The bullmastiff is a large-breed dog of British descent that was bred for hunting and guarding purposes. Because of their size, there are many myths surrounding these dogs regarding their ferocity and status as a family pet. The reality regarding 13 myths about bullmastiffs, however, is both surprising and informative for anyone who is considering adding one to the family.
1. Myth: Bull mastiffs are the same as pit bulls
Fact: The two breeds are completely different in both size and conformation. The “bull” in their name is common to many large-boned breeds that were bred for bull gripping and baiting in the 18th and 19th century.
2. Myth: Bull mastiffs are vicious and will attack children and other animals
Fact: While bull mastiffs are protective of their properties, they can be socialized early to tolerate other dogs and even cats. Bull mastiffs are also well known for their affection toward children.
3. Myth: Bull mastiffs don’t live long because they all develop hip dysplasia
Fact: While hip dysplasia is a problem with larger dogs, not all bull mastiffs will develop it. It is important that the parents of any puppy be viewed before agreeing to purchase the puppy, as hip dysplasia can be genetic.
4. Myth: Furniture and carpets will be ruined from bull mastiff drooling
Fact: While all bull mastiffs drool, keeping drool rags handy can quell this issue. Dog drool also doesn’t stain fabric, in most cases.
5. Myth: You have to own a large property to keep a bull mastiff
Fact: The bull mastiff is a very large dog that can reach over 100 pounds, but they are also mellow dogs that require average amounts of exercise. As long as they get plenty of attention, a huge yard isn’t a necessity.
6. Myth: All “bull” breeds bark constantly and the bull mastiff is no exception
Fact: the bull mastiff is called “the silent watchdog” because while they are vigilant protectors, they rarely have the kind of barking issues that smaller dogs have. A bull mastiff rarely barks for no reason.
7. Myth: Because bull mastiffs have short hair, they don’t shed
Fact: These dogs do tend to shed quite a bit. A grooming glove or rubber brush will remove any excess hair. You should only have to brush your dog about twice a week to help remove dead hairs.
8. Myth: Bull mastiffs are not intelligent and difficult to train
Fact: While these dogs don’t rate high on the intelligence scale, when training is given early and often, they can learn all basic commands and more. These dogs also tend to be stubborn, so training problems are often not a matter of stupidity—they are simply strong willed.
9. Myth: Bull mastiffs cannot be trusted off the leash in public and will attack any animal it sees
Fact: While there have been reports of these dogs attacking other animals in the news, these dogs are not animal aggressive when they have been properly socialized. Owners should expose their puppies to as many animals as possible to reduce the chances of animal aggression.
10. Myth: Because of their size, bull mastiffs should live outside
Fact: A bull mastiff that is left outside with no human interaction will become aggressive. Your dog will need a lot of attention and socializing indoors to keep him friendly and secure.
11. Myth: Bull mastiffs have been banned in certain American states
Fact: Currently, there are no bans on owning bull mastiffs in the U.S. If you want to own one of these dogs, however, you should check with local ordinances regarding dog sizes and breeds that are acceptable, depending on the kind of home you live in.
12. Myth: Bull mastiffs are allergy prone and expensive to keep because they need special food
Fact: While some bull mastiffs are allergic to wheat and gluten, this is not the general rule. Owners should have their puppies tested for individual food allergies at an early age.
13. Myth: Neutering your bull mastiff will destroy his protective nature
Fact: The protectiveness of these dogs is a matter of their breeding, not their sex. Even neutered males make excellent guardians and protectors for your home and family.