Bullmastiff: Friendly Giant and Loyal Companion Guide

August 21, 2023

If you're looking for a gentle and loyal companion, the Bullmastiff is an ideal breed to consider. These dogs are known for their friendly nature and protective instincts, making them well-suited for families with children or other pets. In this guide, we'll provide an in-depth look at the Bullmastiff breed, covering their history, size and appearance, temperament, care, training, grooming, and health concerns. We'll also offer guidance on finding reputable breeders and adoption options, and answer common questions about this wonderful breed.

Bullmastiff dog in the city

Key Takeaways

  • The Bullmastiff is a friendly and loyal breed that makes an excellent companion for families with children or other pets.
  • They have a history as gamekeepers' companions and were developed in England.
  • Bullmastiffs are muscular and have a distinctive appearance, with an average height and weight that make them a sizable breed.
  • Their calm and confident personality traits make them an ideal family dog, with a gentle and protective nature around children and other pets.
  • Proper care, nutrition, exercise, training, and grooming will help ensure a healthy and happy Bullmastiff.
  • Common health concerns for Bullmastiffs include hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and certain genetic conditions.
  • It's important to find a reputable breeder or adoption center and carefully evaluate options when bringing a Bullmastiff into your home.

The History and Origin of the Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff breed has a rich history, originating in England in the mid-1800s. The breed was developed by gamekeepers to assist in the protection of large estates from poachers. They needed a dog that was strong, brave, and loyal, but also quiet and able to work independently when necessary.

To create the Bullmastiff, breeders crossed the English Mastiff, known for its imposing size, with the agile and tenacious Bulldog. The result was a dog that possessed all the necessary traits for its intended purpose. The Bullmastiff was so effective at its job that it quickly gained popularity outside of gamekeeping circles and became a recognized breed in its own right by the turn of the century.

Over time, the Bullmastiff's popularity spread to other parts of the world, including the United States, where it was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934. Today, the Bullmastiff is a beloved companion dog and a popular choice for families due to its friendly and gentle nature.

Bullmastiff: The Perfect Family Dog

The Bullmastiff is a large breed, weighing between 100-130 pounds and standing at an average height of 24-27 inches. While their size may seem imposing, they are actually known for their gentle, affectionate nature, making them the perfect family dog.

Their protective instincts paired with their calm and confident temperament create a loyal and loving companion who will always keep your family safe.

Bullmastiffs are particularly great around children as they are patient and kind, making them an excellent addition to families with young kids. They also get along well with other pets, making them easy to integrate into any household.

Bullmastiff Size and Appearance

The Bullmastiff is a large, muscular breed that typically stands at around 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 100 and 130 pounds. These dogs have a short, dense coat that can be fawn, red, or brindle in color.

One of the most notable features of the Bullmastiff is its wrinkled forehead, which gives these dogs a serious and dignified expression. They also have a broad, powerful head with a short, square muzzle, and their ears are v-shaped and set high on the head.

Bullmastiffs are often compared to their close relatives, the English Mastiff and the Boxer. However, while they share some physical traits with these breeds, Bullmastiffs have their own distinct appearance and unique personality.

Bullmastiff Temperament and Personality Traits

The Bullmastiff is widely recognized as a calm and confident breed, known for its protective nature, loyalty, and affection towards family members. Here are some of the key temperament and personality traits that make the Bullmastiff such a beloved companion:

  • Gentle nature: Despite their large and imposing size, Bullmastiffs are known for their gentle and patient nature, especially around children. They have a natural instinct to protect their family and will often act as a guardian when necessary.
  • Confidence: Bullmastiffs are known for their self-assured demeanor and are not easily intimidated. This makes them excellent guard dogs, as they are alert and ready to defend their territory if needed.
  • Loyal and affectionate: Bullmastiffs thrive on human companionship and are known for their deep bonds with their family members. They are highly affectionate towards their loved ones and will often follow them around the house to show their devotion.

While the Bullmastiff can have a protective and fearless side, it's important to note that aggression is not a typical trait of the breed. Proper training and socialization can help ensure that your Bullmastiff is a well-behaved and well-adjusted companion.

If you're looking for a loyal and affectionate companion who also makes a great guard dog, the Bullmastiff may be the right breed for you.

Bullmastiff Care: Nutrition and Exercise

Proper nutrition and exercise are essential for the health and happiness of your Bullmastiff. As a large breed, they require a specific diet and exercise routine to maintain a healthy weight and prevent health issues. Here are some tips for taking care of your Bullmastiff.

Bullmastiff Nutrition

Bullmastiffs require a high-quality, protein-rich diet to support their muscular build and active lifestyle. Look for dog food that contains real meat as the first ingredient and has a balance of carbohydrates and fats. Avoid foods with fillers, by-products, and artificial ingredients.

The recommended daily amount of food for a Bullmastiff is approximately 4-6 cups, divided into two meals. However, this can vary depending on their age, weight, and activity level. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the optimal feeding amount for your Bullmastiff.

Bullmastiff Exercise

Bullmastiffs are active dogs that require regular exercise to keep them healthy and prevent obesity. A daily walk or two is recommended, along with plenty of playtime and room to run around in a securely fenced yard.

However, it's important to not over-exercise Bullmastiffs, especially during the puppy stage when their bones are still developing. Avoid activities that involve jumping or high impact exercises until they reach maturity at around 18-24 months.

Additional Bullmastiff Care Tips

  • Provide fresh and clean water at all times.
  • Keep your Bullmastiff's living area clean and free of debris.
  • Regularly trim their nails and brush their teeth to maintain their overall health.
  • Ensure they receive regular vet check-ups and vaccinations.

By following these guidelines for Bullmastiff care, you can help ensure your furry companion stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Training Your Bullmastiff: Tips and Techniques

Training your Bullmastiff is essential to ensure they remain obedient and well-behaved. These gentle giants can be stubborn at times, which is why training should start as early as possible. Here are some tips and techniques to help you train your Bullmastiff effectively:


Socialization is crucial for Bullmastiffs. They need to be exposed to various social situations, people, and other animals to ensure they become well-adjusted, friendly, and confident dogs. Starting socialization early is key to success. Introduce them to new people and animals in a controlled environment, and reward them when they respond positively.

Positive Reinforcement

Bullmastiffs respond well to positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and affection. Use these to reward good behavior, and they will be more likely to repeat it. Avoid punishment-based training methods, as they can be counterproductive and lead to mistrust and fear.


Bullmastiffs thrive on consistency. Use the same commands and rewards each time you train them, and keep training sessions short and frequent. This consistency will help them learn faster and more effectively.

Obedience Training

Basic obedience training is essential for Bullmastiffs. Teach them to sit, stay, come, and heel using positive reinforcement methods. Being able to control your Bullmastiff in different situations will ensure their safety and the safety of others.

Leash Training

Bullmastiffs are large dogs and can be difficult to control on a leash if not trained properly. Use positive reinforcement methods to teach them to walk calmly on a leash, and avoid using retractable leashes as they give your Bullmastiff too much freedom and can lead to accidents.

Addressing Specific Challenges

Bullmastiffs can have some specific behavior challenges, such as separation anxiety or aggression towards other animals. If you are experiencing any of these challenges, seek help from a professional dog trainer who specializes in Bullmastiffs. They can provide you with tailored advice and techniques to help you address these issues effectively.

Training your Bullmastiff is an ongoing process that requires patience and consistency. Effective training will help ensure your Bullmastiff becomes a well-behaved and obedient companion that brings joy and happiness to your life.

Bullmastiff Grooming: Maintenance and Tips

Grooming your Bullmastiff is an important part of their care routine. While they have short, easy-to-maintain hair, proper grooming can help manage shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Here are some grooming tips to keep your Bullmastiff looking their best:

  • Regular Brushing: Brush your Bullmastiff's coat at least once a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Use a soft-bristled brush or a grooming glove to gently stroke their coat and help distribute natural oils.
  • Bathing: Bathe your Bullmastiff every 2-3 months or as needed. Use a dog-specific shampoo and conditioner, and rinse thoroughly to avoid any skin irritation. Towel-dry your Bullmastiff and use a blow dryer on a low setting to finish drying their coat.
  • Nail Trimming: Keep your Bullmastiff's nails trimmed to prevent discomfort and potential injury. Use a dog nail clipper or grinder and be careful not to cut too close to the quick, which can cause bleeding and pain.
  • Cleaning Ears: Clean your Bullmastiff's ears regularly with a gentle ear cleaner and cotton ball. Be careful not to insert anything into their ear canal, which can cause damage. Consult with your vet if you notice any signs of infection or discharge.

Pro Tip: Regular grooming can also be an opportunity to bond with your Bullmastiff and show them some extra love and attention.

By following these grooming tips, you can help keep your Bullmastiff healthy and comfortable while enhancing their natural beauty and shine.

Bullmastiff Common Health Issues

Bullmastiffs are a generally healthy breed, but like all dogs, they are susceptible to certain health issues. As responsible owners, it's important to be aware of these conditions and take preventative measures to ensure your Bullmastiff has a long, healthy life.


Bloat, also known as gastric torsion, is a potentially deadly condition that occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. This can prevent proper blood flow and cause the stomach tissue to die. Symptoms of bloat include restlessness, bloating, and a swollen abdomen. If you suspect your Bullmastiff has bloat, seek emergency veterinary care immediately.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia are genetic conditions that affect many large breeds, Bullmastiffs included. These conditions occur when the joints do not fit together correctly, which can cause pain, arthritis, and lameness. To reduce the risk of hip and elbow dysplasia, it's important to only purchase Bullmastiffs from reputable breeders who have had their breeding dogs screened for these conditions.

Eye and Heart Conditions

Bullmastiffs are also prone to certain eye and heart conditions, such as progressive retinal atrophy and cardiomyopathy. These conditions can cause vision loss and heart failure, respectively. Regular checkups with a veterinarian can help catch these conditions early and provide appropriate treatment.

Other Health Concerns

Bullmastiffs are also at risk for other health concerns, such as skin allergies, ear infections, and cancer. Regular grooming and cleaning routines, such as ear cleaning and regular baths, can help reduce the risk of these conditions.

Overall, Bullmastiffs are a healthy breed, but it's important to be aware of these potential health issues. Regular veterinary checkups, proper nutrition, and preventative measures can help ensure your Bullmastiff has a long and healthy life.

Bullmastiff with kids

Bullmastiff: Finding a Breeder or Adoption Option

When it comes to finding your perfect Bullmastiff companion, there are two primary options: finding a reputable breeder or adopting from a rescue or adoption center. Both options have their pros and cons, so it's important to weigh them carefully before making a decision.

Finding a Breeder

If you decide to go with a breeder, it's essential to find a reputable one who adheres to ethical breeding practices. A good breeder will be transparent about their breeding program and willing to answer any questions you may have.

Here are some tips to help you find a reputable Bullmastiff breeder:

  1. Start by researching breeders online. Look for breeders who are registered with reputable breed organizations such as the American Kennel Club.
  2. Read reviews and testimonials from previous buyers to gauge their experience with the breeder.
  3. Ask the breeder for references or contacts for previous buyers.
  4. Visit the breeder's location to evaluate the living conditions of the dogs and puppies and verify their credentials.
  5. Ask the breeder about genetic testing and health screenings they perform on their breeding dogs.

Adopting a Bullmastiff

Adopting a Bullmastiff can be a rewarding experience for both you and the dog. However, it's important to remember that rescue dogs may have a history of abuse, neglect, or abandonment that can affect their behavior and temperament. It's crucial to evaluate the dog's history and behavior before making a decision.

Here are some tips to help you adopt a Bullmastiff:

  1. Start by researching reputable rescue centers and adoption agencies in your area.
  2. Read reviews and testimonials from previous adopters to gauge their experience with the center.
  3. Ask the center for information about the dog's history, behavior, and medical records.
  4. Ask the center if they offer behavioral assessment and training programs.
  5. Visit the center to meet the dog and assess their temperament and behavior in person.

Whichever option you choose, take your time to make an informed decision. A Bullmastiff can be a wonderful addition to your family and provide you with years of loyalty and companionship.

Bullmastiff: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you're considering bringing a Bullmastiff into your home, you likely have questions about their temperament, care requirements, and more. Here are some frequently asked questions about Bullmastiffs:

What is the temperament of a Bullmastiff?

Bullmastiffs are known for their gentle and protective nature, making them great family pets. They are also loyal and affectionate towards their owners.

Do Bullmastiffs get along with children?

Yes, Bullmastiffs are great with children and make excellent family pets. They have a natural instinct to protect their family members, including children.

How much exercise does a Bullmastiff need?

Bullmastiffs are moderately active and require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They benefit from brisk walks and playtime in a fenced yard or other safe area.

What kind of grooming do Bullmastiffs require?

Bullmastiffs have short, dense coats that require minimal grooming. They should be brushed weekly and bathed as needed. Nail trimming and dental care are also important for their overall health.

Do Bullmastiffs have any health issues?

Like all dog breeds, Bullmastiffs are prone to certain health issues, including hip and elbow dysplasia and bloat. It's important to work with a reputable breeder and schedule regular vet check-ups to maintain your Bullmastiff's health.

Where can I find a Bullmastiff?

You can find Bullmastiffs through reputable breeders or adoption centers. It's important to do your research and ask questions to ensure you're working with a responsible breeder or rescue organization.

Bullmastiff: A Lifetime of Love and Companionship

A Bullmastiff isn't just a pet, it's a lifelong companion. These gentle giants become loyal members of their human families, offering love, protection, and companionship throughout their lives.

From their puppyhood to their senior years, Bullmastiffs are known for their unwavering loyalty, calm demeanor, and gentle nature. Their size and appearance may be intimidating, but they are incredibly affectionate and make excellent family dogs.

As a Bullmastiff owner, you'll experience a bond that is strong and enduring. Your Bullmastiff will be by your side through thick and thin, providing comfort and support whenever you need it. Their friendly and loyal nature has made them a favorite among dog lovers and families for generations.

It's no wonder that Bullmastiffs are known as the "gentle giants" of the dog world. They have everything you could want in a dog: loyalty, affection, and an unwavering devotion to their human family. Adopting a Bullmastiff is an investment in a lifetime of love, companionship, and happiness.

Bullmastiff: A Lifetime of Love and Companionship

After reading this guide, it's easy to see why the Bullmastiff is such a beloved breed. Their friendly and loyal nature, combined with their gentle temperament and protective instincts, make them the perfect addition to any family.

Bullmastiffs Are Lifetime Friends

Whether you're looking for a faithful companion for your children, a loyal guard dog to protect your home, or simply a furry friend to share your daily adventures with, the Bullmastiff is sure to provide a lifetime of love and companionship.

Bullmastiffs Are Loyal to Their Family

Bullmastiffs are known for their unwavering loyalty to their family, making them a popular choice for many households. They are gentle with children and are often described as having a "heart of gold."

The Bullmastiff Will Always Be By Your Side

With their affectionate nature and protective instincts, Bullmastiffs are sure to become loyal companions for life. Whether you're out on a walk, relaxing at home, or simply spending time together, your Bullmastiff will always be by your side.

Overall, the Bullmastiff breed is a wonderful choice for anyone looking for a furry friend who will bring love and companionship into their lives. With their friendly and loyal nature, gentle temperament, and protective instincts, it's no wonder why so many people have fallen in love with this breed. If you're considering bringing a Bullmastiff into your home, we hope this guide has provided you with valuable information to make an informed decision.


Q: Are Bullmastiffs good with children?

A: Yes, Bullmastiffs are known for their gentle and protective nature around children.

Q: Can Bullmastiffs get along with other pets?

A: Yes, Bullmastiffs can generally get along with other pets if properly socialized.

Q: How big do Bullmastiffs get?

A: Bullmastiffs are a large breed, with males typically weighing between 110 to 130 pounds and females weighing between 100 to 120 pounds.

Q: What is the temperament of a Bullmastiff?

A: Bullmastiffs are calm, confident, and protective. They are loyal and affectionate towards their family.

Q: What kind of exercise does a Bullmastiff need?

A: Bullmastiffs require moderate exercise, such as daily walks and playtime in a secure area.

Q: How should I groom a Bullmastiff?

A: Bullmastiffs have a short coat that is easy to maintain. Regular brushing and occasional bathing are recommended.

Q: What are common health issues in Bullmastiffs?

A: Common health issues in Bullmastiffs include hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and certain genetic conditions. Regular vet check-ups and preventive care can help manage these issues.

Q: How can I find a reputable Bullmastiff breeder or adoption center?

A: When looking for a Bullmastiff, it is important to research and choose a reputable breeder or adoption center. Ask for recommendations from breed clubs or organizations and visit the facility before making a decision.

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