“Poaching game on large British estates had gone on for years, but by the end of the 19th century, it carried a death sentence if the poacher was apprehended. Knowing the penalty, poachers went armed to kill the gamekeeper rather than be caught. Gamekeepers needed help in the form of a dog to warn them of the presence of poachers and to aid them in a fight. By melding the Bulldog and the Mastiff, they created a silent, agile dog that could attack on command, knock down a man and hold him without mauling or biting. The “gamekeeper’s nightdog” was created and christened the Bullmastiff. The breed gained official recognition in England in 1924.
The Bullmastiff is bold, fearless and courageous, making it a very dependable guard dog. Yet the breed is docile and easygoing with those it knows. It makes an excellent family companion.
Although a Bullmastiff is capable of turning on the speed or exhibiting a playful nature if the occasion demands, it is not a high-energy dog.
Adults will range from 24-27 in (61-69 cm) at the withers and weigh from 100-130 lb (45-58.5 kg).
The coat is short and dense, lying smooth and tight to the powerfully built body.
In the beginning, the preferred colour was dark brindle, making the Bullmastiff almost invisible in the dark and shadows. With the disappearance of poaching, red and fawn became more popular colours. A black mask and dark ears are essential parts of the breed coloration.
An occasional bath and brushing helps to remove dead hair and keep the coat gleaming.