Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix: The Gentle Giant Hybrid Dog

Categorized as German Shepherd Types and Mixes
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The Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix is a crossing of two classic and mighty dog breeds – the Bullmastiff and the German Shepherd. This hybrid dog brings together the best traits from both parent breeds to create a loyal, intelligent, and devoted companion that has the protective instincts and strength of both lineages.

In this complete guide, we will cover everything you need to know about this mixed breed including temperament, appearance, health issues, exercise needs, training tips, and more. Read on to learn all about this powerful yet family-friendly crossbreed.

An Overview of the Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix

As a cross between a Bullmastiff and a German Shepherd, the Bullmasstiff Shepherd is a large dog with an imposing stature. However, with proper socialization and training, these hybrids can be gentle protectors and loving family companions.

Here are some quick facts about this mixed breed:

  • Height – 23 to 27 inches
  • Weight – 60 to 140 pounds
  • Lifespan – 9 to 14 years
  • Temperament – Loyal, protective, intelligent
  • Coat Colors – Black & tan, brindle, fawn, black
  • Grooming – Moderate shedding
  • Activity Levels – Moderately active to active

This powerful crossbreed has strong guardian instincts inherited from both parent breeds. When well-socialized, they can be trusted around children and do well in family environments. Their protective nature and intimidating size makes them excellent watchdogs.

Early socialization and obedience training is a must with this mix. They need a confident owner who can establish themselves as the pack leader. When properly handled, this hybrid makes for a steadfast companion.

The Origins of the Parent Breeds

To better understand the Bullmasstiff Shepherd dog, it’s helpful to take a look at the history and traits of its parent breeds.

The Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff originates from England where it was bred as an estate guardian in the 1800’s. Gamekeepers crossed Mastiffs with Bulldogs to create a powerfully built yet agile dog that could tackle poachers.

Despite their intimidating appearance, Bullmastiffs are calm, devoted, and loving. They form strong bonds with their family. Their size and protective instincts also make them natural guardians.

The German Shepherd

German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds and for good reason. They are highly intelligent, energetic, and eager to please. With origins as herding dogs in Germany, German Shepherds take well to training and serve many working roles from police K9s to service dogs.

While very active and driven, German Shepherds are loyal pets that bond closely to their handler and family. Their watchful nature helps make them excellent guard dogs.

The Appearance of a Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix

Since this is a cross between two pure breeds, the Bullmastiff Shepherd mix can vary greatly in physical appearance. They can resemble one parent more closely or be an even blend of both.

These dogs have a large, muscular build. They typically measure 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh 60 to 140 pounds when fully grown. Clearly, these are very big and powerful dogs!

The coat of the Bullmasstiff Shepherd is short to medium length and lies flat against the body. Common coat colors include:

  • Black and tan
  • Fawn
  • Brindle
  • Black

This hybrid may inherit the iconic black facial mask of the German Shepherd. They often have a broad head with drop ears, though some can have erect ears from the Shepherd lineage. Overall their appearance reflects their guarding breed origins.

Temperament & Personality of the Bullmastiff Shepherd

Since mixes can inherit a range of traits from their parents, their personalities are not as predictable as pure breeds. However, there are some common temperament characteristics found in Bullmastiff Shepherd hybrids:

  • Loyal – Both parent breeds are known for their devotion. These dogs form tight bonds with their owners.
  • Intelligent – With the German Shepherd’s influence, this cross is smart and trainable.
  • Courageous – They are fearless when it comes to protecting their family and property.
  • Protective – Their guarding instincts and intimidating size makes them natural watchdogs.
  • Calm – When properly exercised, these dogs are laidback and affectionate at home.

Early socialization and obedience training will help ensure this hybrid grows into a well-rounded, stable temperament. With their extreme loyalty and intelligence, they thrive when given a job and purpose.

Activity levels can vary depending on which parent they take after. Bullmastiffs require moderate exercise while German Shepherds need more intense activity. Most Bullmasstiff Shepherds fall somewhere in between.

Exercise & Activity Needs

To stay fit and well-balanced, the Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix requires 60 to 90 minutes of exercise daily. This energetic crossbreed thrives when given daily vigorous activity.

As long as they receive adequate outdoor time and activity, these dogs will be calm and relaxed when indoors. However, without proper exercise they can become restless and destructive.

Here are some great ways to exercise your Bullmastiff Shepherd:

  • Long walks – A long brisk walk each day will help meet their exercise needs.
  • Playtime – Fetch, tug of war, and interactive toys provide physical and mental stimulation.
  • Backyard play – Let them run around off-leash in a securely fenced area.
  • Jogging or hiking – This breed can make a great jogging or hiking companion for active owners.
  • Dog sports – Training in dog sports like agility, obedience, or nose work gives them an outlet for their energy and intelligence.

Because of their large size, activities like jumping and running on hard surfaces should be limited until they are fully grown around age 2. Otherwise, their joints are at risk of injury.

AgeExercise TimeActivity Type
2 – 6 months20 – 30 minutesLeash walking, indoor play
6 – 12 months30 – 45 minutesOn-leash walking, backyard play
1 – 2 years45 – 60 minutesModerate leash walks, supervised off-leash play
Adults60+ minutesBrisk walking, running, hiking

As a general rule, puppies should have 5 minutes of exercise per month of age up to twice a day. Adult Bullmastiff Shepherds need a minimum of 60 minutes daily. Provide activities that engage their minds and bodies.

Training Tips for Bullmastiff Shepherd Puppies & Dogs

The Bullmastiff German Shepherd is an intelligent hybrid that is eager to work and please their owner. They are highly trainable when handled with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.

Here are some key training tips:

  • Start young – Begin puppy obedience training as early as 8 weeks old. This helps socialize them.
  • Use rewards – Food treats, praise, and toys motivate them to obey commands.
  • Stay firm – Be consistent and don’t allow them to get away with disobeying known cues. This breed needs an assertive pack leader.
  • Socialize often – Introduce them to new places, people, and animals frequently to prevent territorial behavior.
  • Challenge their brains – Advanced training in agility, scent detection, or other “jobs” provides mental stimulation.
  • Be patient – Don’t get frustrated. They are sensitive and will shut down if handled harshly. Positively reinforce desired behaviors.

Training should focus on basic obedience, leash manners, and socialization skills. Always use humane, reward-based methods. Harsh punishments will damage their trust.

Invest time into training, and this hybrid will become an incredibly well-behaved companion. For best results, owners should enroll them in puppy and obedience classes led by professional dog trainers.

Grooming Needs

The Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix has a short to medium length double coat that lies flat and close to the body.

Grooming requirements are relatively low maintenance:

  • Brush regularly – Use a bristle brush and rub down their coat once or twice per week to remove loose hair. During shedding season daily brushing can help manage loose fur around your home.
  • Bathe occasionally – Only bathe them every 2-3 months or as needed to avoid drying out their skin. Use a mild dog shampoo.
  • Clean ears – Check and wipe their ears weekly to prevent infections.
  • Clip nails – Trim their nails every 2-3 weeks to avoid cracking and overgrowth.
  • Brush teeth – Daily tooth brushing promotes good dental health.

Shedding and drooling will be moderate. The Bullmastiff influence contributes to more drooling. Make sure to wipe down their facial folds regularly to prevent moisture buildup.

Nutrition & Feeding

These large hybrid dogs need specially formulated large breed dry dog food to support their growth and nutritional needs. Feed them a high-quality kibble and avoid cheap grains or fillers.

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for serving sizes. The amount fed should be divided into 2-3 meals throughout the day.

Here are some feeding guidelines based on your Bullmastiff Shepherd dog’s weight:

Adult WeightDaily Food (Split into Multiple Meals)
60 – 80 lbs3 – 4 cups
80 – 100 lbs4 – 5 cups
100 – 140 lbs5 – 7 cups

As a giant breed, care should be taken not to overfeed. Overweight puts excess strain on their joints. Limit people food, monitor their weight, and adjust food as needed to maintain a healthy body condition.

Health Issues

All giant breed dogs are predisposed to certain health conditions. Here are some to be aware of with the Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix:

  • Hip dysplasia – Malformation of hip joints causing osteoarthritis. Weight management helps.
  • Elbow dysplasia – Deformity of elbow joints also leading to arthritis.
  • Bloat – Life-threatening twisting of stomach requiring emergency surgery. Don’t exercise for 1 hour after eating.
  • Allergies – Environmental allergies are common. Symptoms include itchy skin, ear infections, and foot licking.
  • Cancer – Both parent breeds have increased risk of certain cancers.

A responsible breeder will screen breeding dogs for dysplasia and eye issues. Purchasing from a breeder allows you access to health clearances.

Overall, with proper diet and exercise, the Bullmasstiff Shepherd enjoys relatively good health and can live between 9-14 years. Provide excellent preventative vet care to catch issues early.

Finding a Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix Puppy

High demand for Bullmastiff Shepherd puppies means you may need to go on a breeder’s waitlist. Plan at least a few months of lead time before bringing one home.

Avoid pet stores, irresponsible online sellers, and puppy mills. Seek out reputable breeders that health test their breeding dogs.

Expect to pay $800 to $2000 for a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix puppy from a quality breeder. Adoption is another option if you want to give a rescue dog a loving home!

Here are some tips for finding a pup:

  • Research breeders and read reviews. Visit their facility. Meet at least one parent dog.
  • Ask to see OFA or PennHIP health certifications for hips and elbows.
  • Look for breeders that temperament test litters and breed for sound temperament.
  • Puppies should stay with mom and littermates until 8-10 weeks old.
  • Avoid anxious or aggressive puppies. Pick an outgoing, playful one.

With a little patience and research, you can find a happy healthy Bullmastiff Shepherd pup to bring home!

Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix Puppies – What to Expect

Bringing home a Bullmastiff German Shepherd puppy is an exciting time! Here is what to expect with raising and training your Bullmastiff Shepherd pup:

8 weeks – Get your puppy spayed/neutered, microchipped, and begin vaccinations. Start housetraining right away. Enroll in a puppy kindergarten class.

3 months – Puppies will start teething and be mouthy. Provide plenty of chew toys. Continue socialization and training. Supervise interactions with children.

6 months – Adolescence starts. Reinforce training as your puppy tests boundaries. Practice commands consistently. Keep exercise moderate.

9 months – Growth plates are still fusing, so avoid running on pavement and high-impact exercise. Continue training and socialization.

12 months – Your Bullmastiff Shepherd is now a teenager. Keep them engaged with training activities and exercise. Monitor their weight.

Raising a Bullmastiff Shepherd puppy takes time and dedication. With proper care, training, and love, they grow into wonderful companions!

Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about the Bullmastiff Shepherd mix.

Are Bullmastiff German Shepherd mixes good family dogs?

Yes, when properly trained and socialized these dogs can be excellent family companions despite their large size. They are gentle and protective of kids. Supervise young children and teach them how to interact nicely with pets.

How big do Bullmastiff German Shepherd mixes get?

These are very large dogs, typically ranging from 60-140 pounds and 23-27 inches tall at the shoulder.

Do Bullmastiff German Shepherds shed a lot?

Moderate shedding can be expected year-round. Daily brushing when they are blowing their coat can help manage loose hairs around your home.

Are Bullmastiff Shepherds easy to train?

They are highly intelligent and respond very well to training when done properly with positive reinforcement, consistency, and firm leadership. Their eagerness to please makes training them very rewarding.

How much exercise does a Bullmastiff German Shepherd need?

Plan on providing 60-90 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. These high-energy mixes need plenty of activity, playtime, and long walks.

What health problems do Bullmastiff German Shepherds have?

Hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and allergies are some common health issues to be aware of. Use health-tested breeding dogs and stay on top of vet care.

The Mighty Bullmastiff German Shepherd – In Summary

The Bullmastiff German Shepherd is the hybrid result of crossing two classic guarding breeds – the Bullmastiff and the German Shepherd. This mix brings together the best of both worlds when it comes to loyalty, trainability, protective instincts, and athleticism.

Proper training and socialization is imperative for raising a well-rounded dog. With an experienced owner who can provide structure, exercise, and training, the Bullmastiff Shepherd is a steadfast companion. Their imposing size, courageous spirit, and family-devotion make them excellent all-around dogs.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.