Bullmastiffs were originally bred in England from a mixture of mastiff and bulldog for use by gamekeepers. They are large dogs, measuring up to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 100 and 120 pounds. Bullmastiffs are intelligent dogs with a confident, generally non-aggressive character, but are not recommended as a beginner's dog due to their tendency toward health issues and need for consistent treatment.
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Like many other large dogs, bullmastiffs do not need a lot of exercise. In fact, by nature they can be quite lazy dogs. However, they do still need some physical exercise, so you should aim to take them for a short walk twice a day, for example in the morning and evening. Schedule these walks away from your dog's feeding time; British organization K9 Obedience recommends avoiding exercise for two hours after eating to avoid causing your dog to become bloated.
Use toys to help keep your bullmastiff happy and entertained. Playing fetch with a frisbee or other dog toy is great fun for bullmastiffs and will help bond you and your dog. Make sure you only let your dog off the leash in a safe environment to keep him, people and any other dogs in the area safe.
By nature, bullmastiffs are playful and intelligent, so take advantage of their natural tendencies and play games with them. Most bullmastiffs will enjoy games like "find the hidden treat," in which you hide a treat somewhere in the dog's environment and challenge them to find it. Your dog will probably also enjoy agility work and following scent trails. Activities like this help prevent your dog from becoming bored and turning to destructive activities to keep himself amused.
If you have a bullmastiff puppy, carefully regulate its exercise or risk harming its body. The young dogs have a heavy weight for their size, so long walks place serious strain on their developing joints. For the same reason, you should never let them jump into or out of cars or play on staircases or steps. Some exercise is still necessary both for their developing bodies and to help socialize them with other dogs and people, but keep walks with your bullmastiff puppy short.
By Rita Kennedy
American Kennel Club: Meet the Breeds, Bullmastiff
K9 Obedience: Bullmastiff Dog Breed Profile
Bullmastiff And Neapolitan Rescue UK: Bullmastiff Information
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About the Author
Rita Kennedy is a writer and researcher based in the United Kingdom. She began writing in 2002 and her work has appeared in several academic journals including "Memory Studies," the "Journal of Historical Geography" and the "Local Historian." She holds a Ph.D. in history and an honours degree in geography from the University of Ulster.