AKC Group: Working

The Bullmastiff seems to be a cross of 60% English Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. Bred to search out and stop poachers, they were then invited into homelife. In South Africa, Bullmastiffs were used as hunting dogs, then as watchdogs.

Size: 24 to 27 inches tall, 100 to 130 pounds.

Color: Red, fawn or brindle.

Life span: 8 to 10 years.

Health problems: Hip or elbow dysplasia, bloat, torsion, ectropion, respiratory issues. Avoid extreme hot temperatures and direct sun exposure, Bullmastiffs suffer from sunstroke.

Bullmastiffs are an extremely large, powerful, muscular, sturdy breed of dog. They have remarkable strength and endurance. They have a short, sleek, close-fitting coat. Bullmastiffs are loyal, devoted dogs that are fearless and protective. They are strong, always alert and calm, yet gentle and mild-mannered. Though intelligent and quick to learn, they tend to be stubborn; training isn’t easy. Mostly cheerful, a Bullmastiff makes a wonderful family companion and an excellent watchdog if you’re in the market. Bullmastiffs are great with kids. Due to their size, they do better with older children. They do very well with other pets, though they may try to dominate a smaller dog and do not appreciate strange animals in their territory. Bullmastiffs are wary of strangers. They love to exercise, but not exuberantly. Indoors, he’ll play the lazy bum. You should always avoid outdoor activities during extreme summer heat.

Bullmastiffs are low maintenance dogs — in the grooming department that is. Brush him when he needs it and use a massage glove to rub down the coat and remove dead hairs. During shedding season, he’ll require extra brushing sessions. Training him will make you want to pull your hair out.

You want to control his protectiveness without eliminating it. This requires early socialization, obedience and consistency. If you’re going to discourage certain behaviors, always discourage them. If you want him to do something, always praise it. A Bullmastiff is sensitive to your tone of voice, so be careful and consistent. It’s not recommended to ever use crates or kennels with a Bullmastiff, they want human interaction and become irritated and are difficult to manage when crated. Bullmastiffs drool and snore, so be ready. If you’re raising a Bullmastiff alongside a toddler, expect for these two to become thick as thieves naturally.

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