How gentle are bullmastiffs around a baby
Since the Bullmastiff is a comparatively young breed of dog whose origins lie in the 19th century, its history can be reliably told. In contrast to many older dog breeds, which developed out of more “random” crossings in antiquity or in the Middle Ages, the Bullmastiff was specifically bred from the start. From the crossing of an Old English Mastiff and an Old English Bulldog, the English gamekeepers of the 19th century promised themselves an optimal protection dog that would reliably protect them and their game against poachers.
Although poaching was punishable by death at the time, there were many people who saw poaching as their last resort. The rise in social poverty and the growing desperation of poachers made the situation of the gamekeepers who were supposed to defend the game stocks of the landlords more and more dangerous. In order to escape the death penalty if arrested by a gamekeeper, some poachers did not shy away from murder themselves. The large breeds of hunting dogs, such as the Irish Wolfshound, which the gamekeepers initially used to catch poachers, did not do their intended job in the way they had hoped. The extremely hunt-driven dogs often injured the poachers so much that some died as a result of the dog attack. A broad-based public execution, which was intended to deter other poachers, could no longer take place. So the call for a big, strong dog was loud, who acted quietly and courageously, but very controlled, in order to catch the poachers as intact as possible. With the crossing of a mastiff (approx. 60 percent) and an English bulldog (approx. 40 percent), this goal appeared to be soon achieved. Thanks to targeted breeding selection, an excellent Schutzhund was created that had all the desired characteristics. With the later crossbreeding of the Bloodhound, the sense of smell and thus the trackability of the "Gamekeeper’s Nightdog", as the dog breed was initially called, was again considerably improved.
On Christmas Eve 1924, the new breed with the name "Bullmastiff" was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club. The new breed name resulted from the composition of its two ancestors, the Old English Mastiff and the Old English Bulldog.
With the improvement of the social structure and a general change in English possessions in the 20th century, the Bullmastiff was soon no longer in demand as a protection dog for gamekeepers. Thanks to his outstanding tracker dog skills and his threatening shape, however, shortly afterwards he advanced to the English "policedog". The universal service dog was soon very popular with American authorities. In its country of origin, England, as in many other countries, the loyal and reliable Bullmastiff has also developed into a valued companion and family dog.
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