The Bullmastiff is a powerful dog, which was originally a cross between the English Mastiff and the Old English Bulldog. Originally bred to find and immobilize poachers, the breed has proven popular as a family pet.
A Bullmastiff should be fearless and confident, yet docile. A Bullmastiff is courageous, extremely loyal to its family, calm, and loving. It has a very strong protective instinct and will defend against any threat to its owners, as well as any threat to its territory. Bullmastiffs become intensely attached to their families. Their protective instinct combined with their great size and natural wariness of strangers means that early socialization and obedience training are essential.
Bullmastiffs can also get along with other dogs, but it is common for males not to get along with other males, particularly if they are intact. The Bullmastiff can get along extremely well with children provided the dog has been properly trained and socialized. Parental supervision must be maintained when they are with children; they may knock smaller children down accidentally.
A Bullmastiff, because of its history, is a very independent dog, and likes to make its own decisions. However, with good training, a Bullmastiff will look to its owner for “permission” to act on its instincts. Early socialization and obedience training with all members of the family will teach the dog to look to them before taking action. They are very athletic and muscular, making them incredibly fast and agile.
Males should be 25 to 27 inches tall at the withers and 110 to 130 pounds. Females should be 24 to 26 inches tall at the withers, and 100 to 120 pounds. Exceeding these dimensions is discouraged by breeders as a larger dog may be too cumbersome to be agile enough to properly perform the job for which the breed was created.
Bullmastiffs are described as fawn, red, or brindle. These are the only acceptable colors in the AKC standard. The fawn can range from a very light brown to a reddish brown. Red can range from a light red-fawn to a dark rich red. Brindles are a striped overlay of the fawn or red. A Bullmastiff should have no white markings, except for on the chest where a little white is allowed.