The Bullmastiff – a Poacher’s Nightmare
These massive, muscle-packed dogs have been designed as guardians for the wildlife of mid-19th century England: All too often, pheasants, deer and other innocent animals of the forest fell victim to unscrupulous poachers. Given this dire situation, the gamekeepers of the times decided to act: As they lacked a guardian breed fit to track down and apprehend the intrepid poachers, they created their own. For this purpose, they crossed the Old English Bulldog with the English Mastiff. Whilst the Bulldog brought prey drive and aggression to the table, the comparatively slow and docile Mastiff ensured both the body mass and the restraint required. The result of the gamekeepers’ breeding efforts is the Bullmastiff that we know and love today: A glorious, courageous guardian.
Clearly, today’s large and bulky Bullmastiff strongly resembles its even taller and heavier ancestor – the English Mastiff. And whilst the Old English Bulldog sadly has become extinct, today’s White English Bulldog and American Bulldog give an impression of how these dogs would have looked like: Medium-sized and muscle packed with a blocky head, these breeds appear similar to a strong-boned version of the American Pitbull Terrier. When we look at the Bullmastiff, we can clearly see the influence of these stocky Bulldogs.
The Bullmastiff Today – Intimidation Factor guaranteed
As a classical Mastiff-type dog, the Bullmastiff looks quite intimidating to the majority of the population. Personally, I absolutely love Mastiffs with their wrinkly faces, large jowls and droopy eyes – but it is easy to see why most people make a wide berth around these bulky giants. These large and heavy dogs are quite effective and capable protectors in any potentially threatening situation. But fortunately, their natural intimidation factor usually prevents a direct confrontation with any human up to no good: People would have to be amazingly bold – or misguided – to intrude into a home guarded by one of these massive canines. And the same applies for potential robbers. Just one look at the Bullmastiff – its sheer bulk and its massive, blocky head – is enough to give anyone the chills. Potential assaulters included. Whether guarding your property or walking on your leash – a Bullmastiff is an impressive sight.
Facts & Figures
As a typical Mastiff, the Bullmastiff has a large-boned body and a broad, blocky head with a pronounced stop and large jowls. In their overall appearance, these dogs should be alert in their expression and symmetrical as well as powerful in their built. According to the American Kennel Club, “the foundation breeding was 60 percent Mastiff and 40 percent Bulldog”. Hence, the Bullmastiff bears a slightly closer resemblance to its English Mastiff ancestor than to the Bulldog – both in temperament and in appearance. The dog’s eyes should be medium sized and its ears V-shaped and hanging down close to the cheek. Long and thick at the root, their tails taper out into a thinner tip.
According to the American Kennel Club’s breed standards, the Bullmastiff’s gait is supposed to be free, smooth, and powerful. Adult males measure between 25 and 27 inches and females between 24 and 26 inches at the withers. This amounts to between 64 and 70 cm for males and between 60 and 66 cm for females. Their weight should be proportionate to the dog’s size and can range between 100 and 120 pounds, which is between 45 and 54 kilos.
This impressive Mastiff comes with a short and dense coat that can be brindle, fawn or red. In terms of white markings, only a small spot on the chest is allowed.