A large, stocky, short-haired, golden dog is sitting happily on the grass covered with autumn leaves.


30 January 2023

Let’s talk about… Bullmastiffs: what are they?

  • Bullmastiffs are a powerful and impressive dog breed that originated in England.
  • Bred by gamekeepers in the 19th century, they were primarily used to guard estates and catch poachers.
  • They have a massive and muscular build, with a square-shaped head and a short muzzle.
  • Bullmastiffs are known for their loyalty and protective nature, making them excellent guard dogs and family companions.
  • They can reach an average height of about 63-69 cm for males and 61-66 cm for females.
  • In terms of weight, males typically weigh between 50 and 59 kg, while females range from 41 to 50 kg.
  • The average life expectancy of Bullmastiffs is around 8 to 10 years.
Bullmastiff  Exercise Needs 2/5 Grooming Ease 3/5 Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Bullmastiffs like?

  • Bullmastiffs have a calm and gentle temperament, combined with a natural protective instinct.
  • They are known for being devoted and loving towards their families.
  • While they are generally good with children and other family pets when properly socialised, their large size requires supervision and caution when interacting with smaller animals or young children.
  • Bullmastiffs are generally reserved and may be aloof with strangers.
  • They are naturally protective and will typically assess any potential threats before taking action. Early socialisation and training are crucial to ensure they are well-adjusted and can differentiate between actual threats and normal interactions.
Ace, the Bullmastiff

How much exercise do Bullmastiffs need?

  • Bullmastiffs have a moderate exercise requirement compared to some other breeds.
  • They benefit from daily walks and playtime, but they are not highly energetic dogs.
  • On average, Bullmastiffs require about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day to maintain their physical and mental well-being.
  • It's important to note that Bullmastiffs have a tendency to gain weight, so monitoring their food intake and providing regular exercise is essential to prevent obesity and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Excessive exercise or intense physical activities should be avoided, particularly during hot weather.
  • For Bullmastiff puppies, it's important to provide age-appropriate exercise. Puppies have growing bodies and developing joints, so excessive exercise should be avoided to prevent potential joint problems.
  • Short, controlled play sessions and gentle walks are suitable for puppies.
  • As they mature, their exercise routine can gradually increase, until they reach full exercise levels at around 24 months.
  • Consult with a veterinarian for specific guidelines based on your Bullmastiff puppy's age and development.
Cassey, the Bullmastiff

Do Bullmastiffs need a lot of grooming?

  • Bullmastiffs have a short and dense coat that is relatively low-maintenance.
  • They have a moderate shedding level, so regular brushing with a soft-bristle brush or grooming mitt will help remove loose hair and keep their coat in good condition.
  • Weekly brushing is generally sufficient for Bullmastiffs.
  • Bullmastiffs have facial wrinkles, particularly around their muzzle, which require regular cleaning and drying to prevent irritation and infection.
  • Pay special attention to these areas and use a gentle cleanser specifically made for dogs to keep their skin folds clean and healthy.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Odin, the Bullmastiff

Are Bullmastiffs easy to train?

  • Bullmastiffs are generally intelligent and eager to please, which can make them trainable.
  • However, they can also be independent and stubborn at times, so consistent and patient training methods are necessary.
  • Start training and socialisation from a young age to establish good behaviours and manners.
  • Positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praise, work well with Bullmastiffs.
  • Early socialisation is crucial for Bullmastiffs to ensure they become well-rounded and confident dogs. Expose them to various people, animals, and environments to help them develop appropriate social skills and reduce the likelihood of fear towards unfamiliar situations.
  • Keep training sessions engaging and fun, but also provide clear boundaries and rules.
  • Use positive reinforcement to motivate and encourage desired behaviours.
  • Consistency, patience, and a calm yet confident approach are key to successful training with Bullmastiffs.
Hamish, the Bullmastiff

What do Bullmastiffs eat?

  • A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the health and well-being of Bullmastiffs. Feed them high-quality large breed dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
  • It's important to provide them with a diet that meets their nutritional needs and helps maintain a healthy weight.
  • For Bullmastiff puppies, it's recommended to feed them a specially formulated puppy diet until they reach around 12-18 months of age, or as per the brand of food they are on.
  • Puppies usually need to be fed 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old, when it can be reduced to twice daily.
  • Puppy food provides the necessary nutrients for their growth and development.
  • Follow the feeding guidelines provided by the manufacturer and consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations based on your Bullmastiff puppy's individual needs.
  • As Bullmastiffs are prone to weight gain, it's crucial to monitor their food intake and avoid overfeeding.

Are Bullmastiffs healthy?

Bullmastiffs, like all dogs, can be prone to certain health issues. While not all Bullmastiffs experience these conditions, some common health concerns in Bullmastiffs include:

Bones and Joints

  • Cruciate Disease - when a cruciate ligament of the knee is either partially or fully torn leading to discomfort and lameness
  • Elbow Dysplasia - this condition is where there is an issue with how the bones fit together at the elbow joint
  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis


  • Ectropion - with this condition the eyelid rolls out, which can expose the eye to dryness
  • Entropion - this is where the eyelids roll in, causing eyelashes to rub onto the surface of the eye


  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!


  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) - a disease of the heart muscle causing the heart ventricles to get larger, which can lead to heart failure
  • Sub-aortic Stenosis - narrowing of the area below the aortic valve, that affects blood flow through the heart


  • Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone


  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) - narrow airways which can make breathing and temperature regulation difficult.

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your Bullmastiff or want to discuss specific health conditions, consult with your veterinarian.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Bullmastiffs

BorrowMyDoggy has 620 Bullmastiff members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

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