Otherwise referred to as the 'Gamekeeper's Night Dog,' the Bullmastiff dates back as early as 1795 when it was selectively cross-bred from an English Mastiff and Bulldog. Primarily bred for the purposes of chasing and pinning poachers intruding on the gamekeeper's land, the Bullmastiff possesses both the stature of the Mastiff and the aggression of the early Bulldog. Besides its fierce ability to chase, the breed is adept at hunting, tracking and makes a brilliant companion dog for the devoted sole owner or family. Falling within the 'working breed' branch of canines, alongside the Great Dane, Boxer and St. Bernard.
Easily identifiable for its Bulldog-like facial appearance, the Bullmastiff is a large-sized, powerfully built breed possessing a proportionate head, body and limbs, a strong tail, broad muzzle and long, muscular legs. Its coat is short and easy to maintain, common in colour variations of brindle, red or fawn. Unsurprisingly, having been bred to track scent and sound, the Bullmastiff boasts keen senses, particularly hearing and smell. Due to its impressive size, stature and intimidating appearance, the Bullmastiff of today is widely utilised in policing and military work, and as a dependable guard dog is various settings. Notoriously unsuited to cohabiting with other dogs or cats. Despite being athletically built, the Bullmastiff requires little exercise to maintain general health and happiness.
Highly trainable, the breed requires consistent obedience training from an early age. Once trained, the Bullmastiff will be amongst the most loyal, obedient and docile of breeds, exhibiting affection and complete devotion towards its owners, vigilant to change and threat and fearlessly protective of its family if danger is perceived. The average Bullmastiff weighs 45-60 kg depending on its gender and has a life expectancy of 10 years when cared for accordingly.
Although generally a healthy and resilient breed, the Bullmastiff is susceptible to certain ailments, including hip dysplasia and associated structural issues, as well as eyelid problems. Additionally prone to cancer and mast-cell tumours, as well as various cardiac diseases such as pulmonic stenosis.