A Bull Mastiff is not only an excellent guard dog but also a lovable family pet. Your bully belongs to a breed that is loyal to the core and affectionate. Your pup will, if he’s male, will end up being 25-27 inches and weigh between 100-130 pounds. If you have a female, she will be about 25-26 inches tall and weigh about 100-120 pounds. You can’t say that a Bull Mastiff is a lap dog!
Are Bull Mastiffs Good Guard Dogs? Do They Have A History as Guard Dogs?
Yes, a Bull Mastiff is a good guard dog, it’s in their breed. Bull Mastiffs were bred originally in England as companions to gamekeepers. A gamekeeper’s job was to protect hunting reserves and vast county estates of the English upper class.
Since poachers didn’t pay much attention to the gamekeepers, the gamekeepers came up with another solution to the problem. They mixed different breeds of Bulldog and Mastiff until a perfect dog that was large, fast, and courageous came out of the mix.
The breed was an intimidating one that would pursue poachers to the ground without mauling them. The dogs kept the poachers like that until help arrived. Bull Mastiffs became an extremely popular dog with game wardens and gamekeepers.
What is Their Temperament Like?
Your Bull Mastiff would give his life to keep you safe. Your pup will be protective and intensely loyal to his family. The breed is courageous, strong, and confident. Your dog is mild-mannered but also self-assured and serious. He will be afraid of nothing and will seldom back down from a situation. The breed doesn’t like to be left outside, he needs personal attention and companionship.
How Will They React If Someone Tries to Burglar Your Home?
Since a Bull Mastiff is trained to track an unwanted person quietly, they don’t bark when guarding. Instead, a Bull Mastiff will silently pin down the person without harming them until their owner shows up.
How Will They React If Someone Is Aggressive to Their Owner & Loved Ones?
Bull Mastiffs are docile, reliable, quiet, and bark infrequently. If provoked, they are quick to react if the dog feels that their family and loved ones are being threatened and they are very effective at nullifying any threats.
Are They Intelligent?
Yes, Bull Mastiffs are independent thinkers and strong-willed. You need to be a firm owner because your dog will try to do things his way. Your pet will try to test you and other members of the family.
Are They Good with Your Family & Kids?
Yes, Bull Mastiffs are family oriented. These dogs are just as good at playing with kids as he would be guarding your family. But, for common sense sake, you wouldn’t want to leave such a large dog alone with toddlers or young children. It’s not that your pup would hurt them, but he’s so big that he could accidentally knock them over just brushing by them.
Are They Good with Other Pets?
If you get your Bull Mastiff as a puppy, then you can socialize him with other dogs and even cats. But some Bull Mastiffs can’t lose their chasing instinct around cats even when trained. Most males are incredibly territorial and won’t get along with other males Bull Mastiffs or even males of different breeds. Also, strange animals won’t be welcome either.
Do They Need to Be Socialized Early to Be Guardians?
Yes, these dogs need to be socialized early and often. Bull Mastiffs have protective instincts around strangers. So your dog would need to be exposed to family and friends who are friendly. Then your pup will able to recognize the normal behavior of ordinary people. If he’s around someone who acts suspicious, he’ll know the difference.
Because Bull Mastiffs do have potential animal aggression, socializing with family animals early is a must. As stated before, some Bull Mastiffs won’t tolerate another dog of the same sex in his space. Many dogs don’t like the opposite sex, either. Because of the strong prey instinct, your pup has to chase anything that flees, cats, and small pocket animals may not be safe.
Your Bull Mastiff is bred with a strong temperament, so professional training is suggested. You need to let your dog know who is the alpha in your pack or he will think that he is. These dogs aren’t pushovers to train because of their independent mind. The breed is dominant and willful, and you must earn their respect. You need to show him that you mean what you say.
Bull Mastiff puppies aren’t recommended for a person who has never owned a dog. Your dog’s training needs require it to be strong and consistent, so he grows into an obedient and safe adult. But if you have experience with strong-willed dogs, this could be the perfect breed for you.
How Can I Create A Strong Bond with My Bull Mastiff So That They Protect My Home?
This breed doesn’t need a hard hand or domination to train. Your pup will respond better to high-energy, consistent training, which will appeal to their desire to please you.
Take your puppy everywhere you go and introduce him to everyone and all kinds of animals. Give him positive experiences with new situations and people. Work with your dog on his greeting behavior, wait for a command, and recall command. This way, you’ll be in control when you have unknown welcome visitors to your home.
What Is Their Energy Like?
Even though these dogs are enormous, they are on a little the lazy side. Your pup will be happy with one walk a day to provide exercise. Believe it or not, Bull Mastiffs will live comfortably in an apartment and even a house with a smaller yard. You just need to be sure to give him light exercise daily.
Do Bull Mastiffs Bark A Lot?
Because the Bull Mastiff was bred for stealth, this breed will rarely bark. So, if you live in a building or area where barking is a problem, this breed may be perfect for you. A more common problem for Bull Mastiffs will be in the fact that they can drool excessively.
Medical Issues for Bull Mastiffs
Generally speaking, Bull Mastiffs are a healthy breed, but they, like all dogs, can be affected by certain health conditions. Not every dog will get these diseases, but it’s best to be aware of the possibility. Also, because most of these issues won’t show up until your dog is fully mature, you won’t get a health clearance on dogs that are older than two years.
Some of the more common medical issues are listed below:
- Hip dysplasia: This condition is when the hipbone doesn’t fit into the hip joint correctly and is hereditary. You might not even know your dog is having an issue with this condition because it doesn’t always show. But arthritis can develop when your dog gets older, and screening for hip dysplasia should be done.
- Elbow dysplasia: This condition occurs when there are three different growth rates in your dog’s elbow. It can cause joint laxity that leads to painful lameness. Medication or surgery may be suggested by your vet to correct the problem.
- Hypothyroidism: This is caused by a thyroid deficiency hormone, which produces a whole host of issues. Some signs are infertility, mental dullness, lack of energy, and obesity. Your dog’s fur could become coarse, brittle, and start to fall out. Your pup’s skin may become dark. You can manage this disease by giving your dog a thyroid replacement pill daily for the rest of his life.
- Bloat: Because your dog is large chested, this life-threatening condition may affect him. It may happen if your dog is fed only one large meal once a day. Or if he drinks copious amounts of water after eating, or exercise vigorously after eating. Using raised feeding dishes and the type of food you’re feeding your pet can also cause this condition.
Bloat is more common in older dogs. It happens when your dog’s stomach becomes distended with air or gas and then twists. Then your pet can’t burp or vomit to get rid of the extra air. The regular return of your dog’s blood to his heart is impeded. His blood pressure sinks, and he goes into shock. If your pet doesn’t have medical attention immediately, he can die.
Signs of bloat are a distended abdomen, retching without vomiting, and excessive salivating. He could be depressed, lethargic and weak, restless and have a rapid heart rate. You need to get your pup to the vet immediately if any of these signs show up.
- Skin problems: Your Bull Mastiff has very sensitive skin. It can be prone to sores, irritations, and rashes. He can be allergic to contact or inhalant allergies, which are caused by household allergens. Some of these allergens are pollen, dust, mildew, airborne allergens, or other chemicals.
You need to check your pup’s skin frequently for any rashes and treat them quickly. Also, provide your pet with soft clean bedding in sleeping areas and crates. Sometimes a diet change can help or a treatment of antibiotics or steroids from the vet to keep it under control.
- Entropion: This disease causes your pet’s eyelid to roll inward. It’s evident by the time your pup is six months old. It causes injury or irritation to one or both of his eyeballs. If you notice your dog rubbing his eyes, he may have entropion. The condition can be corrected by surgery after your pup reaches his maturity of one or two yeats.
What Are the Pros of Owning A Bull Mastiff?
There are many pros of owning a Bull Mastiff: your pet is powerful and massive can intimidate when needed. He has a coat that is short and easy to care for. When he’s an adult, he’s quiet and calm indoors. He can be generally mild-mannered but is self-assured and serious. He will need only moderate exercise.
A Bull Mastiff is an excellent watchdog and also family orientated. He doesn’t bark often and can be comfortable in a small yard or an apartment.
What Are the Cons of Owning A Bull Mastiff?
There are some cons to owning a Bull Mastiff as well. He’s a huge dog that will take up a lot of space both in your home and in your car. Also, he’s heavy, so when your pet wants to sit on your feet and lean his weight against you, you need to be well-anchored.
When your pet is young, he can be rowdy and jump exuberantly. Your dog can be destructive when he’s bored or left alone too much.
If your pet isn’t socialized when he’s young, he can be aggressive towards people and other animals. He will require you to be confident because of his strong-willed mind.
Your pet will snort, snuffle, wheeze, grunt, snore, and pass gas like nothing else. Plus, your pup will slobber and sling drool over everything, everybody, and everywhere.
He may have health problems and, sadly, a short life span of 8-10 years.
To avoid some of these negative issues, you can adopt an adult dog from a rescue or a shelter. When you adopt an adult dog, you know what you’re getting.
With a puppy, you need to choose a responsible breeder and the right puppy. When you buy a puppy, you can’t tell if he’s going to have health or temperament problems until he grows up.
There isn’t any way around it, a Bull Mastiff is a giant dog. But if he’s raised correctly and let know who is the alpha in the family, he’s the perfect guard dog and companion. A Bull Mastiff will be incredibly loving and loyal but fiercely protective of his family and property.
If you’re looking for a giant dog with an enormous heart, then a Bull Mastiff is for you.
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