Is a bullmastiff right for me?

Discussion in 'The Bullmastiff' started by Doglover85, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. Doglover85

    Doglover85 Member

    Hello everyone! Thanks for allowing me to join the community! I'll apologize in advance for the long post lol.
    Well I'm here because eventually I'm wanting to buy a Bullmastiff whenever my wife and I buy a house (3-8 years) . I've read a bunch of info but it all basically seems copy and paste. So instead of doing the bulletpoints of what I want, I'll give my experience and maybe someone can point me in the right direction of this or another breed.
    A little about my background;
    I'm 35 my wife is 28, I've owned dogs of all sizes, from shih tsus, to Shepards, and pibbles/staffies. Growing up we bred dogs and it was my job to train them. So I've Bred and rescued dogs. I've actually been told I should become a behaviorist and trainer, as I naturally can read dogs and train them very easily. I use a mix of positive reinforcement and mother/alpha cues I've picked up along the way (lightly grabbing the snout if they nip or try to grab food, guiding by the collar if they get stubborn or don't know where I want them, scooting with my body to move them etc) I used to have a deaf dog so I had to use all hand and bodily cues to tell her what to do. Now I just do it naturally and definitely speeds training drastically.
    Ive never had to use prong collars or anything of that sort and I don't believe in hitting any animals (it's going to be a bad day if I catch someone)
    So 1 newbie-10 being professional in training and being a pack leader, I'd say I'm a sold 9 as Ive never cared about crazy tricks, showing or anything if that nature
    .
    I don't care about drool as I'm used to dealing with my sister in law's corso (I love him). My knees are shot from Army life, so a good potty walk in the morning and evening with a good game of tug and maybe a little wrestle time is all I'm good for. Both my wife and I currently work overnight, but that isn't a perminant thing. I curb separation anxiety real quick with my current dogs by getting a blanket and rubbing it over the mother and other puppies on one side and me and now my wife on the other side, with a good full Kong and timed leaves nixes any bad behavior real quick.

    I'm looking for a couch buddy and a gaurd to take with me to be the "bouncer" of my business,(aka snoozing in my office) and just be a family companion. I plan to have his bed in our room and feed him a raw or semi raw diet. My mother in law is a vet tech so all of our needs are discounted.
    We also don't have or want children so that's not a concern. Ive found dogs that were $1200 all the way up to $5k so I have no idea what an average price is.
    I already know to get full health screens and all that( my mother bred Shepards) I'm just wary about backyard breeders and the like.

    So that's my info, again sorry for the long post, I just like to be thorough lol.
     
  2. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum. I don't have a BM, but my sister-in-law does. I'm a boxer and EM girl for now. I think that with your experience a BM would be a good fit for your home. You sound like you know how to find a good breeder. I know many people have a problem not getting to choose whatever pup they want from a litter, but most responsible breeders will get to know you and what you're looking for in a pup and then match a pup (or several) to your needs. As long as you find a breeder you trust, this usually works out really well for successful placements. I'd expect somewhere between $1500-$2000 for a pet quality pup to be about normal. The last boxer I got was ten years ago and he was pet quality for $1200.


    We do have BM owners here that have gotten pups from various types of breeders and I'm sure they'll give their opinions. Wishing you lots of luck and just wanted to say that it's really good to see someone doing their research well ahead of getting a pup. I'm hoping Marke will see this. He has tons of BM experience.
     
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  3. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    It sounds like the BM will be a good fit for you. They are a good dog for people who can only give a limited amount of exercise and they are very protective. In my experience most established reputable breeders start at about $2500 and up, and $2500 will get you a puppy from one of their pet quality litters. The more you pay, the better the pedigree. You might find a good deal for $1500 from someone starting out or from a hobby breeder, but then you take the risk of running into a scammer or someone who doesn't know what they are doing, so in that case you need to do your research to make sure the person is legit.
     
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  4. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    i had this guy years ago , he was hanover simon's son ....... he was not lazy , he was afraid of nothing to the point of stupidity , being bold and nosey made him kinda scary to people ....... didn't take a hard correction well , let you know you weren't doing it twice , people , dog , and stranger friendly ........... if it wasn't too hot he could run 6 miles without a problem ....... he was a great dog .one of my favorite all time dogs ....... his pups were some of the best dogs i ever had , better than him ...... in 3 generations he had 8 champions in his pedigree , his mother and father were both international champions , and 4 ROM dogs , he threw himself with anything ......... i believe i gave away most of his pups that i didn't keep ........ unregistered .........

    pics don't do him justice , he moved like a freight train , seen a lot of dogs , and he was a sight ......

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    with one of his sons , buddah
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    and a pretty nice daughter of his

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  5. Jakesmum

    Jakesmum Well-Known Member

    I am raising my second BM. The first one didn't prepare me for the energy and attitude of my newest one, my first guy Jake was so super laid back right from a puppy, but looking back at all the health problems he had I have to wonder if he was truly healthy right from a pup (he was our first and I don't think I chose a good breeder, look back at some of my posts). Bruce will be a year old next week and he is full of energy, even outplays the greyhound cross in his puppy daycare. They need a lot of training and need to be around their families. We have his kennel in our room and that's where he sleeps at night and when we have to leave him at home, otherwise our house would be destroyed. He loves people and other animals so much that he is still learning his manners when it comes to proper greetings (that will be our next class). All that being said, he is a wonderful companion! I have been working from home and he is happy to lay beside me for most of the day. Loves going for walks around the block and snoofle his whole way around. He's been great out camping and just being with us.
     
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  6. Doglover85

    Doglover85 Member

    Those are gorgeous dogs! I know some dogs are more energetic than others. When we bred dogs I'd match the puppy to the personality. If the people were athletic I'd give them the most rambunctious dog, if they were more laid back I'd give them the pup that chilled while the rest of the puppies went nuts lol. I'd expect the same from my breeder. I live in Pittsburgh PA and apartments here don't allow large breeds. So while my wife and I save for a house it's pitties for now. I can do some stuff I just cant run longer than short bursts as my knees are completely shot. Everything else is good tho. I trained and play with my sister in laws 160 pound corso and he loves to wrestle. We will have a large yard for any dog we have to run around in I just won't be running along side lol
     
  7. Doglover85

    Doglover85 Member

    I originally wanted a ddb but that changed over time to the bm. I want a dog that will watch my property but also be playful and chill. As I get older all of my athletic and army injuries are catching up on me. So I want a big dog that can basically do what I need it without me having to guide it if shit gets real.
    I treat all of my dogs as if they are my kids and spoil them a lithle more than I should, but they know when I mean business.

    I'm 35 now and owned and fostered over 50 animals mostly dogs from shihtsus, border collies, mastadors, labs, staffies and pitties. My uncle taught me how to train dogs and I learned from various sources as I got older to what I do now. I'm actually really good at reading all dogs. I'm usually the one telling owners that their dogs want this or that and I'm always right. I trained my sis in laws corso, and he was nuts as a puppy. And no one even remotely picked up on his cues and needs. I had him doing basic obedience after 3 days and now he listens but if I'm around he gives me all the drooly lovins because I knew he had severe separation anxiety and craved attention by any means he could get it.

    So I focused that energy into patrolling the family farm. Now when he gets antsy you just have to say patrol and he shoots out the door and chases the chickens into their pens and has the other dogs follow him around and he comes back in and is chilled out. My dog now was a severely neglected and abused back yard breeder dog(she escaped being chained to a pipe so the guy could rapid breed her for her first 4 years then she escaped with a puppy that died and way a stray for 2 years) . She had no training at all. It took me a solid 3 months to go from scratch to walking leash free knowing all commands to walking herself on a leash.

    She still has her moments but I just scoot her on her pillow and scold her and then she listens lol. I mainly use food and toys to train. I also know when a dog is bored and to stop. Which is why I think a bm is perfect cause I just teach the basics unless the dog craves to do something. And I only do 15-20 minute sessions a day anyway. Usually I start with a potty walk and then some tug then the training then more tug and a treat then just relax. So it all seems like one big play session.
     

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  8. Doglover85

    Doglover85 Member

    How would he act if corrected? I don't mind a stubborn dog. I find it fun to learn what gets to to listen. And they always make me laugh lol. The first dog I rescued was a kelpie Shepard American pit mix after my first dog died. She was a handful. She would let you know she wanted to play by slamming into you or pouncing on you. It was annoying at first but after awhile we'd play football she would slam into my like crazy but would instantly stop if I said ow or easy. We couldn't let her run so when we were outside she was on a 15 pound 50 foot chain... She damn near sawed the tree it was attached to down as the chain was 3 inches deep. She loved it though. She was a great gaurd dog too. Super loving but if you came on the porch uninvited she'd burst through the screen door and try to rip your balls off lol. Which happened a couple times. (bad neighborhood) But once they left she just wanted to lay and watch TV and get belly rubs. That's really all I'm looking for in a dog. A buddy that will go for a walk then play and train and chill maybe wrestle and watch over the house while we are at work. After work he could sit outside with me and or run the yard play in his pool and be a big goofball that happens to love to chill and watch TV with me. If a dog turns out to be a super athlete I'd put him to work pulling shit on the farm until he was tired lol
     
  9. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    In general, Bullmastiffs don't take corrections well. Most of them won't be as dominant as the one Marke described, but they object to corrections in other ways, such as shutting down and not listening to you or walking away from you. They might even just play dead and have been known to do that on walks. A funny piece of advice I heard is never walk your Bullmastiff any farther than you are willing to carry him. Mine is pretty dominant for a 6-7 month old, and he already tries to assert himself at times, but I raised big dogs before and I know I have to be strong pack leader. You are probably well aware of that, and I'm sure you'll figure out a way to cope with it.
     
  10. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    he wasn't stubborn at all ........ if you threatened him , he threatened back , he wasn't one to go belly up ........... like i said , he was a sight , looked like a monster , i never pushed back on a threat to find out if he meant it , just moved on and figured out another way ......... he was a good boy
     
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  11. BattleDax

    BattleDax Well-Known Member

    I'm just now looking at this thread, and it's of great interest to me. I'm doing early research on which breed to go with next when my current Doberman dies. He's a bout 6 1/2 years old, so I could have 2 years, or I could have maybe up to 4 years. Some of you may recognize me here, and know that I've been a Dobe guy for 25 years and am probably going to switch. Top of my list are Corso, Bullmastiff, American Bulldog, and I've even considered the Black Russian Terrier.

    @Doglover85 , your wishes and requirements for your next dog are quite similar to mine. @marke your experience with BMs is great. That impressive male in the pics looks just magnificent and sounds larger than life.

    I'm glad the topic of corrections came up. I asked about this in another thread here and didn't get any advice. I definitely have never espoused positive-only training, rather I strive to find the appropriate mix of positive/negative. Leash pops and scruff shakes accompanied by my noise that means "no" are the correction. This, and also the e-collar once the dog has been fully trained to it.

    My last two Dobes have been from working lines and I think they almost should be a different breed, or variant of the breed. My previous one was a machine with the learning and performing. He was almost robot-like with the learning and performing. It was awesome. Some time after his death, I found what I should have already known: His highly decorated sire was pretty inbred. As it happens, this boy had a problem and unpredictably lashed out at people, including my wife and almost our toddler.

    Anyway, I describe him in order to say that he accepted well the fair corrections he was accustomed to; however when I gave into weakness and one time when he was barking at the door to be let in and I whipped the door open and raised my foot and kicked at him with the sole of my shoe, he got aggressive at me.

    Which reminds me of my current working Dobe, but this one is actually a problem. I think it's actually mental weakness on his part that he distrusts or even fears me (yeah, yeah, "no bad dogs, just bad trainers" blah blah I know) but if I angrily correct him with a vigorous scruff shake and angry vocal correction he might just bare his teeth and even snap at me. This pisses me off to no end and I'm forced to just back down because what the freak am I going to do, realistically? Yes, sometimes I do the smart thing and issue a command to sit, then praise when he obeys.

    So, bringing this back to Bullmastiffs: I' m very curious about the topic of corrections. I know their reputation for not being all that biddable and for being stubborn. I am used to demanding compliance from the trained dog and getting it, or issuing a correction then demanding it again.
     
  12. BattleDax

    BattleDax Well-Known Member

    Now, another question: Yes, I've read over and over what the Bullmastiff is all about theoretically – what it was intended to do in the early days and in theory what it would do in terms of protecting home and family. Doglover 85 put it well, above: It's all very copy and paste. It's all theoretical. Heck many breeds include the word "fearless" in the breed standard, which I find utterly ridiculous.

    So, I'm asking (hopefully without starting a controversy – please know I am sincerely looking for information and learning): Does anyone have legitimate reports of Bullmastiffs actually protecting? Can anyone point to news articles? Pictures or videos? Any personal experiences? I have not found any.

    I hear that the BM is likely to just assess a situation, stand its ground and decide what to do or something like that. Frankly, this just sounds like an ineffective guard dog that might just stand there and let the thief steal the silver, or attack the family. With my Dobermans, though they have not been protection trained, I have hoped they would spring into action and actually bite a home invader and ask questions never. I know that is a bit unrealistic if the dog has not been trained and tested, but I believe that at a minimum, if a an intruder became aggressive with my Doberman, he would get aggressive on them and there wold be bite wounds. If a home invader got aggressive with a family member I am confident my Dobe would get involved and at least interfere. Physicality excites him and he is prone to jump on you and get bitey (and this is with me, his owner).
     
  13. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    BattleDax,
    I owned 2 American Bulldogs in the past and trained one of them in Schutzhund. I currently own a Bullmastiff. I don't train him in protection sports because there are no clubs near enough to me and besides, the weather in Florida only makes it possible to train hard for 3-4 months out of the year. Also, my BM does not take corrections well at all. He will shut down quickly and refuse to do anything. I did manage to correct him past that one time. If you give a hard enough correction, you might get him to accept that obeying you is better than taking punishment, but I stopped trying to train him at a high obedience level because there's no point to it when he's basically just a show dog and a pet. He is great with basic commands and has his CGC and that's all he needs right now.

    My AB loved protection sports, but it was just a fun sport to him. I think he actually enjoyed getting hit with the stick and didn't take it seriously. He also caught wild hogs, and that was serious stuff. He feared nothing and would probably die before giving up in a real fight, but he was not a great watchdog. He didn't bark at strangers and he was instant friends with everybody. He was the kind of dog you can leave at home with guests and know there won't be any problems. I could pay a house sitter to come if I was away and she would sleep with the dog.

    My Bullmastiff is completely different. If I play tug-of-war and start hitting him on his side he actually takes it seriously. He barks at anything suspicious and started that at a young age. He is wary of strangers, especially those to approach him directly and want to hug or pet him, but he will sometimes come up to someone who is just minding his own business. My wife disguised herself with a hood one time and approached him while he was in the backyard. I didn't see it, but she said he growled and was in position to attack her. She was scared that would actually try to jump the fence to get to her, so she ran away. He has convinced my wife that he would protect us from any intruders, but since I know more about dogs and protection training I'm more skeptical. I know he can put up a good front, but whether he can or cannot stand up to a real threat who doesn't back away is an unknown. Regardless, he's a better guard dog than my American Bulldog just for the intimidation factor. I have talked to other BM owners, and I think my BM is more protective, more active, and less people friendly than a lot of other BM's. He happens to come from European bloodlines so that may have something to do with it.
     
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  14. kingmark

    kingmark Well-Known Member

    May God help your BM!
     
  15. BattleDax

    BattleDax Well-Known Member

    I'm curious to whom you're talking there.
     

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