Think of getting a Bullmastiff! HELP PLEASE!

Discussion in 'The Bullmastiff' started by nicmclemore, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. nicmclemore

    nicmclemore New Member

    Should we get a bullmastiff???? My hubby & I had a beloved Boxer for 10 1/2 years. We lost him to cancer 3 1/2 years ago.....found out 4 days later I was pregnant. Our son just turned 3 & we desperately want another 4 legged baby. Our boxer was about 100 lbs and the exception to the rules for boxers. He was laid back & very protective! Seems more like a Bullmastiff personality from what I've read. I just have some concerns as all I know about Bullmastiff's is what I've read. I'd LOVE to hear from actual owners.
    1. I'm worried about him being TOO when my son is a little older & his friends come over to play. Will he be gentle with other children if properly introduced? Will he be ok with our neighbors & their friendly little male dog? We of course plan to well socialize him.
    2. Is there life expectancy truly around 10 years?
    3. The only training we've done is with a stubborn boxer. Are Bullmastiff's hard to train?
    4. What questions to ask the breeder?
    5. Our son is used to his grandmother's boxer....will it be too hard b/c of the size of the Bullmastiff with a toddler?
    6. Any other advise would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!
  2. LizB

    LizB New Member

    1. When properly trained (emphasis here) the dog will not be "too" protective.
    2. I'd be thrilled with 10 years, but I'd expect more like 7-8, unfortunately. I have had worst luck than most, with one living to 11, one gone at barely 4 and one just a week after his 3rd birthday. These results are not typical!
    3. Stubborn is the BM's middle name, but this is because of their original purpose. They need to be independent and make decisions for themselves. This is why early training is SO IMPORTANT. They MUST look to you for guidance on what you consider acceptable and what you want from them. Close attention is paid to this in the formative years, then you can sit back and let them do their job. It is awesome to see.
    4. If you are looking for a pet, the breeder ought to choose the pup for you, knowing your experience level, your family situation and your plans. A good breeder will do this, and insist on doing this. What are the policies on things like vaccinations and spay/neutering? These days it is recommended that you delay the spay/neuter procedure, and some breeders are not on board with this as there is the potential for their line to be interfered with. There are threads on this forum discussing more about selecting a breeder.
    5. I have had 3 toddlers with BMs over the years. Train the dog and you'll be fine. It will also depend on the personality of the child.
    6. There is a lot I could say, but we'll take baby steps here, lol! Training is really key, so the pup bonds with you and your family and understands who is in charge.
  3. LizB

    LizB New Member

    P.S. Baby taking bone from BM. Do not even THINK of allowing this with an untrained dog. I'm just demonstrating that there need be no issue between your large dog and a small human, if you take the time to train.

  4. Jakesmum

    Jakesmum Well-Known Member

    I agree with everything LizB has said. Socialization and training are key! They are stubborn, but they do not want to disappoint their owners so they are very trainable, I did almost constant training with a trainer for the first year and a half that I had Jake. We don't have small children at home, but have nieces and nephews that come over regularly, he is fantastic with all of them, that being said I would never leave him unattended with any child he is after all a dog and you never know what could happen (any dog regardless of size or temperament could harm a child whether it's an accident or retaliation for something the child did). I also fully believe in kennel training, it gives the dog a safe place to go and relax when they have had enough and want to be alone, plus it saved my house during his puppy chewing phase. Learn to read their signals, we can always tell when he has had too much stimulation, especially when we have company, and if he is showing signs of stress we put him in his kennel to relax.
  5. nicmclemore

    nicmclemore New Member

    Thank you all very very much! Does anyone recommend any Bullmastiff training info available anywhere? Any Breeder recommendations in the NC, SC, or VA areas? I've got some emails into the a couple I found on the American Bullmastiff Association website.
    What do you recommend as far as socialization? Of course we would be taking him, friends, neighbors homes.....I remember when our Boxer was a puppy everyone recommended NOT taking them to dog parks, pet stores, etc until a certain age because of the Parvo risk? We also did kennel train our boxer until he was about 1 year old, then he had free roam :)
    Any other tips, comments would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks again everyone!!!
  6. ruby55

    ruby55 Active Member

    As long as you work with your bm, he/she will be fine around your child & his friends. Two of ours are therapy dogs who work with abused children in a court setting. These kids occasionally act out as they're working with their lawyers; the dogs have NEVER responded negatively to the kids, just tried to get away. We have 4 bm's right now & will be adding a puppy in about 8 weeks. They're like potato chips, IMO; you can't have just one. :) We begin to mentally prepare for some bad times with ours when they hit 10 years old; we know what's coming.They usually live to 10 or 11, but like any breed, cancer or heart problems can take them early. We lost one to cancer at 20 months old, but a friend had a failed foster who lived to 14. Our own rescue is 12, at the best estimate.
    Many people say they're stubborn; I say they're independent thinkers. You HAVE to work with them from day one, because there's a lot of power in that stocky body, & they're going to want to protect your family & property. That's what they're made for.
    Once you settle on a breeder, let us know. Many of us are familiar with the good & bad breeders out there.
    BTW we have a friend who has 5 boxers & one bullmastiff. She says bm's are like boxers on downers; we say boxers are like bm's on speed. :)
  7. Jakesmum

    Jakesmum Well-Known Member

    I can't help with breeders, but if you search through the site there is a lot of discussion of different breeders. When I first got him as a pup I took him to puppy class at our local SPCA after his second shots, it was like kindergarten for puppies and a good way to start socializing him. Also having him around lot's of other people and exposing him to different experiences is good. After that I looked into just an obedience class through one of the dog boarders, we went through that and then a recall course (which he failed miserably at). I tried taking him to a dog park a few times, but after a few bad experiences with other unsocialized dogs and then being attacked by an untrained pit bull I had enough so now his play dates are with dogs that I know and supervised in a smaller area. I also hired a personal trainer, it's hard to find one with specific experience, but the one I went through works with a bulldog rescue so she had a lot of experience with at least part of the breed. If you look at rescue groups and see who they use for a trainer you may be able to get a recommendation. She really helped me to understand some of his fears and how I contribute to his behavior, she basically trained me, but now Jake is a therapy dog with a local charity and we go visit patients at the hospital. Sorry I can't give any specific names, but I'm in Canada so it won't help you.
  8. nicmclemore

    nicmclemore New Member

    Thank you so very much for your wonderful advice and
    time! It is VERY much appreciated! 
  9. Samara'sMom

    Samara'sMom New Member

    check the AKC website. They often recommend excellent breeders and don't be afraid to pay for your newest family member. Great breeders breed for many things including health which is important to the longevity of your BM.
  10. Campbell Corso

    Campbell Corso New Member

    We have a 6 month old BM. We looked at breeders for over a year. If you're serious get in touch and I'll give you the short version of our search list. We also have a 2 yr old CC and a 7 year old child in the house. So far the biggest difference between the breeds is the desire to please. The CC really wants to please. The BM, not so much. And not very quickly. But as a wise BM breeder told me, " if you want a dog to do obedience with get a GSD." I have found working with the pup ALOT(in very short sessions) EVERY DAY!!!!!! that we have made great strides in the basics. But as important as that is I would say SOCIALIZATION IS EQUALLY, IF NOT MORE, IMPORTANT. It's all pretty time consuming.

    And strange as it sounds there are lots of skittish big "guardian" dogs out there. That makes the search, the training and socialization even more important. Also, keep in mind the mastiffs, by and large, are slow to mature. Our CC at 2 is just coming into her own esp. as a guardian. So you may not know completely what you have till 2 or 3 years down the road.

    And finally there is health. Get a pup that has all their health certs. Look for health and longevity in the pedigree. Check out the dogs and pups. Talk to a lot of people. Everyone knows everyone else. Look at the ABA Bulletien(the magazine the breed club puts out). Go to some dog shows. Find the look of some dogs you like. Read some books. Pick the brains of the folks on this forum. Sorry if this is long winded but I've just come through search and I'm in the middle of training so everything is fresh in my head. GOOD LUCK! They're great dogs!

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