Do You Really
Want a
Bullmastiff?

Do you like your house and clothes to be meticulously clean?
No matter what people tell you, Bullmastiffs drool.  This is mostly when they are eating (or thinking about eating,) with
exercise, or heat.  Kitchen floors can become hazardous with pools of drool and walls become decorated with "slingers."
Clothes become streaked with slime and occasionally a big paw print.  These big paws also track in a lot of mud.  Although
not excessive, Bullmastiffs do shed.  This will be found mostly in their favorite napping places (likely your couch or bed) and
on your clothes.

Are you prepared to deal with living with a 100-140 pound animal in your house?
These are dogs that need to live with their people.  They do not tolerate weather extremes well.  If you expect the dog to live
outside, then I suggest NOT getting a Bullmastiff.  Because of their sheer size they must be monitored with the very young,
elderly, or anyone unstable on their feet.  They also learn that counter tops often contain tasty treats and are not above
helping themselves.

Do you have a nicely landscaped yard?
Dogs, especially puppies, have a different idea of yard work.  They are proficient at excavating and pruning.  They leave  
large deposits of waste, and urine may damage the lawn or shrubs.

Do you have a strong, secure fence?
This is essential to owning a Bullmastiff.  I do not recommend using an invisible fencing system alone.  Bullmastiffs can
have a very high pain threshold when focused on something else, and this type of fencing does not stop other animals from
coming into your yard.

Does your schedule allow you time to spend sufficient time with your dog EVERY day?
Bullmastiffs don't require an extensive amount of exercise but also are not good at self-exercising.  A walk twice a day is
usually sufficient.  Puppies will require a potty break in the middle of the day.  Bullmastiffs also like to have some quality
time with their owners just hanging-out.  If you work long hours or are frequently gone, then maybe a cat would be a better
choice.

Do you have the time, patience, and money to invest in socializing and training?
Socialization and obedience training are vital components to raising a Bullmastiff.  This is an intelligent yet sometimes
stubborn breed and requires consistency and patience in training.  This task is not accomplished through rough handling, but
through specific reward-based training methods. You need to convince the dog it is a good idea to do what you want.  Rules
must be set and maintained by everyone in the dog's life. If not properly socialized to strange people, strange dogs, and new
situations while still young, you are likely to end up with a fearful and perhaps dangerous dog.  The puppy should be taken
to classes, as well as worked at home and in other environments.  Training needs to be continued throughout its life.

Do you plan on going to the dog park or letting your dog play with your friends dogs?
Many Bullmastiffs will not readily accept strange dogs in their personal space or onto their territory.  The breed can be
predisposed to being dog-aggressive due to it's originating purpose.  Not only were they bred to track and pin  poachers, they
were also to dispatch the poacher's dog.   It is not a breed you should let run off-lead.  Even when on-leash, a Bullmastiff
owner needs to be very aware of their surroundings.  If another dog approaches you need to have complete control of your
dog.  If an incident does happen, it's likely the bigger bull-breed will  be blamed for any injuries incurred.  It is not
recommended to own a male Bullmastiff with another male dog of any breed.  Sometimes female Bullmastiffs will not be
able to cohabitate with other female dogs.

Are you financially prepared to care for a very large dog?
When you look at the purchase price of a Bullmastiff ($2,000-$3,000) realize this is just a drop in the bucket.  Maintenance
alone (feeding, vaccinations, spay/neuter, crates, indestructible toys, sturdy collars and leads, etc.) for a 100+ pound dog gets
expensive.  If medications or veterinary treatment are needed, expect to pay 5-10 times more than you would with a small
dog.  On this note, I highly recommend purchasing pet medical insurance right off the bat.  Professional obedience training
(outside the home) and secure fencing are other requirements that will cost you.

If you want a snoring, slobbering, farting, protective, co-dependent, loving Bullmastiff to
become a part of your family then I suggest you patiently and carefully screen some
responsible breeders.  Beware, you may not be able to quit with only one.
Sandra Statter, DVM