Bullmastiffs are powerfully built, and their imposing size gives them an intimidating look. One even kept Sylvester Stallone's character company while he trained in the film Rocky. But this dog is a lover, not a biter.
Originally from England, this large and medium-energy breed can grow to between 100-130 pounds and lives an average of 8-10 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Guardian, Companion
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 8-10 years
Size: Extra Large
Bark Factor: Rarely barks, if ever
AKC RANKING 48
FAMILY livestock dog, mastiff (bulldog)
AREA OF ORIGIN England
DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION estate guardian
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 25-27 Weight: 110-130
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 24-26 Weight: 100-120
OTHER NAME none
Energy level Low energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Not very playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Shy
Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Very protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BULLMASTIFF'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Bullmastiffs are calm and polite housemates (if you don't count the drool). They love being part of a family. These dogs are playful and gentle with children, but might be protective of your little ones around strangers. Socialization is important. As with any breed, be sure to supervise play with this dog and kids.
Bullmastiffs can be a bit lazy, but don't believe them if they tell you they don't need a walk. This breed should get daily exercise. They don't have to run for miles, but a short jog or a moderate walk every day is important.
WHAT IS BULLMASTIFF BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These dogs make for constant companions and excellent guardians. They are devoted, fearless, and protective house dogs. They're not usually very prone to barking.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BULLMASTIFF?
Bullmastiffs know their own minds; however, they're are also people-pleasers. This is a trainable breed, but you can't bully a Bullmastiff. Be patient and consistent while training. These sensitive dogs respond well to structure and rewards.
Socialize your pup early and often so they can get used to being around strangers and other dogs. Obedience training will help them be good canine citizens and keep their minds active. They can be chewy, so make sure to be thoughtful with toys.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BULLMASTIFFS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Grooming is relatively easy with a Bullmastiff. Their short single coats are coarse and straight. They're average shedders. Brush them about once a week, and be sure to clean and dry out those deep wrinkles to avoid infection. You might want to bring a towel or dog-safe wet wipe with you to deal with the drool.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BULLMASTIFFS HAVE?
Though generally a healthy breed, some Bullmastiffs are prone to cancer, bloat, and hip dysplasia.
Feeding your baby Bullmastiff a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature, and may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE BULLMASTIFFS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Bullmastiffs among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Bullmastiff! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A BULLMASTIFF'S BEST DAY?
A sunny day in the back yard with you and your immediate family would be this pup's idea of bliss. Just tell the neighbor's dog to stay inside.
SHOULD I ADOPT A BULLMASTIFF?
This breed is droopy in the heat and drooly all the time, so if you're a Southerner or super tidy, this is probably not the dog for you.
They're fine in cold weather and lower energy levels mean your Bullmastiff needs less space than you might expect. Combined with their reluctance to bark, their relaxed natures mean they make surprisingly good apartment dogs. Northern city-dwellers looking for a strong, lovable sidekick who will always have your back — the Bullmastiff could be your new best buddy.
Have you decided that a Bullmastiff is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.