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Uncommon Dog Breeds: The Bullmastiff

Bred to guard nobilities great estates, the Bullmastiff was developed in Great Britain during the early 1800s. These dogs were the result of crossing the English Mastiff and Bulldog. The breed would chase and immobilize poachers on private lands. The Bullmastiff would catch the intruders without mauling them, and keep them pinned until the game keeper arrived. “Victims” were often left with few marks. To hear of a Bullmastiff killing the interloper was extremely rare. Despite it’s massive size, the Bullmastiff was bred for speed, strength, and endurance.

The Bullmastiff has a large, square skull with a short, broad muzzle which comes to an abrupt stop. Dark eyes are oval in shape, and bear a calm, all-knowing expression. Ears are v-shaped, short, and droop. The neck is moderately long, and extremely thick. The body is massive with a deep chest, and strong musculature. The mastiff has a short, yet dense coat which comes in every shade of fawn and red. Brindle is common. The ears, and muzzle should always be darker than the coat.

Known to be willful, the Bullmastiff does best with a firm, and affectionate owner. This is not a beginners dog. These characters are intensely loyal, and dedicated animals. They need frequent interaction with their people, and do poorly if isolated. The Bullmastiff has a stable personality, and calm disposition which makes it a good candidate for large breed enthusiasts. While they are not extremely playful with youngsters, they do well with children. An older Bullmastiff rather sit back and watch the play than join in. These dogs tend to get along with animals they were raised with.

Because of their size, and stubborn nature, the Bullmastiff should only be owned by individuals who have experience with dominant breeds. Training needs to start at an early age, before the puppy realizes its strength. Older, untrained mastiffs can be a challenge to teach. For a well rounded animal, the Bull should be socialized early on.

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