2016 Dog Costume Contest! Upload your photo. It takes 10 seconds to enter.

Find Out More!


The Bullmastiff is a large, powerful breed with an alert and intelligent appearance. The dog has a muscular body covered by short hair. The tight coat is red, brindle, or fawn in color and the chest may have a small white marking. The breed has medium-sized, dark eyes and a broad, square shaped head with moderate stop. The ears are V-shaped and rest against well-built cheeks on either side of a flat forehead. The muzzle is approximately a third the length of the entire head and should be dark in color. Both the nostrils and teeth are comparatively large and the dog’s bite should be either a tad undershot or perfectly level. The topline is straight and level, and the tail is set high.


Fast Facts

8 - 10 years
19th century
110 - 130 lb
100 - 120 lb
25 - 27"
24 - 26"
Bull Mastiff, Bullmastif, or Bull Mastif.

Bullmastiff Temperament

The Bullmastiff is a brave and stalwart dog, whose quiet and docile demeanor is best suited to a mature and even tempered family....

Bullmastiffs are very gentle and kind toward children, but they also tend not to be active or playful; in other words, while the Bullmastiff is content to be a doting guardian, kids are likely to find the dog boring. On the other hand, it is these exact same qualities that have endeared the breed to so many adults who prefer a quiet and devoted companion that does not need constant attention and entertainment. This breed is neither friendly nor aggressive toward strangers and other dogs, and tends to be good with other pets, including cats. The Bullmastiff is aloof and guarded around strangers, potentially aggressive toward strange dogs (particularly between males), and accepting of house pets. The breed is also known to have a stubborn streak that can make training difficult.

Caring For a Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff can be a bit lethargic, so it is important for owners to encourage activity (daily walks at a minimum) and monitor the dog’s meal size....

Without proper care, this breed will put on weight very quickly. When purchasing food, make sure it is specifically formulated for larger breeds, as a Bullmastiff does best with a relatively low fat / low protein diet. Because this is a large breed, it is important to keep the dog’s nails short and to check the footpads regularly for cuts and other injuries. The Bullmastiff has a tight, shorthaired coat, so bathing and brushing requirements are nominal. Socialization with strangers and other dogs should begin as early as possible in the dog’s life. Bullmastiffs are susceptible to canine hip and elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion and entropion.

Bullmastiff History

A Brief History of the Bullmastiff

A fairly recent breed, the Bullmastiff was created to do a very particular job and to do it well....

During the 19th century, Britain’s landed gentry were besieged with a drastic increase in poaching on their estates. To stop the poachers, groundskeepers needed a fearless dog that could chase down and subdue a poacher, but the working breeds commonly available in Britain at the time were not particularly well suited to this job. The solution for the Britons, therefore, was to take dogs they already had and combine them into a new, specialized breed. The Mastiff was large and imposing, but lacked the speed and tenacity to take down poachers; conversely, the Bulldog was fast and furious but was too small to make much of a guard dog. By combining these dogs, both abundantly available in England at the time, breeders created the perfect night watchman and sentry, the Bullmastiff. Eventually, breeders decided that propagating a purebred Bullmastiff was preferable to continued pairing of Bulldogs and Mastiffs. They decided that a perfect combination would be sixty percent Mastiff and forty percent Bulldog. By the early 20th century, such dogs had been bred, and the Bullmastiff was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1924. The breed was concurrently introduced to the United States, where it was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1933.