Introducing the Best Family Guard Dog: The Bullmastiff

If you buy something from a link on our site, we may earn a commission. See our advertising disclosure.
If you buy something from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.
See our advertising disclosure.

Instead of the usual alarms, razor-wire fences and other intimidating security accessories, have you ever considered owning a guard dog? Enter the Bullmastiff!

These guard dogs are the perfect solution for keeping your family safe, with the added bonus of having a loveable pooch in the house to get active with and dote on, of course!

They’re Big, They’re Bold, They’re Bullmastiffs!

This breed makes the ultimate mix of loveable family pet and excellent guard dog! There’s not a doubt that the award of best guard dog goes to the big, bold, beautiful breed known as the Bullmastiff!

This breed could never be described as shy and retiring! Affectionate and unshakeably loyal, ‘Bulles’, as nicknamed by their loving owners, are giant oversized bundles of fun.

These dogs are fearless defenders of their humans and are the perfect breed to keep you feeling secure in your home whenever they are around.

With the right training, these dogs have traits that make them a key part of family life, both for security and for their beautiful, easy-going natures.

Big Brother of the South African Boerboel Mastiff!

Does this breed look familiar? Bullmastiffs are closely related to the South African Boerboel Mastiff, another imposing breed known for its formidable appearance and approach to strangers, but with a loving and loyal attitude to its owners.

Both breeds share common ancestors and appearances, with Bullmastiffs being more mellow in nature.

The Appearance of the Impressive English Bullmastiff

One of the most immediately noticeable physical aspects of the Bullmastiff breed is their imposing size and strength. This breed is built tall and strong, most of its weight made up of muscle.

Another striking aspect of its appearance is it’s larger than the average head size that features a short, broad, and deep muzzle with a wide black nose. Bulles have expressive eyes, generally found in a dark hazel color, but in rare cases, they can range to lighter colored or even yellow.

Bullmastiffs boast a short, dense shiny coat, which makes them perfect for colder climates. They can be found in fawn, which can range from a light to a red-toned brown, red and brindle. Bullmastiffs have easy to groom coats that require very little upkeep.

What’s the Difference?

There are many types of Mastiffs. It can be confusing to know what exactly the differences are between some closely related types, such as the Bullmastiff and the English Mastiff.

The Bullmastiff is a breed that came about from a cross between the Bulldog and the English Mastiff. English Mastiffs are much larger than Bullmastiffs and are descended from an ancient breed of dog known as Alaunts.

Behold the Beautiful Brindle Bullmastiff!

A unique coat variation in the Bullmastiff is brindle, which is comprised of a mix of brown, black and yellow shades in unusual and remarkable patterns. These eye-catching pooches are rare and their brindle coat can range from light to dark shades.

Average Size and Weight!

Bullmastiffs are powerfully built dogs. Most Bulles tower over the average toddler, with male adult dogs exhibiting an average height of 25-27 inches and weight of 100-130 pounds and females 24-26 inches and 100-120 pounds according to the American Kennel Club.

Bullmastiffs are certainly no lap dogs! While their size assists them in being excellent in apprehending intruders, a Bullmastiff with sufficient obedience training is no threat to strangers or their family.

Temperament and Personality! 

Bullmastiff dogs are intensely loyal and protective and would die to keep their owners safe. They are confident, courageous and strong, and continue to pursue and detain would-be intruders until their family is safe.

This is an instinct cultivated in the breed’s heritage as a groundkeeper’s companion in England.

Bulles were required to secure large estates, often independently from their masters. On the flip side of these extremely useful traits, Bullmastiffs are also goofy and laidback dogs, that can bring a smile to anyone’s face with their comical expressions and behavior!

Future owners should be aware that male Bullmastiffs are quite territorial and often do no get along with other male Bullmastiffs or male dogs of other breeds.

Not for First Time Pup Parents! These Dogs Need a Strong Alpha!

If you’re keen on owning a Bullmastiff puppy, be aware that raising these little cuties is no walk in the park! Bullmastiff puppies require strong and consistent training while they are young in order to ensure they grow into safe and obedient adults.

Bullmastiff puppies are strong-willed and independent thinkers! It’s important that they have a strong owner that can help them how to grow into the best adult they can be.

Another important aspect of the development of Bullmastiff puppies is adequate socialization when young.

Bullmastiff puppies are not recommended for first-time dog owners due to their training needs by their doggy parents. However, if you have experience with other strong-willed breeds they could be the perfect adorable addition to your home.

There’s a Reason They’re Considered the Best Guard Dogs!

Bullmastiffs are excellent guard dogs, which comes down to their breed history. Bullmastiffs were originally bred in England as gamekeeper’s companions, who were tasked with protecting vast country estates and hunting reserves of the English aristocracy.

While there were strict laws with substantial fines for poaching on these grounds, poachers were not deterred, so groundskeepers looked for another solution to the problem.

They experimented with mixing the Bulldog and Mastiff breeds, to come up with a dog that had a combination of being large, fast and courageous enough to detain intruders to the estates until the police arrived.

Eventually, the perfect mix between the breeds was discovered to create the Bullmastiff. The breed was perfect for intimidating would-be intruders and bravely pursuing trespassing poachers and pinning them without mauling until help arrived.

Bullmastiffs became extremely popular amongst game wardens and gamekeepers. These people began competitions amongst themselves around who had the most superior dog.

In fact, this history is how Bullmastiffs came to have one of their nicknames, ‘The Gamekeepers’ Night Dog”.

Clearly, this strong background in protecting land and co-operating with humans means that today the Bullmastiff is one of the best breeds to have as a guard dog.

Best of all, Bullmastiffs are not barking guard dogs. Instead, they are trained to quietly track unwanted guests and pin them down without causing harm, meaning they are silent but effective!

Protective Dogs Need Tons of Training and Socialization! 

Because of the Bullmastiff’s instincts and drive to protect, it is essential that you train them extensively to avoid unfortunate incidents.

The Bullmastiff is a beautiful and mellow breed that is safe around strangers and slightly older school-aged children (10+). Bulles must, however, be properly trained and socialized from an early age!

The socialization of Bullmastiffs should involve exposing them to different people, sights, sound, and especially other dogs. With lots of training and socialization, Bullmastiffs are incredibly patient and loving additions to the family home.

Best of Both Worlds: The Bullmastiff Pitbull Mix!

There are some gorgeous Bullmastiff crosses available. A few examples are the Bullsky (Bullmastiff x Husky), the Bullmasador (Bullmastiff x Labrador) and the Staffordshire Bullmastiff (Staffordshire Bull Terrier x Bullmastiff).

One popular mix is the Pitbull Mastiff, which is an intelligent and highly trainable breed. These are large, strong-willed dogs!

It is essential that their owner knows how to handle these types of breeds. These are loveable, affectionate dogs with a heart of gold though, and are loyal to their owners like no others!

Bullmastiff Puppy to Doggo Full Grown: What is Their Lifespan?

So, how long can you expect to spend loving your gorgeous Bullmastiff? Well, these gentle giants have an expected lifespan of anywhere between 8-10 years to make wonderful memories with.

4 Facts You Didn’t Know About These Good Guard Dogs 

 1. Bullmastiffs are the strong, silent type

Due to their size and reputation as great guard dogs, you might think these pooches bark incessantly. However, this is not the case. Due to their past, where stealth was important in apprehending unwanted intruders, Bullmastiffs barely bark. So if barking is a problem for you or your neighbors, this could be the perfect breed for you.

2. Their (non) bark is worse than their bite!

Another trait bred into Bullmastiffs is that they are not biters. The preferred method of guarding in this breed is to silently chase and pin down trespassers with their impressive muscular size, rather than savagely attacking or barking.

3. They’re a little lazy

Despite their huge size, Bullmastiffs actually require much less exercise than it would seem. This breed is happy with a decent walk once a day, unlike other smaller more active breeds. Bulles are a good fit for apartments and houses with smaller yards, provided that owners give them light exercise every day.

4. They’ve been featured on the silver screen!

Duh…duh…duh…duh….it’s the eye of the tiger! Yes, correct, this gorgeous breed was made famous in the film Rocky with Sylvester Stallone. Amazingly, the Bulle featured in the film was not a trained movie dog, but rather Stallone’s very own pet Bullmastiff, Butkus! Bulles are seriously smart pups.

Bullmastiff Puppies for Sale! 

If you’re interested in bringing one of these gorgeous pups into your home, there a number of options for purchasing Bullmastiff dogs.

Puppies are available from breeders and occasionally animal shelters, while you can find adult dogs for adoption at animal shelters.

Remember to always do your research before buying, to avoid running into medical problems, such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia in your new dog.

A Bullmastiff puppy can be a handful, but there’s no doubt they are a truly gorgeous addition to a household! If you are wanting to own one of these cute bundles, it is integral to always purchase from a highly reputable breeder that you have researched thoroughly.

A reputable breeder will always strive for genetic diversity to avoid inbreeding. Always ensure you are as educated as possible before looking for your new dog and ask as many questions as you can.

An excellent breeder will be happy to tell you all about their dogs and answer any questions that you may have. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of the breeders listed below.


The American Bullmastiff Breeders Association features a list of top Bullmastiff breeders throughout the country. A few in major areas are:

New York

Bully Boy Bullmastiffs, Registered
Fern & Bill Dittmar
Parksville, NY 12768


Lothlorien Bullmastiffs
5 Puffin Circle
Bolingbrook, IL 60440


Happylegs, Registered
Chris Lezotte & Alan Kalter
Ann Arbor, MI

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About Bullmastiff Rescues! 

There are many wonderful animal shelters country-wide that do vitally important work to help rehome animals. Go check out your local shelter! Perhaps you’ll find the breed you’re looking for!

If they don’t, you can always supply your information to see if the breed you are interested in arrives. One huge bonus is that adopting a dog as an adult allows you to see the temperament and personality of a pooch definitively before committing.

Bullmastiffs make useful and adorable family pets. With their excellent skills as a guard dog and their mellow and patient nature, they really are the best of both worlds. Bullmastiffs may just be the perfect breed for you if you are concerned about the safety of your family but also want a gorgeous pet to share your home,

Common Questions About Bullmastiffs 

Do Bullmastiffs make good guard dogs?

What sort of temperament do Bullmastiffs have?

What sort of training do Bullmastiffs require?

Are Bullmastiffs good for first-time dog owners?