$500 – $3,000
Available in these colours:
Bullmastiffs come in Fawn, Red or Brindle. Its coat colour should be pure and clear.
Characteristics & Tendencies:
TENDENCY TO DIG10%
About the Bullmastiff
A large domestic dog, the Bullmastiff has a solid build and a short muzzle. The breed was originally developed in the 1800’s and called the ‘Gamekeeper’s Night Dog’ as they were used to catch poachers and guard estates. The base stock of the Bullmastiff was 60% English Mastiff and 40% Old English Bulldog.
Today they are a docile domestic dog who is intensely loyal to his family. Though usually mild-mannered, the powerful Bullmastiff is also serious and self-assured. He is afraid of nothing, and once aroused will seldom back down.
Their coats are short, hard and weatherproof and come in fawn, red or brindle. Bullmastiff puppies (up to two or three years old) can be rambunctious and have an aversion to keeping all four feet on the ground at the same time. They can also be quite headstrong and boisterous, especially during adolescence.
Though sensible with strangers, the Bullmastiff does have well-established protective and territorial instincts. He must be thoroughly socialized at an early age so that he learns to distinguish friend from foe.
The Bullmastiff can be quite demanding in its feeding requirements and as a breed they are reputed to have individual feeding needs.
Tremendously strong and stubborn, Bullmastiffs are inclined to do things their own way and will test members of the family. However, he will respond to early, consistent obedience training that includes leadership, cheerful praise, and food rewards. They are strong, powerful but sensitive dogs and consistency is needed for a bullmastiff to become a well-behaved family member.
They are natural guardians of their home and owners and are very protective of their family and other household pets.
Top health issues
What are the most common health issues for Bullmastiffs?
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Skin Allergies
Common Bullmastiff diseases & conditions, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in detail:
Due to their active lifestyles, hip dysplasia is not a rare occurrence in Bullmastiffs. Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that causes the hip joints to form improperly and is the primary cause of painful hip osteoarthritis in dogs. It generally occurs in large or giant breed dogs, however can also occur in smaller breeds as well. It is usually affected by factors such as excessive growth rate, types of exercise, improper weight and nutrition. Symptoms of hip dysplasia may show in dogs when they are as young as four months of age, whilst for others the disease may develop in conjunction with osteoarthritis as they age. These symptoms may include decreased activity, difficulting or reluctance rising, jumping or running, lameness in the hind end, loss of thigh muscle mass, pain and stiffness. Hip dysplasia is diagnosed radiographically by the presence of degenerative changes and/or subluxation of the hip joint(s). There are multiple treatment options ranging from lifestyle modifications to surgery. These may include physical therapy, joint supplements or anti-inflammatory medications, or common surgeries such as double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO), femoral head ostectomy (FHO) or total hip replacement (THR).
Elbow dysplasia is the most frequent cause of front leg lameness in canines, and is the term used to describe a variety of conditions which may occur alone or in combination within the elbow. It is an inherited condition that may occur in most dog breeds, but is generally found within large to giant dog breeds. Predisposed breeds include Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. Dogs affected by elbow dysplasia often show symptoms from an early age, developing a front limb lameness that typically worsens over a period of weeks to months. Diagnosis is usually performed with clinical examination and X-rays, which will typically show signs of arthritis. Treatment will depend on the severity of the disease in the elbow, and management will depend on the dog’s age. In most cases, all dogs diagnosed with elbow dysplasia will benefit from physiotherapy to improve their quality of life and overall mobility.
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus is a rapidly progressive life-threatening condition in dogs. It is usually associated with large meals and causes the stomach to dilate, due to food and gas, increasing the pressure in the stomach. The consequences of this increased size and pressure may be severe, including prevention of adequate blood return to the heart, rupture of stomach walls, pressure on the diaphragm leading to decreased ability to maintain normal breathing. If the condition worsens and your dog does not receive treatment in time, the condition can become life-threatening. Veterinarians are unsure what causes bloating in dogs, but factors that increase the risk include eating from a raised food bowl, having one large meal a day, eating and drinking too much or even stress. Although any breed can bloat, it is much more common in deep-chested large breeds such as Akitas, Boxers, Basset Hounds and German Shepherds. As this is an emergency, it is imperative your dog receives immediate veterinary intervention. They will treat the shock, and once your dog is stable, take them into surgery to deflate the stomach and tack the stomach to the abdominal wall to prevent it from twisting.
Hypothyroidism refers to a condition where the thyroid gland, which produces hormones, Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3), is dysfunctional and does not produce these hormones as required by the body. Common symptoms include weight gain, poor coat, reduced activity level and irritability. Diagnosis is by means of blood tests, and hypothyroidism is easily treated with an inexpensive thyroid supplement. Pet owners should have their vet periodically check their dogs, especially if they show any symptoms.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a late onset, inherited eye disease affecting many breeds of dogs. It affects the retina, which is the picture screen at the back of the eye, and causes the blood vessels of the retina to atrophy and die. The first symptom noticed is usually dilated pupils – a ‘glow’ or increased ‘eye shine’, and the dog may appear to have difficulty seeing in the dark or dusk (“night blind”). Breeds commonly affected include Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Labrador and Golden Retrievers and Rottweilers. There is no cure for PRA, however an eye exam by a registered Ophthalmologist will diagnose the disease. DNA testing for late consent PRA is available, and is done by taking a cheek swab of your Border Collie. The PRA DNA test identifies one type of PRA, which is related to night blindness. There are another two types of PRA, for which there are currently no DNA tests available.
Skin allergies are the most common type of allergic reactions, and are primarily caused by flea allergy dermatitis, food allergies or environmental allergens. Bullmastiffs are quite prone to skin allergies, and may develop rashes or excessive hair loss as a consequence. Symptoms of skin allergies generally include scratching, general discomfort or redness. Take measures to monitor skin allergies by regularly bathing your dog and keeping them flea-free. The best way to treat an allergy is avoidance of the cause and allergen. In addition to any necessary lifestyle modifications, your veterinarian may prescribe medication for your dog to help control the signs associated with the allergic reaction.
How much does a Bullmastiff eat?
The Bullmastiff can be quite demanding in its feeding requirements. As a breed they are reputed to have individual feeding needs. As adults they should be fed twice daily, the breeder will recommend a suitable feeding programme for your dog. Because of their risk of bloat, exercise is not recommended immediately before or after eating. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be avaiable at all times.
How often does the fur fall off?
Bullmastiffs are generally light shedders. Their coat is short and dense, offering great protection against rain, snow and cold weather. Their shedding is generally seasonal.
Are Bullmastiffs high maintenance?
Grooming the Bullmastiff is relatively easy, their coats are easily to maintain with a quick daily brushing. This low-maintenance breed should only be bathed as needed. Check their skin and coat to ensure they are protected from major dryness or oiliness, which may lead to other potential health conditions. Also be sure to check their skin for any hot spots, which are typically found in areas where heat and moisture may build up. These areas include near the base of the tail or under the body, but may also appear in other areas such as the neck or ears.
How much exercise does a Bullmastiff need?
Despite its muscly build, the Bullmastiff does not require high amounts of exercise. They only require a few walks per day for adequate exercise and mental stimulation. This breed should not have long walks or be allowed to have alot of free exercise until it reaches about 12 months old. Over-exercising a Bullmastiff when they are young may lead to potential bone and joint-related health problems later in life. Bullmastiffs generally enjoy brisk walks and regular outdoor play.
How often should a Bullmastiff visit the vet?
Veterinary care is essential to a dog’s health and wellbeing, however the frequency of treatment and checkups will depend on the dog. Scheduled six-monthly health check visits with your vet are important to ensure your Bullmastiff is healthy and happy throughout all life stages. In these annual visits, your vet will complete a physical examination, take your dog’s temperature and check his heartbeat, among other things. Routine maintenance for your dog gives you a chance to track your dog’s growth and development and discuss any concerns with your vet, and forms a key part of preventative care. Bullmastiffs are a large breed with heavy bones. Because of this, many Bullmastiffs are prone to conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as gastric dilatation-volvulus and hypothyroidism.
Are Bullmastiffs kid-friendly and sociable with humans?
Bullmastiffs have a high suitability for children and humans. They are quite gentle and affectionate with family members, and possesses a family-oriented loyalty. This breed is generally good-natured, and eager for fun with friends and family. In most situations, Bullmastiffs are fine with children once they get to know them, and as long as the children have been taught to respect and behave appropriately with the dog. However, due to their large size, supervision is essential when the dog is around small children as it may accidentally knock them over. At the same time, Bullmastiffs are a natural guardian of the home and family, and will be quick to become defensive of their family if they feel threatened. Bullmastiffs were originally bred to be silent watchdogs, which may explain their protective tendencies. Therefore, Bullmastiffs require early socialisation to be able to trust people over time.
Are Bullmastiffs difficult to train?
Bullmastiffs need consistent training to become well-behaved. They need a committed trainer with the time and dedication to ensure this large breed is socialised so he can develop a sound personality. It is encouraged to enrol your Bullmastiff into puppy classes, and expose them to other dogs and owners from early puppyhood. Early socialisation is crucial due to this breed’s independence. Bullmastiffs are inteligent dogs, but may be stubborn and strong-willed. They can often grow to be headstrong and boisterou,s particularly during their adolescent stage, so firm handling is needed. A Bullmastiff’s strengths include its agility, obedience, rally and event scent work and tracking. During training, they dislike repeating the same actions over and over, so a special approach should be taken to their training. Trainers are encouraged to use positive reinforcement techniques, rather than physical punishment, and be confident when training this breed.
Compatibility with other pets
Do Bullmastiffs get along with other dogs or cats?
Bullmastiffs are best suited to live as single pets in the home, and may be less tolerant of a family’s animal members compared to its human members. Therefore, any other pets should be introduced early to encourage friendship. They may act aggressively toward other dogs and are best suited to live with dogs of the opposite sex.
Need for company
How often do they need to be around humans?
Bullmastiffs have a high need for company, and highly enjoy spending time with their family. They need love and patience, and in return will be a very loving, loyal companion. They are high-spirited and take a lively interest in their surroundings.
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