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Bullmastiff vs English Mastiff: What’s the Difference?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Bullmastiff vs English Mastiff

Many people think that the Bullmastiff and the English Mastiff look alike. Both are massive, have short coats and muzzles, were both originally bred as working dogs, and are extremely powerful. Also, they’re both descendants from the Mastiff lineage, so it makes sense that they would have a few things in common.

But there are differences between the Bullmastiff and English Mastiff. For instance, the English Mastiff is a purebred dog while the Bullmastiff is a hybrid mix of the English Bulldog and English Mastiff. They are both huge dog breeds, though the English Mastiff tends to be quite a bit larger than the Bullmastiff. In fact, English Mastiffs hold the record for being one of the top nine largest dog breeds in existence. Here are other differences between the Bullmastiff and English Mastiff.

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Visual Differences

Bullmastiff vs English Mastiff side by side
Image Credit: (L) BORINA OLGA, Shutterstock | (R) Waldemar Dabrowski, Shutterstock

A Quick Overview

There are small and large differences between the Bullmastiff and English Mastiff Breeds. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Average Height (adult): 27 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): 130 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6-9 years
  • Exercise: 40+ min/day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Moderate
  • Temperament: Intelligent, affectionate, attentive
English Mastiff
  • Average Height (adult): 30 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): 200 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6-10 years
  • Exercise: 30+ hours/day
  • Grooming needs: Low – Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Moderate
  • Temperament: Docile, loving, good-natured

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Visual Differences Explained

Bullmastiff | Image credit: BORINA OLGA, Shutterstock

As mentioned, both these dog breeds get quite big when fully grown. The Bullmastiff can weigh up to a whopping 130 pounds! But if you think that’s big, you should get up close and personal with an English Mastiff. These guys can weigh in at a massive 200 pounds or more. One English Bulldog holds the weight record at 343 impressive pounds!

Both the Bullmastiff and English Mastiff have similar body and head shapes, but the English Mastiff’s features are obviously larger. English Mastiffs are born with either fawn, apricot, or brindle coat colors. Bullmastiffs typically feature fawn, red, or brindle coat colors. English Mastiffs always have a black mask, while the Bullmastiff’s mask could be any of the mixed breed’s coat colors.

english mastiff
English Mastiff | Image credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

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Personality Differences

Both the Bullmastiff and the English Mastiff have been bred for hunting, so they have strong prey instincts to contend with as owners. Both are intelligent enough to pick up training quite quickly. However, the Bullmastiff is quite a bit more active than the English Mastiff.

If the Bullmastiff isn’t sufficiently exercised training, the session can become frustrating for everyone involved. On the other hand, English Mastiffs are quite lazy and tend to take to training well even after a day of lounging around at home. In fact, English Mastiffs are lazy much of their free time. After a nice walk in the morning, they’ll happily spend the afternoon napping.

However, Bullmastiffs will likely want to take advantage of a play session in the yard even after an extensive walk around the neighborhood. English Mastiffs don’t need much stimulation to stay satisfied with their lives, but Bullmastiffs need access to puzzle toys and plenty of game time with family members for high quality of life.

No Mastiff is “easy” to train. Although intelligent, they tend to take their time when it comes to learning new things and putting their knowledge into practice. Bullmastiffs are stubborn and don’t usually respond well to treats during training. Patience and consistency are vital. English Mastiffs love treats, though, so they can successfully be used to encourage positive training habits.

English Mastiff Puppy
English Mastiff Puppy | Image credit: rokopix, Shutterstock

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Health Differences

Both breeds are prone to the same basic health issues and live to be about the same age of 9 or 10 years old. They both eat their fair share of dog food — up to 4 cups a day, depending on their age, weight, and activity level. Both the Bullmastiff and English Mastiff are susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia.

Bloat and gastric torsion are also common health conditions that owners of both breeds should be aware of. Blindness may even occur in either breed upon their senior years. One difference in the health of these breeds is that the Bullmastiff may suffer from brachycephalic syndrome due to their extra short muzzles.

Bullmastiff | Image credit: photosounds, Shutterstock

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The Bottom Line: They’re Both Winners

There are no losers when it comes to the Bullmastiff vs English Bulldog. Both breeds are different in many ways. But they are both loving, affectionate, and loyal dogs that would love nothing more than to become part of a big family. These dogs need a great deal of training when they’re puppies, and both need plenty of attention throughout the day. No matter which breed your family decides to adopt, you’ll be in for fun surprises!

Have you had the pleasure of spending time with either the Bullmastiff or English Mastiff? We would love to learn about your experiences with both the Bullmastiff and the English Mastiff on our Facebook or Instagram.

Featured Image Credit: (L) Eric Isselee, Shutterstock | (R) Jagodka, Shutterstock

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