"The Gamekeeper's Night Dog"

Photo of Bullmastiff


In yesteryear, poachers plagued large estate owners. Gamekeepers needed a dog with the strength and speed to run down a deer or rabbit rustler. Combining the strength and grandeur of a Mastiff with the doggedness of a Bulldog produced the total package and the dog we know today. The “Gamekeeper's Night Dog” charged the hapless poacher, knocking him down and keeping the trespasser subdued.


Bullmastiffs are protective of people and property. No one enters without his permission. Because of a tendency to eradicate the neighborhood of unwanted critters and people perceived as modern-day “poachers,” confinement is necessary. Strong-willed and with a body more powerful than the average bear, the Bullie cannot be coerced to do something he doesn't want to do. But for a master he loves and respects, nothing is impossible. These dogs crave physical contact and consider themselves to be lapdogs despite their girth.


A well-bred Bullmastiff boasts a sturdy body with the physique of a finely-tuned athlete. A red fawn or brindle coat is set off by a dark mask on the muzzle. The head is broad with a deep, strong muzzle.


Early introduction to commands is advised for the owner to be the alpha partner as well as to cultivate a tight bond. A powerful dog needs to know his person is the pack leader. Even though it would be difficult for a mere human to win a wrestling match with this breed, it's essential to make him believe you could. This is accomplished through firm, consistent training which intensifies the dog's devotion and compliance. Food motivation works well!

Grooming & Care

Easy care, bathing when dirty. Brushing helps eliminate dead hair and to keep coat shiny. Routine nails, teeth and ear care finish off the spa treatment.

Health Concerns

Look for parents free of elbow and hip dysplasia and eye problems. Some individuals are prone to bloat and torsion.

Famous Bullmastiff

Bob in the movie"See Spot Run."

Ideal Owner
Activity Level Moderate
Schedule Full-time (but no overtime)
Personal Style Confident, Friendly
Training Style Consistent, Firm, Confident
Home Fenced yard or access to one
Children Older kids
Experience Definitely preferred
Quick Facts
Size Large
Grooming Easy to care for - brush weekly
Exercise Moderate - needs to walk or play every day
Training Can be stubborn, Early socialization is very important
Temperment Affectionate, Protective
Challenges Sheer strength - may be too much dog for a submissive personality or a person who is in poor health.
Height 24 to 27 inches
Weight 100 to 135 pounds
Life 8 to 10 years
Home Alone Fine as a trained adult
With Kids Fine if raised with them
With Strangers Protective
Availability Rare and may have a waiting list

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