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Bullmastiff | breed profile

The large Bullmastiff was originally bred as a guard dog, but given their sweet and friendly nature, they quickly became more popular as family pets.

Introduction

The Bullmastiff was bred in the 1800’s in England by cross breeding Old English Mastiffs and Old English Bulldogs. They were bred as guard dogs to protect estates, particularly from poachers who were prolific at the time. By 1924, the breed was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club.

Appearance and Personality

Bullmastiffs are a large dog ranging from around 60 to 69 cm high at the shoulder and weigh around 40 to 59 kg. Females are usually smaller than the males. They have a limited range of colours which includes fawn and red (and shades thereof), or brindle. The life expectancy of the Bullmastiff is 9 to 10 years. They are a brachycephalic breed, although their face is not as flat as some other breeds such as the French Bulldog.

The Bullmastiff has a short, dense, coat that sheds but is easy to maintain. They can be quite a slobbery dog so keeping a dedicated cloth or wet wipes on hand to keep their faces (and your furniture!) clean could be handy.

Intelligent and even-tempered, the Bullmastiff is a devoted companion and guardian. They are good with children but take their large size into consideration as small children can be easily knocked or pulled over. Legacy of their guarding ancestry, they can be aloof with strangers. Some Bullmastiffs can be aggressive toward unfamiliar dogs, so socialisation and obedience training are important early in life. The Bullmastiff needs a moderate amount of daily exercise to stay fit. They will appreciate a backyard to wander around, so are better suited to larger properties. Overall, the Bullmastiff can make a great family pet in a reasonably active household of experienced dog people.

Common Health Concerns

Although the Bullmastiff’s face isn’t as flat as some, it is worth noting that brachycephalic breeds are known for having a higher risk for many major health problems including skin conditions, eye conditions, digestive diseases, and ear infections.

The top reasons why Bullmastiffs visited the Vet excluding routine visits over the 2020 year included allergic skin disease, arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, cancers, and other musculoskeletal complaints such as back pain.

The five most common reasons for Bullmastiffs to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data in the 2020 calendar year:

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Skin condition (infection, allergy, other)$288$6,053
2Neoplasia or mass lesion$565$6,256
3Ear infections$160$734
4Cruciate disease$1,010$6,482
5Musculoskeletal problems, including lameness and back pain$269$1,406

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

For the same period (2020 calendar year), the top five highest single vet treatments (or highest pet insurance claims) for Bullmastiff from PetSure data were:

RankConditionHighest Cost of treatment for condition 
(average pet insurance claim amount)
1Septic shock$12,064
2Splenic tumour$8,843
3Intervertebral disc disease$8,284
4Gastric foreign body$6,931
5Hip dysplasia$6,805

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular Bullmastiff names from 2020 PetSure data:

Most popular names:

  1. Diesel
  2. Kobe
  3. Luna
  4. Ruby
  5. Bailey
  6. Benny
  7. Boston
  8. Daisy
  9. Dexter
  10. Freya

Most popular female names: 

  1. Luna
  2. Ruby
  3. Bailey
  4. Daisy
  5. Freya
  6. Kobe
  7. Nova
  8. Pebbles
  9. Winnie
  10. Bambi

Most popular male names:

  1. Diesel
  2. Benny
  3. Boston
  4. Dexter
  5. Reggie
  6. Teddy
  7. Tiger
  8. Zeus
  9. Alfie
  10. Arlo

Did you know?

Swagger, a 65kg Bullmastiff, was the mascot for the Cleveland Browns, an American professional football team, from 2014 to 2019. He led the team out of the stadium tunnel onto the field before every home game. Swagger died in 2020, at the age of 6, and his son, SJ (Swagger Junior), is the new mascot.

References

  1. American Kennel Club, Bullmastiff, accessed on 20/05/2021
  2. Australian National Kennel Council 2021, Breed Standard of the Bullmastiff, accessed on 04/05/2021
  3. Cleveland Browns 2021, Mascots, accessed on 04/05/2021

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