In the early 1800's English estate owners had a massive need to protect their game from being stolen by poachers. In order to stop the poachers, the groundskeepers needed a dog that could track them down and keep them subdued without mauling them. Mastiffs were large in size, but lacking in ambition as well as being too slow.
The English Bulldog, on the other hand, were quick and ferocious, but too small. By combining these two breeds, owners were able to create the perfect guard dog to protect their estates.
Although not the largest breed known, Bullmastiffs are quite impressive in size. Males range in size from 25-27 inches and 110-130 pounds. Females range from 24-26 inched and 100-120 pounds. Their body is square and muscular with a short, dense coat.
The breed has only 3 options for coloring: fawn, red and brindle. They may have a little white spot on their chest, however that is the only place white is allowed per EKC and AKC standards. The head of the Bullmastiff is broad, has dark, medium sized eyes, v-shaped ears and a black nose. The dog's muzzle should be dark and is about a third the length of the face.
The Bullmastiff is extremely devoted to its owners. Although mild-mannered, the breed is very powerful and strong-willed. Because the Bullmastiff was originally bred for guarding, they have a strong instinct to be in control of a situation. The breed is independent and likes to make its own decisions and so it is best to begin socialization at an early age - it helps the dog distinguish who is the leader, and it offers respect between both dog and owner. When properly socialized, the Bullmastiff will respect its master and will look to him for guidance before acting out in a situation.
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Keep in mind that Bullmastiff puppies are very playful and rambunctious. Since they are a large breed, it is beneficial to teach them that playtime should remain outdoors. Obedience training should start the very day the puppy is brought home.
Remember, the breed is highly intelligent, yet stubborn. Consistency and control by the owner must be established from the beginning in order to keep the dog in check. Your puppy may try and win you over with its expressive eyes, but as its leader, you must stand firm in your instruction and discipline. With the right training, your Bullmastiff puppy will grow into a confident, loving and devoted friend.
The Bullmastiff is able to get along well with other house pets if socialized early enough. However, it is common for them to have issues with other dogs, especially other males. As long as they are introduced to other dogs at an early age, this should not be a problem.
This breed is great around children, but keep in mind that because of its large size, it could easily knock a child down. With its docile and easy-going attitude, though, the Bullmastiff makes a great family pet.