Are Male or Female Bullmastiffs Better Guard Dogs?

For centuries, the Bullmastiff has been bred specifically to serve as guards dogs. They are known to be aggressive when it comes to protecting their owners.

You may have questioned if male or female Bullmastiffs make better guard dogs. After spending a lot of time working with this breed, I have gathered enough knowledge to share on the topic in question.

Are male or female Bullmastiffs better guard dogs? While both genders make good guard dogs, a male Bullmastiff is more inclined to protect his home and guard his territory while a female mastiff likes to cast a protective eye over her family. Females are more alert and much more protective than males. This is down to natural mothering instinct.

The female Bullmastiff restrains from barking as her first response to an attack. They growl first and then attack if ignored. This means that both genders are extremely valuable and can be used together.

It is also possible to pick one of both genders, and this article will guide you towards making a favorable decision.

Male vs. Female Bullmastiff Guard Dogs

Historically, Bullmastiffs were bred to guide and protect. They are large breeds that are not only courageous but also very aggressive. Their large size, complimented with a solid build, makes them the perfect guard dog.

They can grow as tall as 27 inches and weigh up to 130 pounds. This is an intimidating and imposing look, one that serves well at guard work.

Bullmastiffs were a crossbreed of the English Mastiff and the now extinct English Bulldog. This crossbreeding was carried out by gamekeepers charged with guarding estates in the 19th century. Hence they are also known as the “gamekeeper’s dog.”

There were responsible for keeping out poachers from the estate ground. Male Bullmastiff or female Bullmastiffs can function as guard dogs, although each has its advantage. The advantages are stated below.

Advantages of Male Bullmastiff Guard Dogs:

  • Male Bullmastiffs are affectionate towards their owners.
  • They are very confident.
  • They are quiet and calm and only bark when necessary.
  • They are amazing guard dogs especially guarding of estates.

Advantages of Female Bullmastiff Guard Dogs:

  • Female Bullmastiffs mature faster and are easy to train.
  • They are very organized.
  • They do not bark without reason.
  • They require less exercise.

Guarding People

Although Bullmastiffs are very gentle, they are extremely protective of their owners. They excel as amazing guardians of children and adults. They are obedient and easy to train.

It is important to note that Bullmastiffs are very sensitive. If they feel frightened or see that their owner is hurt, they are willing to stick around or, if possible, draw attention till help comes. They will do this and guard their owners against any other danger at the same time.

They are not extremely aggressive and only try to protect their owners with no desire to cause harm. That is why they will continually bark when they sense danger with no intention to attack.

Guarding Property

When it comes to guarding properties, the Bullmastiff’s protective nature makes them the perfect fit. Bullmastiffs are more concerned with preventing intruders from getting away, preferring instead to hold them down till their owners come back to deal with the situation.

From my experience, I have noticed they usually don’t try to hurt the intruder unless they are in danger of being attacked. The Bullmastiff prefers to bark and snarl to prevent the person from getting away.

Female Bullmastiff as Guard Dogs

Traditionally, we have always believed the male is a better choice than the female Bullmastiff when it comes to guarding duty. This is because the male Bullmastiff is slightly bigger than the female.

On closer inspection and observation, I have noticed this assumption is not true. While physically, they may be different, females possess their qualities that make them as good as any guard dog you will find. Let’s take a detailed look at these qualities.

Female Bullmastiffs are very loving and easy to befriend. This makes them a good family dog. They are equally ready to defend those they love with courage and boldness. It is, therefore, not difficult to see why they are good protectors of people.

Their desire and urge to protect makes them very aggressive, and you don’t want to get close to a female Bullmastiff if she feels you are a threat to a loved one.

Even though they can be very stubborn and strong-headed, they are good at listening to commands and responding accordingly. This obedience, coupled with their ability to mature quickly, makes them the easiest to train compared to their male counterparts.

If they are properly socialized at a young age, they can be social and maybe exist in the same space with other animals. This is no guarantee though, as they are not good at accepting other animals in its territory. Making her stay with another animal from a young age increases the chances.

The female Bullmastiff can act intimidating when she sees a stranger, but it is not that dangerous as long as she is properly socialized. When it comes to organization, the female is better organized than the male, cleverer, and hardly ever wanders off away from those she protects.

As guard dogs, they do not require a lot of exercises and are good to leave at home with the kids as they mature faster than the male.

They are calmer, more careful, and have an uncanny ability to sense their owner’s emotions. The female Bullmastiff loves to play, and they do this with care around kids.

They also live longer, and most people put this down to their lesser weight and light bones. The general belief is that her body is less stressed, and as such, she is less prone to diseases.

Male Bullmastiff as Guard Dogs

Contrary to what you may have thought, the male Bullmastiff is less serious than the female. They are more careless, clumsier, and would cause trouble due to their carelessness if they are not kept in check. They love to play with kids and can be an ideal play dog if he is not on guard duty.

However, their play mode could result in them biting you. These bites meant to harm, but if you know Bullmastiff, you know his bites can be fatal even if it’s not intentional. You must stay alert and observant when you let them play with kids.

Although the male is also affectionate towards those it considers family, they can be as stubborn as the female. This is why they are difficult to handle and hardly recommended to first time owners. Their instinct is to guard the territory they live in and are not as keen as the female in guarding the human within.

They start marking their territory by urinating in a manner that sends a keep-off message to other dogs. Even though they are less aggressive, they won’t hesitate to attack if anyone steps into their territory.

The male Bullmastiff also has excellent sniffing abilities. They can pick up scents and will suddenly become more alert if it senses a smell he is not familiar with.

The male Bullmastiff takes time to mature, and this makes them harder to train. Training the male requires a lot of effort and time, but will become easily submissive if they are adequately trained.

Socializing with new animals is not easy for the male Bullmastiff, and it’s not strange to see the male on attack mode all the time.

To resolve this, ensure you socialize him early and make sure he stays in the same space with other animals as it grows. Male Bullmastiffs are more prone to wandering off, but he only does this when it senses a female around. This is not an indictment of their guarding abilities.

Like the female, a male Bullmastiff does not bark unnecessarily and only does it to alert the owner to any potential danger. So, do pay attention when a Bullmastiff barks, as he could be trying to draw your attention to the danger lurking around.

As a guard dog, a male Bullmastiff can do without a lot of exercises. Taking him on a walk once in a while is just enough for him.

Why Bullmastiff Make Ideal Guard Dogs?

Bullmastiff dogs, which are massive breeds that can weigh as much as 130 pounds, are not only confident but also fearless and ready to do anything to protect their territory. They are loving and extremely alert.

Historically bred to protect lands against poachers, it is no surprise, therefore, that the Bullmastiff is naturally aggressive and tenacious. Generations after generations have acted as protectors.

Commonly called the “silent watchdog,” a Bullmastiff refrains from barking and mostly relies on their size and power in scaring intruders away. Unlike other breeds, though, their size does not affect their speed.

The Bullmastiff is agile and very quick and can chase down perceived intruders in no time. They are fearless and ready to defend your home and family at the slightest suspicion of an intruder.

Bullmastiffs are not clingy and prefer focusing on the job, but they also love a family setting. They are meek and do not pose any threat to kids around as it has been discovered that the Bullmastiff is very patient with kids. This breed is independent, preferring to work on their own.

They do not require much exercise to keep fit. Sadly, new dog owners are advised to avoid getting this breed as they can be difficult to rein in, and without experience, you might harm yourself.

Training Your Bullmastiff for Guard Work

Training a Bullmastiff as a guard dog involves a more definite and deliberate plan. Their training is way more advanced than the methods applied when training a pet dog.

Guard dog training must begin as soon as possible, subsequently progressing over several months. The basics are usually the first step, and the more complex commands are taught when the dog has mastered the basics.

There are a couple of things you will need when training a Bullmastiff as a guard dog. You will need a leash at the basic stage to keep the dog focused on every task. This leash may be removed at the advanced stage when you are sure the dog is used to your commands and would listen obediently.

Another important requirement is to have a safe and secluded area where training can take place. It is highly recommended that this area is fenced high so the dog can’t jump over.

You must also ensure you have treats available. Treats are used as a reward and let the dog know when he has done something right.

Stages of Training a Bullmastiff for Guard Duty


The first stage of training involves teaching the dog the basics of obedience. This can be referred to as the obedience stage. This involves establishing an understanding with the dog by teaching him basic commands words. This usually involves selecting a specific word that means a specific action.

For example, you can ask the dog to walk away by using the command “Go.” Just be consistent with the word for each action until the dog masters it.

When he has mastered the command words, then you can teach the dog how to stay by your side without the leash. Gradually wean him off the leash until he learns to stay by your side.


The next stage is regarded as the alert stage. Teach the dog when and how to bark by using the commands you taught in the obedience stage.

To do this, you will need to take the dog out of the secluded area to a place where he can see people. This can be your front yard and even inside the house where a family member can act as a volunteer.

Do not forget to keep him on a leash. When a stranger passes, command him to bark using the specific command and ask him to stop using the same words. Do not forget to reward the dog when he carries out each instruction correctly.


The patrol stage is an advanced stage, and the dog is taught and introduced to the area he will be protecting. Take the dog around the area several times a day till he gets used to it.

Make sure there is a leash on at all times. Remember that frequent training is necessary if you want your dog to get used to your teaching techniques.

Final Thoughts

If you want a loyal companion, a guard dog, and you are in love with giant breeds, the Bullmastiff is your go-to. A Bullmastiff can be anything you want him to be if given the right training.

You cannot go wrong with this breed as they make great friends for your kids and amazing protectors for the family.

Bullmastiffs are not recommended for first-time owners as they can be stubborn. This makes them hard to handle and would require the services of someone who has experience. You should only own a Bullmastiff if you have previous experience with this breed.

Related Questions

In this section, I have done my best to provide the best answers to some of the most asked questions about Bullmastiffs.

Is it safe to keep a Bullmastiff around kids?

Bullmastiffs are very friendly around kids. They are affectionate and gentle and cautious when around kids.

You have nothing to worry about as this breed gets very protective of kids and are ready to defend them against any danger. So, having a Bullmastiff as a guard dog does not pose any danger for homes with little kids. 

How easy is it to train a Bullmastiff?

Although Bullmastiffs are relatively stubborn, they are easy to control once you have tamed them. They are eager to learn new things as long as they are handled gently.

What health issues do Bullmastiffs face the most?

Bullmastiffs are prone to illness and some health problems like bloat, hypothyroidism, sub-aortic stenosis, torn anterior cruciate ligaments, hip and elbow dysplasia, and skin issues.

Some of these diseases can be prevented by vaccines, therefore ensure you consult a veterinary doctor for guidance.

Is it safe to keep cats with Bullmastiffs?

It is difficult for Bullmastiffs to co-exist with cats as they are known not to trust other animals. They don’t find it easy getting along with other pets, and that includes cats. So, you may need to choose between your cat and a Bullmastiff or device a way to keep them out of each other’s part.

How often does Bullmastiff bark?

Bullmastiffs are not known to bark a lot. When they bark, it is for a reason and often an indication of a lurking danger or to draw the attention of their handler. Other than that, they spend most of their time staying quiet.

Do Bullmastiffs get along well with other dogs?

Bullmastiffs are relatively friendly and warm. They are also independent breeds and can become aggressive and standoffish towards other dogs and even dogs of the same breed.

However, with appropriate training, Bullmastiffs can be taught to live and exist with other breeds. But it is important to carry out this training at an early age when the dog is still at its developmental stage.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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