Breaking up Bullmastiff
When bullmastiffs decide to fight, Katie bar the door!! Being hard wired to defend and protect there is not much "back down" in a bullmastiff. SO when you have 2 bullmastiffs with not much 'back down' in them, there are sometimes fights. Knowing what to do and what NOT to do is imperative.
After almost 2 decades of living with these guys, here are a few good things to file on the sticky side of your brain AND go practice BEFORE a fight breaks out.
The proper way to break up a fight is to grab the rear legs of dogs and pull. Now it sure helps when you have TWO people. Yes i've been alone and I've had to drag one adult girl into a pen and beat the other off with the door to a pen or bathroom/bedroom door. (they don't call them bitches for nothing folks!) Yeah talk about adrenaline overload.
And SAVE YOUR voice. When a dog is really in the 'red zone' they are not listening to you. And if you attack one dog usually the aggressor the one on top you just encourage the under dog to fight harder.
I've only had one male dog ever go after a female. And is was SO odd. She was a big brindle girl but he was an exceptionally large male and he wanted to kill her. Very odd. I had control of him and the female just walked away. Usually these are girls fighting. I never allow my males together where they could fight. They could easy kill or permanently injure one another.
What NOT to do.
Yelling/screaming = worthless if dog is already in red zone.
Try and grab a collar = end up in ER with finger/hand bit/broke
Throw water on them= worthless if dog is in red zone unless you put water hose up dog's butt or down nose and shut off air.
The truth is, it's sometimes better NOT to get involved. You are
probably going to come out worse than the dogs. These dogs practice
fighting as puppies all day long. They rear up naturally like a horse when fighting. I have never had 2 dogs kill one another, but I did have one of my girls that was sent out to be bred after me warning the lady, that had bullmastiff and thought she knew more than me, only had a baby gate between her adult female and my girl got severlly injured by my girl because my girl grabbed the other dog's rear leg and crushed it. They are powerful dogs mentally and physically.
I personally have only been attacked three times and each time it was an outside bullmastiff visiting my kennel, not someone I had raised myself.
One was an adult rescued male that had a trigger I had not caught onto yet. i was setting on couch and accidentally looked him right in the eye. He went from I love you please pet me to "i'll kill you!" He lunged at me, I instinctively raised my right arm and he latched on as I stood up and yelled at him to back down which he did. He could have killed me or crushed my arm. Thank God he did not choose to. That day I figured out his trigger was looking him in the eye. After almost 3 months of working with this dog, we had to have him put down. Broke my heart as the truth was his humans had failed him and turned him into a dangerous dog he was not born that way.
Another time I was whelping a litter for a friend and this smarty pants of a female was out running around the farm doing chores with me as I always like getting the dogs out of yards and giving them out time. She loved to run fence fight with some of my girls who if they would have gotten ahold of her, it would have been bad. One evening i was fed up and went and got Tim's hot shot he worked cattle with and while she was fighting, I gave her a zap. Well what happened next i was NOT prepared for. What i didn't know is that this was NOT her first time with electricity. Someone had used a hot shot to get her off the couch. It did not scare her or shock her; it pissed her off and she turned on me! It was a cool evening and i was wearing one of Tim's long sleeved shirts which was 5 sizes too big for me. So when she left the ground, I instinctively raised my right arm to protect my face as all I saw was fangs and slobber coming at my face. It was so surreal like things slowed down into slow motion one of her canine's just barely got my arm the rest went into my shirt sleeve. I remember calling for JESUS! When her tooth hit my arm, I remember MAD came all over me and I moved toward her not away from her still having the hot shot in my right hand I used it as stick hitting her body and Praise GOD she backed down, tucked her tail and ran off. Man I was mad! and grateful.
The third time once again as in the first 2 incidents I hit a 'trigger' in an intact breeding male that was at my place to breed a female. This time I was in a large run with one of my big females with this male and it was all my fault; I NEVER should be been disciplining someone else's adult intact male for something he didn't think was wrong to do. When he turned on me, it did surprise me. He was short and wide like my Deion so he got ahold of my left shoulder. I remember when he turned and got mad and came off the ground. I was a bit shocked and wasn't prepared but again (my angels are always around me!) I instinctively gave him something to attack besides my face which was my left shoulder. I remember his teeth sinking into my shoulder and he was shaking me but he had pushed me up against a fence so we didn't fall onto the ground. My adult female was watching all of this but the last thing I wanted was for all three of us to end up on the ground. I promise this was just GOD, not something I had thought through before hand. But instead of getting upset, I just keep talking to my girl and telling her everything was okay and calling this boy's name and telling him everything was okay and be a good boy. I had to repeat myself for what seemed like a lONG time. In reality, it was only few minutes. I felt him move from that mad angry red zone back to normal and he let me go. My girl was standing there wide eyed like MAN MOM are sure you got this?? When he let me go he wasn't mad any more and I backed out of pen not being that far from the gate. After I got out of the yard, it all hit me and I felt a bit weak and had to sit down a while. The thing is, I had to go back in there and put a leash on this boy, load him and drive somewhere to get him back home. This time I was much more respectful and he acted like nothing had ever happened....and so did I. He loaded perfect for me. I had to change clothes as my shirt was ripped almost off me. My body, legs and back were horribly bruised with deep scratches where he had climbed me and my left shoulder was sore but he didn't rip my flesh; there were only puncture wounds and bruises. I cleaned them up and redressed. I can't say I wasn't a bit shaken; I was. I felt totally stupid for making this mistake hitting a trigger (too much to go into right now). What I did not know was if I had been respectful, this never would have happened. I just shuddered to think about what could have happened.
So what is my point here? Bullmastiff ARE like owning a loaded gun. They are SO safe when handled correctly. But they are powerful strong dogs mentally and physically. I can't stress enough to new puppy owner; ALWAYS be respectful. ALWAYS BE FAIR!!! Do NOT aggravate your dog!! Do NOT play struggle games with your bullmastiff and teach them to struggle against you. You will regret it.
If you want a dog to wrestle with in the floor GET A Labrador Retriever!!