Difference Between Bullmastiff And Vs English Mastiff

Bullmastiffs and English Mastiffs are two powerful and majestic dog breeds known for their impressive size and loyal nature. While they share some similarities, their differences are significant and can influence which breed is better suited to your lifestyle. Understanding these distinctions can help potential owners make an informed decision.

The main differences between Bullmastiffs and English Mastiffs lie in their size, temperament, and exercise needs. Bullmastiffs are slightly smaller and more agile, making them better suited for active families. In contrast, English Mastiffs are larger and more laid-back, requiring less intensive exercise but needing ample space due to their size.

These breeds each have unique characteristics that can influence your decision. Bullmastiffs are known for their protective instincts and high energy levels, while English Mastiffs are gentle giants with a calm demeanor. Both breeds are affectionate and loyal, making them excellent companions, but understanding their specific needs and traits is crucial for a harmonious relationship.

Overview of Bullmastiffs


The Bullmastiff is a relatively recent breed, developed in the mid-19th century. Gamekeepers in England needed a dog that could guard estates and catch poachers without harming them. They crossed the Old English Bulldog with the Mastiff, aiming to create a dog with the strength, speed, and endurance to track and pin down intruders. The result was the Bullmastiff, a breed known for its loyalty, bravery, and guarding instincts.


Bullmastiffs are large, muscular dogs with a strong, solid build. They typically stand between 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 100 to 130 pounds. Their short, dense coat can be brindle, fawn, or red. Bullmastiffs have a broad, wrinkled head with a short muzzle and dark, expressive eyes. Their ears are V-shaped and set high on the head, while their tail is set high and tapers to a point.


Bullmastiffs are known for their protective nature and calm demeanor. They are loyal and affectionate with their families but can be wary of strangers. This makes them excellent guard dogs. Despite their large size, Bullmastiffs are gentle and patient with children. They are intelligent and confident, often requiring a firm yet kind hand in training. Socialization from a young age is crucial to ensure they develop into well-rounded dogs.

Health Issues

Bullmastiffs are prone to several health issues, including:

  • Hip dysplasia: A genetic condition affecting the hip joints.
  • Elbow dysplasia: A similar condition affecting the elbows.
  • Bloat: A life-threatening condition where the stomach twists.
  • Cancer: Various types, including lymphoma and mast cell tumors.
  • Hypothyroidism: A disorder of the thyroid gland.

Regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet can help manage these issues. Owners should also be aware of the breed’s tendency to overheat due to their short muzzle.

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Training and Exercise

Bullmastiffs require consistent and positive training methods. They respond well to reward-based training and can excel in obedience training. However, they can be stubborn, so patience is key. Early socialization is vital to help them become well-mannered adults.

In terms of exercise, Bullmastiffs need moderate activity. Daily walks and play sessions are essential to keep them fit and mentally stimulated. Despite their size, they do not require intense exercise and can adapt to apartment living if given sufficient outdoor time.

Overview of English Mastiffs


The English Mastiff is one of the oldest dog breeds, with a history dating back to ancient times. They were used as war dogs, hunting companions, and guardians. The breed gained popularity in England, where they were prized for their size, strength, and protective nature. English Mastiffs have a long lineage, and their ancestors were depicted in ancient Egyptian, Roman, and medieval tapestries.


English Mastiffs are among the largest dog breeds. Males typically stand 30 inches or taller at the shoulder and weigh between 160 to 230 pounds. Females are slightly smaller but still impressive in size. They have a massive, broad head with a short muzzle, dark eyes, and a serious expression. Their coat is short and dense, coming in colors like fawn, apricot, and brindle. English Mastiffs have a large, muscular build with a powerful chest and a straight, tapering tail.


English Mastiffs are known for their gentle and calm demeanor. Despite their imposing size, they are affectionate and loving with their families. They are especially good with children, often showing great patience. English Mastiffs are protective and can be reserved with strangers, making them excellent guard dogs. They are intelligent and loyal, forming strong bonds with their owners.

Health Issues

English Mastiffs face several health challenges, including:

  • Hip dysplasia: A common issue due to their size.
  • Elbow dysplasia: Affecting the elbow joints.
  • Bloat: A serious and potentially fatal condition.
  • Heart problems: Such as cardiomyopathy.
  • Joint issues: Due to their large size and weight.

Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage these health concerns. English Mastiffs have a shorter lifespan compared to smaller breeds, typically living between 6 to 10 years.

Training and Exercise

English Mastiffs benefit from consistent and gentle training. They respond best to positive reinforcement techniques and need early socialization to develop into well-behaved adults. Due to their size and strength, training should start at a young age to establish good manners.

While they are not highly energetic, English Mastiffs require regular exercise to stay healthy. Daily walks and light play sessions are sufficient. Over-exercising, especially in young Mastiffs, can lead to joint problems. They enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and often prefer lounging around the house.

Key Differences

Size and Weight

The most noticeable difference between Bullmastiffs and English Mastiffs is their size. Bullmastiffs are large dogs, but English Mastiffs are significantly bigger. Bullmastiffs typically weigh between 100 to 130 pounds, while English Mastiffs can weigh up to 230 pounds or more. This size difference can influence your decision based on the space available in your home.

Coat and Color

Both breeds have short, dense coats, but their color variations differ slightly. Bullmastiffs come in brindle, fawn, and red, while English Mastiffs can be fawn, apricot, or brindle. The coat color may not be a major deciding factor, but it’s a distinctive trait between the two breeds.

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Temperament Traits

Bullmastiffs are more alert and active compared to English Mastiffs. They have strong guarding instincts and are more likely to be protective and vigilant. English Mastiffs, on the other hand, are known for their gentle and calm nature. They are laid-back and often more tolerant of strangers and other animals.

Exercise Needs

Bullmastiffs have moderate exercise needs. They enjoy daily walks and active play sessions. English Mastiffs, while also needing regular exercise, are more low-key and prefer less intense activities. Their exercise routine should focus on maintaining a healthy weight without putting too much strain on their joints.

Health Concerns

Both breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and bloat, but English Mastiffs have additional health concerns like heart problems and joint issues due to their larger size. Bullmastiffs, while still facing significant health challenges, tend to have fewer heart-related issues. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy lifestyle are crucial for both breeds to manage these health concerns effectively.

Living with Bullmastiffs

Space Requirements

Bullmastiffs are large dogs, but they can adapt to various living spaces if their needs are met. They thrive in homes with secure yards where they can move freely. However, they can also live in apartments if provided with sufficient exercise. Key points to consider:

  • Ensure enough indoor space for them to move comfortably.
  • Provide a safe, fenced yard for outdoor play.
  • Regular walks and exercise are essential to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Compatibility with Children

Bullmastiffs are known for their gentle and patient nature with children. Their protective instincts make them good family pets. Consider the following:

  • They are calm and can tolerate the antics of young children.
  • Always supervise interactions between large dogs and small children to prevent accidental injury.
  • Teach children how to respect and handle dogs to foster a positive relationship.

Guarding Instincts

Bullmastiffs were originally bred as guard dogs. They have strong protective instincts, making them excellent watchdogs. Important aspects include:

  • They are naturally wary of strangers and can be territorial.
  • Proper socialization from a young age helps them differentiate between friendly visitors and potential threats.
  • Their loyalty and alertness provide a sense of security for their owners.

Grooming Needs

Bullmastiffs have a short, dense coat that requires minimal grooming. Key grooming tips:

  • Brush their coat weekly to remove loose hair and maintain skin health.
  • Bathe them as needed, typically once every few months.
  • Regularly check and clean their ears to prevent infections.
  • Trim their nails monthly to avoid overgrowth and discomfort.
  • Brush their teeth several times a week to maintain oral health.

Living with English Mastiffs

Space Requirements

English Mastiffs are among the largest dog breeds and require ample space to live comfortably. Consider the following:

  • They need a large indoor space to move around freely.
  • A spacious yard is ideal, but they can adapt to apartment living with sufficient exercise.
  • Ensure they have a comfortable, large bed to support their joints.

Compatibility with Children

English Mastiffs are known for their gentle and patient nature, making them excellent family pets. Important considerations:

  • They are protective and often form strong bonds with children.
  • Supervise interactions between the dog and young children to prevent accidental injury.
  • Teach children to respect the dog’s space and handle them gently.
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Guarding Instincts

English Mastiffs have a protective nature and are excellent guard dogs. Key points:

  • They are wary of strangers and will alert their owners to potential threats.
  • Proper socialization helps them distinguish between friendly visitors and intruders.
  • Their size and presence alone can be a deterrent to intruders.

Grooming Needs

English Mastiffs have a short, dense coat that is easy to maintain. Grooming tips:

  • Brush their coat weekly to remove loose hair and keep their skin healthy.
  • Bathe them as needed, usually every few months.
  • Clean their ears regularly to prevent infections.
  • Trim their nails monthly to prevent overgrowth.
  • Brush their teeth several times a week to maintain oral health.

Choosing Between Them

Lifestyle Considerations

When deciding between a Bullmastiff and an English Mastiff, consider your lifestyle and living situation. Key points:

  • Space: Bullmastiffs can adapt to smaller living spaces better than English Mastiffs.
  • Activity level: Bullmastiffs require more exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Guarding needs: Both breeds are excellent guard dogs, but Bullmastiffs are more alert and active.

Activity Levels

Both breeds have different exercise needs. Consider the following:

  • Bullmastiffs: Require moderate exercise, including daily walks and playtime. They are more energetic and need activities to stay engaged.
  • English Mastiffs: Require regular, but less intense exercise. They enjoy leisurely walks and are more laid-back.

Family Dynamics

Consider the dynamics of your family when choosing a breed. Important factors include:

  • Children: Both breeds are good with children, but supervision is necessary due to their size.
  • Other pets: Proper socialization is crucial for both breeds to get along with other pets.
  • Allergies: Both breeds shed and can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals.

Long-Term Commitment

Both breeds require a long-term commitment and come with responsibilities. Key considerations:

  • Lifespan: English Mastiffs typically live between 6 to 10 years, while Bullmastiffs have a similar lifespan.
  • Health care: Both breeds are prone to specific health issues that require regular veterinary care.
  • Cost: Consider the cost of food, grooming, and medical expenses for a large dog.


Are Bullmastiffs good with children?

Bullmastiffs are generally good with children. They are protective and can be gentle with family members. However, due to their size and strength, supervision is recommended during interactions with young children to ensure safety and prevent accidental knocks.

Do English Mastiffs require a lot of exercise?

English Mastiffs have lower exercise needs compared to some other large breeds. They enjoy moderate exercise, such as daily walks and playtime, but they are not overly energetic. Their exercise routine should balance physical activity and rest to avoid strain on their joints.

How do Bullmastiffs and English Mastiffs differ in terms of health issues?

Bullmastiffs and English Mastiffs share some common health issues, such as hip dysplasia and bloat. However, English Mastiffs are more prone to heart conditions due to their larger size. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet are essential for both breeds to manage potential health concerns.

Which breed is easier to train?

Bullmastiffs tend to be easier to train compared to English Mastiffs due to their higher intelligence and eagerness to please. Consistent, positive reinforcement training methods work well with both breeds, but Bullmastiffs may respond more quickly and be more adaptable to commands.

Do Bullmastiffs and English Mastiffs get along with other pets?

Both breeds can get along with other pets if properly socialized from a young age. Bullmastiffs may have a stronger prey drive, so early training and socialization are crucial. English Mastiffs, with their calmer demeanor, may be more tolerant of other animals but still require socialization to ensure harmony.


Choosing between a Bullmastiff and an English Mastiff depends on your lifestyle and preferences. Both breeds offer unique qualities that can make them wonderful companions, but their differences in size, temperament, and exercise needs are important considerations.

Understanding the specific needs of each breed will help you provide the best care and environment for your new canine friend. Whether you opt for the protective Bullmastiff or the gentle English Mastiff, both breeds will reward you with loyalty and affection, making them cherished members of your family.

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