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Bullmastiff… Your Guide to the Best Care for your Dog

bullmastiff dog breed

Are you thinking about possibly adopting a Bullmastiff?  If so, chances are, you’re about to adopt a great pet that will not only be great guard dog but will also be a loyal and friendly companion for life.

That said however…

There are a few things you’ll want to know about the Bullmastiff breed before you make your decision, 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 ones, they’re just not great ones 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.


Without further ado, let’s first take a look at the origins of the Bullmastiff breed so that we can get a better understanding of its original purpose and how that purpose will guide its behaviour today.

Origin of the Bullmastiff dog breed

Bullmastiffs were originally bred by rich land owners in England at the end of the 19th century as a way 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 gamekeeper’s safety .

In light of this danger…

The landowners chose to take the Mastiff breed that 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.  That said, these lovable giants still retain the same qualities that made them so valuable in the past, which is mainly their incredible loyalty and bravery.

Bullmastiff Size

Bull Mastiff’s are large dogs that are very muscular and broad. The average Mastiff weighs between a hundred and a hundred and thirty pounds, and is a powerhouse of energy once they get started!

In general…

You’ll find that Bullmastiff 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, don’t need a ton of exercise.   Sure, they’ll enjoy going for a daily stroll, but they’re not going to require a huge amount of exercise, as their general disposition is somewhat relaxed.


If you love going for long hikes or a looking for a companion to go on evening runs with you, deciding to adopt a Bullmastiff might not be the right fit for you.

Also, because Bullmastiffs don’t do all that well in warm climates, if you do live in parts of the country where it tends to get really hot, you might want to avoid this dog breed.

Oh…And have we mentioned that they tend to slobber quite a bit and some will SNORE!

That said…

There is a reason why Bullmastiffs are so popular.  At the end of the day, you’re Bull is likely to be a truly devoted animal who will love and protect his or her family to their very last breath.

So, as long as they have been consistently and firmly trained, and socialized from a young age, your Bullmastiff is likely to become a great addition to your family.

Bullmastiff’s are HUGE bundles of love – and we really want to stress the HUGE part!

And while they can be kept in an apartment successfully, be warned that their size will have you tripping over them day and night!

They’re also… Very family orientated, so keeping them outside is a no-no. Try not to exclude your Bull.

Just because he is huge doesn’t mean that he or she isn’t a teddy bear looking to snuggle up with you!  So be sure to nourish his or her kind streak with lots of love.

Bullmastiff Training and Obedience

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

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

Word of Caution

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

Bullmastiff and other family pets

When it comes to other dogs the Mastiff breed can be a little tricky. Although sociable, the animal’s will not tolerate other pets well – particularly 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 take this into consideration.

They also have a natural instinct to chase prey that hasn’t quite been bred out of them yet. For this reason, they are not particularly tolerant of cats, rabbits, birds, or generally any other family pet that steals their attention!

Bullmastiff health conditions

There are a number of 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 you get your Bull Mastiff dog 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…

You want to be absolutely certain that you are buying your Bullmastiff puppy from a reputable breeder, you should contact agencies with an already well-established reputation such as The American Bull Mastiff association and/or the American Kennel Club, both of whom can direct you towards their own lists of properly evaluated and vetted Bullmastiff breeders.


Once you have located a desirable breeder you should then ask them for appropriate documentation. They should have written confirmation from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation – both of which should clear your pup’s parents of any hip or elbow dysplasia, heart and thyroid disease or eye problems (in particular Progressive Retinal Atrophy.)

If the Bullmastiff breeder is well versed they might also be able to provide you with the puppy’s parent’s DNA and also provide a certificate from the American Temperament Test Society.

And at the very least…

Be sure that you can get a really good look at the parents or your prospective Bullmastiff puppy so that you can see first hand that both the mother and father or your puppy are strong and healthy examples of the breed.

Then lastly…

If it does turn out that you do decide to purchase a Bullmastiff puppy rather than adopt an adult from a Bullmastiff rescue center, be sure to also check out what it wold cost you to purchase a Pet Insurance policy for him or her.

You see, as we’ve already mentioned, even in the best circumstances, the Bullmastiff breed is prone to suffer from a variety of costly medical conditions which could become a significant burden to you two or three years from now.


Wouldn’t you rather be able to use your Pet Insurance coverage to help pay some of these 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 in the industry, feel free to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Bob December 13, 2021, 6:54 am

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

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