FCI GROUP: Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
FAMILY: Livestock dog, mastiff
Allowed as pet in Singapore HDB Flat: No
Origin: England, 1800s. The Bullmastiff was bred by crossing 60% Mastiffs with 40% Bulldogs in the country of England. Mastiff Bulldog types can be found in records as early back as 1795. In 1924 Bullmastiffs began to be judged. Three generations of breeding of Bullmastiffs was required for Bullmastiffs to be registered as purebreds.
Original Purpose: The Bullmastiff was used as a gamekeeper's night dog to track down, tackle and hold poacher. Today's Bullmastiff is a reliable family companion and guardian.
Behaviour and Temperament: Independent, docile and affectionate, fearless when provoked, dependable, protective, reserved, loyal
Breed Characteristics: Large, powerful, sturdy. Bullmastiff enjoy a lot of interaction with the family, but they are not usually playful. Generally considered low-energy, especially indoors. Has very low heat tolerance. He tends to drool, slobber and snore. Puppies may seem uncoordinated and tends to chew. These dogs are very sensitive to the tone of your voice and need someone to speak with an air of assertiveness, but not harshness. The Bullmastiff is extremely powerful and needs a firm master who is confident and consistent. Not for an inexperienced or passive owner.
Physical Features: 61 to 68.5 cm; 45.5 to 61 kg. Colours are red, fawn, brindle; muzzle is black.
Coat Type and Grooming: Short and dense. Minimal care; Comb and brush with a bristle brush, no trimming, shampoo only when required. A light seasonal shedder. Only basic grooming is required, estimated grooming charges in Singapore: S$70 - S$90
Life Expectancy: 10 years or less.
Health Concerns: Orthopaedic problems (hip dysplasia, OCD), obesity, cancer, eyelid problems, PRA. Also prone to bloat; smaller but more frequent meals are recommended.
Exercise: Moderate. Bullmastiff needs to be walked daily to satisfy the primeval instinct to migrate.
Housing: Adaptable to any living situation. Bullmastiffs do okay in apartment life if sufficiently exercised. Not tolerant to extreme temperatures.
Sociability: Very loving with his family. Usually tolerant of children but not playful. Needs proper socialisation so that he will not become overprotective of “his” children. Suspicious of strangers. Mostly good with other pets, especially when well socialised, but can be aggressive with same-sex dogs or with small dogs; does not approve of strange dogs.
Trainability: Low; needs early obedience training. This dog is difficult to train, and some try to dominate the family children.
Activities: Agility, obedience, police and military work.
Notes: The Bullmastiff is classified under the Part II Scheduled Dogs in Singapore. This requires the dog to be leashed and securely muzzled when in a public place. The dog has to be micro chipped. The owner is required to take up an insurance policy for at least SGD100,000 coverage against injury to persons and damage to property. In addition, the owner must take up a banker’s guarantee of SGD2,000. This banker’s guarantee would be forfeited for any non-compliance, after which a new banker’s guarantee of SGD2,000 is required. All newly licensed Bullmastiffs must undergo obedience training.
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