The history of the Bullmastiff as we know it now starts when James Watt invents the steam train. This marks the start of the industrial revolution which will turn out to be the foundation for the primary task of the Bullmastiff. As a consequence of the industrialization a new social structure comes into existence with large differences between rich and poor. The vast majority of the labor workers lives in poverty whilst nearby wildlife roams the enormous estates of the rich industrial. Poaching became very tempting to an extent that it is almost a prerequisite to live. The rich landlords however did not take kindly to poachers and hired numerous game keepers to protect their property.

At first the Bulldog was used by game keepers but they had the disadvantage that they where to aggressive, often the poachers perished before they could be trialed and hang. Therefore the game keepers where in need of a less aggressive dog with enough strength to protect the game keeper and overpower the poachers. This dog emerged from a cross between the Bulldog and the Mastiff. The Bulldog was used in the mix because of its speed and temperament, the Mastiff due to size, weight and strength. The Bulldog also gave the first offspring their brindle coat and shape of their head. The latter was necessary to be able to breathe while holding on to something or someone. The proportion of the two breeds is approximately 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog.

The new breed, the Bullmastiff, was dark in color, had excellent stamina and was able to overpower poachers with its sheer strength and substance and keep them down till the game keeper arrived. Biting and killing therefore is not in the nature of the Bullmastiff and has been systematically bred out of the breed over time.

The pro's and con's of the Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs have a very balanced character. They are not easily impressed and generally react calm and stable to all kind of events. They are courageous and physically very though on themselves. In contrast to this they are sensitive to the mental state in their home and show a gentle nature amongst their family. Outdoors they can be pretty active, indoors they are usually calm and in some cases even lazy. The Bullmastiff does not bark excessively but will surely warn in case of trouble, they will protect both their family and its property convincingly against those with wrongful intentions.

Owners need to pay attention to the lazy nature of the breed, this can result in excess weight. Furthermore the Bullmastiff can be dominant en suborn which calls for a consequent and preferably experienced owner. They can snore pretty load and drool, especially when presented with treats for instance during meals. This will inevitably lead to begging with drooling as consequence. Provided they are well socialized the Bullmastiff in a pleasant housemate that is extremely tolerant towards children and other pets. Sometimes they are not aware of their own size and strength, especially young dogs are known to push over children and even adults.


Breed Standard

In 1911 the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (F.C.I.) was founded as a result of the desire for international collaboration between five countries: Belgium, Germany, France, The Netherlands and Austria. Currently the F.C.I. has approximately 84 members worldwide. The so called 'Raad van Beheer op Kynologisch Gebied in Nederland' is the member on behalf of the Netherlands.

For all breeds recognized a Standard of the Breed has been drawn up. These standards are in fact the reference on which the judges base themselves when judging in shows. Furthermore they are THE reference assisting the breeders in their attempt to produce top-quality dogs.

Below you will find the Standard of the Bullmastiff:
General Appearance
Powerful build, symmetrical, showing great strength, but not cumbersome; sound and active.

Powerful, enduring, active and reliable.

High-spirited, alert and faithful.

Head and Skull
Skull large and square, viewed from every angle, fair wrinkle when interested, but not when in repose. Skull broad and deep with well filled cheeks. Pronounced stop. Muzzle short; distance from tip of nose to stop approximately one-third of length from tip of nose to centre of occiput, broad under eyes and sustaining nearly same width to end of nose; blunt and cut off square, forming right angle with upper line of face, and at same time proportionate with skull. Under-jaw broad to end. Nose broad with widely spreading nostrils; flat, neither pointed nor turned up in profile. Flews not pendulous, never hanging below level of lower jaw.

Dark or hazel, of medium size, set apart the width of muzzle with furrow between. Light or yellow eyes highly undesirable.

V-shaped, folded back, set on wide and high, level of occiput giving square appearance to skull which is most important. Small and deeper in colour than body. Point of ear level with eye when alert. Rose ears highly undesirable.

Level desired but slightly undershot allowed but not preferred. Canine teeth large and set wide apart, other teeth strong, even and well placed.

Well arched, moderate length, very muscular and almost equal to skull in circumference.

Chest, wide and deep, well let down between forelegs, with deep brisket. Shoulders muscular, sloping and powerful, not overloaded. Forelegs powerful and straight, well boned, set wide apart, presenting a straight front. Pasterns straight and strong.

Back short and straight, giving compact carriage, but not so short as to interfere with activity. Roach and sway backs highly undesirable.

Loins wide and muscular with fair depth of flank. Hindlegs strong and muscular, with well developed second thighs, denoting power and activity, not cumbersome. Hocks moderately bent. Cowhocks highly undesirable

Well arched, cat-like, with rounded toes, pads hard. Dark toenails desirable. Splayed feet highly undesirable.

Set high, strong at root and tapering, reaching to hocks, carried straight or curved, but not hound-fashion. Crank tails highly undesirable.

Movement indicates power and sense of purpose. When moving straight neither front nor hindlegs should cross or plait, right front and left rear leg rising and falling at same time. A firm backline unimpaired by powerful thrust from hindlegs denoting a balanced and harmonious movement.

Short and hard, weather-resistant, lying flat to body. Long, silky or woolly coats highly undesirable.

Any shade of brindle, fawn or red; colour to be pure and clear. A slight white marking on chest permissible. Other white markings undesirable. Black muzzle essential, toning off towards eyes, with dark markings around eyes contributing to expression.

Height at shoulder: dogs: 63,5-68,5 cms (25-27 ins); bitches 61-66 cm (24-26 ins). Weight: dogs: 50-59 kgs (110-130 lbs); bitches: 41-50 kgs (90-110 lbs).

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.