The original purposes of the breeds are important to me, and I want to preserve the original characteristics of this breed too. My vision of a bullmastiff is a dog that can move and run effortlessly and also enjoys it. Large size is not a problem either, as long as the breed type and proportions remain correct and the dog doesn't have exaggerated features. Too heavy structure and excess weight reduce the possibilities of use, for example in hobbies, and strain the dog's joints and bones unnecessarily. The muzzle must not be too short, the nostrils must be open and the breath must pass without problems. By temperament, I want the breed to be able to maintain its qualities as a guard dog and family security. Bullmastiff is not supposed to be aggressive under any circumstances, but it should still be able to protect its own family. Even though in the best case, a bullmastiff is always a ready companion for hobbies or jogging, it must still know how to calm down and rest indoors.

History, temperament and health

The Bullmastiff was accepted into the English Kennel Club in 1924 as its own breed, but it began to take shape much earlier, in the 18th-19th centuries. Bullmastiff or Gamekeeper's Nightdog was developed as a gamekeeper's guardian dog for working use. Its mission was to guard large game lands, track down poachers with the game warden and, after receiving contact, wait quietly, attack on command and hold the "prey" in place until the game warden arrived. The dog also had to release its grip on command, so it had to be controllable at all times. The poachers often moved in groups and had their own hunting dogs with them, with whom the bullmastiff had to clash and in practice couldn't be dog-social.

​Gamekeeper's nightdog's history has probably been bloody. By temperament, these dogs could be very sharp, but they often lived as a family member in the game warden's home, so they had to be reliable with their own family, children and domestic animals. At that time, the main part of the breeding choices was the use characteristics and character - without forgetting, that the dog also had to physically cope with its tasks. The bullmastiff has the vigilance and fearlessness of a mastiff combined with the courage and unyieldingness of a bulldog, to some extent the saint bernard was also used in the breeding, which resulted in a large size and a bloodhound that was good at tracking.

The journey from a gamekeeper's nightdog to a companion dog has not always gone without problems. A companion dog does not need all the qualities that were expected of a working dog, such as great guarding ability and sharpness, but on the other hand, along the way, a lot of character worth preserving has certainly been lost. When it is no longer a question of an actual working and service dog, the use characteristics are no longer systematically refined. In terms of temperament, there is still some kind of challenge, how to adapt a former working dog with a strong territorial mindset and possibly defensiveness to a companion dog mold.

Bullmastiff's biggest health problems are joint growth disorders and various skin ailments, the most common of which are furunculosis, hot spots and allergic rashes, the most common causes of death are various cancers. Incorrect positions of the locks occur somewhat in bullmastiffs and are often connected to an excessive number of warts and loose skin on the head. These eyelid mispositions include inward rolling of the eyelid (entropion), outward rolling of the eyelid (ectropion) and excessively large eyelid gap (macroblepharon).

The breed's PEVISA (a program to combat hereditary defects and diseases) in Finland only includes x-rays of the hips and elbows, but it would be advisable to x-ray the back, spondylosis and LTV (lumbosacral transitional vertebra) changes have also been found in the breed. I also recommend ordering an official heart auscultation and an eye examination.

Today, bullmastiffs used for breeding must have MFE and CMR1 gene tests done, two carriers must not be combined and sick dogs must not be used for breeding.