If you saw See Spot Run when it came out in the cinemas, you’ll remember it was one of the best little kid’s movies during its time, providing plenty of laughs and an adventure to remember. While it didn’t fare well with reviewer Rotten Tomatoes, this movie was able to deliver a great story that kids loved and featured a breed that may seem intimidating at first, but is truly loyal and dependable. In this guide, we discuss the dog breed behind the scenes of See Spot Run, along with many other giant dog breeds.
What’s See Spot Run About?
Released in 2001, director John Whitesell teamed up with David Arquette to deliver this physical comedy film along with other talents, including Michael Clarke Duncan, Joe Viterelli, Leslie Bibb, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Anderson, Angus T. Jones, and Steve Schirripa. The story revolves around a mailman named Gordon who adopts a stray dog named Spot. It turns out that the pup is an FBI dog that has escaped from the witness protection program, becoming the target of assassination after it attacked a major crime boss.
Meanwhile, a young boy named James is placed under Gordon’s care and FBI agent Murdoch starts the search for his canine partner. Fun and laughter ensue after Gordon and James develop a bond with the dog, despite the dangers that come with their new best friend. Long story short, the dog outsmarts the bad guys, Gordon makes new friends, and Spot no longer has to work as an FBI dog, free to be a happy dog with his new owner.
So What Breed was Spot?
As we all know, there is a wide variety of dog breeds we see both in movies and in real life — most time we see the usual suspects on the widescreen, such as Golden Retrievers. But did you know that the American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies all registered dogs into different groups and classes? For instance, the Herding group, which serves as a cattle herder includes dogs such as the German Shepherd, and the Lancashire Heeler.
The working group includes dogs like the Bernese Mountain Dog, and Saint Bernard, while the toy group includes dogs such as the Bichon Frise, and Chihuahua. However, dogs can also be grouped by purpose, such as flushing dogs like English Springer Spaniels, American Water Spaniels, and English Cocker Spaniels. Pointing dogs include the American Brittany, and the English Setter, which help to locate birds and small game for their hunting partners.
But if none of these dogs impress you and you’re after the specific large breed dog featured in See Spot Run, then you’re looking for the gorgeous Bull Mastiff. We’ll discuss this pooch in full detail later, but first are some of the most beloved big boys that all dog lovers are sure to appreciate.
What are the Largest Dog Breeds?
Before we dive into the Bullmastiff breed, below is a list of the biggest dogs in the world.
Known as a gentle giant, these dogs have a history that goes back thousands of years. Despite being such large dogs, they are known for having a docile and obedient nature, along with protective instincts for their humans. Male Mastiffs are known to grow up to 230 pounds and reach a height of 30 inches at the shoulders, which makes it the largest dog breed around.
These dogs have a broad and muscular body with adorably squished faces, both of which are endearing and impressive. The Mastiff isn’t just a loving member of the family, but they’re also highly loyal to their favorite humans. They also have a life expectancy of 6 to 10 years, so be sure to prepare yourself for a new best friend.
Originally bred in South Africa, the Boerboel is a robust and hardy dog known for its protective instincts and athleticism. Their name was derived from the Dutch word “Boer” which means farmer, reflecting their role as faithful companions for Dutch settlers who set foot in South Africa during the 1600s. These dogs were originally used to hunt big game and to guard families and their homes — today, they are still devoted to their loved ones.
3. Tosa Inu
Also known as the Japanese Mastiff, the Tosa Inu has long served as a fighting dog that originated from Shikoku island, hailing from a mix of the Shikoku Inu and many western breeds such as Great Danes, Bulldogs, German Pointers, and Mastiffs. In their native Japan, these dogs are treated with high regard, thanks to their patience, affection, and regal appearance. While they are initially reserved with strangers, they are loving with their families and are highly vigilant guardians of their homes.
4. Saint Bernard
If you have young children at home, Saint Bernards are good dogs to add to the family since they come with a gentle and kind-hearted personality. These friendly dogs may look imposing at first, but don’t let them fool you — their deep eyes, massive heads, and expressive faces are just some of their most lovable features. They’re also known for their rescue efforts around the world’s most treacherous mountain passes, which they achieve through their exceptional endurance, strength, and sense of direction.
5. Great Dane
Standing at 30 to 32 inches tall and weighing as much as 175 pounds; when they stand on their hind legs, they’re taller compared to most people. The Great Dane is known for their elegant and majestic appearance — they’re also affectionate breeds that thrive on companionship, which is why they’re so popular with families. First bred in Germany, these pups are among the tallest dog breeds and come with a life expectancy between 7 to 10 years.
Here’s another dog that originates from Germany, and is a handsome dog that comes with a friendly and gentle personality. It has a powerful body and a thick double coat that allows it to walk with strength and elegance — they’re also known for their patient and calm nature, which will make them an important part of your family. These dogs can grow to be huge, with males reaching as much as 170 pounds but they’re not just big, they’re also eager to please and highly intelligent.
7. Neapolitan Mastiff
This powerful and unique dog breed hails from Italy and is known for its wrinkled skin and massive size, giving it a distinct appearance. Even with their big and intimidating stature, these dogs have a protective and calm disposition, making them devoted and loyal companions. These big boys will develop a strong bond with their humans, who will love their loving and sweet temperaments — they also come with low energy levels which means they’ll be happy with an easygoing and calm home.
This dog breed is a gentle and friendly pup that comes from Canada, where they are known for their water-resistant coats and large size which helps them keep warm when swimming in cold waters. They also come with webbed feet which they use on occasion to save swimmers in distress. Standing as tall as 28 inches tall and weighing up to 150 pounds, these dogs aren’t as scary as they seem — they’re great family pets that are good with young kids, and are well-behaved.
9. Anatolian Shepherd
This protective and strong breed comes from Turkey, where their thick coat helps to protect them from harsh weather conditions. The Anatolian Shepherd is known for its bravery and loyalty and has served as a guardian to protect livestock from predators for centuries. These dogs are highly independent and intelligent — while they’re more serious compared to other dogs, they’re still capable of being affectionate and gentle with their owners and families.
10. Tibetan Mastiff
This striking and strong dog comes from the Tibetan mountains, where their fluffy and thick coats keep them warm in cold weather. The Tibetan Mastiff is known for its loyalty, deep bark, and protective nature, which makes it an excellent guard dog — they’re also loving and gentle with their owners but will be aloof and reserved with strangers. These big dogs can grow up to 26 inches tall and reach a weight of 150 pounds, living around 10 to 12 years, so they’ll be with you for a long time.
Originally bred in Germany, the Rottweiler has a sleek black coat with tan markings and a sturdy build — they’re known for their protective instincts and loyal nature, which makes them good guard dogs. They’re also smart and can be trained easily, and despite their initial impression, they’re loving and gentle with their owners. Because they’re high energy dogs, they will need regular socialization and exercise to keep them healthy; it’s also best to give them the companionship and attention they need.
The Bullmastiff was originally from England, known to be a loyal and powerful dog with a muscular and strong build, which makes them terrific guard dogs. While some people mistake them for having brawns over brains, they’re intelligent and calm dogs that can be affectionate and gentle with their families. These dogs will need plenty of socialization and exercise to keep them well-behaved and healthy while helping them stay loving and devoted companions.
The courageous and loyal Akita is a breed that originates from Japan, featuring a powerful and strong build, and comes with a thick double coat to help it withstand freezing temperatures. These cute dogs are known for their intelligence and independence, which makes them stubborn, yet unique members of the family. Akitas are naturally protective dogs, which is why they’re often used for guard work — they’re also reserved around strangers, and are highly loyal, which makes them wonderful lifelong companions.
14. Black Russian Terrier
Hailing from Russia, the Black Russian Terrier is a confident and strong breed that comes with a dense and thick coat, known for their protective instincts and loyalty, which is why they’re often used as guard dogs. These pups are easy to train thanks to their intelligence but will need consistent socialization and guidance. Regular mental stimulation and exercise are important to keep them healthy, while their affectionate and gentle nature makes them popular with families.
15. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is a majestic breed from Ireland; it stands 32 inches tall and can weigh as much as 120 pounds, with a lifespan of 6 to 8 years. They are among the tallest dogs in the world, featuring an athletic and thin build, and are famous for their shaggy coats. More importantly, they have a kind and friendly nature and tend to have a calm and mild nature that makes them a good fit for homes and families of all kinds.
16. Great Pyrenees
This protective and gentle dog comes from the beautiful mountains of France, where they developed a distinctively fluffy white coat that keeps them warm. These big dogs have a watchful and loyal nature, are patient and calm, and are usually good with little kids and other pets because they’re so gentle. The Great Pyrenees can grow up to 32 inches tall and weigh as much as 100 pounds or more; because they’re so big, they will need regular exercise to keep them healthy.
17. Scottish Deerhound
Scottish Deerhounds are graceful and gentle dogs that originate from Scotland and are known to have a wiry coat that comes in a range of colors, along with a slender frame. They are mild-mannered dogs that are gentle with other pets and children, while also being friendly overall. These huge dogs were historically used to hunt deer, so a potential dog owner will need to invest time in dog training and lots of exercise to keep their prey drive under control.
18. Bernese Mountain Dog
These affectionate and friendly dogs come from the Swiss Alps, where they developed their powerful and strong build, as well as a thick coat that’s tricolored. The Bernese Mountain Dog comes with a patient and gentle nature, which makes them good with other pets and kids and will love being a part of the family. They enjoy going outside and playing with their humans — they will do well in cold climates, so be prepared to give them plenty of mental stimulation and exercise to help them stay healthy.
19. Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux, or the French Mastiff, is a loyal and strong dog breed that hails from France and features a big and muscular build with wrinkled skin and a big head. These pups have a gentle and calm nature, while they’re also devoted and protective of their loved ones. Despite their intimidating and huge stature, they are mostly good-natured and patient dogs which makes them suitable for homes with children and other pets.
20. Cane Corso
Originally from Italy, the Cane Corso is a protective and strong dog that comes with an athletic and muscular build that’s covered with a short coat. These dogs are confident and loyal; they’re also highly intelligent and are easy to train, thanks to an eagerness to please their owners. Cane Corso dogs are affectionate and gentle with their families and are fiercely protective, which is why they make such fantastic guard dogs.
All About the Bullmastiff
This muscular and large-boned working dog originally came from England — they were bred using the Bulldog and the Mastiff, which resulted in a dog that looks like both breeds with a short coat. In terms of personality, the Bullmastiff is loyal, smart, and alert — they come with a natural protective instinct which is why they’re often employed for guard work. At home, they are gentle around children and are a great addition to families.
First developed during the 1800s when gamekeepers needed a dog that could protect their animals from poachers, which led them to experiment with cross-breeding. During this time, Bulldogs were too aggressive compared to today’s Bulldogs, but also too small to fight against humans. On the other hand, the Mastiff was both too slow and too big to get the job done, but a cross between the two breeds delivered the perfect guard dog.
As a result, this dog breed was given the initial name “Gamekeeper’s Night Dog,” where their brindle color helped to provide natural camouflage and was then imported to guard diamond mines in South Africa. In 1933, the breed was given recognition by the American Kennel Club. While it is still used as a guard dog, today the Bullmastiff is better known as a friendly companion and a great family dog.
Bullmastiff Breed Appearance
Despite having a powerful and massive build, it’s not sluggish or slow at all — their muscular shoulders and hindquarters are well-proportioned and broad which helps them stay agile on their feet. Their big head is wrinkled and has a deep muzzle with a wide nose and big nostrils, which is usually darker compared to the rest of their body. These dogs also come with powerful jaws and teeth that meet in an undershot or leveled bite; they come with medium-sized eyes with a dark hazel color.
Bullmastiffs have v-shaped ears set up high on their heads and are carried close to their cheeks, which gives their head a boxy appearance and an alert expression. Their tail is either curved or straight and will be placed high on their rear, starting thicker at the base and ending thinner at the tip. Their back is level between the loin and the withers, while their short and dense coat is round in texture — finally, their strong legs are attached to their big paws which support their weight.
During their early years, young Bullmastiffs can overflow with energy, and will often run amok in your home in an uncoordinated manner. At this age, they will need constant companionship and supervision — as they get older, they will be less energetic and will become more quiet and calm. However, these dogs can become destructive when they get too bored or left alone for long periods of time.
There’s also a potential for them to become aggressive with other animals and strangers but will respond well to consistent training that comes with rewards in the form of treats and praise. But keep in mind that these are strong-willed dogs that move with a mind of their own, so they’ll need plenty of socialization and a strong, firm owner who can keep them focused. They may also be aggressive when it comes to dogs of the same sex, and while they will be accepting of pet cats, they won’t tolerate new animals invading their space.
The Bullmastiff is protective and patient with children, but because they’re so big, they may accidentally knock over a toddler, so it’s best to supervise them if you have small children. Make sure to teach your kids not to pull on your dog’s tail, and to keep distance whenever the dog is eating — even the calmest dog can become possessive with their food. While they do need a firm hand, these dogs will thrive on patience and love; once they’re trained, they can be caring, loving, and loyal companions who are ready to protect you and your home.
Caring for Your Bullmastiff
These dogs, like many other large breeds, will benefit from consistent care and attention; here’s how you can care for your pup from the minute it enters your home.
Your Bullmastiff will need to be fed twice, with every meal consisting of 1 ½ cups up to 2 cups of dry food per day, depending on your pet’s energy level and size. You should always make sure that your pooch has access to clean and fresh water. Your pup’s needs will change as it grows, so be sure to discuss its needs with your vet to create the right feeding routine, including the type of food and amount to give it, as well as the right exercise routine.
Sticking to 2 meals per day can help prevent health problems such as stomach torsion and bloating. Moreover, it’s best to monitor your pup’s weight and be sure to make adjustments to your dog’s current diet if you notice the pounds adding up. Obesity may shorten your pet’s lifespan and may lead to many other health concerns.
These dogs aren’t the most active around, but they will still need an exercise program to keep them fit, motivated, and focused. Be sure to take your pup out for walks every day and be sure to give it leash training from day one. This is because the Bullmastiff can grow to be so powerful and big during adulthood that you might have a hard time controlling it when it starts pulling on their leash.
Furthermore, they shouldn’t be allowed to run on their own when in dog parks, because they may not play well with other dogs. It’s also important to note their short snout, which can make them prone to overheating. As such, it’s best not to over-exercise them and ensure that they have access to water to keep them cool during hot weather.
This dog will require more than your typical dog when it comes to grooming — they are moderately low shedders, but their short coat will still need regular brushing. These dogs will likely come with skin folds along their face, which should be kept dry and clean; they also tend to drool a lot so be prepared for a lot of wiping.
If your dog does drool a lot, having a slobber rag on hand at all times is necessary. The Bullmastiff will usually be able to wear their nails down naturally through daily activity, but it’s best to check on them and see if they need a trim once you hear clicking on your floor. It’s also best to pay attention to your pup’s dental hygiene — brushing its teeth a few times a week is ideal.
As mentioned above, both socialization and training are a must for the Bullmastiff. While this is a smart breed, they may also have an independent nature, so training them will require dedicated consistency. Be sure to curb their habit of jumping on people as early as possible, since this may become hazardous once they become fully grown.
Because they have a high prey drive, they may harass cats and other pets, even when they’re raised together, so they’re not the best fit for multi-pet homes. At the same time, they won’t get along with other dogs; male Bullmastiffs to be specific, won’t do well with other male dogs, no matter the breed. These dogs will confront any kind of animal that strays into their territory and will need to be exposed to all kinds of situations, people, animals, and environments to help them adjust.
The best way to get your hands on one of these dogs is to look for a reputable breeder who sticks to the highest breed standards established by the AKC. Breeders that adhere to these standards won’t come with as many health conditions as others, but there are a few hereditary health issues that can develop in Bullmastiffs. A few conditions that you need to know about include the following.
- Hip dysplasia: This condition involves the abnormal formation of the hip socket
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus: A condition where the dog’s stomach twists after excessive gas production and may lead to a medical emergency
- Ectropion: This common condition causes the lower eyelids of the dog to roll out or droop
- Ruptured cruciate ligament: Refers to a complete or partial tear of the ligament that connects the front of the tibia to the back of the femur
If you’re looking for a good boy like in the movie See Spot Run, then your best bet is the Bullmastiff, which is the breed used for this picture. However, you need to remember that owning a big dog is a full-time commitment, and will need your extra care and understanding to help you cater to their unique needs. But once you’re able to embrace this dog in full, it will give you affection and loyalty like no other.