Breed Type:  Molosser
Country of Origin: England
Size:   Large
Also known as: Gamekeeper’s Night Dog
Males: Height: 63 – 69 cm Weight: 50 – 60 kg
Females: Height: 61 – 66 cm Weight: 45 – 54 kg
Exercise Requirements:  Average
Care Requirements:  Light
Lifespan:  Under 10 Years
Best Suited as:  Family Companion, Guard Dog

Overview:
The Bull Mastiff breed is not only powerful but also physically strong. Its immense capabilities help its owners stop thieves and wild animals from encroaching on their land and stealing game. People in England often used this breed to protect their vast estates from bandits. This breed is extremely courageous and doesn’t often feel fear. People find the breed to be highly reliable and intelligent in nature. These dogs are always willing to satisfy people which make them an efficient companion for any household. Because of their courage, they are efficient guard dogs, as well. They are also known to be exceptionally loyal, stable, and brave. It is not surprising to see this breed in some of the Hollywood movies in the past up to the present. However, their expertise lies on guarding game or small animals; hence the name: Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.

Appearance:
The body of a Bull Mastiff is enormous. Their body is more built for power than agility. The head tends to be broad and large due to the shape of its skull. Its muzzle is also broad similar to its head. Although it appears to be heavy, they are not lumbering. The ears of the Bull Mastiff are usually in dark color and resemble the shape of a pendant. The tail of a Bull Mastiff is a bit higher than their body level. It is also noticeable that the tail is slightly tapered which makes the dog’s hocks reachable. The coating of the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog is a bit short and dense. These dogs come in various colors such as red, fawn, and brindle. What color may it be, all Bull Mastiffs have a magnificent dark mask emphasized in their faces.

Temperament:
This breed developed as keepers of livestock and property. It is difficult for outside animals to penetrate its territory. These dogs are truly serious when it comes to their responsibilities. They are also courageous which makes them fearless whence faced predators. Although fearless and dedicated guards, people claimed that Bull Mastiffs do not hurt people; including thieves. These dogs tend to alert their owners and keep the thieves busy or stressed in order to give time for additional back up to arrive. Most Bull Mastiffs nowadays are a docile pet for the household that keeps them. Their patience is long, and children need to work a lot before this breed becomes intimidated.

History:
The Bull Mastiff breed was developed in England during 1860s. The breed was a product of a Mastiff and a Bulldog. Breeders created this breed in order to assist owners looking to protect their vast estates and livestock from poachers and thieves. The breed is also famous with regards to tracking and skills in holding thieves and poachers in their place. This way, owners, and authorities, will be able to arrest the trespasser. During this time, it is difficult to protect their property from poachers and thieves, especially, without the use of Bull Mastiffs. Choosing the original breed of Mastiff and English bulldog are not enough; however, gamekeepers noticed that the two have the character the need. Hence, breeders decided to develop a new breed from the two ancestors of the Bull Mastiff.

Care and Grooming:
The breed eats a lot; however, they return the favor when it comes to regular grooming. The coat sheds averagely, and regular brushing will diminish the amount of hair that sheds. Every owner must maintain the wrinkles of these dogs to keep them dry and clean. Bathing each day is not necessary; rather, owners may bathe their Bull Mastiff only when necessary. Using a dry shampoo for dogs is sufficient to keep them fresh. At the same time, dry shampoo will also prevent the dog from developing a foul odor. Similar to other breeds, the ears of Bull Mastiffs must be checked for irritation or infection regularly. If infection sighted, then, owners must use a treatment that experts suggest. The grooming problem that Bull Mastiffs mostly encounters is foul breath. Owners must always brush the dog’s teeth regularly in order to prevent the accumulation of tartar. In the same manner, owners will be able to maintain the fresh breath of the dog. Bull Mastiffs that are too active may have longer nails due to hereditary traits. If their nails are already making sound whenever they hit the floor, then, owners must consider trimming them.

Health:
The average lifespan of Bull Mastiffs ranges around from eight to ten years. Most common health deficiencies that owners may find are allergies, bloat, dysplasia, entropion, hypothyroidism, lymphoma, tumors, and atrophy. Experts would prefer that this breed be given three meals a day instead of one heavy meal a day. Owners should be extremely careful not to feed this breed too much because they are also prone to obesity.

Suitability as a Pet:
This breed is capable of tolerating children. They can withstand the playfulness of kids, and their patience makes them safe for children to approach. However, people must keep in mind that this breed is dominating over their kind and other animals. With early training and socialization, people will be capable of managing this dominance over others. If they have the chance to socialize in their early years, then, this breed will get along with other pets. Their intelligence helps them to recognize strangers when owners gave a signal or approval; however, thieves, poachers, and burglars will never be tolerated.

Training:
The training for Bull Mastiff breed of dogs must be handled by dedicated and strong-willed person. This breed tends to become stubborn and do what it wants. In other words, trainers must always be consistent and full of confidence; otherwise, they might find it difficult to train a Bull Mastiff. Training must always be accompanied with treats and positive reinforcement. Dogs do not like to treat harshly because harsh discipline might add to their stress.

Bull Mastiff Organisations in Australia
Mastiff Club of Victoria Inc

Bull Mastiff Organisations in the UK
Mastiff Association

Bull Mastiff Organisations in the US
Mastiff Breed Standard – American Kennel Club – Mastiff
Mastiff Club of Victoria

Did we miss your organisation? Let us know. Contact Us