This nearly square breed should be powerful and active — a combination of strength, endurance and alertness. It should appear to be 60 percent mastiff and 40 percent bulldog. Its gait is smooth and powerful, but its angulation is moderate. Its coat is short and dense, and its expression keen and alert. These attributes allowed the bullmastiff to both overtake and over-power intruders.
The Bullmastiff is innately good-natured, calm, easygoing and surprisingly gentle. It is a well-mannered house pet, but it needs sufficient room to stretch out. This is an extremely loyal breed, and though not excessively demonstrative, it is devoted to its family and good with children.
In its present form, this is a new breed, developed about 1860. The purpose for the development of the breed (a 60% English Mastiff, 40% Bulldog cross), was to stop poaching in the English estates. The landowners wanted the poachers thrown and held but not mauled. The Mastiff, while powerful and courageous, was not fast enough and sufficiently aggressive. The Bulldog was a little too ferocious and not large enough for the task. This cross resulted in the development of a breed that was totally utilitarian. In 1934, the AKC recognized the Bullmastiff.