Table of Contents

The Bullmastiff is a powerful and imposing breed known for its strength, loyalty, and gentle temperament. Originally developed in England as a guard dog to deter poachers, the Bullmastiff is a cross between the Bulldog and the Mastiff. This combination resulted in a breed with a solid build, muscular physique, and a distinctive wrinkled face. Bullmastiffs are characterized by their intelligence and natural protective instincts, making them excellent family guardians.

Despite their imposing appearance, Bullmastiffs are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, especially with their families. They are generally good with children and can form strong bonds with their owners. However, early socialization and consistent training are essential to ensure they develop into well-behaved companions.

Bullmastiffs require moderate exercise and enjoy spending time with their family members, making them suitable for various living environments. Their short coat is easy to maintain, requiring regular brushing to keep it healthy and free of loose hair. Overall, the Bullmastiff is a loyal and loving breed that thrives in a family setting, providing both companionship and a watchful eye over its loved ones.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

7 to 9 years


Extra Large

Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Bullmastiff is best for families seeking a loyal and protective companion. With a gentle temperament, strong guarding instincts, and a muscular build, they make excellent family guardians while requiring moderate exercise and simple grooming. Their affectionate nature and watchful demeanor contribute to a loving and secure environment.

Bullmastiff Traits

Breed Characteristics

Bullmastiffs are characterized by their powerful build, strong muscles, and distinctive wrinkled face. Known for their loyalty and protective instincts, they make excellent guard dogs. Their gentle nature, intelligence, and suitability for families make them a well-balanced and affectionate breed.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

Bullmastiffs have a strong and imposing appearance with a solid, muscular build. Their head is broad, featuring a wrinkled forehead, and they have a distinctive short coat that comes in various colors, including fawn, red, or brindle. With a powerful stance and alert expression, Bullmastiffs showcase a blend of strength and gentle confidence.

1. Ears
Their ears are V-shaped, floppy and held close to the cheeks. Some pup parents prefer to have their pup’s ears cropped, so they stand up straight.
2. Eyes

Bullmastiffs have dark, medium-sized eyes.

3. Nose

Their noses are squished and black with large nostrils.

4. Height

Male: 25-27 in
Female: 24-26 in

5. Coat Length
The Bullmastiff dog breed’s coat is short and dense.
6. Coat Color

Their coats come in a range of colors, including red, fawn brindle (a subtle tiger stripe) and red brindle (a dark brindle), and you may even find a few gray ones. They may have a small white spot on their chests.

7. Tail

Their tails are long and may be straight or curved.

8. Weight

Male: 110-130 lbs
Female: 100-120 lbs

Bullmastiff Temperament

Bullmastiffs exhibit a balanced temperament that combines strength with gentleness. As natural protectors, they are vigilant and have a strong instinct to guard their family and territory. Their calm and composed demeanor makes them reliable companions, and their loyalty knows no bounds. This breed is known for being affectionate and forming close bonds with their owners, often displaying a gentle and patient nature, especially with children. Early training is essential to channel their protective instincts positively, ensuring they remain well-behaved and responsive to commands.

While Bullmastiffs are generally laid-back and friendly within the family, their protective instincts may lead them to be reserved around strangers. Socialization from a young age helps them become more comfortable with various people and situations. Owners of Bullmastiffs should provide consistent leadership, reinforcing the loving and disciplined aspects of their temperament. With proper guidance, these dogs thrive in a family setting, offering both companionship and a watchful eye over their loved ones.

How to Care for a Bullmastiff

Care for a Bullmastiff involves providing regular exercise to maintain their health and prevent obesity. Groom their short coat by brushing it weekly to control shedding. Ensure early socialization and consistent training for a well-behaved and balanced temperament.

Caring for grooming a Bullmastiff requires attention to their specific needs:

  1. Coat Brushing: Regularly brush their short coat to control shedding and maintain skin health. A weekly brushing routine is beneficial, with increased frequency during shedding seasons.

  2. Facial Wrinkle Cleaning: Focus on cleaning their facial wrinkles to prevent moisture buildup and skin issues. Use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt and keep these areas dry.

  3. Nail Trimming: Perform regular nail trimming every few weeks to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. Check their nails regularly, and if you hear clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim.

  4. Ear Cleaning: Clean their ears regularly to prevent wax buildup and potential infections. Use a veterinarian-recommended ear solution and cotton balls for gentle cleaning.

  5. Dental Hygiene: Maintain good dental care by brushing their teeth regularly, ideally a few times a week. Dental chews or toys can also contribute to oral health.

Incorporating these grooming practices into their routine ensures a Bullmastiff’s well-being, promotes good health, and allows for early detection of any potential issues.

Caring for the training of a Bullmastiff involves a structured and consistent approach:

  1. Early Socialization: Begin socializing your Bullmastiff from a young age to expose them to various people, environments, and situations. This helps develop a well-rounded and adaptable temperament.

  2. Basic Commands: Teach essential commands such as sit, stay, and come. Bullmastiffs are responsive to training but benefit from clear and consistent commands.

  3. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques, including treats, praise, and play, to encourage good behavior. Avoid harsh or negative methods, as Bullmastiffs respond well to positive interactions.

  4. Leash Training: Given their size and strength, leash training is crucial. Teach them to walk calmly on a leash to ensure both their safety and the handler’s control.

  5. Obedience Training: Enroll in obedience classes to reinforce training in a controlled environment. This is particularly important for a breed with protective instincts like the Bullmastiff.

Consistency, positive reinforcement, and early socialization contribute to a well-behaved and obedient Bullmastiff. Professional training classes can also provide valuable guidance and support.

Caring for the diet and nutrition of a Bullmastiff involves attention to their specific nutritional needs:

  1. High-Quality Dog Food: Provide a balanced and high-quality dog food formulated for large breeds. Ensure it contains essential nutrients such as protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

  2. Controlled Feeding: Bullmastiffs are prone to obesity, so establish a controlled feeding schedule with measured portions. Divide their daily food into two meals to prevent overeating.

  3. Avoid Overfeeding: Be mindful of treats and table scraps, as excess calories can contribute to weight gain. Maintain a healthy weight to prevent strain on their joints.

  4. Regular Vet Check-ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor their weight, overall health, and nutritional requirements. Consult with the vet to adjust the diet based on their individual needs.

  5. Fresh Water: Ensure access to fresh and clean water at all times. Hydration is essential for their overall health and well-being.

Tailoring the diet to meet the specific needs of a Bullmastiff, including portion control and regular veterinary consultations, contributes to their overall health and longevity.

Caring for the exercise needs of a Bullmastiff involves providing regular physical activity suitable for their size and strength:

  1. Moderate Exercise: Despite their large size, Bullmastiffs do not require excessive exercise. Provide daily walks and moderate playtime to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

  2. Leisurely Walks: Bullmastiffs are not known for high energy levels, so leisurely walks are beneficial. Aim for at least 30 minutes to an hour of daily exercise to maintain their health.

  3. Avoid Intense Activities: Due to their heavy build and potential joint issues, avoid high-impact exercises or intense activities. Gentle play, such as fetch or short bouts of play with other dogs, is suitable.

  4. Monitor in Hot Weather: Bullmastiffs can be sensitive to heat, so exercise them during cooler parts of the day. Be cautious in hot weather to prevent overheating.

  5. Mental Stimulation: In addition to physical exercise, provide mental stimulation through puzzle toys and interactive games to engage their intelligence.

Tailoring exercise routines to match the Bullmastiff’s moderate energy levels and monitoring their well-being during physical activities contributes to a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Caring for the ideal environment of a Bullmastiff involves creating a comfortable and safe living space:

  1. Spacious Living Area: Bullmastiffs are large dogs, so provide them with a spacious living area. Ensure they have enough room to move around comfortably, both indoors and outdoors.

  2. Secure Fencing: Due to their protective nature, secure fencing is essential to prevent them from wandering. Bullmastiffs are strong, so choose sturdy fencing to keep them contained.

  3. Comfortable Bedding: Provide a comfortable and well-padded bed, as Bullmastiffs are prone to joint issues. A supportive bed helps alleviate pressure on their joints and ensures a good night’s sleep.

  4. Shelter from Extreme Weather: Bullmastiffs are sensitive to temperature extremes. Ensure they have access to shelter during hot and cold weather to keep them comfortable.

  5. Social Interaction: Bullmastiffs thrive on social interaction. Spend quality time with them, and ensure they are not left alone for extended periods. Their loyalty makes them excellent companions.

Creating an ideal environment involves a balance of space, safety measures, comfort, and social interaction to meet the unique needs of a Bullmastiff.

Bullmastiff Health

Bullmastiffs, like all breeds, are susceptible to certain health issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive measures contribute to their overall well-being:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: Bullmastiffs are prone to hip dysplasia, a genetic condition. Regular hip evaluations and maintaining a healthy weight help manage this issue.

  2. Entropion: Keep an eye on their eyes for entropion, a condition where the eyelids roll inward. Regular eye checks and prompt veterinary attention are essential.

  3. Heart Conditions: Bullmastiffs may be susceptible to certain heart conditions. Regular veterinary examinations, including heart evaluations, aid in early detection and management.

  4. Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus): Large, deep-chested breeds like Bullmastiffs can be prone to bloat. Feed them smaller meals, avoid vigorous exercise after eating, and be cautious of bloating symptoms.

  5. Joint Issues: Due to their size, Bullmastiffs can develop joint issues. Provide joint supplements as recommended by the vet and avoid excessive strain on their joints.

  6. Cancer: Bullmastiffs may have a predisposition to certain cancers. Regular veterinary screenings and awareness of potential signs are crucial.

  7. Skin Allergies: Keep an eye on their skin for signs of allergies. Regular grooming and addressing any skin issues promptly contribute to their skin health.

Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, and attention to their specific health concerns contribute to a Bullmastiff’s overall health and longevity.

Bullmastiff Breed Comparison and Consideration

When considering a Bullmastiff, it’s important to compare them with other breeds and take specific considerations into account:

Bullmastiff vs. English Mastiff:

  • Bullmastiffs are more agile and have a slightly smaller build than English Mastiffs.
  • English Mastiffs are known for their gentle giant demeanor, while Bullmastiffs are protective and more alert.

Bullmastiff vs. Boxer:

  • Bullmastiffs and Boxers share a protective nature, but Bullmastiffs are larger and more muscular.
  • Boxers are known for their playful and energetic temperament, while Bullmastiffs are calmer.

Bullmastiff vs. Great Dane:

  • Great Danes are taller and leaner compared to Bullmastiffs.
  • Bullmastiffs have a more protective instinct, while Great Danes are known for their friendly and gentle nature.

Bullmastiff vs. Rottweiler:

  • Both breeds are protective, but Bullmastiffs are larger and have a more muscular build.
  • Rottweilers are known for their versatility and are often used in various working roles.

Considerations for Choosing a Bullmastiff:

  • Ideal for owners seeking a protective yet gentle companion.
  • Requires early socialization to ensure proper behavior.
  • Regular exercise is important to maintain their physical and mental well-being.
  • Needs a consistent and firm owner due to their strong protective instincts.

When choosing a Bullmastiff, it’s crucial to consider factors such as size, temperament, and exercise requirements, ensuring they align with your lifestyle and preferences.


Bullmastiffs are known for their protective nature, but their temperament differs from breeds like Rottweilers or German Shepherds. They are often described as gentle giants with a strong sense of loyalty.

Due to their short coat, Bullmastiffs are relatively low-maintenance in terms of grooming. However, their facial wrinkles may require special attention to prevent skin issues. Regular cleaning of these areas is essential.

While Bullmastiffs can adapt to apartment living with sufficient exercise, their large size may pose challenges. They thrive in environments with ample space, making them better suited for homes with yards.

Bullmastiffs are generally good with children, displaying a protective and gentle nature. Early socialization is key to ensure positive interactions. Supervision is recommended, especially due to their size.

Bullmastiffs may be prone to hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and certain cancers. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight contribute to their overall well-being.

Top Takeaways

  1. Gentle Guardians: Bullmastiffs are known for their gentle and protective nature, making them ideal family guardians.

  2. Low-Maintenance Grooming: Despite their size, Bullmastiffs have a short coat, making grooming relatively easy. Regular cleaning of facial wrinkles is important.

  3. Space Requirements: While adaptable to apartment living with proper exercise, Bullmastiffs thrive in homes with ample space, especially yards.

  4. Child-Friendly: Bullmastiffs generally get along well with children, displaying a protective and gentle demeanor. Early socialization is key.

  5. Health Considerations: Owners should be aware of potential health issues such as hip dysplasia and heart conditions. Regular vet check-ups and a balanced diet are essential.

  6. Experienced Ownership: Bullmastiffs benefit from consistent training and are better suited for experienced owners due to their protective instincts and size.

  7. Regular Exercise: Daily walks and playtime are crucial for their physical and mental well-being. Avoid excessive exercise, especially in hot weather.

  8. Reserved Around Strangers: Bullmastiffs tend to be reserved around strangers, showcasing their protective instincts. Socialization from an early age is vital.

  9. Moderate Drooling: While they may drool, it’s not excessive. Proper grooming, including keeping facial wrinkles dry, helps manage any drooling.

  10. Unique Combination: Bullmastiffs stand out for their unique combination of strength and gentleness, making them effective guardians without unnecessary aggression.

Top Bullmastiff Names

These are the top Bullmastiff names as chosen by Pawstray pet parents!

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