The name Bullmastiff reveals its origins: it is a cross between its ancestors the Bulldog and the mastiff (English Mastiff) from which it has inherited the most adaptable qualities for cohabitation with man and his modern life style. They have in fact the quickness of the Mastiff, but at the same time maintain the structure of a large guard dog: less imposing, lighter and not as massive as the Mastiff, but larger than the Bulldog.
It has been a recognized breed for more than 100 years in Great Britain where, in the mid 19th century it was used by gamekeepers in England to capture dangerous poachers. No breed existed at that time with the characteristics appropriate for this purpose, until a cross was created which developed a quick dog with courage and power, in fact the Bullmastiff. These dogs which were then called " Night dogs of the Gamekeepers" thanks to their sense of smell and stealth were able to attack and immobilize the poachers. The are accounts of this dog throughout the 19th century: Walsh in the 5th edition of "The dogs of the British Isles" wrote: " ….. from the cross between the Bulldogs and the Mastiffs we have obtained the Bullmastiff…."; in 1877, the same author of the book "The dog in health and disease", affirms that the Bulldog is an unequalled guard dog, bettered only by the Bullmastiff.
In 1873 H.D. Kingdon in his book "Dogs" published 22 photographs of the crossed Bulldogs with the Mastiff, reporting also the notification of the inclusion of 6 Bullmastiffs in the second National Exhibition 2-5 June 1871 at Crystal Palace. Other important people were: J.H. Bigigs who selected Bullmastiffs at the beginning of the 20th century and J.H. Barrowcliff who started his work during the First World War.
But it was thanks to S.S. Moseley that we obtained the Mastiff which we know today, obtaining the strong character occurring only in Mastiffs and Bulldogs, having in this way an example 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. Moseley was a noted breeder of Cocker Spaniels and Mastiffs, who bred under the kennel name of "Farcroft". Starting the selection of Bullmastiffs, from the beginning using the kennel name "Hamil". He coined the motto which was to become famous " The Farcroft is what a Bullmastiff should be: faithful and intrepid, but not ferocious. Big enough to be powerful, but not too big to be inactive".
Here is the way it works: from a female Mastiff and a male Bulldog you get a 50/50 dog.
From a 50/50 dog and a Mastiff you get a 75% Mastiff and 25% Bulldog. From a mix 75/25 and a 50/50 mix you get a dog which is 62.5 Mastiff and 37.5 Bulldog. Lastly breeding a 62.5/ 37.5 you get a dog which is 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog.
The work of the diffusion and selection came to the attention of the official body of the Kennel Club in England, and the breed was first recognized by the club in 1924. In 1925 there were 68 registered Bullmastiffs and in June of the same year the first association of the breed was approved: " The Midlands Bull-Mastiff Club", which was given the responsibility to draw up the standard of the breed, publishing the standard the following September.
In 1928 the Certificate of Exhibiting were authorised and in the first exhibition 191 Bullmastiffs were registered.
In 1938 706 examples were registered, while in 1933 the breed was officially recognized in the United States.
Today examples of Bullmastiffs are found in many countries, in Africa, America, Asia, Australia and in Europe, in particular in England, Germany and in Northern Europe.
In Italy the breed spread thanks to the kennels Girasole di Udine, which produce excellent examples. Now the breed is spread throughout the country, in particular in the north , and we can be proud of the excellent examples able to excel at an international level.
The greater request and more interest in these beautiful dogs leads us to hope for the increased spread of the breed.