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Bullmastiff

Bullmastiff

An Intelligent & Reliable Dog

Gentle, stubborn, even-tempered

Bullmastiffs are confident, steady, and fearless, giant dogs. This bold breed loves children but can be suspicious of strangers and other dogs. They have a tendency of being territorial if not socialized properly at an early age. These dogs can be gentle but are difficult to train and need a strong leader. They are prone to boredom and don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time. Bullmastiffs are not suited to live in hot climates and make great companions for singles and active individuals. They require minimal exercise such as a moderate daily walk or play session.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.


Breed Details

Height:24-27 in. Weight:100-130 lb Lifespan:9-10 years

Size
5

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
1

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
1

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
1

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Naturally a bit wary, Bullmastiffs are distrustful of strangers; bond them to children early to trigger protective behaviors. They can have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a sturdy fence is a must. They can also be sensitive to temperature extremes; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress. 

Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Bullmastiffs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week.

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


The Bullmastiff is a gentle giant. They are self-assured, docile, and love children. They are naturally protective of their family and have moderate exercise needs. They're lovely to cozy up with, but are known to drool and snore.

Positive Traits:

  • Formidable guard dog; highly territorial

  • Even-tempered; adapts to a wide variety of environments

  • Quiet—not much of a barker

  • Intelligent and reliable

  • Confident, steady, and fearless

  • Has a short, easy-to-care-for coat

Negative Traits:

  • Early obedience training and socialization is recommended

  • Suspicious of strangers

  • Needs frequent attention from her family

  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

  • Overprotective of family and territory if not socialized properly

  • Not easily trained

Whether you are considering adding a new Bullmastiff to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Bullmastiff will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Bullmastiff you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert. 

Some health issues a Bullmastiff could encounter:

  • Bloat
  • Bone and Joint Problems
  • Bone Pain
  • Joint Disease
  • Cancer

The Bullmastiff was developed in England from 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog to create a fast and reliable guardian of estates. They were known as the "Gamekeeper's Night Dog," because they were able to run down a poacher and hold them until the watchmen could arrive! They are highly territorial, may not accept other dogs in their area, and can have an intense prey drive. The Bullmastiff is a giant breed with an average lifespan of 9-10 years, known to suffer from some common conditions like hip or elbow dysplasia, bloat, and cancer.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Bullmastiff shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

  • New or changing lumps or bumps, itchy or not

  • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Unplanned pregnancy can be dangerous

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Care

    Routine Care: Naturally a bit wary, Bullmastiffs are distrustful of strangers; bond them to children early to trigger protective behaviors. They can have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a sturdy fence is a must. They can also be sensitive to temperature extremes; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress. 

    Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Bullmastiffs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week.

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    The Bullmastiff is a gentle giant. They are self-assured, docile, and love children. They are naturally protective of their family and have moderate exercise needs. They're lovely to cozy up with, but are known to drool and snore.

    Positive Traits:

    • Formidable guard dog; highly territorial

    • Even-tempered; adapts to a wide variety of environments

    • Quiet—not much of a barker

    • Intelligent and reliable

    • Confident, steady, and fearless

    • Has a short, easy-to-care-for coat

    Negative Traits:

    • Early obedience training and socialization is recommended

    • Suspicious of strangers

    • Needs frequent attention from her family

    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

    • Overprotective of family and territory if not socialized properly

    • Not easily trained

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Bullmastiff to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Bullmastiff will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Bullmastiff you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert. 

    Some health issues a Bullmastiff could encounter:

    • Bloat
    • Bone and Joint Problems
    • Bone Pain
    • Joint Disease
    • Cancer
  • History

    The Bullmastiff was developed in England from 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog to create a fast and reliable guardian of estates. They were known as the "Gamekeeper's Night Dog," because they were able to run down a poacher and hold them until the watchmen could arrive! They are highly territorial, may not accept other dogs in their area, and can have an intense prey drive. The Bullmastiff is a giant breed with an average lifespan of 9-10 years, known to suffer from some common conditions like hip or elbow dysplasia, bloat, and cancer.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Bullmastiff shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

    • New or changing lumps or bumps, itchy or not

    • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Unplanned pregnancy can be dangerous

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

Bullmastiff Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Bullmastiff breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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