Let's talk Bullmastiffs

Noble and steadfast, the Bullmastiff is an imposing dog who makes an impression on everyone they meet. Their powerful appearance is deceiving, as, although definitely strong, the breed is famed for their gentle manner. Okay, and the drool, too. But the Bullmastiff’s roots as a watchdog also make them a hugely devoted companion, so much so that the Bullmastiff does not treasure their alone time. As the name suggests, the breed came about as a cross between the Old English Bulldog and the Mastiff.

Official name: Bullmastiff

Origins: United Kingdom

 Drooling tendencies

 Very high

 Warm weather?
 Shedding level    Suited to apartment living ? Very low
 Energy level*  High  Family pet?* High
 Compatibility with other pets    Can stay alone?* Very low

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

64 - 69 cm Height
49 - 59 kg Weight
61 - 66 cm Height
41 - 50 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 8 months
 Adult age 8 months to 2 years  
 Mature age  2 to 5 years
 Senior age  From 5 years


Get to know the Bullmastiff

All you need to know about the breed

The Bullmastiff is an unmistakable breed of dog:  Large, confident, and content, call it good breeding or an act of nature but this is a dog that takes it all in stride. A beloved family pet who has a strapping presence. At an average 120 pounds (55kg) and equipped with a massive and muscular body, the breed is equal parts guarder and adorer. Originating in mid-19th-Century England, the dog was developed on the great estates in the countryside, their strong and courageous abilities well-suited to guarding gameland against poachers. They are, as one might assume, a cross between the Bulldog and the Mastiff.

The Bullmastiff breed quickly earned a reputation for being large and in charge but also as an affectionate and docile dog, one that remains cherished by families today. Those with small children however should take care as a bulky breed like this could mistakenly send them for a tumble. As a resident canine, the breed must be well-socialised from the start. They are known to be dependable and warmhearted but a dog as large as the Bullmastiff needs firm discipline in order to develop correctly.

Graced with a compact physicality, the Bullmastiff is healthy but needs to be kept so. As part of the brachycephalic family, they possess a shortened nose and snout, thus are prone to respiratory problems. Their heavy skeletal system is the … ahem ... biggest factor to keep in mind, as the support system for their substantial musculature. Obesity should be avoided as it increases the workload on joints. Make sure to feed them sound nutrition for a long and vibrant life. They’ll return the gesture with equal parts protection and devotion.


2 facts about Bullmastiffs

1. A pinner not a bitter

A dog like the Bullmastiff could easily tackle any intruder, with their enormous strength and unyielding courage. They were bred to guard gameland on English countryside estates against poachers, but instead of chomping the intruder, they were trained to pin them to the ground … a novel idea and perhaps a less damaging one in the long run.

2. Not the longest lifespan 

Although it’s a difficult topic of conversation, the Bullmastiff’s lifespan - an estimated 7 to 9 years - is something that needs to be thought through for new owners. As a large breed, this is the state of play when it comes to their genetic makeup. Keep your Bullmastiff as healthy as possible - your vet can help! - for a robust life all around.


History of the breed

The mastiff-type dog has existed for millenia, marked by a large limbs and a sturdy body flowing with muscles; the Bullmastiff was developed most vigorously in England around the year 1860 and, as the name suggests, was a cross between the Bulldog and the Mastiff (40% to 60%), the latter of which outsizes their progeny. Initially called the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog, they were utilised on grand country estates to guard gameland against poachers - pinning them against the ground instead of doing away with them.

The Bullmastiff breed has been on a steady upward trajectory ever since, quickly earning a reputation for being affectionate and docile. They were officially recognised by The Kennel Club of England, in 1924, with the American Kennel Club following in 1933.


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Bullmastiffs

1. Ears

V-shape ears set high and wide on head, dark color matching muzzle

2. Head

Very large block-shaped head, black muzzle

3. Body

Hulking, solid body, very wide chest, hefty limbs

4. Tail

Short tail, thick at base, thinning to point at tip

5. Coat

Dense, short-haired coat


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Bullmastiff

That cute face could pose problems

The Bullmastiff has one charming muzzle, but their physicality has drawbacks: They are a brachycephalic breed - one with a flattened snout and nostrils - which can cause respiratory problems if the conditions aren’t optimum as well as runny eyes and a gaping eyelid. Protect your Bullmastiff from extreme temps, hot or cold, and maintain proper ventilation or air conditioning where necessary. Anaesthesia during surgery can be worrisome as the shortened snout can make oxygen flow difficult. Monitor your dog for breathing troubles or blockages. Make sure to always buy from a responsible breeder and to seek proper counsel from your veterinarian.

At times twisty insides

Large breeds like the Bullmastiff can have a condition called gastric dilatation and volvulus - GDV - most commonly called bloat. The condition, often abrupt, can happen after a too-quick meal where the stomach turns and fills with gas. Seek medical attention right away if it does occur as it is treatable but can be fatal. Any swelling, restlessness, or sudden discomfort are signs of GDV. Regular vet visits and careful feeding  are the best preventative as well as having quiet time two hours before and two hours after meals.


Caring for your Bullmastiff

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Bullmastiff grooming routine is a simple one as their short stiff fur requires weekly brushing to remove dead hair, and shedding in the spring and fall will be customary. Unusual hair loss has been a problem for this breed at times but can be kept in check with a healthy diet. Nails should be kept trimmed. And drool? Yes, it will happen so keep a cloth on hand for a quick clean up. Exercise is a must for this breed but take notice of the amount your dog needs as some Bullmastiffs are more sedentary than others. He will enjoy running in a large enclosed yard and taking daily walks. Training your Bullmastiff must start early:  This is a large animal and one that needs proper discipline to excel. With it, the Bullmastiff’s very affable manner will surely shine through.

All about Bullmastiffs

In a word, yes. They have double coats and that can mean quite a lot of shedding action for dogs like the Labrador. They shed their coats year-round, but even more in spring and winter. Staying on top of brushing – getting them used to twice a week brushing is a good idea – and grooming will help decrease the amount of dog hair clogging the vacuum each week.

Out of 19 different mastiff breeds, the very powerful Bullmastiff usually comes in around #5 in terms of strength. The Bullmastiff dog can grow up to 130 pounds (up to 60kg) of incredibly solid muscle mass. His strength is not to be underestimated:  This is a breed for experienced owners only and not suitable for households with small children as he could knock them over.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/