As with any "man-made" breed, the Bullmastiff did not emerge overnight. It took many long years and some very dedicated people to bring about the breed as it is today. Documented in England as early as 1860. The American Kennel Club acknowledged the breed in October 1933. In England, they were recognized in 1924. The breed originated from a need to protect gamekeepers estates from poachers, hence the name Gamekeepers Night Dog.
Needed was a dog that could down and "hold" a man without injury. Punishment for poachers in those days was hanging in the town square, as a deterrent to others. After trying several breeds, they came up with a mixture of 60% old English Mastiff, for its courageousness and size and 40% Old English Bulldog, for its strength and agility. These traits are still very evident in todays Bullmastiff.
Brindle was the original or preferred color for the Bullmastiff, although they came in a variety of hues from light fawn to deep rich reds.
Bullmastiffs are extremely loving, giving animals. They will become totally loyal to those that love and care for them, and make excellent family dogs. Donít be taken by their docile nature - a Bullmastiff, when alerted to danger, is one of the best guard dogs, and will protect their family and property without fear for themselves. They usually love to hunt and track, and we are pleased to see more in the obedience trials. Some are now being used as companion dogs.
Each Bullmastiff has a distinct personality. Usually with very visible traits of its lineage. They will amuse you, love you, guard you and generally become "one of the family" - not just the family dog. Treat them with love and kindness and your reward will be overwhelming.
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