Bullmastiff: The Ultimate Dog Guide



Bullmastiffs are large, strong, and confident dogs. They possess a natural instinct to guard their family and home. A mix between a Bulldog and a Mastiff, this breed carries the best traits of both. Originally bred in England in the late 19th century, Bullmastiffs were used to guard estates from poachers. Their strength and courage are traits that have endured through the generations.

Characteristic Details
Origin England
Size Large
Weight 100-130 pounds
Height 24-27 inches
Lifespan 8-10 years
Coat Short and dense
Colors Fawn, Red, Brindle
Temperament Protective, Affectionate, Gentle
Exercise Needs Moderate
Dietary Requirements A balanced diet rich in proteins and fats
Common Health Issues Hip and elbow dysplasia, Heart conditions, Skin allergies

Physical Characteristics of Bullmastiffs

Size and Weight

As a large breed, Bullmastiffs typically weigh between 100 to 130 pounds and stand 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder.

Coat and Colors

Bullmastiffs have a short, dense coat that comes in fawn, red, or brindle.

Unique Features

Their dark muzzle is a distinctive feature, along with a muscular build and powerful stance.

Temperament and Personality of Bullmastiffs

General Temperament

While Bullmastiffs are protective, they are also gentle and affectionate with their families. They are known to be calm and reserved.

Interaction with Children and Other Pets

When properly socialized, Bullmastiffs can get along well with children and other pets.

Common Behavioral Traits

Despite their intimidating size, Bullmastiffs are often couch potatoes who enjoy a good snuggle.

Health and Lifespan of Bullmastiffs

Expected Lifespan

Bullmastiffs have a lifespan of around 8 to 10 years.

Common Health Issues

Like many large breeds, they may suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. They can also be prone to certain heart conditions and skin allergies.

Special Considerations for Bullmastiffs

Given their size, Bullmastiffs can be prone to bloat. This is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Caring for a Bullmastiff

Dietary Requirements

Bullmastiffs require a balanced diet that is rich in proteins and fats.

Exercise Needs

Although they aren’t as high-energy as other breeds, Bullmastiffs still need regular exercise to stay healthy.

Grooming and Hygiene

Their short coat needs minimal grooming but regular checks for skin issues are necessary.

Training and Socialization of Bullmastiffs

Basic Training Requirements

Early and consistent training is key for a Bullmastiff. Positive reinforcement methods work best.

Socialization Techniques

Socializing your Bullmastiff from a young age can help them grow into well-rounded dog.

Challenges in Training Bullmastiffs and How to Overcome Them

Due to their protective nature, Bullmastiffs may need extra work on socialization and obedience.

Living Conditions for Bullmastiffs

Ideal Home Environment

Bullmastiffs do well in a home with a fenced yard, but they can also adapt to living in apartments as long as they get enough exercise.

Compatibility with Different Lifestyles

They make great companions for families, couples, and individuals as long as their physical and emotional needs are met.

Breeding and Puppies

Breeding Considerations

Breeding Bullmastiffs should be done responsibly, with a focus on health and temperament.

Raising Bullmastiff Puppies

Raising Bullmastiff puppies can be a joyful experience, but it also requires a commitment to training and socialization.

Choosing a Bullmastiff Puppy

When choosing a Bullmastiff puppy, it’s important to consider the puppy’s health, temperament, and reputation of the breeder.

The Bullmastiff in Action: Roles and Jobs

Bullmastiffs as Working Dogs

Bullmastiffs can still be seen in roles such as search and rescue and as therapy dogs, putting their strength and courage to good use.

Bullmastiffs in Competitive Sports

They also excel in dog sports like obedience and tracking competitions.

Bullmastiffs as Family Pets and Companions

Despite their working dog heritage, most Bullmastiffs today are beloved family pets.

Fun Facts about Bullmastiffs

Impressive Heritage

It’s interesting to note that Bullmastiffs have quite an impressive heritage. The breed is a historic one, dating back to the 19th century in England. Their primary function back then was to guard large estates from poachers. They were bred to be big, strong, and fearless, but not overly aggressive, so as to scare off intruders rather than harm them.

Appearance in Popular Culture

In popular culture, Bullmastiffs have also made quite a mark. They’ve appeared in various films and TV shows over the years. For instance, a Bullmastiff named Butkus was featured in the Rocky film series, and a character named Fang in the Harry Potter series is also a Bullmastiff.

Adopting a Bullmastiff

Adopting Older Bullmastiffs

While many people focus on getting puppies, adopting an older Bullmastiff can be a rewarding experience. These dogs may have lost their homes due to no fault of their own and adopting them can give them a second chance at a happy life.

What to Consider When Adopting

When considering adopting a Bullmastiff, it’s essential to ensure that your lifestyle aligns with their needs. They require regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a lot of love and attention. Being large dogs, they also need ample space to move around comfortably.

Bullmastiff Show Competitions

Participation in Dog Shows

Bullmastiffs are often participants in various dog shows due to their stunning looks and impressive stature. They compete in conformation events where their physical attributes and temperament are evaluated based on breed standards.

Success in Dog Shows

Over the years, Bullmastiffs have earned a reputation for their success in dog shows, with many winning prestigious awards. Their excellent structure and temperament make them strong contenders in these competitions.

Common Myths and Misconceptions about Bullmastiffs


One common misconception about Bullmastiffs is that they are overly aggressive because of their size and guarding history. However, while they are protective, they are also known for their gentleness with family members, especially children.

Activity Level

Another myth is that due to their size, Bullmastiffs must be highly active and require intense physical exercise. In reality, they are quite laid-back and enjoy relaxation time with their families just as much as playtime.

Bullmastiffs and The Weather

Tolerance to Heat and Cold

Bullmastiffs are fairly adaptable, but due to their short coat, they can be sensitive to extreme weather conditions. In the heat, they can be prone to overheating, so it’s important to provide them with a cool place to rest and plenty of water. In the cold, they may require extra warmth like a doggie sweater or indoor accommodation.

Outdoor Activities

When the weather is pleasant, Bullmastiffs love spending time outdoors. However, due to their susceptibility to temperature extremes, it’s crucial to monitor their comfort levels and protect them from harsh weather conditions.

Bullmastiffs as Service Animals

As Therapy Dogs

Bullmastiffs have been known to serve as therapy dogs. Their gentle nature and innate desire to be near their human companions make them well-suited to provide comfort and emotional support.

Service Dog Training

Though not as common as other breeds, some Bullmastiffs may be trained as service dogs. With their size, they can help with mobility support tasks, though their generally relaxed demeanor is better suited for roles like emotional support or therapy work.


Bullmastiffs are wonderful dogs with a rich history and unique personality traits. With proper care and training, they can be fantastic companions. Whether as a family pet, a working dog, or a sports competitor, Bullmastiffs bring joy, loyalty, and a sense of security to their owners’ lives.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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