If you're considering getting a Bullmastiff, it is very important that you know what you are getting in this dog. Hopefully, he'll be with you for a very long time, so you want to make a choice that will make you both happy with each other. After all, there is nothing more rewarding than the bond between a dog and his owner.
You may have heard that Bullmastiffs are great family pets and you've decided that's what you and your family want. Perhaps you've seen pictures of this huge beautiful dog and that's what the deciding factor was. But before you rush out to get the first Bullmastiff you see, do some research and know what to look for. It's bad enough when you get a dog free and find out later that it's not what you had hoped for. It can be much worse when you've paid money for a dog and discover you weren't aware of what you were getting beforehand.
If you are buying your Bullmastiff, you are probably buying him from a breeder. Always try to see the parents of the dog in person, if possible. You can learn a lot from observing how they look and how they behave. If you are able to view them, try to do it more than once. Dogs, like people, have good days and bad days. Ask to see the dog's health records as well as any pedigrees the breeder can show you. If you know of anyone else that has purchased from this breeder, speak with him or her about their dog or anything else they may be aware of.
If you are purchasing from a private party, you need to take the same precautions. Word of mouth often sells dogs, so talk to neighbors or other customers of this person to make sure you are armed with as much information as you can get. Whether it's a private party or a breeder, check as to what kind of health guarantee you can get on the dog.
The Bullmastiff has some health issues that are prevalent with the breed such as hyperthyroidism, allergy problems, issues with joints, cancer, eye problems, immune system dysfunction, and bloat. Some of these problems won't show up in the pedigree, but if a dog has been x-rayed, his OFA score will be on the pedigree. Many joint problems in dogs leave them crippled later in life. Ask if the parents have been x-rayed for hip or elbow Dysplasia. Some Bullmastiff puppies have small heart murmurs, which disappear as the dog gets older; however, there are also many Bullmastiffs that develop more severe heart problems.
A health guarantee cannot always guarantee that the puppy will grow up to be a healthy adult. Their bodies change in the same way the human body changes as we grow. A health guarantee, however, can at least give you some sort of protection. Read the fine print on the guarantee to see what the breeder will do for you in the case of illness or death of your Bullmastiff puppy. Make sure that the puppy or dog is all up-to-date on their vaccinations. This again will give you some idea of whether you are getting your dog from a responsible breeder. The most important thing is not to let anyone talk you into taking a specific puppy in a litter. Use your own judgment to decide what you want.