Pet owners

About the Bullmastiff temperament

    Looking for a big, protective dog that'll guard your property AND snuggle up with you on the sofa? A Bullmastiff may be the pet for you.

    The breed that comes with the nickname "Gamekeeper's Night Dog" has been around since the 19th century. These lovable guard dogs will be loyal companions for owners who are committed to consistent training.

    Want to know more? We've got you covered. In this guide, we'll chat about the Bullmastiff and the types of personality traits you can expect.

    Plus, we'll tell you how much space these pups need and how you can care for this unique breed.

    What is a Bullmastiff?

    A Bullmastiff is a cross between a Bulldog and a Mastiff. 

    The breed originated in England in the 1860s, where they were bred to protect gameland properties from poachers. The first Bullmastiffs arrived in the US in the early 1930s.

    Fun fact — in the 1960s, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan had a Bullmastiff called Brutus. 

    These British dogs are large, with an average weight of between 100 and 130 pounds. The average height is between 25 and 27 inches tall. Males are usually bigger than females.

    The average life expectancy for a Bullmastiff is between 8 and 10 years, which is shorter than many other breeds.

    Bullmastiffs have square, wrinkled muzzles with dark noses, eyes, and ears. They have a short, straight coat that comes in a range of colors, including brindle, red-brown, and fawn.

    While Bullmastiffs do make good guard dogs, they're also gentle giants. With the right training and upbringing, these dogs can be loving family companions.

    What type of owner suits a Bullmastiff dog?

    If you're thinking of adopting a Bullmastiff, you'll need to be committed to your pet. This type of dog needs training from an experienced and dedicated owner.

    Bullmastiffs can make excellent family dogs. However, they're best suited for those with older children.

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    They may be big, but Bullmastiffs aren't lazy. These dogs have moderate energy levels and need plenty of mental stimulation. The perfect owner will have time to invest in this active breed.  

    How much exercise does a Bullmastiff need? You should aim for daily walks, with at least one hour of activity per day. You can break this down into a brisk walk every morning and evening.

    Bullmastiffs can be left alone for a few hours while you're at work, as long as you have toys to keep them occupied. Depending on their upbringing, Bullmastiffs may not be comfortable living with other pets.

    How much space does a Bullmastiff need?

    These lovable guard dogs can live in a range of settings. However, due to their size, Bullmastiffs are best suited to properties with a backyard. 

    However, a secure, fenced yard is essential. If your Bullmastiff gets the urge to jump or run, it can easily leap over a low fence. You should also make sure the fence is strong because a running Bullmastiff can knock down any loose panels.

    While it's not ideal, it’s possible to have a Bullmastiff in an apartment. As long as they get enough daily exercise, they'll spend most of the day lounging around.

    Do you have concerns about renting a home with a dog? If you're a responsible pet owner, you may be able to secure a rental property with a Bullmastiff. With PetScreening, your Bullmastiff will get a FIDO score based on a range of factors, not just its breed.

    What are the most common Bullmastiff personality traits?

    Studies show that only 9% of behavior variation in dogs is due to their breed. Training, breeding, and socialization all play a role in your pup's personality.

    Despite this, there are some personality traits that are common in Bullmastiffs. What are they? Here's what you can expect if you adopt one of these dogs.

    1. Brave

    Bullmastiffs were originally bred as guard dogs, and it's for good reason. These English gamekeepers are athletic and brave, and don't scare easily.

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    While Bullmastiffs are gentle and affectionate with their owners, they can be wary of strangers. If there's an intruder or a male dog in your yard, their guard dog instincts will kick into gear.

    They're known to be independent and confident. The size and appearance of the Bullmastiff can be intimidating and a deterrent to criminals.

    Remember, the way the dog has been raised will impact its behavior. Any dog can become skittish if it's been treated poorly.

    2. Affectionate

    Bullmastiffs are a big breed with a powerful stature. They may look tough, but the truth is most of these dogs are affectionate and loving toward their favorite humans.

    You can expect them to be around you as much as possible, and they can even suffer from separation anxiety.

    If you let them, these big family pets will be content sleeping at the end of your bed. When they're feeling relaxed, they'll enjoy a cuddle or a pat from any member of your family.

    Bullmastiffs aren't always aware of their size. If you do have young children, a hug or jump from a dog this big can lead to an accident or injury. 

    3. Relaxed

    Bullmastiffs can be a relaxed breed, especially when in a familiar environment. For example, if you're working from home, your dog will likely be lying on the floor next to you.

    If your Bullmastiff is trained and socialized, it’ll be calm and stress-free. Unless there's an intruder or an unexpected guest, your Bullmastiff won't usually bark.

    You’ll need to train your dog to be calm and focused during walk time. Always use a lead when walking a Bullmastiff.

    4. Loyal

    If you're looking for a loyal companion, rest assured your Bullmastiff will be devoted to you. These powerful pooches form deep bonds with their owners and are protective of their families.

    Whether it's an adult or a young child, these dogs will protect and serve those in their circle. If they ever feel like you're in danger, they'll be instantly on high alert.

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    Your Bullmastiff will have a natural instinct to guard — it's not something you need to teach them. Even though this breed will be protective of your little ones, it's important that children are always supervised around your dog.

    5. Smart

    Bullmastiffs are intelligent and eager to learn. It's a smart breed, but these dogs can also be strong-willed and stubborn. 

    You'll need to be committed to training your canine companion. This is a breed that needs to be trained consistently from a young age, or they can become defiant and aggressive. 

    These are strong and powerful dogs and best suited to owners who have the time and experience to train them.

    Your Bullmastiff will enjoy a range of activities, including tug of war, frisbee, fetch, and seek and find games. You can also teach them basic commands, such as sit, stay, and shake hands. 

    6. Outgoing

    These dogs can be outgoing, playful, and curious. They aren't shy but will need lots of training if you want them to be friendly towards others.

    All dogs need to be socialized so that they feel comfortable around different faces. When you adopt your Bullmastiff, make sure you introduce it to a range of people from a young age.

    Get your dog familiar with different noises and activities, such as motorcyclists, postal service workers, and lawnmowers.

    And, if you want your dog to bond with other pets, such as dogs, put your Bullmastiff on a lead as a pup and let it get to know other animals.

    Try not to push your puppy's fitness too far because young Bullmastiffs can develop hip dysplasia and other health conditions.

    Are Bullmastiffs difficult to train?

    These estate guardians are independent thinkers. Their confidence and size can make Bullmastiffs challenging to train, but if you're consistent, they'll enjoy learning something new.

    Because they're loyal, smart, courageous, and protective, Bullmastiffs make excellent police dogs.

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    This breed responds well to positive reinforcement and repetition. If you do adopt a Bullmastiff, expect its protective nature to kick in at around ten months old. If you can form a bond and start training at eight weeks old, it'll make the process much easier. 

    Besides obedience, agility, and toilet training, your dog will need early socialization. 

    If you've never had a pet before, a Bullmastiff may not be the right choice. However, if you're an experienced owner and committed to training, this is a rewarding breed.

    How to care for your Bullmastiff

    Bullmastiffs have short hair, and it's a low-shedding breed. They have minimal coat grooming requirements, and you'll only need to brush them once a week. 

    It’s also a clean breed, and your Bullmastiff will only need the occasional bath, about once every six weeks. This may be more often if your dog enjoys playing in the dirt and water.

    You should pay attention to dental hygiene and brush your dog's teeth twice per week. Take your Bullmastiff to the vet at least once a year, and keep track of any changes to their health.

    You can expect your Bullmastiff to have significant weight gain from the puppy stage to adulthood. A grown dog will eat around two cups of dog food in the morning and two in the evening. 

    Don't let your dog graze all day, as this can lead to obesity. Don't forget these dogs have a moderate activity level and need to be walked every day. 

    Are Bullmastiffs destructive?

    The mood of your Bullmastiff can vary depending on the circumstances. For example, if these dogs are relaxing at home with their owner, there probably won't be any issues.

    On the other hand, if your Bullmastiff is left home alone, it can lead to boredom or anxiety. When a dog feels this way, it may chew your furniture or pull down your curtains.

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    To reduce destructive behaviors, make sure you have a range of toys that your dog can chew and pull. For example, thick ropes, balls, and squeaky plush toys may keep them entertained.

    As a clever breed, your Bullmastiff will need mental stimulation. Besides toys, spend some time playing with your dog. Whether it's hiding snacks for them to find or a friendly game of tug-of-war, your Bullmastiff will enjoy doing activities with you.

    Bullmastiffs can be prone to drooling. It's part of their charm, and you won't eliminate it completely. But you can reduce the drool by keeping them out of hot or humid weather and making sure they're calm. Some Bullmastiffs wear drool bibs if the drooling is excessive.

    How to get a rental with a Bullmastiff

    Getting a rental property with any dog can be a challenge. With a dog as big as a Bullmastiff, it can seem like an impossible task.

    The good news is there are ways to increase your chances of securing a home. When landlords use PetScreening, they'll be looking at the overall picture of your dog rather than just the breed.

    Make sure your natural guardian is fully trained because this will reduce negative or aggressive behaviors.

    Look after your pet's health with regular vet visits, and stay up to date with its vaccinations. Keep your Bullmastiff entertained with toys, and check that they're not barking all day when you're not around.

    Consider getting pet liability insurance and be prepared to pay a little extra rent. Landlords will have peace of mind that any damage will be covered, and you'll be more likely to get a "yes" when you apply for a rental.

    The Bullmastiff temperament

    Bullmastiffs are a big, strong breed with wide heads and short coats. These British bulldog mastiff crosses were originally bred to guard, and they still have a protective nature today.

    If you’re thinking of adopting a Bullmastiff, you may be wondering what type of temperament they have. The dog’s background can impact its personality, but there are a few common traits.

    For example, Bullmastiffs are often described as brave, affectionate, and relaxed. They’re loyal and smart dogs, and they can be outgoing if socialized early.

    Bullmastiffs have low grooming requirements, but you’ll need to be committed to ongoing training. With the right care and attention, a Bullmastiff will be a beloved member of your house.

    Learn more about PetScreening or visit our Bark Library for more articles.