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Group: Utility (Group 6)
Club: Bullmastiff Club Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Cheryl Wright
Phone: 9435 8801

Brief History

The Bullmastiff was originally bred to accompany the English Gamekeepers at night to protect their forests from poachers. Early 20th century laws in England were so harsh that poachers would go to great lengths not to get caught. The "Gamekeepers Nightdog" was bred to catch a desperate man, take him down and hold him. They were developed by blending the British Bulldog and the English Mastiff. Today the Bullmastiff is much more widely known as an excellent companion.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 9 to 10 years.


High spirited, alert, intelligent, stubborn, faithful.

General Breed Description

The Bullmastiff is a large, powerfully built breed with a distinctive head and expression; capable of a medium level of activity. The head is large with a square skull and muzzle. He needs limited exercise in his first year of growth, with special care taken when spending time indoors on slippery surfaces. As a large breed he needs consistent, firm training as soon as you bring him home. He comes in any shade of fawn, red or brindle, with slight white marking on the chest allowable, a black mask and darker coloured ears.

Coat and Care Requirements

The short, dense coat has a major change at the end of winter. In high humidity they can be prone to hotspots, so regular checking of the coat, especially around the neck, cheeks and under the ears is imperative.  In most parts of this country they can live either indoors or out. If living outdoors, they should have adequate shelter from the elements of our climate.


Height: Males 64 to 69cms (25 to 27ins), Females 61 to 66cms (24 to 26ins).

Weight: Males 50 to 59kgs, Females 41 to 50kgs.


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Bullmastiff is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Hip Dysplasia (HD), Elbow Dysplasia, Entropion (where the eyelid rolls inward causing irritation), Lymphoma and other cancers. 


Due to their size alone, they should always be supervised when around children, as a wag of the tail or raised paw to shake hands can unintentionally cause harm. A dog of this breed can be a much-loved family member in any type of household. A Bullmastiff must be kept in a fully secure yard and should always be walked on a lead. He is territorial and, once mature, does not always accept other older dogs on his turf. Although the Bullmastiff is a wonderful breed, it is not the breed for everyone. If you cannot or will not take the time to properly train and control a large, powerful dog you should not own a Bullmastiff. An individual or family willing to spend the time to love and discipline a Bullmastiff will find the dog will become one of the greatest pleasures in the owner's lifetime.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders