Lifespan: 8 - 10 years

Height: 24 - 27 inches

Weight: 100 - 130 pounds

Bullmastiff Traits
  • Jogging Partner

    Trait Rating: 1 of 5
  • Lap Dog

    Trait Rating: 1 of 5
  • Good with Children

    Trait Rating: 2 of 5
  • Warm Weather

    Trait Rating: 2 of 5
  • Cold Weather

    Trait Rating: 3 of 5
  • Grooming Requirements

    Trait Rating: 2 of 5
  • Shedding

    Trait Rating: 3 of 5
  • Barking

    Trait Rating: 1 of 5
  • Ease of Training

    Trait Rating: 1 of 5


  • Occasional references to crosses between mastiff-type dogs and bull-baiting dogs can be found as early as the late 1700s, but no evidence exists that these crosses were perpetuated.
  • The documented history of the bullmastiff traces to the late 1800s. Gamekeepers for large estates in England needed a courageous dog to catch and subdue poachers on their land. The dog was to creep up silently and subdue, but not maul, the trespasser. The cross between a mastiff and bulldog provided a dog that combined the speed and strength to do the job.
  • The breed was so adept at its work that it was dubbed the "gamekeeper's night dog."
  • Dark brindle was preferred because it blended into the darkness at night.
  • Lighter fawns later became popular with estate owners who wanted a flashy looking guardian reminiscent of a mastiff.
  • Breeders eventually aimed for a pure breeding strain that had the appearance of being 60 percent mastiff and 40 percent bulldog.
  • The Kennel Club in England recognized the breed in 1924; the AKC recognized it in 1933.

Bullmastiff Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a loyal and protective companion.
  • Gentle and generally good with children, but may be overly protective of them when around strangers. As with all large dogs, dogs and children should always be supervised.
  • Devoted.
  • Not easily roused, but fearless when the situation calls for it.
  • Tends to be suspicious of strangers. Early socialization is essential.
  • Not very friendly toward strange dogs.
  • Good with other pets.
  • Tends to be stubborn. Rebels against forceful methods.
  • Does best with a firm owner who can combine reward-based training with good control and leadership.

Bullmastiff Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a calm and well-mannered housedog.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a moderate walk or short jog.
  • The bullmastiff prefers cold weather to warm.
  • Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.

Bullmastiff Grooming

  • Coat is short, straight, and coarse.
  • The coat needs only occasional brushing, once every week or so, to remove dead hair.
  • Deep facial wrinkles may need cleaning and drying.
  • Shedding is average.
  • Be prepared for drool.

Suggested Bullmastiff Nutritional Needs

  • Bullmastiffs tend to stay in good weight or be slightly overweight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.

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