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Quick facts

Bullmastiff AKC Group: Working
Height: Male: 25-27 inches, Female: 24-26 inches
Weight: Male: 110-133 pounds, Female: 100-120 pounds
Colors: Brindle, fawn, or red with black markings
AKC recognized in: 1934

The development of the Bullmastiff goes back to around 1860, when gamekeepers needed guard dogs to detect poachers within an estate. As a tribute to how successful dogs of this breed were, the breed was nicknamed the “Gamekeeper’s Night Dog”.

Drawn from the bloodlines of the English Mastiff and the now extinct Old English Bulldog, the Bullmastiff is about 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. The cross resulted in a large, muscular dog with a solid built. Too large a dog would prove to be cumbersome because it would not be as athletic and agile.

The Bullmastiff has a broad skull and a short muzzle with large, wide nostrils. Its ears are V-shaped and set high, giving the head a squarish appearance. Like most mastiffs, the teeth meet in an underbite which makes the jaws more prominent.

Short and dense, the Bullmastiff’s coat usually comes in shades of brindle, fawn, and red with those characteristic black markings on the head, particularly on the ears and muzzle.


Bullmastiff Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level two paws
Exercise Requirements two paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals two paws
Friendliness: Other Pets two paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance two paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability four paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

Here is a popular pet which combines the strength and tenacity of a Bulldog with the size and loyalty of a Mastiff. Docile and obedient, it rarely barks except to sound the alarm against intruders.

With its unobtrusive color, the Bullmastiff is a master at camouflage. It will prowl at night as a constant watchdog, securing the area. Confident and reliable, it easily fits into its duties outside the home or within a family. Fearless as it is, a well-trained Bullmastiff will not bite unless provoked. If not trained to attack, it will most likely knock down an intruder and hold him down.

Although it looks fierce and threatening, there’s no need to worry over children and other pets. Here you’re faced with a very tolerant, even-tempered breed.

The Bullmastiff is no worrywart at all even with its visibly wrinkled forehead. On the contrary, it is a joy to have around the home. The look in its dark hazel eyes will reveal a sensitive, affectionate, and devoted dog.


The average lifespan of the Bullmastiff is 8 to 10 years.

While the Bullmastiff is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Elbow Dysplasia - A condition involving several developmental anomalies of the elbow joint in the dog. This keeps the three bones that make up the joint to fit together imperfectly, causing irritation and pain.
  • Hypothyroidism - An under-active thyroid gland, which can result in obesity, epilepsy, lethargy, and skin conditions.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - A group of diseases that progress over time and eventually cause blindness in your dog. The retina either stops developing early or the receptors start degenerating early in life. This is an inherited disorder.
  • Gastric Dilatation-volvulus - This is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes distended with gas or air, and then twists. This can happen with all deep chested dogs, especially if they eat their meal rapidly or drink large volumns of water. If this happens, it is extremely important that you get your dog to a vet immediately.


The Bullmastiff is a low energy dog, and does not require or desire a great amount of exercise. A couple quick walks each day should be enough. Avoid the heat of the day, though, as these dogs, like all short muzzled dogs, is subject to heat stroke.

These dogs are best kept indoors, but if you keep them in a fenced yard, make sure there is plenty of water and shade available. Because of their low energy, they will do well in apartments.

The short hair of the Bullmastiff means very little grooming requirements. A quick brushing will keep the fur in top shape. Bathing should be on an as needed basis only. But remember, these dogs are droolers, so keep a towel handy!

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