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Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

bullmastiff and german shepherd

Height: 23 – 27 inches
Weight: 60 – 140 pounds
Lifespan: 9 – 14 years
Colors: Black and tan, brindle, fawn, black
Suitable for: Moderately active to active individuals or families, those looking for a guard dog
Temperament: Loyal, protective, intelligent

The Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix is a large crossbreed of two fiercely loyal and powerful dog breeds. These hybrid dogs can take on traits from either parent but it’s guaranteed that these won’t be small dogs.

The smallest version of this mixed breed will weigh at least 60 pounds but can reach up to 140 pounds. They’ll generally stand anywhere from 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder. Bullmastiff German Shepherd mixes have an average lifespan of 9 to 13 years and tend to have fewer health issues compared to their purebred parents.

Each of these breeds is very loyal and protective of their families. With proper training and socialization, they can make family pets that will have no problem doubling as guard dogs.

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Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix Puppy – Before You Bring One Home…


A Bull Mastiff German Shepherd mix is going to be a very large, powerful dog that can come with a stubborn streak. Both parent breeds need a strong hand in training and so will this hybrid mix. German Shepherds and Bullmastiffs are very headstrong and dominant breeds. They can be territorial and protective over their space and their people. Proper training is an absolute must.

With a large size can come large food and vet bills. These dogs will eat a lot and will require high-quality food for proper nutrition. Large breeds tend to have more health issues, especially as they age. They also have a tendency to cost more in terms of preventative medicine and overall veterinary care.

3 Little-Known Facts About Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix

1. Bullmastiffs Were Bred as Guardians

Bullmastiffs originated in England in the mid-1800s and were used as estate guardians to ward off poachers. They were bred by gamekeepers for their strength, size, speed, and working ability.

2. German Shepherds Are Among the Most Versatile Breeds

The German Shepherd has held many jobs other than a movie star—leading the blind, chasing down criminals, sniffing out illegal substances, serving in the military, visiting the sick, and herding stock are just some of the jobs held by this versatile breed.

3. Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mixes Come in a Variety of Appearances

This mixed breed is large, not unlike the parents, but can be quite variable in appearance. They can be black and tan, fawn, brindle, or black with short or medium-length coats. They may or may not have the German Shepherd’s double coat.

They could have the sturdy, muscular build of the Bullmastiff or the leaner, athletic shepherd build. They could have a short muzzle, a long shepherd-like muzzle, or one in between. This mixed breed can take on the appearance of either or both parent breeds.

bullmastiff and german shepherd dogs
The parent breeds of Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix: Left – Bullmastiff; Right – German Shepherd (Image Credit: Pixabay)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix 🧠

The uniqueness of a mixed breed can make it difficult to predict their temperament. This is where the genetics and history of the purebred parents come into play. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and full of energy, while the Bullmastiff is more docile and affectionate.

Bullmastiffs and German Shepherds do share some similar traits. Both are powerful, devoted, headstrong, and courageous. You can expect these dogs to be watchful over their family and territory and make excellent guard dogs. They can be wary of strangers so it’s best to socialize them early.

Excellent training from puppyhood can make this mixed breed an excellent, loyal, and protective guardian and companion for many dog owners. Bullmastiff German Shepherd mixes training and socialization will ultimately define your dog’s temperament.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

With proper training and socialization from an early age, a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix can make a great family pet. Bullmastiffs, while protective, are commonly referred to as “gentle giants.” German Shepherds, while high energy, are very intelligent, loving, and loyal dogs.

You will need to be cautious with this mixed breed around small children due to their large size. It’s easy for a large dog to knock down little ones. You do want to keep in mind that both breeds have strong guardian instincts and you will want to begin training as a puppy.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

If you plan on having other pets around a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix, you must introduce them and have them acclimated to the other animals in puppyhood. Bullmastiffs aren’t known for being overly dog friendly, especially with dogs of the same gender.

German Shepherds can get along great with other animals and are very adaptable if started young. They do like to chase but typically do well with cats and other dogs when they’ve been around them since early puppyhood. As for other dogs, German Shepherds can be a hit or a miss if introduced as an adult.

Both breeds have very high predatory instincts and can be very territorial. Some individuals may never take well to other animals, especially if brought into the home as an adult. Again, it’s highly recommended to introduce this mixed breed as a puppy so they can grow with your other pets.

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Things to Know When Owning a Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Bullmastiff German Shepherd mixes are large dogs that will require a lot of food. They can be quite expensive to feed. They will need high-quality dog food fed food appropriate to their size, age, and activity level. Any questions regarding the quantity or frequency of feedings should be addressed with your veterinarian.

Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix Exercise 🐕

German Shepherds can be high-energy and require a great deal of mental and physical stimulation. If left unchecked, they can become destructive. Bullmastiffs come with strength and endurance; they are not as high energy as German Shepherds but will still require exercise.

Bullmastiff German Shepherds will require daily exercise and will do best with a variety of walks, toys, fetch, and other forms of play. As your dog grows, you’ll be able to gauge what kind of energy level your individual has taken on.

Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix Training 🦮

Appropriate training and proper socialization are essential for this mixed breed. They are very large, intelligent, headstrong, and protective. It’s recommended to begin training as soon as your puppy comes home.

Bullmastiff German Shepherds can be trained very easily, they will just require consistency on the owner’s part. Both parent breeds are very eager to please and take to training very well. This powerful dog will come built to work, if you don’t put effort into training you could end up with a sizeable dog that is hard to control.

Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mixes are not an ideal choice for first-time or novice dog owners. Any owner will need to be prepared to devote plenty of energy to training and socializing their dog.

Grooming ✂️

Bullmastiffs are short-coated canines that do shed but nowhere near the amount that German Shepherds shed. Though Bullmastiffs are not high maintenance in terms of grooming, German Shepherds are. Grooming needs will depend on the individual dog since they can take on the appearance and coat from either or both parents.

A dog with a more shepherd-like coat will have a dense undercoat and shed constantly. It’ll be best to brush them thoroughly at least once a week. You can expect a lot of hair around the house. If the coat resembles the Bullmastiff, less grooming will be required.

You’ll want to ensure your dog’s ears are clean by checking them regularly and wiping them clean as needed.  Nails will need to be properly trimmed. It’s best to begin nail clipping at an early age so they can become accustomed and comfortable with the process. When they are larger, they can be very hard to control if they are terrified of the clippers.

Health and Conditions ❤️

With mixed breeds such as the Bullmastiff German Shepherd, it’s common for them to inherit some health conditions from their parent breeds. Both Bullmastiffs, as well as German Guards, frequently deal with hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, which are commonly seen in large dogs.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia

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Male vs Female

Typically, you can expect males to be larger than females. Bullmastiff German Shepherd mixes can vary in size but will be quite large, regardless. There won’t be any distinguishing physical features or personality traits that will definitively distinguish males from females.

When it comes to the costs of spaying and neutering, males will be less expensive to sterilize since the spay of a female is a more complex surgery. Keep in mind that large dogs require more anesthesia and medical procedures tend to be pricier.

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Final Thoughts

Overall, this large, lovable mix between the Bullmastiff and German Shepherd has the potential to make a wonderful pet for the right owner. It’s best to be aware of the size and characteristics of each parent breed and realize that the looks and temperament can be derived from either side of the gene pool.

You’ll want to make sure you have the time and energy to put into training and socializing a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix, as they can be a bit stubborn and bull-headed. You’ll have yourself a devoted and faithful companion that will be willing to protect you at all costs. Just keep in mind the food and vet bills can be a bit more than that of your average dog!

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Featured Image Credit: Left – Bullmastiff (BORINA OLGA, Shutterstock); Right – German Shepherd (profcalamitous, Pixabay)

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