Are You Buying True Bullmastiff Quality?  Alternative methods of adopting a Bullmastiff, what Registration Papers really represent, etc. Behind the Bullmastiff Breeders Sales Pitch - Identifying vague warranties, interpreting flashy ads, etc. Your Bullmastiff, Your Responsibility - Interacting with Children, Lawsuits, Liabilities, Expenses, etc. Your Money, Your Entitlement - What you should expect for your money, Interview Sheet for Bullmastiff Breeder Hunting, etc. Your Investment, Was It a Wise One? Bullmastiffs - What the Prudent Buyer Should Know....

Is the Bullmastiff
the Right Breed
For You and Your Family?

So you're interested in a Bullmastiff (Bully). Owning a Bullmastiff can be the beginning of a wonderful relationship that will last years and years. It can also be the beginning of a huge responsibility for which you may not be ready. Bullmastiffs are large powerful animals. They are loving, protective, loyal, and very co-dependant on their humans for companionship. THEY SLOBBER. Are you prepared to keep a slobber rag handy in each room of your home? These giants can reach anywhere from 90 - 130 pounds. Once their growth stage is completed, they eat an average of 3-5 cups of high quality food per day. They are very sensitive, and usually a stern voice is all that's needed for discipline.

There are several issues that you must consider before you determine to become a Bullmastiff owner. Think about this, and be honest with yourself. Your family, yourself, and your Bullmastiff are counting on you to make as informed a decision as possible to ensure a quality of life that can be counted among one of the best experiences you will have.


Bullmastiffs are wonderful companions. They are not dogs to be left outside all day with minimal human contact. Bullmastiffs cannot tolerate even warm weather due to their short noses and they are cold sensitive due to their short coats. These Bullies also need to be socialized within the human environment. They need at least basic obedience training. The last thing you want is a rambunctious 130-lb. cruise missile running through your house. Is your home large enough for this size of dog? You need room; your Bullmastiff needs room. A backyard, with good shade, and a well-constructed fenceline is a must for Bullmastiff owners. Some people have maintained their Bullmastiffs in apartment settings, but with this environment comes the added responsibility of extra exercise and walks on a daily basis. If your home is too small for a 130-lb. dog, and you are not willing to take the responsibility of ownership, then this is not the right breed for you. We have found that behavioral problems exist when the Bullmastiff was not an active member of the household, but rather was relegated to the backyard with only minimal human contact.

Did I mention that Bullmastiff's slobber? You bet they do! Some Bullmastiffs will drool more than others, but all Bullmastiffs do to some extent. Especially after eating, drinking, or hard exercise. Are you willing to do the cleaning every time your Bullmastiff shakes its head and the slobber paints the walls and ceilings? Slobber rags are an integral part of ownership, and we suggest keeping one in each room of your home. Also hand them out to guests as they arrive in your home, after all, it's the polite thing to do!

Bullmastiffs will also snore. Loudly at times. If you are a light sleeper, or require peace and quiet during your slumber, think again of another breed. At times your Bullmastiff will rattle the windows with a good prolonged snort. Your Bullmastiff, being the sociable fellow that he is, will want to sleep with you, as in cuddle up with you in the sheets. If not directly on the bed, then they'll want to be in the same room, to look over you while you sleep. Protective instinct. My Bullmastiff likes to roam the house at night, checking all the rooms every few hours to be sure all is safe before returning to the bedroom for a nap. And if he happens upon a pull toy or a favorite chewy, well, it’s party time at 2:00 am!

Bullmastiffs are wonderful dogs with children. They are very gentle and quite tolerant of ear and tail pulls, and they adore licking kids faces. They will protect their children. And although Bullmastiffs love children, please make sure you supervise and train your children to respect and treat the dog well. In rescue, we will not place a Bullmastiff in a family with small children unless that dog has been raised with them in the previous household. The shear size of a Bullmastiff or its playful paw is enough to knock a small child down. If you have small children who are just learning to walk, you may want to wait until they are older before getting a Bullmastiff - whether it's a puppy or a rescue dog.

Bullmastiff's can be territorial dogs. They will protect their yard, house, car, and family from people or other dogs. They want it to be known that THIS IS THEIR YARD. They are dogs that can be very good with other dogs and cats as long as they have had good experiences with them. If you have an adult male dog already and you are considering a rescue, you should consider acquiring a female Bullmastiff, and visa-versa. This is not to say that two male dogs will not get along, but males especially have a tendency to want to dominate the other.


An adult male Bullmastiff can go through 40-70 pounds of food a month. That's a rough estimate of $35-$70 a month in quality food alone.

A Bullmastiff due to its size will cost you extra at the vet as well. Since most dosages are based on weight, you can count on spending 5-10 times as much as the woman sitting next to you with the little yapper dog. Heartworm, shots, antibiotics, etc. all can cost more. You can expect to spend an average of $500 to $1000 a year in vet bills, depending on the age and health of your Bullmastiff. Bullmastiffs are prone to various health problems, (such as hyperthyroidism, hip/elbow dysplasia, lymphoma sarcoma (cancer), entropian, etc.), that will require special treatment and medication that can easily run up a vet bill.


A Bullmastiff needs obedience training. It is imperative that obedience training be done. Think about it. Do you want to ruin that new pair of spiffy loafers when you take your Bullmastiff for a walk and he decides it's gonna be a tractor pull? I said it before... these are powerful animals. You must train your Bullmastiff. Bullmastiffs are stubborn and like to think only of themselves at times, therefore the training they receive should be of the positive reinforcement variety. All Bullmastiffs respond well to love, praise, and will do almost anything for a treat. The training should not be negatively based or your commands will fall on deaf ears, a faraway look, and locked limbs. Training will benefit you and your Bully, after all, you don't want to be pulled along like a water skier whenever you go for a walk or imprinted into the ground whenever you and your Bullem greet.

Exercising a Bullmastiff is not as demanding as exercising one of the sporting breeds who enjoy chasing frisbees all day long. A Bullmastiff is content with a couple of walks a day, lasting around 30 minutes. Some love hiking and swimming, but joggers they are not. The Bullmastiff gait is more of the type seen with large predatory animals (the lion comes to mind...). They will not jog and should not be forced to do so as it can be damaging to the joints. As with all large breed dogs, joint problems can become serious if preventative measures are not taken. Your Bullmastiff would probably be happy to just curl up on the couch all day and watch those interesting little morsels running around on the Discovery channel (mine does), but exercise in the proper regime will add to the health and longevity of your Bullmastiff.

Grooming your Bullmastiff is a simple exercise. A couple of times a week with a shedding blade or grooming glove is sufficient. Cutting nails and ear cleaning are very important, and should be done regularly. It should be started early in life, as wrestling with a Bullmastiff can be quite interesting. You should also brush your Bullmastiff's teeth (sounds silly, but you don’t want your Bullmastiff to have grimy teeth, and the other advantage is that minty breath!!).

Bullmastiffs are very sociable animals. They want to be with you, take part in your daily routine, share your life. They love being housedogs and being in close contact with their humans. They want you to know that they are there for you, that they love you, and that they will always be yours. Bullmastiffs are a loyal, majestic breed of dog that is happiest when they're making you happy. Do you own a large vehicle so that they can ride with you? Bullmastiff's love to go for rides (of course when they hang their head out the window you just know your gonna have to wash off all the slobber that drooled down the windows, doors, bumpers, and maybe a couple of the cars behind you!) Will you take your Bullmastiff to the grocery store, park, beach, post office, etc? Just remember that putting a Bullmastiff in the back of a truck is not a good idea. He may decide that the car next to you would be a wonderful toy to chase or that dog standing on the side of the road is worth checking out.

As stated before, it is an awesome responsibility to own a Bullmastiff. You must like big, wet, slobbery kisses, because they love to give them. They enjoy sneaking onto the bed in the middle of the night to cuddle up with you, just to know that you’re there. They love to snuggle, roll around with you, roll on you, over you, and sit on you. They can be very playful and cute (as much as a 130-lb. dog can be "cute"). They like to put their paws on you, just for the contact. Big paws.

If you decide that this is the right breed for you, you are an exceptional person and are to be commended. But, are you really sure?  Bullmastiff's are not for everyone, but for those who can handle the responsibility, your Bullmastiff will reward you a thousand times over with a life of love and companionship unequaled throughout the dog world.

Please remember that your rescue Bullmastiff has been traumatized by the changes that have occurred in its life. All Bullmastiff's have difficulty with change, and most times they will not be ready to be the dream dog you've read about or seen on television. Be understanding of their background and the circumstances that led to rescue in the first place. Help your Bullmastiff over the rough times, and you will be rewarded greatly with love and loyalty.

Your Rescue Coordinator will always be there to answer any questions you may have regarding our majestic breed. If your coordinator cannot answer your questions, they have the resources and the network help of many other breed specialists to help you find what you need. We are here to assist you and the rescue Bullmastiff with the best possible placement and adjustment.

The following article was edited by Sophie per permission from the Neapolitan and English Mastiff Rescue stories.  Thank you for allowing us to use your format.

Picture Contributions


Are You Buying
True Bullmastiff Quality?
Behind the
Breeder Sales Pitch
Your Bullmastiff,
Your Responsibility
Your Money,
Your Entitlement
Your Investment,
Was It a Wise One?

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