The Mighty Bullmastiff: Get to Know the Breed

Bullmastiffs are known for their gentle and affectionate demeanor, making them excellent companions for the right active family.

Updated December 13, 2023

The bullmastiff is a wonderfully large and loving dog breed, brimming with affection and loyalty. But before you bring one home, there are some things you need to know so you can be fully prepared. Check out our fast facts about this beautiful breed to see if a deeper dive into this breed is a fit for you.

Bullmastiffs Are Known for Courage and Strength

The bullmastiff was the result of a deliberate crossbreeding between the robust and fearless bulldog and the larger, more powerful mastiff. The goal of this selective breeding was to create a dog that combined the bulldog's tenacity and courage with the size and strength of the mastiff.

Need to Know

The bullmastiff was bred to be quick, fearless, and quiet in their duties, unlike other breeds that bark loudly.

Bullmastiffs Weren't Bred to Attack

In addition to being bred for silence, bullmastiffs were not bred to be aggressive. Their quiet nature was (and still is) meant to hold intruders in place until their owner could arrive.

A Rockefeller Brought Bullmastiffs to the US

John D. Rockefeller introduced the Bullmastiff to the United States in the 1920s, using them to guard his estate.

Bullmastiffs Are Giant Babies

With hearts as big as their 130-pound frames, these lovable dogs are fondly called 'gentle giants' for their warm and tender nature.

Their grand size might seem intimidating, but bullmastiffs are cherished for their sweet and calm temperament. That said, the American Kennel Club notes these are high energy dogs, so need constant outlets to appropriately exercise, or they might get frustrated and find inappropriate ways to do so.

They're Low Maintenance for Grooming

These beauties are recognized for being easy to care for, needing just basic grooming. Their greatest needs are love, attention, exercise, and social interaction, similar to many other dog breeds.

Need to Know

The bullmastiff develops strong emotional bonds to their families and prefers to be around them as much as possible.

Bullmastiffs Have Needs, Like All Dog Breeds

While there are worries about aggression in this breed, this typically only arises if they're not given proper socialization and exercise — a common issue across all dog breeds. The concern is slightly more pronounced with large breeds like the bullmastiff, due to their strength and size.

However, when given the right amount of exercise, attention, and social interaction, just like any other breed, these dogs blossom into amazing and devoted family members, full of love and loyalty.

The Drool is For Real

With their adorably big cheeks and giant mouths, they're quite the slobber champions! You'll often catch their drool in action, especially after a good gulp of water, during their fun exercise time, or when they're eagerly waiting for a yummy treat. It's all part of the lovable package with these big-hearted giants.

Quick Tip

Bring a rag along when you go places in case you have to wipe up some slobber.

Bullmastiffs Believe They're Lapdogs

Charming bullmastiffs often seem to forget just how big they really are compared to their human pals. In their hearts, they're convinced they're the ultimate lapdogs, always looking for the coziest spot for cuddles and affection, be it on your lap or snugly on your feet. 

Quick Tip

Brace for a gentle love avalanche when these adorable giants decide it's snuggle time.

If You Have Small Children

Bullmastiffs are fantastic with kids, often showering them with tons of love and cuddles. But they aren't usually recommended for homes with small children. It's not because they're not gentle. It's because during their love and cuddles, they could accidentally knock them over. Remember, these pups are the size of a lot of adult humans, so a rambunctious giant pup and a rambunctious little kiddo might not be a great mix.

Bullmastiffs Are Prone to Large Breed Health Issues

Much like other big-hearted, large dog breeds, our beloved bullmastiffs are more susceptible to certain health issues like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, some forms of cancer, and a tendency towards obesity. The right diet can go a long way when it comes to your bullmastiff's health and overall well-being. 

Bullmastiff Crosses Are Common

Crossbreeding between different dog breeds is becoming more popular as a way to blend the best traits from each breed into their adorable offspring. Common bullmastiff crosses include:

Bullmastiff x American Staffordshire Terrier

The American staffy bullmastiff mix is deeply devoted and often more playful than the purebred bullmastiff, varying in size from medium to extra-large.

Bullmastiff x German Shepherd

The bullmastiff shepherd is beyond loyal, but the combination of two stubborn breeds can make them hard to train. 

Bullmastiff x Golden Retriever

The golden bullmastiff retriever is a lovable slobberer with an even bigger heart. This sweet mix often weighs in between 85-110 pounds, making it a bit easier to guess their size compared to other blends, adding to their charming predictability.

Bullmastiff x Great Dane

The bull daniff is a gentle giant of a breed, tipping the scales at up to 190 pounds. They are incredibly loving companions, but it's important to note that their large size does increase their risk for health concerns, like hip dysplasia.

Need to Know

Sometimes, crossbreeds can be healthier than purebred dogs, but it's not always the case. 

Mastiff Misconceptions

There are a few misunderstandings surrounding the affectionate bullmastiff breed, including:

Myth: They Aren't Responsive to Training

Bullmastiffs can be stubborn, but they are responsive to training with positive reinforcement. 

Myth: They Need Tons of Land to Roam

Some dog lovers think this breed needs to be on a farm, but they're actually quite adaptable and can do well in apartments. 

Are They the Breed for You?

Just like with any other breed you might be considering, it's important to compare the personality traits and needs of the bullmastiff to see if they're the perfect fit for your home. Should you decide to embrace the wonderful journey of dog ownership, exploring local rescue organizations is a good place to start.

Quick Tip

If you're considering a bullmastiff, reach out to a breed rescue, like The American Bullmastiff Association, to learn more about whether a bullmastiff is the best fit for your family.

Don't hesitate to ask questions and really get to know the individual dog to see if they're the one you're searching for before making the exciting commitment to sign those adoption papers.

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The Mighty Bullmastiff: Get to Know the Breed