Bullmastiff – Dog Breed of The Week

While standoffish toward strangers he’s got a soft spot for his loved ones

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.

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group:Working Dogs
Height:2 feet to 2 feet, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight:100 to 130 pounds
Life Span:8 to 10 years

Highlights

 

  • Bullmastiffs don’t need a lot of exercise and will be happy with a couple of short walks every day.
  • Bullmastiffs can do well in families where both parents work. They are not overly concerned with being alone, but puppies will need someone who can come home to let them out for potty breaks.
  • Bullmastiffs shed little and require only minimal grooming.
  • Bullmastiffs can do well in apartments or condos because they’re so mellow.
  • Bullmastiffs can be aggressive toward other animals if they’re not properly socialized
  • Bullmastiffs should live indoors with their people.
  • Bullmastiffs are prone to heat exhaustion and heatstroke and should be kept indoors during hot or humid weather.
  • Bullmastiffs drool and can be prone to gassiness. If wiping up drool bothers you in any way, this is not the breed for you.
  • Bullmastiffs need early training that continues throughout their life. Training and socialization help curb unwanted aggression and willfulness.
  • Large and loving, Bullmastiffs enjoy spending time with you on your couch, feet, and lap. They take up a lot of room but give you lots of love in return.
  • Bullmastiffs can be determined guard dogs and will protect their home and family with their life if the need arises. Their size and confidence is a deterrent to intruders.
  • Bullmastiffs are good with children, but they can accidentally knock over or step on toddlers.
  • Bullmastiffs have a high pain threshold so it can be difficult to determine if the dog is hurt.
  • Never acquire a Bullmastiff from a puppy broker or pet store. Reputable breeders do not sell to middlemen or retailers, and there are no guarantees as to whether the puppy had healthy parents. Reputable breeders perform various health tests to ensure that their breeding dogs don’t pass on a predisposition to genetic diseases. Interview breeders thoroughly, and make sure the puppy’s parents have been screened for genetic diseases pertinent to that breed. Ask breeders about the health issues they’ve encountered in their dogs, and don’t believe a breeder who claims that her dogs never have any health problems. Ask for references so you can contact other puppy buyers to see if they’re happy with their Beardie. Doing your homework may save you from a lot of heartbreak later.

 

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