Please watch that Aggressive Bullmastiff

By Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM | August 1st, 2017

When you think about monster dogs your mind should first go to mastiffs which are muscular, massive and ugly looking dogs. Looking like a monster does not really make them dangerous like most people might think but in a situation where a mastiff is aggressive to all and loyal to one person, great care should be taken to avoid a disaster, I repeat – to avoid a disaster.

Cesar was a young bullmastiff that survived out of about 4 dogs bought by his owner. He was always locked up in an enclosure because he was too playful as a puppy and always stains the owner each time he comes out to leave for work. Eventually the owner moved to his newly built mansion and had to move with Cesar. The building being uncompleted at the moment attracted a lot of workers who were afraid of Cesar and consequently made the owner to lock him up.

At the sight of strangers Cesar would keep barking with his thunderous voice that gradually sounds faint with prolonged barking. Later on when the house was finally completed he was eventually allowed to roam the premises during the day but mostly at night.

I had always done my routine treatments on Cesar all along until a day Cesar refused to allow me touch him. Getting closer to him, I was greeted with a growl which I tried to ignore but as I got closer it was clear he didn’t want me around him let alone touch him. I alerted the owner immediately to start getting closer to him now because he is showing intolerance but unfortunately the owner was too busy to do as instructed.

Cesar was seriously sick once and I went to treat him. He refused to be muzzled so I instructed the handler to chain him so that he can’t reach me while I give him injection from behind. After the injection Cesar grew more hostile and continued to pull the chain until he broke the chain. I knew I was finished cos he came straight for me ignoring the handler and gave me a serious bite on my abdomen before the handler grabbed his collar and wrestled to chain him again. I looked at the site of his bite and my shirt was soaked with blood beneath my lab coat.

Another episode with Cesar happened when the owner was coming out of the house with his visitors who were leaving after a long while. The owner didn’t realized that Cesar was released and by the time he could look, Cesar was already running towards them growling; you can imagine what happened. Everyone ran. In fact someone had to climb to the roof of a car in front of the house and two others ran into the gate house whose door was open including the owner. The owner had to shout: “Benjamin! Benjamin!! Benjamin!!!” Benjamin, the dog handler immediately understood what must have happened came to save the situation.

Bullmastiff as a breed can be friendly when properly socialized but when they are scarcely socialized they might turnout like Cesar and become a danger to everyone apart from their handlers. This is also true with Rottweiler. It is important to socialize a dog like Bullmastiff and other mastiffs to avoid the incidents caused by Cesar in the story above. In fact the story above is one out of many involving Bullmastiff and Rottweiler in my experience and it is possible you too have experienced this type of dog.

These Mastiffs take advantage of their size and weight when they attack and this can throw their victim off balance and give the dog unparalleled advantage.

If you have a puppy that is Bullmastiff or Rottweiler, please try to socialize the dog early to avoid a situation where you have no choice but to eliminate him completely. You can keep the dog like Cesar if your intention is strictly for security as in the case of Cesar but always make out time to handle the dog or be the dog handler yourself.


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    Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM

    Founder of Fairvet Animal Clinic Ltd since 2011, studied at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is well experienced in small animal, large animal & poultry medicine, and also skilled at zoo medicine. He loves animals and builds both professional and personal relationship with pet owners in order to sustain a good interaction with pet and animal owners, coupled with His great skills in programming; he brought about which he personally built from scratch.

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