Shedding in a Bullmastiff

He's a big pooch with relatively little grooming needs.
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A cross between a bulldog and mastiff, the bullmastiff packs loyalty, stubbornness and drool in a huge package. His smooth coat never needs cut or styled, but that short and stiff hair falls out on a regular basis and embeds itself in all your clothing and furniture.

Hair, Hair, Everywhere

Your bullmastiff is a big boy with a lot of acreage to lose hair from. And lose he will, as his dense, single-layered coat sheds moderately year-round. Although he won't drop as much hair as a similarly sized breed with a double-coat, what hair he does drop will get around. The bullmastiff's hair is short and stiff, meaning that instead of simply coating your home, shed hair will become stuck in the fibers of your couch and clothing. You'll carry a bit of Thor with you to work and in your car, even if he never sets a paw in either place.

Brush It Out

To keep Thor's constant shedding from clashing with your décor, you could redecorate to match his coat color, thereby camouflaging the fallen hair. Or you could simply brush him regularly to remove as much loose, dead hair as possible before it lands on your couch. Use a short-bristle brush or rubber grooming mitt to brush through his coat every day. This provides a threefold benefit; it removes the dead hair, stimulates circulation and distributes his skin oils across the rest of his coat. Once he's all brushed through, use a chamois cloth to shine his coat and make him look spiffy.

Bath Time

Because of his short coat, the bullmastiff doesn't typically get as dirty as breeds with longer hair. He'll need a bath occasionally, but unless he's been jumping in muddy puddles, that chore should come around only once every three months or so. Work a gentle dog shampoo thoroughly into his coat, getting all the way down to the skin. Use your rubber grooming mitt for this chore to loosen dead hair and give him a soothing massage at the same time. Rinse thoroughly to remove all shampoo residue -- then jump back as your big boy shakes himself. Gently towel him afterward. Watch for flying drool, as Thor just can't help himself.

Wrinkly Problem

The bullmastiff's ancestry has blessed him with a face full of wrinkles, and these endearing skin folds are a haven for dirt, moisture and other nasty microbes. Neglecting proper cleaning here can cause infection and sores to set in. Use a wet washcloth to wipe out his wrinkles regularly, at least every other day -- but daily is better -- and dry them thoroughly with a soft cloth. Contact your vet if you notice irritation or odor emanating from these folds. Bullmastiffs can have sensitive skin; those who do develop allergies or irritation quickly. The sooner you deal with a problem, the sooner it clears up.

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