Bullmastiff is a responsible watchman and a tireless companion, leading his pedigree from English bulldogs and mastiffs. Endlessly affectionate to the owner and his family members, but always wary of strangers.
- Breed Name: Bullmastiff
- Country of Origin: UK
- The time of the birth of the breed: 1924
- Weight: males 50-59 kg, females 40-50 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 63-69 cm, females 61-66 cm
- Life expectancy: 10-12 years
- Today's bullmastiffs are more companions than full-fledged fighters, and yet, having no experience with guard breeds, it is better not to have such a dog.
- The bullmastiff, of course, is not such a "slobber" as his ancestor, the English bulldog, but he will still "dig" out of his mouth.
- The breed is equally suitable for both suburban and residential maintenance.
- Bullmastiff is a dog of contrasts, in which periods of increased activity are interspersed with sleepy-lazy states when the animal cannot be driven off the sofa.
- Theoretically, the breed is not prone to unreasonable aggression, but cases of dogs attacking people still occur.
- Bullmastiffs have a very formidable voice, but they use it extremely rarely and always reasonably.
- Representatives of this breed have excellent flair, which allows them to work professionally on the trail, as well as to search for psychotropic and explosives.
- In a dream, animals reproduce funny sounds that resemble a mixture of strong snoring and snuffling at the same time.
- Like all brachycephalic breeds, the bullmastiff does not tolerate high temperatures, so in the heat they do not work with it and do not walk, giving the dog the opportunity to lie in the shade and providing it with a sufficient amount of liquid.
Bullmastiff is an enthusiastic athlete and a security guard who clearly distinguishes between work and rest. As a true native of Foggy Albion, this charismatic burly man has his own independent opinion about any phenomenon, so only a strong-willed and persistent owner can convince him of anything. However, to call a bullmastiff an incorrigible stubborn would be a clear exaggeration. The breed does not like to enter into a confrontation with the owner, preferring a pleasant partnership and mutual understanding to a useless confrontation.
History of the Bullmastiff breed
The bullmastiff breed began to form at the junction of the XVII-XVIII centuries. By this time, laws aimed at eradicating poaching had been tightened in the UK, and natural lands were carefully protected. And since the English huntsmen could not cope with the lovers of unauthorized hunting alone, there was a need for strong, strong dogs capable of catching up and detaining the intruder until reinforcements arrived.
Experiments to create the perfect forest watchman dragged on for a long time, and about a dozen breeds took part in them. As a result: in every bullmastiff today there is a piece of blood bloodhound , St. Bernard and even great Dane . And this is despite the fact that the official progenitors of the breed continue to be english bulldog and mastiff .
At first, amateur breeders from the people were in charge of breeding bullmastiffs, so the number of dogs was extremely heterogeneous. But in the XIX century, professionals like J. J. got carried away with "pumping" the breed phenotype. Briggs and V. Hollander, which significantly increased the exterior and working performance of animals. In particular, bullmastiffs have become more rapid in movement, without losing their natural malice and bulldog grip.
In 1924, the breed was officially registered by the English Kennel Club, and a year later they also proposed the first standard of appearance for its representatives. By that time, bullmastiffs had managed to retrain from assistant rangers to police and army dogs, which they still remain in the United States, as well as in a number of other Western countries. By the way, it is bullmastiffs that De Beers Corporation uses to protect its diamond deposits in South Africa. And this is in the homeland of the ferocious burbuley !
In 1933, the breed was imported to America, where a year later the AKC published a new standard for it, slightly, but still different from the English. As for the Soviet breeders, they met the descendants of mastiffs and bulldogs only in 1988. Nevertheless, it took very little time for the bullmastiffs to adapt to the Russian realities. In particular, since 1997, the domestic livestock has already been in full charge at international exhibitions, collecting all kinds of awards and championship titles.
Bullmastiff breed standard
Bullmastiff is a dense compact weightlifter with a melancholic, as if slightly tired look. However, the distant expression of the eyes is nothing more than a cunning trick. In fact, the bullmastiff is in a state of permanent alertness, as evidenced by the folds on its muzzle. These improvised wrinkles are straightened out only in a state of complete peace and tranquility, which the dog comes only during periods of sleep.
Bullmastiff is a breed with pronounced sexual dimorphism. Hence – especially relief forms and an emphatically brutal image in males and exquisitely elegant figures in bitches. The height at the withers in males is 63-69 cm, bitches are slightly lower – 61-66 cm. The weight categories of "girls" and "boys" are also different. The maximum that a female can gain without compromising her health and appearance is 50 kg, while for a male such a body weight is the maximum permissible minimum.
The bullmastiff's skull is massive, almost square. The muzzle is short, obtuse, more voluminous under the eyes, with a well-defined stop. The skin on the bullmastiff's head is stretched loosely, and the dog interested in any phenomenon forms shallow folds.
Nose and lips
The lobe is flat, wide enough, with large nostrils. The lips of the bullmastiff are developed, but not saggy, the wings are moderate.
Teeth and jaws
The teeth are strong, fit freely in the mouth, the canines are massive, set wide apart. Preferred types of bite: straight, a snack with a slight withdrawal, a dense snack.
Bullmastiff's eyes are walnut or dark walnut shade, relatively widely spaced and bordered with black "glasses".
The ears are characterized by a high posterior, which enhances the angularity of the skull, and the shape of an isosceles triangle. The ear cloth is small, tightly fitting to the cheekbones and painted in a darker tone than the rest of the body.
The bullmastiff's neck is incredibly muscular, of moderate length, in thickness equal to the circumference of the head.
The dog's body is massive, but compact. The back is short and straight. The chest is strongly lowered down, with a wide, deep chest. The bullmastiff's croup is slightly arched and slightly sloping.
The legs of a pedigree bullmastiff should give the impression of hidden power and strength. Widely spaced, with muscular shoulders, straight pasterns and mobile strong shins, they allow the animal to move at a free, energetic trot with a good sweep of the forelimbs. The paws of the bullmastiff have an emphatically curved shape and firm pads. Claws are preferable to dark color.
Representatives of the breed have a very strong, noticeably thickened tail at the base with a strong tip. In motion and at rest, the tail rushes straight or bends slightly, but never assumes an upright position.
The ideal "clothing" for a bullmastiff is a glossy short and stiff dogskin that tightly covers the body. The presence of undercoat depends on the color of the dog. Noticed: most tiger individuals have no undercoat, whereas light-colored animals have it.
Bullmastiffs can be owners of red (both light and dark tones), brown and tiger colors. All of these options should be monotonous, without a hint of sable (gray dusting) and lightening in certain areas of the body. Mandatory items: a dark mask on the muzzle and the same edging of the eyes. It is also acceptable to have a small white spot on the chest.
The silky luster inherent in the wool of bullmastiffs has different intensity and is often tied to the type of color. In particular, the most brilliant dogskin is in dark red and tiger dogs and much duller in animals of fawn and sand colors.
- Yellow eyes.
- Brown mask on the muzzle or its complete absence.
- Behavioral deviations: cowardice, gratuitous aggression.
- Obvious physical defects that call into question the pedigree of the animal.
Photo of an adult bullmastiff
Bullmastiffs are dogs woven from a million contradictions and the same number of state changes. Only a bullmastiff can simultaneously combine fearlessness and caution, playfulness and sluggish relaxation, endless good nature and malicious suspicion. The breeders themselves like to call the breed thinking, which means that it will not be possible to push its representatives around. But with a dog with such a rich inner world, it is much more interesting than with a service dog constantly looking back at you and pausing in anticipation of the command.
Contrary to the common cliche, modern bullmastiffs are not some kind of "Schwarzeneggers in a dog's body", ready to tear the offender into shreds. A properly educated dog will never run towards a stranger walking peacefully and will definitely not bark at him. Yes, these well-fed "brutals" always keep their ears on top, but it's not in their nature to be safe and rush at any live target. Bullmastiff attacks only when the threat becomes too obvious, and then only with the tacit consent of the owner. By the way, this is noticeable even when viewed from the outside: before defending someone's safety, the dog will definitely establish eye contact with the owner in order to ask for permission on a telepathic level.
A bullmastiff who has successfully completed work and is resting is a completely different dog. At home, the brave watchman and security guard quickly forgets about the harsh profession and begins to have fun in full, that is, fooling around, playing pranks, and also grabbing the softest surfaces, including the master's bed and grandma's favorite chair. In addition, he perfectly disguises himself, so often you can guess that a pet has occupied the bed only by funny snoring from under the blanket.
Bullmastiffs are social creatures, but they observe a pack hierarchy and patronize those who are weaker. As a result: representatives of this breed make good baby sitters and children's animators – good-natured, forgiving, cautious. Of course, it is better to control the game of the animal and the children to be safe, although the vast majority of bullmastiffs have developed a stable immunity to childish harms and jokes. The breed does not pose a threat to pets either. Seeing a walking cat, the bullmastiff will not fall into ecstasy and will not drag the owner who could not stand such a distance through puddles. The fluffy "matroskin" dog will certainly be interested, but not to such an extent as to fly after him on all sails.
Education and training
Dog handlers recommend starting to train a bullmastiff no earlier than the dog turns 6-7 months old, since the breed has a slow rate of maturation. In this regard, the question arises: what to do with the puppy before the age of the prescribed age? It's simple: up to six months, the kids are brought up, that is, by the time the bullmastiff "matures" for a full-fledged training course, he must respond to the nickname, know his place in the house and calmly respond to periodic "planting" in a cage or aviary. Be sure to work on weaning the puppy from the habit of biting your legs, as well as from excessive manifestations of emotions expressed in attacks on a person. Yes, yes, all this is more fun than painful, but exactly as long as the puppy is small. A playful bite on the heel from an adult bullmastiff causes a flurry of completely different emotions.
By the age of 6 months, a bullmastiff puppy must learn to get along with children, adequately perceive walking on a leash, correctly understand the command "No!". The dog should be socialized and not shy away from sudden sharp sounds. Puppy pranks are an inevitable phenomenon, so calmly treat the need for cosmetic repairs after your ward grows up. A cage will also help to minimize the damage from a bored baby alone, but this is a radical measure. A bullmastiff puppy can sit in a limited space for a maximum of an hour, then a little bully will begin to express displeasure by annoying howling, so the best way to avoid destruction in the apartment is to teach the pet to put up with loneliness. To do this, leave the animal alone with its own thoughts more often, and it is more reasonable to start with short intervals of a couple of minutes, gradually increasing the period to an hour or two.
At 6-7 months with a bullmastiff, it is allowed to switch to OKD, however, provided that the pet has learned to work for a treat and affection. Without positive motivation, this breed will not bother. It is better to practice with a dog on the playground. By the year bullmastiffs begin puberty, and they try to arrange a showdown with mature males. Working on the playground will help the pet to occupy its niche in the dog team faster, as well as form correct ideas about hierarchy and leadership.
Passing the ZKS, if you do not have a service dog, is not necessary. In everyday life, it is quite difficult to find the use of skills from this harsh course, especially since, if necessary, the bullmastiff will easily protect you without training. To catch up with the offender, knock him down and hold him until help arrives, the pet is able to do without preliminary training. In 99% of cases, more is not required: you don't want to be responsible later for exceeding the limits of permissible defense. If there is absolutely no way without ZKS, wait until the bullmastiff turns at least a couple of years old. Until the age of two, the breed has a puppy mentality, which will not allow it to fully master the basic skills of the program. It is better to entrust such training to a specialist who is able to develop an individual protective or protective course for a pet.
Maintenance and care
In terms of maintenance, bullmastiffs are universal guard dogs. They feel great in the house, in the apartment, and even in the outdoor aviary (provided that the animals do not sit in it for days). The only requirement is no back doors and chains chained to the booths. The Bullmastiff is a curious and sociable breed, so such isolation offends and upsets it. In apartments, ex-assistant rangers behave modestly, preferring to doze peacefully on sofas, so you are unlikely to stumble over a pet.
The short, moderately stiff coat of the bullmastiff does not present any unpleasant surprises. Dogs shed seasonally and not very abundantly, and their hair practically does not smell. Caring for the dog usually consists in systematically combing it with a rubber mitten (daily during the molting period and once a week the rest of the time) and periodic washing. You should not abuse bathing. Pets are taken to the bathroom only when they are dirty, and show animals - a couple of days before the exhibition. In cold weather, it is better to replace standard washing with dry cleaning with a special shampoo. In summer, most bullmastiffs are not averse to tumbling in an open pond, and this is permissible. But after bathing, always wash the dog's fur under running water to remove algae and parasites.
Otherwise, bullmastiff care is simple and does not require special skills. Examination of the pet's eyes is carried out daily to remove the mucus accumulated in the corners. To avoid acidification of the mucosa, you can wipe your eyes every few days with a napkin moistened with strong tea or ophthalmic phyto-lotion. The ears should be examined and cleaned weekly. In addition, it is recommended to remove plaque every 2-3 days with a brush or nozzle and toothpaste for dogs. And of course, do not forget about the muzzle. By inheritance from bulldogs, bullmastiffs have acquired moderate drooling, so after eating and walking, wipe the dog's lips and chin with a cotton cloth.
Walking, physical activity, sports
Bullmastiffs have plenty of energy, so forget about walking at a snail's pace and sitting on park benches. Only active games and intense workouts, only hardcore! Of course, you can not change your own principles and walk with your pet along quiet alleys, but then there is a risk of raising an aggressive brawler. This is especially true for the owners of young males who, out of boredom, will be looking for someone to mess with and what to eat from the muck lying under their feet.
To let off steam, the average bullmastiff needs 3-4 hours of walking a day. If you have a "girl", you can be a little lazy and shorten the duration of the promenades by half an hour or an hour. Bitches are less demanding and active in this regard. Some owners attract bull mastiffs to haul loads, but in general it is not the best breed for weightpulling. However, harnesses with small weights are only good for adults. The main thing is not to exaggerate the physical capabilities of the pet and do not overdo it with the weight of the load.
Jumping over obstacles is not easy for bullmastiffs, so it is better not to introduce the animal to this sport until a year old. And it makes sense to attract adults to it only if it is interesting to them. If you need to properly load the dog, it is better to take him out of town and drive him over rough terrain and uphill. Bullmastiffs are well exhausted by aporting objects, jogging on loose soil (sand on the beach and snow drifts are even better), as well as swimming.
The natural bullmastiff menu is a classic diet of any large dog: nutritious, high–protein, enhanced with mineral top dressing. The daily norm of natural food for a 50-kilogram individual is 2 kg, of which 1.2 kg is animal protein (meat, fish) and 800 g for a combination of cereals, bran and vegetables. Speaking of meat: choose for the bullmastiff wiry, low-fat varieties with a large amount of cartilage tissue. It is they who saturate the dog's body with a complex of useful substances, including the collagen necessary for the breed. Growing bullmastiff on industrial feed is also an acceptable option. However, dry croquettes will have to be periodically "dried" with wet canned food.
What not to do:
- mix raw food with heat-treated food in one feeding;
- independently prescribe vitamins and dietary supplements to the dog;
- for experimental purposes, transfer a pet from natural nutrition to "drying" and back;
- feed the bullmastiff before or immediately after a walk.
Bullmastiff puppies gain body weight quickly and have a wolfish appetite. They need to be fed strenuously, but without fanaticism, so as not to overload the weak ligaments and joints. In addition, you will have to additionally feed the baby with complexes with chondroitin and glucosamine.
An important point: in the heat, bullmastiffs often refuse to eat, and there is no point in running after them with a bowl. It is better to provide the dog with a sufficient amount of low-fat kefir, fermented baked milk and water. This will help her survive the heat more easily.
Health and diseases of bullmastiffs
Bullmastiffs are quite strong dogs, but not long–lived: the average life expectancy of a healthy individual is 8-9 years. As for diseases, everything is the same here as in other large breeds. In particular, bullmastiffs are prone to stomach inversion, hip dysplasia and congenital dislocation of the elbows. Among other ailments that can be diagnosed in animals, it is worth noting food allergies, urolithiasis, anomalies in the development of the eyelid and lymphoma. A variety of dermatitis (most often interdigital and atopic), as well as eczema, spoil the life of dogs.
Many bullmastiffs have calluses on their elbows and hocks. This is the scourge of all large, heavy breeds, which, however, can be fought. Most often, calluses make themselves felt in dogs sleeping on hard surfaces, although any bullmastiff is not immune from their appearance. If the pet has calloused areas on the elbows, do not expect that everything will resolve itself. Take a solution of Dioxidine (20-30%) and treat the lesion, then apply an oil solution of vitamins A, E and D3 to the skin. Usually the procedure is carried out three times a day, at night smearing the corn with lanolin or glycerin ointment.
How to choose a puppy
- Bullmastiff males look more textured than bitches, but they also have a dominant-independent character. In addition, dogs are more prone to allergies and, as a result, atopic dermatitis.
- "Girls" have a less expressive exterior, but they are more contact, more loyal to children and easier to learn. And they can also be taken in pairs, which cannot be said about males.
- Bullmastiff puppies are quite well-fed and heavy. The weight of a healthy two–month-old baby should be at least 9-10 kg, a three-month-old - from 17 kg. If the "specimen" you like has a low body weight, it signals diseases and poor care.
- It is better to take a puppy for exhibitions at the age of 7-8 months, when its breed features clearly appear. If you need a companion or a security guard, you should not delay: 1.5-3 months is the best period for moving to a new family.
- Check if the litter producers have been tested for genetic diseases, especially dysplasia. Be sure to clarify how the bitch and the dog are doing with food allergies. Her young bullmastiffs often inherit from their parents.
- Always inspect all puppies if the breeder provides such an opportunity. This will help you compare animals and make a choice in favor of the most intelligent kid.
- Evaluate the uniformity of the litter. A healthy breeding bitch does not have too large/too small puppies.
- Carefully feel the tail of the little bullmastiff. Often puppies have creases at the tip, which enterprising breeders remove by an operational method. When such a kid grows up, his tail will be shorter than that of his brothers, which will cut off his way to exhibitions.
- Look into the puppy's mouth. If there are more milk incisors than the dental formula requires, this is not a vice. It's much worse if there aren't enough of them.
- A purebred bullmastiff puppy has a U-shaped set of front paws. If in the upper part of the limb converge into an inverted letter V, the animal is regarded as a plembrak.
- Two-month–old bullmastiff puppies always have dark blue or brown eyes and never blue.
- For ZKS, it is better to choose puppies with a lightweight type of constitution, an elongated body and with such a type of bite as a snack with waste. In addition, the baby should occupy a leading position in the pack. If the dog is purchased as a pet in a family with children, it is wiser to opt for a phlegmatic puppy.
- As apartment pets, individuals with a tiger color are ideal: they have practically no undercoat and they do not shed so much. Fawn and brown puppies have a thin layer of undercoat and tolerate the cold better, but they also have more wool.
Photos of bullmastiff puppies
A vaccinated bullmastiff puppy of pet class with all the necessary documents will cost $250 - $300 The prices for offspring with a promising appearance, produced by champions and imported individuals, are more serious – $400 - $800 for a puppy.