What Makes A Bullmastiff Magnificent?
The Bullmastiff has a powerful build showing great strength, yet is graceful in action. This devoted and extremely alert dog excels as a guard dog and watchdog, known for being a loyal protector of his family. An intelligent breed, of a good-natured temperament; this dog is fearless and protective, yet affectionate. This high-spirited dog combines the reliability, intelligence, and willingness to please required of a dependable family companion and protector.
Breed Story: The Bullmastiff was purposely created in England in the late 1800s. At this time, there were many large estates in England that were easy targets for poachers in the area. The owners employed gamekeepers to protect the game that flourished on their estates, and for this task they required a trustworthy assistant. Originally, Mastiffs were used for this purpose. However, they tended to be too large and cumbersome, and therefore too slow, and this breed seemed to lack the drive necessary to down and hold a man. Bulldogs were also tried, but in that era the bulldog had been developed to be very ferocious, and would often cause too much damage to the poachers they caught. The gamekeepers required a dog that was strong, silent, fearless, agile and powerful. Many crosses were attempted before the Bullmastiff was decided upon. The Mastiff chosen for its power, trustworthiness, fearsome appearance and loyal nature, and the Bulldog for its silence, tenacity and agility, were crossed to make the Bullmastiff. Crosses were made until a ratio of 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog was achieved. The outcome was a large, dependable breed, which earned the respect of the gamekeeper as an outstanding guard dog and loyal family dog.
Recognition of the Bullmastiff
Dogs of dark brindle color were preferred for night work for good camouflage, and they became known as the Night Dog. However, when the need for the gamekeeper’s dog decreased, the dark brindle Night Dog gave way in popularity to the lighter fawn colored Bullmastiffs.
Although the dogs had been mentioned far earlier in texts, it wasn’t until 1924 when the breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club. However, three generations of breeding of Bullmastiffs was required for Bullmastiffs to be registered as purebreds. By 1927 they attained full registration, and in 1928 the first Bullmastiff was issued challenge certificates, and titled Champion at the Crufts Show.
In 1933 the Bullmastiff was recognized by the American Kennel Club. The Bullmastiff has been prized as a hunting guard for army and police work, and is used as a watchdog by the Diamond Society of South Africa.
Popular for All the Right Reasons
The Bullmastiff we know today has the same general look as its working ancestors did. Now, the Bullmastiff is recognized as a reliable, loyal family companion and guardian. The Bullmastiff is a powerful, active, reliable, highly intelligent and affectionate breed. High spirited, alert and faithful, even tempered and accepting of strangers welcomed by his owners. He enjoys living with the family, gets along well with children and other family pets, fitting well into family life.