Bullmastiff Dog Breed Traits & Facts

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Last Updated on September 20, 2023

*The Bullmastiff is a powerful pup who’s a gentle giant . He will protect his family ferociously if you try to disturb him. This large, softie can be a great companion for most families . There are some key factors that dog owners don’t know about.

Bullmastiffs require lots of attention and space. They are best suited for a experienced family who understands how to deal with large guardian dog breeds . Some traits in their DNA can be difficult to get rid of. This is why first-time dog owners may find it challenging to handle dominant breeds. Bullmastiffs can end up in shelters which can be devastating for the dog as well as their owners.

By knowing what to expect when you adopt a Bullmastiff you can properly prepare for “big dog” ownership. If trained correctly, Bullmastiffs are a breed that will be loyal, dedicated, and love their families unconditionally. Let’s see if this gentle giant can be the right companion for your family.

Bullmastiff Dog

Breed History

The Bullmastiff originates from England, during the 19th century. Despite the threat of death, gamekeepers worked hard to protect their country estates from poachers. They created a perfect protection dog . to protect their lands. The Bullmastiff, which we love and are familiar with today, was created when they bred bull and mastiff-type dog. This is why he is known as the ‘Gamekeeper’s Night Dog,’ and it is believed that he is 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog.

The result was a large dog that would be a nightmare for poachers. However, those who dare to get past him discovered that he was brave and athletic in capturing them. But obedient enough his master Gameskeeper, when he told him to turn them over. They would be brought to justice.

It’s not known when Bullmastiffs arrived in America. But in 1933, he was accepted into the American Kennel Club breed book. He is not all that popular, mainly due to his size, but he is amongst the top 60 most popular dog breeds in America. The Bullmastiff featured in the git film Rocky as Sylvester Stallone’s 140-pound pet dog called Butkus. Although he’s still used as estate guard, he can now be found sleeping on sofas in families homes.


Bullmastiffs are naturally protective dogs. If not properly trained, they can become aggressive. This is something you can’t train away from him. Bullmastiffs are just like Border Collie’s inability to herd sheep. They will be alert to strangers, just as you can’t teach them to herd sheep. The protective personality trait is also a responsibility. This breed is not recommended for people who have never had to handle large protective dogs.

This breed is ideal for guard dogs who can alert you to potential dangers and protect your property. He is suspicious and does not like visitors coming to his house. If you let them in, they will be able to sit at your side and sleep with one eye open. A few visitors may be able to have a belly rub from time to time. Nothing can compare to his love for his family.

Bullmastiffs are partial lazy days because they are a lower-energy dog due to their Bulldog genes. He is docile and happy to lie around while you do the housework. His willingness to play is not too demanding. Expect to be with your dog at all times, as separation anxiety can occur.

Despite his love for people and need to be with them, he is an independent dog that has little interest in pleasing his masters. He will do whatever he likes. He is best suited to be with experienced dog owners. We’ll talk about how to deal with this in the training section.

Size & Appearance

This is a large-sized Mastiff dog who is often confused with his Mastiff cousin ,. However, he’s not quite as tall. He measures between 24 and 27 inches tall, and he weighs between 100 and 130 pounds. His large frame is an indication of strength and power. He is also symmetrically shaped. His nose is large and fleshy, his head is square. His droopy cheeks lend him to lots dribble, and drooling. If you don’t enjoy drooling dogs, then we suggest looking for another breed.

Males tend to be larger than their female counterparts but their breeding standard favours larger dogs over smaller ones. His chest is deep. His muzzle is a bit more flat than the Bulldog’s, but not as squished. Flatter his face, the more likely he will suffer from the brachycephalic problems faced by flat-faced breeds. This can lead to problems with heat regulation and breathing.

His ears are V-shaped and sit beside his cheeks. They are often darker than the rest. His medium-sized eyes, which are both alert and full of love, are large. His tail is thick , and it reaches his hocks. It will leave bruises on your legs if it wags!

Coat & Colors

Bullmastiffs are have a dense and short coat . He sheds moderately all year, and is slightly heavier during the shedding season. His short coat is an asset and he sheds less than other dogs. His jacket texture is medium soft, but not silky shiny.

He comes in a variety of coat colors, including red, fawn brindle and red fawn. Many breeders refer to the red fawn color as “apricot”. Their different shades of brindle colored coats are typically also referred to as just “brindle” people not entering their dogs into shows. Many Bullmastiffs have a black face , and darker ears and backs. Some Mastiffs may have a small white mark at the chest.

Exercise Requirements

The Bullmastiff is a moderately active dog who needs around 45 minutes of exercise every day. You may be convinced that he doesn’t need it. He’ll pretend that he’s tired and needs to sleep. To keep this big boy in shape, you must get him moving and keeping his heart beating.

This breed is not suited for intense exercise. Intensity should not be an issue. He is not a good jogger partner and should be avoided as he has a fragile facial structure and joints. Long, leisurely walks in the park are a great idea. Breathing can become a problem for brachycephalic breeds of dogs if they are being pushed too hard. He will also enjoy a good walk around the garden when he is at home. This will keep his mind stimulated and keep him busy. You can entertain him with giant toys such as a Jolly Ball. If he doesn’t, he will only get it on your furniture and personal belongings.

The Bullmastiff is a great dog, but due to his size, he would be better suited for a family with older children . He is more calm in the home but still has a lot of energy and is very bulky. It is possible for him to accidentally bump into infants. He is a loving family member, but he can be persuaded to do the same for each of his siblings.

Living Conditions

A dog of this size should be placed in a larger home that has access to a large yard. Although they are able to live in apartments, their large size can make your home feel smaller. You will find their favourite place to rest right at your feet, which is a good thing.

Although Bullmastiffs can live in small apartments or homes, this is not ideal for their living conditions. They may develop cabin fever and get frustrated by all the mess. You should secure your yard if it is larger to ensure that your dog stays contained. Even if your Bullmastiff is well-behaved, a Bullmastiff can cause panic in the neighborhood.


Bullmastiffs are sometimes considered unintelligent but they really are just very stubborn dogs. They will test you as an owner, which is common among dominant breeds. He needs to learn who is the family leader. He’ll become an unruly giant who causes more trouble than most people can handle.

To maximize his chances of learning basic commands, you should start training him as soon as he arrives home. You should also enroll him in puppy obedience courses . This will not only be fun for you both, but will also strengthen your relationship and teach him the basics. You must not give in to stubborn dogs’ diva demands and naughty antics. He’ll soon learn that he can do it again if you allow him to.

The Bullmastiff is a naturally protective breed and must be socialized as soon as possible. Reputable breeders will help you mix your Bullmastiff with his littermates and parents. It is important that you continue to mix him with other dogs, humans, or other animals as soon as you bring him home. Positive reinforcement training should be started as soon as your child is old enough.

Start leash training as soon as possible. Being pulled around by a 130-pound pooch is not fun for anyone. From a young age, get him to walk on a leash. This will increase the chances of him understanding that he walks with you, not walks you. To be able handle him, you should be strong and physically fit. He will experience situations in his life where he isn’t comfortable with something or something that scares him. This happens to all dogs. You must be able take control.


Bullmastiffs can be giant-sized dogs. Unfortunately, like many other gentle giants, he has a shorter lifespan than most. They will live seven years to ten years on average. To make sure he has a great time, do all you can to ensure his health. You should feed him high-quality food, keep him healthy, and exercise him regularly.

The breed is susceptible to a variety of health conditions, just like other pedigree breeds. The following list is not exhaustive, but it’s a good starting point. Find out what symptoms to watch for and how you can prevent them.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

The breed is susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia. This is a common problem in giant breeds of dogs. This happens when bones grow too quickly, which causes uneven bone growth. Uneven growth can cause accelerated wear and tear that may lead to arthritis and mobility problems later in life. Joint dysplasias can manifest as stiffness or difficulty standing, climbing stairs, and in the limbs.

Eye Conditions

The breed can treat a variety of eye problems, the most common being entropion. It is the rolling inwards or inwards of the eyeslids. This usually starts around six months. This can lead to eye infection and soreness. If your dog’s eyelids are sagging, reddening, or itching more than usual, you should immediately take him to the veterinarian.

Cardiac Concerns

The breed is prone to subaortic stenosis

and heart disease. Both require the heart to work harder and eventually put too much strain on the cardiovascular system. These conditions are often diagnosed early through vet checks, but sudden death or fainting are symptoms of cardiac problems if they are not.

Thyroid Conditions


is another condition that can affect the breed. This condition is caused by a lack of thyroid hormone and can have many effects on the dog’s health and quality of his life. This condition can cause extreme tiredness, hair loss and tight skin. You can treat it with daily medication.


Unfortunately, Bullmastiffs are very susceptible to cancer. The most common types of cancer in Bullmastiffs are osteosarcoma and lymphosarcoma. It is not a good idea to breed dogs with cancer.


The Bullmastiff is a large boy with a huge appetite. He will require three-to-four cups twice daily . The breed is always at risk of bloat, which is the swelling of the abdomen. This is a serious condition that can lead to death and requires immediate medical attention. This is why it is important to avoid eating immediately after or before exercise.

This is a large breed dog and should be fed a kibble designed for giant or large breed dogs . This is particularly important when he is growing and developing. Without it, his chances of developing joint dysplasia or other bone problems are increased. This is because large breed kibbles contain particular nutrients that help to control their rapid bone growth.

It is important to give your dog the best nutrition possible. This does not mean that you should spend a lot, but choosing better quality food than the cheapest kibble. High-quality kibbles offer a balanced diet that includes real meat protein, fiber and omega fatty acid, vitamins and minerals.

The Bullmastiff can be a very gluttonous dog and will eat anything he sees. You need to ensure that food is kept under lock and key. He will get bigger and more stressed, which will cause him to become more overweight. You should monitor how much he eats. If he begins to gain weight, switch to a weight management diet kibble.


The Bullmastiff’s short, dense coat requires weekly brushing for his jacket. It is possible to brush your Bullmastiff twice per week during shedding seasons. However, this will depend on the individual pooch. A rubber mitt is the best brush for your dog’s coat. This will spread his natural oils and keep his coat looking its best. His coat is straight and short and easy to maintain.

Typically, expect to bathe your pup once 8 to 12 weeks, or as and when he needs it. You risk damaging his natural oils and coat by washing him more often than that. Use a shampoo that is natural and gentle, such as coconut milk or oatmeal. He will need extra skin care if he has many skin folds. Although his skin folds can be a breeding ground for bacteria in dogs, every dog is unique.

The Bullmastiff is a drooly ,dog. This is something you should consider when welcoming him into your home. You might not be able escape drool, which can frustrate homeowners more than anything. He is also quite gassy! His grooming routine is quite simple, aside from this. You can also brush his teeth once a week and trim his nails if they become too long.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

Bullmastiffs don’t make the most common breed of dog, so you may need to travel to another state to find a reliable breeder. It is important to plan ahead as there may be waiting lists. The average price of a purebred puppy will set you back around $1,200 and up. You can expect to spend more if you want a dog from an award-winning breeding line.

Always search for a trusted breeder , who will guide you through the process and answer all your questions. They will give you health certificates and invite you to see the puppies in their natural environment. A good place to start is the AKC’s Bullmastiff reputable breeder list. If none of these breeders suit, you can look for a professional breeder. With years of experience in breeding.

Only adopting a healthy puppy will be possible if you work with a reliable breeder. Breeders love their puppies and will socialize them. They are more likely to become well-balanced and polite dogs. This is especially important for protective dog breeds.

Bullmastiff puppies are expensive to set up. He will need large crates, harnesses and beds. He is expensive because he is a large-sized dog. He is a very demanding dog and can require a lot of food. His medical and insurance bills can also be quite expensive. You need to ensure that your financial resources can meet his future needs.

Rescues & Shelters

If buying a puppy is not for you, you can rescue a Bullmastiff at your local shelter. Talk to the staff at your local animal shelter , to learn more about the adoption process. There are breed-specific rescues which focus exclusively on Bullmastiffs. Be sure to check out Bullmastiff Rescuers Inc and the American Bullmastiff Association website who list adoptable dogs and rescue contacts.

As Family Pets

  • The Bullmastiff is an extremely independent dog.
  • This means he will be better suited to a more experienced dog owner.
  • The Bullmastiff is very protective of his family and home.
  • They are well known for protecting their family with their life.
  • Typically they are aloof with strangers.
  • While more active than an English Mastiff, they can be lazy as well.
  • Typically, 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise is all that’s needed.
  • They love to cuddle up for an afternoon nap on the sofa.
  • As co-dependent dogs, they don’t do well when left alone for long periods.
  • The Bullmastiff needs a large family home, and preferably a larger yard.
  • They can live with older children and other family pets.

Final Thoughts

The Bullmastiff may be stubborn but he charming and handsome .. He’s playful and playful outside but calm and cuddly inside. He is an attention-seeker and a gentle giant who loves his family. This contradicts his powerful demeanor.

The Bullmastiff independent dog needs an experienced family to care for him and teach him the ropes. He’s a strong-willed, protective dog and needs a strong-willed owner who can train him. You will fall in love with your dog if you give him these two things along with everything else in this guide.

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