Are Bullmastiffs Good Family Dogs? – 7 Things To Know

Bullmastiffs are hard to miss when walking down the street. This large and imposing breed of a dog was developed in England in the mid 19th century as gamekeepers. Catching poachers and protecting the estate was their primary job, and much of that instinct persists to this day.

So are Bullmastiffs good family dogs? As a whole Bullmastiffs are great family dogs. The gentle giants are known for being loving and affectionate family members. The docile, patient and gentle nature makes them excellent with children. The Bullmastiff is also a fearless and brave protector of their family.

The question of whether the Bullmastiff is a good family dog is undeniable. The real question is whether the Bullmastiff is a good dog for your family. In this post I will go over 7 things you should know about the Bullmastiff.

Is A Bullmastiff A Good House Dog?

As a general rule a Bullmastiff makes a good house dog. They are both protective of their family as well as calm, gentle docile companions. The Bullmastiff is a very large breed, but because of their quiet nature can fare well in any size home, from apartment to large estate.

The protective nature of the Bullmastiff can be a great benefit for your family. These dogs are naturally inclined to protect their home and their family inside from potential threats without any real special training involved. 

While possessing the loyalty of a guard dog, the Bullmastiff is also a very affectionate couch potato. Bullmastiffs love to cuddle up on the couch with their family. The gentle, loving and docile nature of the Bullmastiff can make them very adaptable to any size living environment, so long as regular exercise is taking place.

Are Bullmastiffs Easy To Train?

On average the Bullmastiff is not easy to train, but is also not hard to train. Starting training from a very young age with your Bullmastiff is vital. They can be very strong willed, or even stubborn at times. Because of their size, early, consistent obedience training should be a daily practice.

Taking advantage of the Bullmastiffs love and loyalty for family can be beneficial during training. Positive reinforcement training with a firm, yet calm and gentle leader is the best training approach.

Early socialization and puppy classes are essential in the first months of your Bullmastiffs life. Learning the skills of basic obedience, and becoming accustomed to other people, dogs, places, smells, and sounds is very important to start from an early age.

Resources & ReviewThe Best Dog Training Courses, Books, & Tools

How Much Exercise Do Bullmastiffs Need?

As a whole Bullmastiffs are fairly medium energy dogs and will need about 2-4 walks per day. While energy levels can vary from dog to dog, a couple brisk 20-30 minute walks per day, or a several leisurely strolls with some games and mental stimulation is ideal.

It is important not to over exercise Bullmastiff puppies. During rapid growth periods of large breed dogs such as the Bullmastiff, over exercise can affect their bone and joint development. Short, meandering walks with short intervals of brisk walking are good starting points to help puppies explore as well as learn some leash manners on brief walks.

Bullmastiffs do not make good running partners. Though they are strong and athletic, they are more suited for shorter distance running, and long jogs and runs are hard on their joints and bones. Bullmastiffs much prefer brisk walks.

The Bullmastiff does enjoy interaction with the family, so it is good to incorporate games and play time in their daily exercise routine. Games of tug of war, fetch, or search and sniff style games are ideal. Engaging your Bullmastiff both mentally and physically is a great way to balance out their routine.

Are Bullmastiffs Affectionate?

On average Bullmastiffs are very affectionate. One of the main qualities you will notice is the loving, loyal, and affectionate nature of this breed. Known for their gentle and patient nature with children, the Bullmastiff is a great companion dog for any loving family.

It is not uncommon to find your Bullmastiff leaning on you. Why they do this is a sign of affection and a wanting to be as close to you as possible. This behavior is one of the trademarks of the Bullmastiff. They are always wanting to be touching you and fulfilling their role as a protector at the same time.

Are Bullmastiffs Aggressive?

As a whole Bullmastiffs are not an aggressive breed. Especially when early training and socialization has taken place. The Bullmastiff is a very gently loving family member, and can get along great with other people and dogs.

A Bullmastiff can however be protective of their family. This makes the brave and loyal companion an excellent guard dog, but can be misplaced if not properly socialized. The Bullmastiff can be wary of strangers, and will defend their family if they perceive a threat.

Proper socialization from an early age will help your Bullmastiff distinguish the difference between a friendly stranger, and a potential threat. Additional training with a professional is recommended if signs of human or dog aggression appear with a Bullmastiff.

How Often Do Bullmastiffs Need Baths And Grooming?

On average Bullmastiffs should need a bath every 2-3 months. The Bullmastiff is a very low maintenance breed when it comes to grooming and will only require a weekly brushing to help maintain their skin and coat, as well as remove loose hair, dirt and allergens.

Bullmastiffs can have sensitive skin, so avoid over bathing your dog. Too many baths can strip their skin of the healthy natural oils and leave their skin dry, flaky, and irritated, potentially leading to skin problems and infections.

Cleaning your Bullmastiffs skin folds should also be a part of a daily or weekly routine. Each dog will have varying amounts and depths of face wrinkles, so clean enough to remove any food, dirt, and bacteria build up without over cleaning and irritating their skin.

Resources & ReviewThe 15 Best Dog Grooming & Bathing Products

What Health Problems Do Bullmastiffs Have?

Bullmastiffs are generally a healthy and robust dog when coming from a reputable breeder. A good breeder will screen for all hereditary conditions and rule out and know diseases and conditions. Like any breed of dog however Bullmastiffs are prone to certain health problems.

Some of the common health problems Bullmastiffs have are:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Cancer
  • Heart murmurs
  • Eye conditions such as Entropion
  • Hypothyroidism

Always speak with breeders about the health certifications and screenings performed with their bloodlines. Any reputable breed should be more than willing to provide a full list of health checks, as well as open to answer any and all questions you might have.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a big dog that is a brave and loyal protector, as well as a gentle and affectionate couch potato. The Bullmastiff is a good family dog for you. The large and imposing size of the Bullmastiff can be deceiving for those unfamiliar with the breed. But for those of us who know, these gentle giants are an amazing family companion.

Regardless of the size of home you live in, the Bullmastiff can be very adaptable to your living space. They are docile and quiet while in their living space, but brave and loyal protectors when outside. 

Training and socialization needs to be made a priority from a very young age to balance out their strength and sometimes territorial and protective nature. Bullmastiffs can be amazing family companions when rules, boundaries and consistent bonding through training is taking place.

Back to the initial question, and to briefly summarize. Are Bullmastiffs good family dogs? Yes!

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