The history of the Bullmastiff as we know it now begins when James Watt invents the steam train. This is the start of the industrial revolution which will prove the breeding ground for the Bullmastiff's task. Due to industrialization, a new social hierarchy has developed with large differences between rich and poor. The vast majority of workers live in shabby conditions while next to the door on the estate of the wealthy industrial the animals roam freely. Poaching was therefore very tempting and even almost a condition of life. The rich, in their turn, did not like poaching and wanted to protect their property. For this purpose gamekeepers were used on a large scale.
In the beginning the Bulldog was used by gamekeepers but this one was quite happy to bite and poachers sometimes died before they could be tried and hanged. So there was a need for a less chewy dog with sufficient strength to protect the gamekeeper and overpowering poachers. This dog originated from the mix of the Bulldog and the Mastiff. The Bulldog was mixed because of his speed and temperament and the Mastiff because of his size, weight and strength. From the Bulldog the first dogs also received their brindled fur and the shape of their heads. The form was needed to keep breathing if he had to hold something or someone. The ratio of the breeds is about 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog.
The resulting breed, the Bullmastiff, had its dark color with it, had excellent stamina and was able to overpower and restrain poachers due to its strength and mass until the gamekeeper had arrived. Biting and killing is not the Bullmastiff in the blood and is systematically bred from the breed over time.
The pros and cons of the Bullmastiff
Bullmastiffs have a very balanced character. They are not easily impressed and generally respond quietly and stably to all kinds of impressions. They are brave and physically very hard for themselves. In contrast, they are sensitive to moods in the home and show themselves soft hearted in their own families. They can be pretty active outdoors, in the house, however, they are quiet and even lazy. In general, they bark a little but will warn in case of danger. The bullmastiff will very convincingly protect his family and possessions against malicious people. They are very affectionate, making them less suitable to keep in a kennel. They will often experience this as punishment, the Bullmastiff belongs in the house, in the midst of the family, to live.
A point of attention is his laziness, which can sometimes lead to obesity. Furthermore, the Bullmastiff can be dominant and stubborn, which requires a consistent and preferably experienced boss. He can snore and drool properly. If well socialized, the Bullmastiff is a nice roommate who is very tolerant to children and other pets. Sometimes lumpy, especially young dogs can inadvertently push over children or even adults.
In 1911 the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (F.C.I.) was founded. This was the result of the desire for international cooperation from five countries, namely: Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Austria. Now the F.C.I. has 84 members worldwide. The Board of Management in the Kynologischgebied in the Netherlands is the overarching body which is a member of the F.C.I.
A breed standard has been drawn up for all recognized breeds. The standard serves as a guide for breeders and judges and forms an ideal image, what the dogs of the breed in question must meet.
Below you will find the breed standard of the Bullmastiff:
Powerfully built, symmetrical, with a lot of mass,, proportionally active.
Powerful construction, endurance, active and reliable.
Head and Skull
Skull large and square viewed from every angle, with wrinkling when he is interested but not at rest. The size of the skull may measure as many centimeters as the height of the withers. The skull must be wide and deep, with well-filled jaws. A pronounced stop. Muzzle short. The distance from the nose to the stop should be approximately one-third from the nose to the occiput. Wide under the eyes. The nose is wide to the end of the nose. The muzzle is blunt and square and forms a right angle with the line across the nose. The mass of the muzzle must be in agreement with the mass of the skull. The lower jaw should remain wide until the end. The nasal mirror should be wide, with wide open nostrils. The nose is flat, neither pointed nor bent upward. The lips do not overhang, never below the bottom of the lower jaw.
Dark or hazelnut and of medium size, as far apart as the width of the nose and between the eyes a groove. Light or yellow eyes highly undesirable.
Folded V-shaped backwards. High and far apart and gives a square impression with the top of the skull, which is very important. The ears are small and darker in color than the color on the body. The tip of the ear reaches the eye when the dog is alert.
Mouth and Teeth
Denture preferably pincer bit, light under-pre-set is allowed but not preferred. Fangs grows big and is placed far apart. Other teeth strong, straight and well placed.
Well curved and of medium length, very muscular and almost the same circumference as the size of the skull.
Chest broad and deep, well placed between the front legs with a deep front chest. Muscular shoulders, slanted and powerful but not loaded. Forelegs powerful and straight with heavy bone. Well spaced to create a powerful straight front. Strong and straight middle feet.
Back short and straight, which gives the dog a compact impression, but never so short that it becomes annoying with the movement. Carp ridges and sagging backs highly undesirable.
The loins are broad and muscular with rather deep flanks. Hind legs strong and muscled with well developed legs, giving strength and mobility. Heels moderately angled. Cossus is highly undesirable.
Well bent toes (cat foot) with hard toe cushions. Dark toenails desired. Spreads are highly undesirable.
High on, wide at the beginning, narrowly extending and reaching to the heel. It is carried straight or slightly curved, but never as far over the back or as high as with banging. Buckling or curling tails is highly undesirable.
The movement shows strength and exudes determination. If the dog runs straight, neither front nor hind legs may cross each other. The right forearm and left hind leg are moved simultaneously. A good back line combined with a powerful hindquarters gives a good balance and a harmonic movement.
Short and hard, weather-resistant, lying flat. Long, silky or woolly fur is highly undesirable.
Every shade of brindle, sand or red. The color must be pure. A small white mark on the chest is allowed. Other white markings are undesirable. A black muzzle is essential, decreasing up to black around the eyes. This gives the typical expression.
Males: 63,5 cm tot 68,5 cm
Females: 61 cm tot 66 cm.
Males: 49,9 kg. tot 59 kg.
Females: 41 kg. tot 49,9 kg.
Any deviation from the aforementioned points must be regarded as wrong. The value of that error must be calculated in relation to the total. Males must have two descended testes and be visible in the scrotum. FCI standard No. 157c - Approved by the General Assembly of the FCI on 23 and 24 June 1987 in Jerusalem.