Did you know?
According to tests conducted by the Institute for the Study of Animal Problems in Washington DC, dogs and cats, like people, are either right-handed or left-handed; that is, they favor either their right or left paws.
I had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world. – Samuel Johnson
Developed in England by gamekeepers in the late nineteenth century, the Bullmastiff was created by crossing the large, strong English Mastiff with the more aggressive Old English Bulldog (now extinct).
Bred to warn the gamekeeper of poachers who would rather kill than face the death penalty for poaching, the Bullmastiff can attack and hold a poacher without harming him.
Known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog, the preferred colouring at the time was brindle as this colour being a natural camouflage, effectively concealed the dog from his targets particularly at night. Attacking silently and on command, the Bullmastiff could take down a poacher before he could even reach for his gun.
The breed has been used as a police, guard, and army dog. In 1928, the De Beers company brought Bullmastiffs to South Africa to guard their diamond mines.
Photos displayed courtesy of Leanne Zukowski, Sycalcade Kennels, Alberta
Tthe Bullmastiff is a large, compact and powerful dog standing 25 to 27 inches (63-69 cm) at the shoulder and weighing 100 to 130 pounds (50-59 kg). He typically reaches his full height and weight at about three and one-half years old.
Bullmastiffs have a black face mask and the short dense coat may be red, fawn, or brindle. The most common colour is now fawn. Grooming is minimal.
The Bullmastiff shows great strength, endurance and alertness. He combines power, speed, and a keen sense of smell with courage and aggression. He is a natural guardian and will not back down from a fight.
His temperament is affectionate towards his owner. He is a very gentle, calm, and devoted companion but also a fearless guardian.
Although Bullmastiffs are not a high-energy dog, they should have lots of exercise and a balanced diet to prevent a tendency to obesity. They are a good family pet but not the dog for the neat freak; Bullmastiffs drool!
Bullmastiffs need a strong, confident master. This is a large, powerful animal. It is imperative that the owner gains control at a young age. Training must begin early and be consistent so that the Bullmastiff puppy grows into a well-behaved member of the family. Instinctively natural guardians of the home and their masters, no special guard training is necessary for a Bullmastiff to recognize and react to an outside threat.
Early training and socialization is of particularly important, as the breed can be independent. During training, a Bullmastiff requires a special approach, as they will become easily bored by repitition.
Activities Bullmastiffs enjoy include obedience, agility, tracking, and carting. They are intelligent, obedient dogs who make superb guard and watchdogs.
Fans of Sylvester Stallone will be interested to learn that the actor used his 140 lb pet Bullmastiff, Butkus, in the movies Rocky and Rocky II.
As is typical among the larger breeds, the Bullmastiff has a shorter life span, averaging about 7.5 years.