In the early 19th century, English gamekeepers created this noble breed by crossing†the courageous Mastiff with the tenacious Bulldog to create fleet-footed, powerful dogs for protection against poachers. Originally called the "Gamekeepers Night Dog," these dogs combined tremendous strength and guarding instinct with an affectionate disposition and devotion to their master. Originally 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog, the Bullmastiff was recognized in England in 1924, and by the American Kennel Club in 1933.

The Bullmastiff is an intelligent dog; however, he has a definite mind of his own. His independence of spirit makes your relationship with him more of a working partnership than the conventional dog/master association which some people might expect.

The Bullmastiff will give you and your family boundless love and devotion, but will retain a part of himself as a free spirit, capable of making his own decisions and acting on them. Your children will be his charges to protect and to love, but they must respect him and not be allowed to tease him.

The Bullmastiff asks only to be as much of the family as possible. He will reward such treatment with devotion and friendship which is not exceeded in any breed.

From "Bullmastiff History" by Helene Nietsch

More information on Bullmastiff history can be found in The Gamekeepers Night Dog

A fine painting of a Chien de Nuit (Keeper's Night Dog) from the final plate in Caillard's "Les Chiens D'Arret, 1890.