Bullmastiff vs Rottweiler: A Side by Side Comparison

Photo from: kane_and_abel (IG)

The Bullmastiff and the Rottweiler are two large breeds who belong to the Mastiff family. They are powerful, alert, and splendid in appearance. Who wouldn’t be impressed with their imposing looks and interesting personalities? 

If you are looking for the best breed to go for and you’re not sure whether to get a Bullmastiff or a Rottweiler, we have laid down the profiles for each breed that cover several major areas worthy to be considered before arriving at a decision. 

Breed Origins


Hailed to be from the United Kingdom, the Bullmastiff was primarily developed to aid gamekeepers in their conflict against poachers. Before, landowners of large English estates faced an expensive problem that often happened when illegals trespass the property and steal their prized animals. 

Catching the thieves was a gamekeeper’s duty. If done alone, he wouldn’t be successful in his task. The thought of using dogs as helpers in their job crossed their minds. They have experimented with various dog breeds until they have come with the perfect and distinct dog type. Out came the Bullmastiff who is a combination of the Mastiff and the bulldog. 

There has been a heavy preference toward Bullmastiffs with darker coats since they can’t be easily seen in the dark. When poaching was no longer popular, he switched from guarding properties to become a reliable companion of many American families.  


The common misconception regarding Rottweiler’s place of origin is that he comes from Germany. However, documents suggest that he’s originally from Rome brought to Germany by the Romans, thus implying that the Rottie is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

His main purpose before was to be a working dog. He used to guard herds of cattle as well as the property of his owner. Driving the cattle to town to be butchered was also part of his duty. To ensure that thieves don’t steal the day’s profit, the payment was usually placed inside the pouch and tied around the dog’s neck.

When the breed almost faded due to modernization, the demand for police dogs during World War I brought back the demand for the Rotties. The breed thrived back and the rest was history.

Size, Appearance, & Coloring


Large but quite smaller than the English Mastiff. Still, the Bullmastiff has incredible proportions enough to beat anyone down. Females are usually shorter than males and their heights range from 24 to 27 inches when measured at withers. They are heavy as well since their ideal mass is around 100 to 130 pounds. 

At first glance, you might describe him as chunky. This is not because he’s fat but rather muscular and fit. His broad neck and chest will be enough to tell you that he’s got great power and strength as a dog. His face mostly resembles his Bulldog parent yet the black mask that covers his nose down to the muzzle comes from the Mastiff. His ears are small and darker as well. 

All four paws are massive and his legs are thick, straight in the front, and quite angular from behind. His tail can reach the jocks and it’s a great indicator of his mood. So far, there are only three coat colors for this breed. They are:

  • Fawn 
  • Brindle
  • Red


Most if not all know what a Rottweiler looks like. He’s usually black with two tan points on his eyebrows and scattered shades in various parts of his body. Its rarest color is red and you’re lucky if you’ve seen one in person.

Rotties are renowned for their natural drive to protect. They can be fearsome and dignified making anyone behave when a canine of this kind is around. He’s large, measuring about 22 to 27 inches, and heavy ranging from 80 to 135 pounds.

He’s sinewy, powerful, and sizable. For working Rotties, their tails are usually docked for safety purposes. His traits should ensemble a dog capable of doing heavy tasks such as pulling carts. As for his coat, there are only three colorings natural to this breed. They are:

  • Black & mahogany
  • Black & rust
  • Black & tan



In owning a Bullmastiff puppy, you should invest a lot for his training. He needs to learn how to properly socialize with others and help him understand that aggression can only be shown in particular events such as when an intruder gets in the house or a family member’s safety is risked by a stranger. 

At home, he is gentle and playful. It takes an average of 18 to 20 months for him to fully mature, so you’ll get to experience a mischievous young dog for quite some time. If around kids, make sure you supervise their interaction to avoid any accidents from happening. 

If you plan on having another dog, it’s best if they’re both raised together as puppies. This Mastiff breed isn’t the friendliest on the list. Going for the opposite sex will also prevent them from having future conflicts.


The Rottie’s temperament is quite similar to the Bullmastiff. He’s quirky, funny, and awfully friendly towards kids in the family. He’s not that afraid to show a different side of him which attracts many dog lovers worldwide. However, his personality dramatically changes when he faces a stranger. More so, if it’s an intruder. 

Naturally, this dog will bark so loud that it can be enough to terrorize the burglar. Some cases report that the Rottweiler may opt to attack. This largely depends on how trained he is as a guard dog. 

Take note, he’s average on aggressiveness so exposing him to different faces while he’s young and helping him identify the bad guy will prove helpful.

Exercise Needs


When it comes to exercise, you shouldn’t be fooled by the Bullmastiff’s physique. Despite looking muscly, he doesn’t need to be given intensive drills. A 2-hour daily exercise is enough to keep him fit and healthy. Often, Bullmastiff owners resort by simply taking their dogs outside for a walk. They also indulge their buddies in a game of fetch which must be done within a secure area.


Rotties are prone to obesity since hypothyroidism is a common disease for this breed. When they gain too much weight, it’s just necessary that they undergo regular exercise. Allocating 2 hours per day will be enough to keep the weight down and at the same time make him happy and stimulated.

Be creative when you help him steam off so he won’t prefer lazing around on the couch. Either take him to the pool or simply throw the ball as far as you can in a fenced area and let him fetch it.

Grooming Requirements


Maintaining that your Bullmastiff is clean is a priority. This is one step to warding off any potential infections and parasites. His ears, nails, and teeth have to be regularly checked every after you brush his coat. You can go over his hair daily even though he doesn’t shed much.

If necessary, washing him with canine-appropriate shampoo must be done as well. It all depends on his activities and lifestyle and only you can determine when he’d need a bath.


The coat of the Rottweiler is very thick. Since shedding is a natural occurrence, brushing him as often as you can help remove all loose hairs from his body. This will also help evenly distribute his organic oils all over him. To prevent his skin from drying and his coat from getting brittle, wash him every 2 to 8 weeks only. 

Health Problems


No breed is perfectly healthy. However, dogs from reputable breeders are less likely to develop complications. Still, breeds like the Bullmastiff are prone to various medical concerns each owner should be aware of. The common ones are:


Rotties are generally a healthy breed. Sadly, they may still experience physical issues that could be harmful if left untreated. Bring him to the vet regularly to see if he suffers from the following:

Breed Popularity

The American Kennel Club’s breed popularity ranking currently puts the following breeds in their respective standings out of 200 dog breeds:

Bullmastiff: 51st

Rottweiler: 8th

Which Mastiff Breed is Better?

There is not much difference if you compare the Bullmastiff to the Rottweiler, so nothing is better than the other. However, they remain to have different needs and they would require a certain type of owner. For you to be able to decide well, know what your preferences are in terms of looks and temperament, then determine which one can adjust more to your lifestyle. 

Don’t forget to consider other minor areas as well such as health, lifespan, and activity requirements.