This is a very interesting period in the life of a dog, starting from the age when you have an almost fully grown, fully developed dog and still partly a puppy.
It would seem a paradox, but this is absolutely true. The dog is already quite capable of standing up for himself and for you if necessary.
The Bullmastiff has learned to accurately fulfill your commands, to understand what you want from him, even when no command sounds, and quite definitely to divide people into friends and foes, that is, to those whom the owners treat well, those to whom they do not belong at all and those to whom they are negative. In any case, the dog no longer ceases to observe any of the selected categories of people.
On the other hand, it continues to be very playful and spontaneous. It is interesting to note that dogs have different games with different family members.
At this age, the dog is already, of course, very strong. She herself begins to feel this, and she begins to show some kind of slightly patronizing attitude towards children. Caring, attentive, but a little down. And all this with a completely insane love for them.
Feeding should already be determined more or less definitively, and the diet should not be subject to special changes. The feeding process itself should not contain any pampering. Two times a day (in the morning and in the evening) the appropriate amount of feed - that's all. And more food can, as a rule, be given at night. It is believed that, despite the entire process of evolution of the species, the dog has not moved far from its ancestor - a wolf or a jackal. Both one and the other can hunt around the clock, but mostly animals are nocturnal.
That is, over the centuries and even millennia of its existence, the organism of these animals has become accustomed that the main food comes in the evening or at night. And probably the same applies to dogs. With this approach, of course, you can argue, but this way of feeding has the right to exist.
!!!It is not recommended to feed the dog between feedings. A bowl with fresh and clean water should always be within the reach of the dog.
The mode of walking the dog, too, should already be settled. And two, and preferably three times a day, the dog should be taken for a walk. That is, if you can afford to walk a dog six times a day - great. Preferably, more than fifteen to twenty minutes. It's minimum.
But, of course, always on a leash. And letting the dog go on a free-range is only in those cases when there are no other dogs within sight or hearing. Or there are only those with whom your dog is friends. And if you have your own house with a yard, a fenced fence or a net, then let the dog walk all day in the warm season. It was not by chance that I mentioned the need for a fence, since the interest of the bullmastiff in fights cannot be erased.
The process of training should move to a new, next phase. Now you can start working with the dog on the programs of protective and guard duty (using the old terminology), on the program "Escort Dog", etc. That is, develop anger in a dog towards a person, although it should be done very carefully.
Owners of such "semi-mature" dogs need to understand that the process of training their pets is not uniform, in terms of the perception and psyche of dogs. If at the first stage of training - the obedience program - the dog is constantly under stress from being forced to do something and is not allowed to do something, then at the second stage (having successfully completed the course of obedience) the dog is allowed to show some kind of instinctive skills - to bite and ravat the enemy.
!!!In a certain sense, we can say that the initial training of dogs is a kind of suppression of the natural, instinctive qualities of a dog. But at one and the other stage the dog learns the correct technique of command execution.
With two and a half years of age, a dog of the Bullmastiff breed is considered to be fully mature, fully developed and mature. Now, up to about 5.5–6 years, the period of life will continue, which can be called the “heyday” of a dog. After six years, the aging of the animal will begin gradually. Much to my regret, it should be recognized that dogs of the Bullmastiff breed generally do not live long.
Unfortunately, as it has already been noted, bullmastiffs start to age early. This occurs at approximately 6-6.5 years. And although the dogs themselves do not notice how aging begins, but the external manifestations are quite obvious to the owners. There are inevitable problems with the joints (age plus the dog is hard on its own), the work of the stomach is disturbed. Subsequently, the kidneys often begin to hurt, and then, naturally, the heart.
The average age of life of dogs of this breed is 8-10 years. It is extremely rare for the bullmastiff to live to be 12 years old.