The massive Bullmastiff

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Bullmastiff was created in the mid 1800s by gamekeepers on English estates to control poaching. He descends from a Bulldog and a Mastiff making him very territorial and strong-willed.

These traits made him a perfect poaching deterrent. Working primarily at night, the Bullmastiff excelled at silently tracking and taking down poachers on command.

He was trained to pin and hold, but not to maul trespassers. He was camouflaged by his dark brindle coat and became known as the “Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.”

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While the Bullmastiff is no longer used to track poachers, his protective instinct remains full intact.

That is why socialization and proper training is so important with any working breed dog. Dogs like the Bullmastiff, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Terrier, already have a less than favorable public opinion, so it is even more important to ensure that your dog becomes a good citizen.

It only takes a few bad apples to put a stigma on a breed. Because of irresponsible ownership of a few people, powerful breeds like the Bullmastiff have been banned from many municipalities.

The perceived liability has caused many insurance companies not to issue homeowners insurance to owners of some working type breeds.

Owners have to understand that they can not physically overpower strong dogs like the Bullmastiff; they have to establish their role as a pack leader.

In the AKC (American Kennel Club) the Bullmastiff belongs to the Working Group. They typically live for eight to ten years.

They can be found in red, fawn, or brindle, with the ears darker than the body color, and a dark muzzle. Males should be 25 to 27 inches in height and weigh between 110- 130 pounds with a female dog standing between 24-26 inches tall and weigh between 100-120 pounds.

They are usually good with well-mannered children. Because of their large size, they should always be supervised with any children.

Opposite sex, similar size dogs can usually get along, but rarely will a male Bullmastiff get along with another male, especially if similar in size causing him to feel threatened.

Bullmastiffs are alert, confident, protective, and territorial, yet docile and devoted.

With proper socialization and training, a Bullmastiff will make a great family protector and companion.

Becoming educated on a breed before adopting a dog into your life will make you a breed ambassador, instead of attracting negativity.

Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.