, but primarily these dogs should live in the home. After all, you want a guardian dog to be Johnny-on-the-spot in the event of an intruder as well as to be emotionally close to you so he'll want to protect you. The Bullmastiff is a silent watchdog who detains unwelcome visitors with his size and presence, biting only as needed.
Bullmastiffs do very well with children and show amazing patience with them. Their size can be overwhelming to toddlers, however. Nor is the Bullmastiff meant to be a baby sitter. No dog should be left unattended with young children.
Bullmastiffs can reach a weight of 130 pounds, and most of that is muscle. Living with a Bullmastiff brings the responsibility of ensuring that you have a well-trained and socialized dog. When that's the case, you'll find yourself in possession of a wonderful dog who is loving, faithful, and courageous, a huggable lug who's your best friend.