Bullmastiff Information


Possessing great intelligence and a docile temperament, the Bullmastiff is a strong, powerfully built dog that is among the largest breeds in the canine world. Known for being the ideal choice for obedience, agility, tracking, therapy work, hunting, and family companionship, the Bullmastiff is currently ranked as the 39th most registered breed in the United States according to the American Kennel Club. If you are considering welcoming a Bullmastiff into your home, read on to find a full breed description and determine whether the “gentle giant” is right for your family.

Basic Info
Other NameBullmastiff
Size Type Giant Dog Breeds
Breed Group Working Dog Breeds
Life Span8 - 10 years
TemperamentProtective, Powerful, Loving, Reliable, Alert, Devoted, Courageous, Docile, Loyal, Calm, Reserved
HeightMale: 25–27 inches; Female: 24–26 inches
Weight100 to 130 pounds
ColorsFawn, Brindle, Red
Puppy PriceAverage $1000 - $1500 USD


Physical description

Body Type

As a massive and muscular breed, the Bullmastiff has a large head that is heavily wrinkled and a broad muzzle that is usually darker than the remainder of the body. While the flat forehead has a moderately defined stop, the black wide nose has large nostrils and the teeth meet in a slight underbite. The high-set wide ears resemble a V-shape and are carried beside the cheeks to give the head a squared look. Reaching to the hocks, the long tail is set high on the hindquarters and either straight or curved. Male Bullmastiffs are typically between 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder height with a weight ranging from 100 to 135 pounds, but the females are slightly smaller at 24 to 26 inches and weighing between 100 to 120 pounds.


Bullmastiffs be fawn, brindle, rich red, light brown, reddish brown, or red-fawn. According to the breed standard, it is unacceptable for the dogs to exhibit any white markings, except on the chest where a little white shading is common.


Among the short-haired breeds, the Bullmastiff possesses a slightly rough coat of short coarse hairs thickly covering the entirety of the body. Although the breed is classified as a light shedder, the sheer enormous size of the dog means that the coat will often stick to furniture, carpets, and clothes throughout the home.

Good with Kids
Cat Friendly
Dog Friendly
Hypoallergenic  No


Covered with a short, flat coat, the Bullmastiff has very minimal grooming requirements in order to keep the rough hairs in good condition for a gleaming appearance. Since dead hairs that are removed in a brush will not be falling onto various other areas of the home, it is recommended that owners brush their Bullmastiff with a firm bristle brush at least once or twice each week from head to tail. Due to the fact that the dogs lack the strong doggie order of other breeds, owners should bathe their Bullmastiff on an as-needed basis with approved shampoo. Due to the large flaps and folds on the face, owners should wipe the wrinkles daily to remove any buildup of debris. On an interval of four to six weeks, the dogs should have their ears cleaned, nails trimmed, and eyes checked.


Despite the fact that the Mastiff is one of the oldest breeds in Britain, the immediate descendent of the Bullmastiff is a reasonably recent development. Originally bred by British gamekeepers in the mid-19th century around 1860 to work with them and wardens to guard estates, the Bullmastiff is the result of a cross between 40 percent Old English Bulldog with 60 percent English Mastiff for its size and strength. At this time, breeders were hoping to develop a dog breed that was faster and more aggressive than the Mastiff, but bigger than and not as vicious as the Bulldog. For their fierce and threatening appearance, the dogs were used to track down, hold, or tackle poachers and intruders.

Since the dark brindle coloring was successful as night camouflage, this coloration became increasingly popular. However, as the breed’s reputation grew, many estate owners chose the dogs as sentries and preferred the lighter fawn reminiscent of its ancestry. After three generations of breeding for the Bullmastiff to be considered purebred, the dogs made their debut in show competition in 1924 with the English Kennel Club and were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1933. Today, the Bullmastiff is mostly a trustworthy companion and guardian that enjoys living with a family.


Although fearless and strong when provoked, the Bullmastiff is often described as a devoted, alert, docile, affectionate, even-tempered, quiet, calm, intelligent, and loyal breed with a good-natured temperament. Craving firm human leadership, the extremely powerful dog needs to have a confident pack leader who is consistent with the rules. Depending on how well the owners communicate and lead the dog, the Bullmastiff may be good with children, other dogs, and non-canine pets, especially when socialized at a young age. As a dog that tends to slobber, drool, and snore, the overly large puppies may seem uncoordinated with their long legs. In order to fulfill their primal canine instincts for migration and reduce the development of behavioral issues, the Bullmastiff requires a long daily walk and plenty of exercise to work off energy.

Interesting Bullmastiff Facts

  • While the Bullmastiff does not stop growing to its massive size until it reaches the age of three and a half years, the average lifespan of the breed is just seven to eight years old. Unfortunately, the breed is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, lymphoma, and progressive retinal atrophy.


  • Despite the fact that the Bullmastiff can reach up to 150 pounds and most of that weight is made of muscle, the breed is not high energy and a couple of short walks or playtimes each day will satisfy their exercise needs.
  • Often referred to as the “Gamekeeper’s Night Dog,” the breed was prized for barking much less often than other dogs, but they can bark when alarmed and are bred to pull objects.