Can Bullmastiffs Live
With Other Dogs or Cats?
They May Be Cuddly With Humans,
But What About Other Pets?


Besides being aggressive and highly protective, bullmastiffs are sweet-natured and cuddly, features that make them perfect for home settings. However, bullmastiffs are also known to be possessive and highly territorial, which raises concerns over their ability to live with other home pets, especially dogs and cats.  

Bullmastiffs can live with other dogs and cats only if they're trained early enough during puppyhood. Due to their high predatory instincts, they struggle to interact with cats. And as naturally territorial animals, bullmastiffs aren't big on living with same-gender dogs regardless of breed.

Still here? Awesome, read on as we discuss some of the main features of bullmastiffs and how you can accommodate this large breed canine companion in your home. Read More Below...

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Bullmastiff on beach

A Brief History of the Bullmastiff

Also known as "The Gamekeeper's Night Dog,' bullmastiffs were bred to provide solutions to increased poaching cases during the 19th century. And as revealed by the American Kennel Club, the bullmastiff is 60% mastiff and 40% bulldog, making it a giant breed with heavy bones.  

Gamekeepers loved using bullmastiffs not only due to their size and aggression but also because of their ability to work in silence. Catching poachers required stealth, and the mostly silent bullmastiff was the perfect solution.

Over the years, bullmastiffs have transformed into a popular breed for dog enthusiasts. They provide extra protection at home and make charming, cuddly companions when in the mood.

Training and Socialization of Bullmastiffs

Bullmastiffs are strong-willed and aggressive, exactly why they need early training to tone their instincts. Ideally, you should start training your bullmastiff during puppyhood since training fully grown dogs can prove almost impossible.

The trick is to show your four-legged family member that it's okay and normal to associate with other pets. So you'll need to introduce him to your home cat early enough to ease off his territorial alertness.  

Training bullmastiffs to accommodate other breeds can prove challenging, especially if you're training your pup in solitude. The American Kennel Club recommends enrolling your bullmastiff in local puppy classes for him to interact with other dogs at an early stage.

If you fail to train your bullmastiff pup to interact with other pets, then he'll always be aggressive whenever he spots other animals—chasing after your neighbor's cat or tiny pooch—and you don't want that!  


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Brain Training For Dogs is an excellent online training course that
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Training and Socialization of Bullmastiffs

Bullmastiffs are strong-willed and aggressive, exactly why they need early training to tone their instincts. Ideally, you should start training your bullmastiff during puppyhood since training fully grown dogs can prove almost impossible.

The trick is to show your four-legged family member that it's okay and normal to associate with other pets. So you'll need to introduce him to your home cat early enough to ease off his territorial alertness.  

Training bullmastiffs to accommodate other breeds can prove challenging, especially if you're training your pup in solitude. The American Kennel Club recommends enrolling your bullmastiff in local puppy classes for him to interact with other dogs at an early stage.

If you fail to train your bullmastiff pup to interact with other pets, then he'll always be aggressive whenever he spots other animals—chasing after your neighbor's cat or tiny pooch—and you don't want that!

Bullmastiff Socialization Tips

The bullmastiff will naturally struggle to accommodate other animals and strangers alike. Observe the following tips to improve your bullmastiff's social attributes and ensure he remains friendly to your other pets.

Allow Him to Stay Long Enough With His Litter

Don't be in too much of a hurry to bring your bullmastiff puppy home. This tiny puppy requires as much time as possible with his mother and littermates to develop social skills at a tender age.

Pet parents should allow a minimum of six weeks before bringing a puppy home. If you can wait eight weeks or more, even better since doing so allows your puppy to engage in play and learn from the mother.

By allowing your bullmastiff puppy to play with littermates, he'll know from a tender age that playing and living with other dogs is normal. Additionally, the presence of a momma bear ensures that all the litter mates will participate in friendly play. This is because mothers tend to warn puppies whenever they spot extremely rough play and bites.

Introduce Him to Family Pets Early Enough

Once your bullmastiff puppy gets home, you'll need to get him started on socialization and obedience training as soon as possible.

Start by giving him his own space that he can dominate. This means separating his sleeping and feeding areas from cats and other dogs during the first few weeks to ensure he doesn't feel threatened. 

Once he becomes comfortable in his new setup, it's time to take him for walks or play outside. However, be sure to leash him up to keep him in check in case his instincts prompt him to attack your cat.

Early exposure to other pets, especially household cats and dogs, will improve his social skills, making him understand that the family is large.

Pro-tip: Mastiffs love dog crates as they provide not only a sense of safety but also helps with their potty training and is a great way to keep them out of trouble when not  supervised directly. Check out the best Mastiff crates from Amazon.com

Separate Toys and Mealtime

With bullmastiffs, pet parents need to be extra careful to avoid situations that would catalyze fights. This means keeping pet toys separate. Make sure no pet has a deficiency of toys and try as much as possible to remain consistent when obedience training your bullmastiff.

Let him know that no means no and that you're the leader of the pack-you call the shots. You should also train your bullmastiff to obey instructions from other family members. Doing so helps maintain order whenever you might not be around, especially when he gets tempted to play with other pets' toys or exert his dominance.

Mealtime is a highly sensitive area when dealing with bullmastiffs and other pets. If you have a cat, consider setting his feeding area on the opposite side of the house. Keeping their feeding areas too close might provoke the bullmastiff, convincing him that the cat wants to compete for his meals.

But once the pets become comfortable around each other, you can bring their feeding areas close enough (depending on space). The most important thing is to gradually introduce your bullmastiff to other pets, making him understand that other pets are part of the family, too.

Bullmastiffs’ Personality

Naturally, bullmastiffs are confident and fearless. But besides their strength and high levels of aggression, these dogs are obedient to their masters, features which make them ideal for home settings.

As a crossbreed of bulldogs and mastiffs, bullmastiffs are known as silent watchdogs. These dogs were bred to provide protection without excessive barking.  

Bullmastiffs have a low score when it comes to socialization. They don't fancy interacting with other animals and require early training for them to interact with others. It is advisable to take your bullmastiff puppy to busy parks and dog-friendly stores to polish his social skills.

Are Bullmastiffs Child Friendly?

Although initially bred to provide protection to British gamekeepers, bullmastiffs have evolved into loveable family dogs. Their intelligence and loving, cuddly nature make them perfect for home settings, especially families with grown children.

While the bullmastiff can also thrive in households with small children, it is advisable to be extra careful due to his size and bone density. These dogs weigh an average of 130 pounds when fully grown, which makes them potentially dangerous to small children. 

Therefore, you should take your time to train your bullmastiff on a gentle play, especially when playing with toddlers. Also, since bullmastiffs are highly protective, it's best to ensure he understands that children tend to play rough. He might be tempted to intervene and 'help out' his owner's child when he spots kids playing rough games in the yard.

Therefore, if you can't train your dog to stay away from potentially rough children's games, it's best to advise your children against playing overly physical games that might mislead the bullmastiff, causing him to attack. 

Final Takeaway

Dog enthusiasts adore bullmastiffs due to their loyalty, reliability, and strength. Depending on the environment and situation, these large-sized dogs can easily switch from being aggressive and transform into adorable cuddle bears.

While bullmastiffs come with many benefits, these dogs aren't known to be social and need a lot of training to let their guard down. Therefore, be sure to train your bullmastiff early enough to improve his social skills and make him a good sport to other people and pets as well.

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