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

Labrador Retriever adult black and white
 Drooling tendencies

 Very high

 Warm weather?
 Shedding level    Suited to apartment living ? Very low
 Energy level (high, low, medium) *:  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’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

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

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

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.

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Illustration of a Bullmastiff
64 - 69 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
49 - 59 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
61 - 66 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
41 - 50 kg translations.feature.breeds.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

Bullmastiff stood in a sports field


Origins of the breed

For many enthusiasts, the Labrador Retriever remains one of the most popular all-round dogs worldwide. It’s thought that Labrador Retrievers originated from the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, where fishermen used dogs of this appearance to retrieve fish. The breed as we know it today, however, was established by the British in the early 1800’s.

The Labrador Retriever Club was founded in 1916 and the first standard followed soon after, predominantly tailored to working Labrador Retrievers who found early fame, having been originally introduced to the U.K. in the late 1800’s by Col Peter Hawker and the Earl of Malmesbury.

Side view of a Bullmastiff stood on a rock


2 facts about Bullmastiffs

1. A pinner not a biter

A dog like the Bullmastiff could easily tackle any intruder, with their enormous strength and unyielding courage. They were bred to guard game land 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 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 game land 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.

Black and white portrait of a Bullmastiff


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Bullmastiffs

1. Ears

V-shaped ears set high and wide on head, dark colour 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.

Bullmastiff puppy stood on grass looking at the camera


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Bullmastiff
An adult and puppy Bullmastiff paddling in a stream


Caring for your Bullmastiff

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Bullmastiff grooming routine is a simple one as their short, stiff fur requires only 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. They 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

The Bullmastiff breed is known for staunch loyalty to their owner and family since they were traditionally used for guarding homes. As a result, this is one breed that does not enjoy being left alone to a great degree, preferring to stay part of the mix.

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. Their 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.

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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/