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Bullmastiff… Your Guide to the Best Care for your Dog

bullmastiff dog breed

Are you considering adopting a Bullmastiff?  If so, chances are, you’re about to adopt a great pet that will be an excellent guard dog and a loyal and friendly companion for life.

That said, however…

You’ll want to know a few things about the Bullmastiff breed before you decide so that six months from now, you’re not disappointed that you didn’t choose a different type of dog that may or may not meet your lifestyle need better.  You see, here at IndulgeYourPet, we firmly believe that all dog breeds are great; they’re just not great for everyone!

So, are you the right owner for a Bullmastiff?

Who knows, only you’ll be able to make that decision. What we want to do in this article is provide you with some information so that you’ll be better prepared to answer that question for yourself.

So, without further ado, let’s first look at the origins of the Bullmastiff breed to understand better its original purpose and how that will guide its behavior today.

Origin of the Bullmastiff dog breed

Bullmastiffs were initially bred by wealthy landowners in England at the end of the 19th century to keep “poachers” off their land.  At the time, these “poachers” were hunting on these large estates to avoid starvation, so for obvious reasons, they became a danger to the land owners’ and gamekeepers’ safety.

In light of this danger…

The landowners chose to take the Mastiff breed, which was very strong (but too slow), and combine it with an English Bulldog, which was fast (but not all that big), to create a perfect “guard dog” for their estates.


The average Bull Mastiff enjoys a dog’s life, and breeders breed Bull Mastiff puppies for house pets as opposed to becoming working dogs.  These lovable giants retain the same qualities that made them valuable in the past, mainly their incredible loyalty and bravery.

Bullmastiff Size

Bullmastiffs are large dogs that are very muscular and broad. The average Mastiff weighs between a hundred and thirty pounds and is an energy powerhouse once they start!

In general…

You’ll find that Bullmastiffs will come in either one of three colors: red, fawn, or brindle, with a black mask surrounding their face.  They’ll also have a very smooth and short coat making caring for a Bullmastiff pretty easy if you don’t count how much food they’ll eat!

Bullmastiff Temperament

Despite their size, Bullmastiffs don’t require a ton of exercise. While they enjoy going for a daily stroll, they have a generally relaxed disposition and won’t need significant physical activity.  So, if you love going for long hikes or want a companion for evening runs, a Bullmastiff may not fit you.

Additionally, Bullmastiffs don’t fare well in warm climates. If you live in areas where it gets hot, avoiding this breed is advisable.  Moreover, it’s worth noting that Bullmastiffs tend to drool quite a bit, and some individuals may snore (loudly).

That being said, there is a reason why Bullmastiffs are popular. They are genuinely devoted animals who will love and protect their family unconditionally. As long as they receive consistent and firm training and are socialized from a young age, your Bullmastiff will likely become an excellent addition to your family.


Bullmastiffs are vast bundles of love, and we want to emphasize the “HUGE” part!

While they can be kept in an apartment successfully, be prepared to navigate around their significant size day and night.

They are also highly family-oriented, so please don’t feel you should keep them outside and avoid excluding your Bullmastiff from your daily activities.  It’s important to remember that just because they are huge doesn’t mean they aren’t teddy bears looking to snuggle up with you!

Bullmastiff Training and Obedience

As we’ve stated a few times, training a Bullmastiff can “at times” become pretty challenging.  This is why consistent training is essential with this breed.

After all, it’s one thing to have a Toy Poodle jumping up and down on guests; it’s quite another thing to have a 120 lb full-grown Bullmastiff jumping up and down on you….  Even if it’s to say “Hello”!

Word of Caution

Although these are loyal and protective animals, please consider their size, particularly if you have small children.

Bullmastiffs and other family pets

The Mastiff breed can be a little tricky when it comes to other dogs. Although sociable, the animals will not tolerate other pets well – mainly if your beloved Bullmastiff is a male.  It is well known that male Mastiffs will attack other male dogs – whether they are the same breed or not.

Therefore, when purchasing your new pet, please consider this.  They also have an instinct to chase prey that hasn’t entirely been bred out of them yet. For this reason, they are not remarkably tolerant of cats, rabbits, birds, or generally any other family pet that steals their attention!

Bullmastiff Health Conditions

There are several health concerns you should also consider when choosing your Mastiff pup.

Common Bullmastiff health risks include:

  • Cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart),
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia,
  • Aortic Stenosis and stomach-turning or Gastric Dilation (Bloat).
  • It is advised that your Bull Mastiff dog be x-rayed every two years for problems in the hips and shoulders, although signs of Dysplasia will not be visible until the dog turns two.
  • They are also in the high-risk category for Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which can cause blindness, particularly in older dogs.

Because of these issues…

Suppose you want to ensure you buy your Bullmastiff puppy from a reputable breeder. In that case, contacting trusted agencies such as The American Bull Mastiff Association and the American Kennel Club is crucial. These organizations can provide lists of properly evaluated and vetted Bullmastiff breeders.

Once you have found a good breeder, could you ask them for appropriate documentation? They should have written confirmation from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation, clearing your pup’s parents of hip or elbow dysplasia, heart and thyroid disease, and eye problems like Progressive Retinal Atrophy.  A knowledgeable Bullmastiff breeder may also provide you with the puppy’s parents’ DNA information and a certificate from the American Temperament Test Society.

At the very least, please make sure that you can closely observe the parents of your prospective Bullmastiff puppy. This will allow you to assess firsthand that the mother and father are solid and healthy examples of the breed.

Lastly, if you decide to purchase a Bullmastiff puppy instead of adopting an adult from a rescue center, consider the cost of buying a pet insurance policy for them. As previously mentioned, Bullmastiffs are prone to various costly medical conditions, and having insurance coverage can alleviate potential financial burdens in the future.


Wouldn’t you rather be able to use your Pet Insurance coverage to help pay some of this costly bill vs. paying cash or putting it on a credit card?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “Best” pet insurance policies, please check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Bob December 13, 2021, 6:54 am

    I will love to know how to train my mastiff to be calm and obedient

  • Andrea January 29, 2024, 6:18 am

    We own a very spoiled 16 month old Bullmastiff puppy and he is obedient, well most of the time. We have had to establish who was the boss when our puppy was about 6 months by teaching him boundaries by firm, repetitive and consistent commands and using our tone of voice to reprimand him. There are times when he pretends he can’t hear you but after repeating the commands 3 or 4 times he does listen. When told to STAY in a firm tone of voice, he will immediately stop whatever he is up to and stand still, absolutely necessary command as this breed like to chase after other animals, i.e., my neighbour’s cats.

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