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What is a Bullmastiff?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

The Bullmastiff, sometimes erroneously misspelled as a bull mastiff, is a giant breed of dog that was first bred in England in the nineteenth century for capturing poachers. Bullmastiffs would use their powerful size to force the poacher to the ground. The Bullmastiff is a Bulldog and English Mastiff cross with a short muzzle and a short coat.

Bullmastiffs are usually fawn, red or a dark brindle with white chest markings. Even though the Bullmastiff's coat is short and some Bullmastiffs shed very little, other individuals of this breed may shed heavily at times. Regular brushing can help control the shedding.


Although the Bullmastiff is not a high energy dog, they need regular exercise to stay healthy. This breed is susceptible to joint and bone diseases and should be taken on walks regularly. These dogs should not be left outside alone for long periods and should not be exposed to extreme heat or cold weather.

Bullmastiffs enjoy being around people and are said to be lap dogs at heart, despite their size. If you don't want a huge, drooling dog all over you, this breed is probably not for you! A Bullmastiff can make a friendly family dog, but should be supervised with children at all times because of their huge size and their very protective nature. For example, if children are playing, but a bigger child appears to the Bullmastiff to be harming a smaller child, the dog could take a miscue and step in with the intent to protect.

The Bullmastiff breed is not aggressive by nature, but is bred to be very suspicious of strangers. Most have a quiet nature, but are attentive guard dogs. They like to please their human companions by showing their protectiveness and loyalty. Early socialization is necessary and can be accomplished by exposing the Bullmastiff to all kinds of people and situations when it is a puppy.

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