Bullmastiff 101: The Essential Guide

OriginUnited Kingdom
SizeLarge
Height           24 to 27 inches
Weight100 to 130 pounds
Life Expectancy7 – 9 years
Breed GroupWorking Group
Affection Level⭐⭐⭐
Friendliness⭐⭐⭐
Activity Level
Barking/Howling Level⭐⭐⭐
Pet Friendly⭐⭐⭐
Kid-Friendly⭐⭐⭐
Shedding
Easy to Groom⭐⭐⭐
Easy to Train⭐⭐

Origin

The Bullmastiff is one among the many dog breeds which just got recently developed. He is believed to have emerged in the mid-19th century particularly around 1860 in the United Kingdom. Mainly, it was the English gamekeepers who initiated the breeding of this new dog type. They needed a canine who could track down poachers and hold them down.

Several speculations suggest that these gamekeepers experimented with a number of breeds until they have finally come to the right pair crucial to the creation of the Bullmastiff type. As it goes with the name, they have crossbred the brave and aggressive Bulldog with the colossal yet gentle Mastiff.

When the bullmastiff became a hit, he was popularly used as a working dog for the gamekeepers. He was bred more for utility rather than looks. If there’s any preference regarding appearance, that would be the dark brindle coat since he won’t be easily seen in the dark.

When poaching eventually waned, the Bullmastiff switched into becoming a guard dog. He also developed the fawn coat color with the Mastiff’s signature black mask all over the face. In the early 20th century, he was then developed into a distinct breed rather than a crossbreed.

Appearance 

The Bullmastiff has the body of the Mastiff and the face of a bulldog. The combination of these two breeds made him more striking and unique in appearance. His measurements are not that extreme, but he remains to be massive and threatening due to his build.

Here is a table filled with details regarding the Bullmastiff’s height and weight depending on gender:

GenderHeightWeight
Female24 to 26 inches100 to 120 pounds
Male25 to 27 inches110 to 130 inches

Considering these proportions, this canine is considered a large breed. He has muscular shoulders and a bulky chest with a slightly arched neck that is thick and strong. His head is big and heavy and his muzzle is broad and usually darker than the rest of his body color. He has an undershot bite, dark hazel eyes, and v-shaped ears. His body should be leveled between his loin and shoulders and the tail tapers on the tip. All four legs are powerful and his massive paw pads complete the intimidating look of this canine.

There are only three acceptable coat colors for the Bullmastiff breed:

  • Red
  • Fawn
  • Brindle

Temperament

The Bullmastiff is a perfect combination of endurance, strength, and vigilance. Although he was originally used as a companion to go after poachers, this breed turned out to be a great family addition thanks to his excellent traits. Couples or families who are looking for the best breed as a guard dog won’t go wrong by choosing the Bullmastiff. 

Affection

Once the Bullmastiff feels comfortable being around your family, he will lower his guard down. You’ll witness an imposing dog with an affectionate personality. He does better with well-behaved kids who were taught how to properly and gently play with the dog.

This Mastiff-type canine is also extremely loyal to people who treat him well. He naturally shows off his calm demeanor and good nature which all Mastiffs are generally known for. This people-oriented breed makes it a perfect cuddle buddy as well during the colder months!

Friendliness

This Mastiff breed is not typically very friendly toward strangers. His protective instinct kicks in, especially when his family is around people he doesn’t know. This is why he needs to be socialized right from puppyhood and help him decipher what behaviors do “good guys” show and which ones are not. 

When it comes to other pets or dogs, the Bullmastiff isn’t the most cordial one. He doesn’t have a natural liking toward other dogs mainly of the same sex. People have shared that he shows a peculiar behavior of testing his family members. Nevertheless, he could be a bit tolerant with your house cat.

Activity Level

Photo from: hammy_da_man (IG)

Despite the intimidating size, the Bullmastiff isn’t an overly energetic dog. For apartment dwellers who think of getting this breed, you are guaranteed that he will do well in your place. Just make sure he gets to go out and enjoy the environment once in a while because he would still need to be stimulated physically and mentally.

One thing to love about this breed is that you don’t have to give him lots of tasks or activities every day. Still, he must get to release all his pent-up energy and prevent him from becoming a couch potato.

Care

Sure, the Bullmastiff’s coat looks like you won’t be having a hard time maintaining it. However, don’t be too indulged with the impression that he won’t need to be taken care of thoroughly. Making sure he receives all his basic needs remains to be a priority. The following are the three major areas every Bullmastiff owner shouldn’t forget to focus on:

Grooming

Unpleasant weather can be withstood by the Bullmastiff thanks to his short yet dense coat. Despite his infrequent and low-rate shedding, he still would benefit a  lot if he’s brushed daily. Baths will only be needed if he’s dirty or if he likes to constantly play in the mud. During routine maintenance, your Bullmastiff’s ears should be checked for any signs of concern like infection or excessive earwax buildup.

Don’t forget to have his nails trimmed regularly. Overgrown nails can affect his physical health and his posture, so get them cut before he makes clicking noises while walking. His teeth need brushing too to ensure that his oral health is superb.

Food and Diet

Going for high-quality dog food is always encouraged. Never go for cheap products that can only fill up your pet’s stomach but don’t offer anything positive for his overall health. Check with your vet which kind of diet will work best with your buddy so he can determine if your bullmastiff has allergies you should be aware of including how his digestive system works. 

The amount of food you have to provide for him daily depends on his age, activity level, and health status. Generally, Bullmastiff puppies can be given 3 to 4 cups daily. This portion needs to be divided equally into 3 to 4 meals. Those who have reached 18 months of age can be provided with 8 to 12 cups daily. If your buddy shows no signs of restraint toward food, never allow him for a free-access feeding to avoid the onset of obesity.

Exercise

Photo from: bullandbully (IG)

Since the Bullmastiff doesn’t have high levels of energy, you don’t have to spend a huge chunk of the day on his exercise needs. Bringing him out for a walk in the morning and afternoon while allowing him to play off-lead in a fenced yard or area will keep him happy and healthy.

Don’t skip a day without letting him sweat off. If he collects too much energy and this doesn’t get exerted, this may be the start of him developing bad behaviors such as excessive barking or howling and chewing off on your sofa and pillows. Allocating at least 2 hours for him on a day-to-day basis should be enough to keep him fit and motivated.

Since he tends to be lazy indoors, bringing him out for his exercise will spark his thirst for adventure.

Training

Strong-willed, independent, and hard-headed. The Bullmastiff would need an owner who can train him with firmness, consistency, and fairness. To make it easier for you to instill the necessary skills your pet should learn, teach him during puppyhood. He will get used to the idea that learning is a part of his life.

Nevertheless, don’t worry if you have adopted an adult Bullmastiff. You can still train him as long as you incorporate positive reinforcements and rewards. Use treats moderately and utilize the power of praise and affection. Commonly, Bullmastiff puppies need to know about crate training, basic commands such as “sit”, “no”, and “stay”, obedience training, and socialization training.

If you want a well-disciplined companion, you have to invest heavily in his training as early as possible. This also prohibits him from developing undesirable traits which can harm your relationship with each other.

Health Problems

There are what we call genetic problems. This means that certain illnesses get passed on to a specific breed. Often, Bullmastiffs are affected by a series of medical conditions that would need immediate medical attention. Some of these are:

  • Heart disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip & elbow dysplasia
  • Subaortic stenosis
  • Cancer
  • Gastric torsion

Despite the possibility of your dog acquiring some of the diseases listed above, know that regularly bringing him to the vet can make a great significance to his health. The moment that these conditions are diagnosed early, certain medications or surgeries can help lessen the intensity of harm these diseases may bring. 

Pros and Cons of Having a Bullmastiff

Pros

  • Very easy to groom
  • Loving and affectionate
  • Needs moderate exercise only
  • He’s a great watchdog
  • He’s calm and quiet as an adult
  • Strong and dependable

Cons

  • Can be stubborn
  • Loves to bark a lot
  • He can be aggressive
  • Usually unfriendly toward other dogs and cats
  • Highly prone to obesity
  • They’re massive droolers

Do Kennel Clubs Recognize the Bullmastiff?

Yes, they do! One of the most reputable and well-known clubs in the United States, namely the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes this new breed of Mastiff-type dog. When the Bullmastiff finally got a distinct look and temperament, he then became an official breed in America in 1933 following England’s Kennel Club which had it in 1924. 

Currently, the Bullmastiff is 51st out of 200 dog breeds when it comes to breed popularity which reflects how fond the Americans are with this powerfully built dog.

Cost

On average, acquiring a Bullmastiff puppy will cost you at least $1,500 to $2,500 from a reputable breeder. If you go for a higher-quality pup, the price could spike up to $3,500 and upward. Pedigree, sex, age, and location will highly influence the price tag.

Breeders who gained a great reputation as excellent Bullmastiff breeders will also ask a considerably higher price compared to those who are new to the business. Meanwhile, adopting will only cost you around $300 which is a great deal!

Where to Adopt or Buy a Bullmastiff

It is no surprise to us if you have fallen in love with the Bullmastiff breed. He is highly dependable when it comes to the security of your family members and home. Also, he exhibits a generous amount of friendly aura as well as gentleness when around your kids. If you are thinking of getting another Bullmastiff, we have listed the trusted sources for your convenience.

BUY

ADOPT

Thorough research is needed before you close a deal. Always remember that deciding to get a Bullmastiff equates to having a new kind of responsibility. If he’s raised well and all his needs are met, you’ll surely have the best time of your life being with such a magnificent Mastiff-type breed. If his personality and traits are what you believe your family would love, adopting or fostering is the best option for your decision.

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