Bullmastiff Symbolism and Meaning

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The Bullmastiff is a large breed of dog that has been used for centuries as a guardian, hunter, and working dog. It’s a mix between the English Mastiff and the Bulldog, known for its strength, loyalty, and protective nature. This breed has a rich history and symbolism attached to it, which is worth exploring.


The Bullmastiff is a powerful and imposing dog breed that has been used for various purposes throughout history, from hunting to guarding properties. Its size and strength make it an ideal choice for those who need protection, but its gentle nature makes it a loving companion as well. In this article, we will delve into the symbolism and meaning behind this magnificent creature.

The Bullmastiff’s History

The Bullmastiff originated in England during the 18th century when gamekeepers needed a dog that could handle large game like deer and boar. They crossed English Mastiffs with Bulldogs to create a breed capable of tracking, holding, and subduing these animals. The result was a strong, agile, and intelligent dog that became popular among the British aristocracy for its hunting prowess. Over time, it evolved into a versatile working dog used in various roles such as police work, military service, and even search-and-rescue missions. Today, they are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature, making them excellent family pets.

Physical Attributes

Bullmastiffs are large dogs with muscular bodies, short coats, and wrinkled faces. Their size can range from 24 to 30 inches tall and weigh between 100-130 pounds. They have a square head, strong jaws, and powerful muscles. These physical attributes reflect their strength and endurance, symbolizing protection and loyalty.

Personality Traits

Bullmastiffs are known for their calm demeanor, making them excellent guard dogs. Their protective instincts make them loyal companions who will defend their families fiercely. They’re also intelligent, trainable, and patient, which adds to their symbolism of protection and loyalty.

Symbolism in Literature and Art

In literature and art, Bullmastiffs often represent strength and loyalty. For instance, in “Old Yeller,” this breed was depicted as a loyal companion who risked his life for his family. In “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” they were symbols of protection and bravery. Their presence in these works highlights their protective instincts and courage.

Symbolism in Mythology

In Greek mythology, dogs like the Bullmastiff are associated with Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of Hades. This connection emphasizes their role as protectors and guardians. In Norse mythology, they symbolize loyalty and courage.

Symbolism in Popular Culture

In popular culture, Bullmastiffs often represent strength and protection. For example, in “Game of Thrones,” they’re used by the Stark family as symbols of their loyalty and power. In movies like “Turner & Hooch,” they showcase their intelligence and affectionate nature.

Symbolism in Heraldry

In heraldry, Bullmastiffs are depicted as symbols of strength and courage. They’re often seen on family crests or coats of arms to represent these traits.


Bullmastiffs embody loyalty, protection, and strength. Their symbolism extends beyond their physical attributes into literature, mythology, popular culture, and heraldry. Understanding this breed’s history and characteristics helps us appreciate their significance in various contexts. They are more than just pets; they’re symbols of courage, loyalty, and guardianship.

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