• 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.


Bullmastiff dog breed picture
8 - 10 years
24 - 27 inches
100 - 130 pounds
Bullmastiff Traits
  • Jogging Partner
    1 out of 5
  • Lap Dog
    1 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    2 out of 5
  • Warm Weather
    2 out of 5
  • Cold Weather
    3 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    2 out of 5
  • Shedding
    3 out of 5
  • Barking
    1 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    1 out of 5