ARE BULLMASTIFF GOOD FOR FIRST TIME OWNERS
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ENERGY/SPACE Let's jump right in and go over the Bullmastiff's exercise requirements because they aren’t nearly as demanding as you’d expect from a canine that was bred to chase poachers across estates. The Bullmastiff has a low to moderate energy level, which is, of course, is closer to moderate until they reach maturity. Once they are fully grown they are generally pretty low energy and a few good walks each day should be enough for them. They aren't going to exercise themselves since they are quite bonded to their family, and downright lazy sometimes. You need to be mindful of their joints their whole life, but especially until they are fully grown. Walking with them helps to keep them in shape and from becoming overweight which could also impact their joints. TRAINABILITY/INTELLIGENCE You're probably aware that the Bullmastiff is a large breed with impressive guarding instincts and is quite intelligent but has an equally impressive stubborn streak. But did you know that intelligence goes both ways? Sure, it can make them easy to train, but they can also train you just as easily if you're not experienced with working-class canines. Your Bullmastiff may refuse to sit without a reward, and the inexperienced owner will generally run out of patience before the Bullmastiff and break out the treats. From there on, you can bet they’ll use this same technique anytime they are asked to do anything. I know it sounds silly now, but I promise things like that happen far more often than you think with this breed. GUARDING You might be considering a Bullmastiff because they are known to be excellent family guardians both in instinct and size. And while they are wonderful protectors, their instincts and size can put them at risk in everyday situations even though they have a very low reactivity level. People who are afraid of dogs, or even just not comfortable around them, can set their instincts on edge as they seek to always protect their family. You should absolutely not consider bringing a Bullmastiff, or any similarly imposing guardian breed, into your home as a first-time canine leader. I don't say this to be dramatic, but it's a sad fact that so many beautiful canines, Bullmastiff’s and others, end up in shelters because they require more time and training than their family could give them. AFFECTION/INDEPENDENCE Bullmastiff's are devoted family companions and will keep a watchful eye on everyone in the house, even if it looks like they’re just sleeping. They tend to be especially watchful with babies and young children in the home. It's easy for boundaries to blur when their affection melts your heart, but their devotion and willingness to please are satisfied best when they know what's acceptable and what isn't. They love their family and love to be cuddled but they aren’t overly needy about it like some other guardian breeds. Typically, most Bullmastiffs are content to sleep all day as long as there is a regular routine when their family comes home and gives them the attention they desire. They are more prone to boredom during their puppy years, like every canine, so they’ll need more exercise during that time to prevent destructive habits. WRAP UP To say it plainly, Bullmastiffs are NOT good for first-time owners. They are potentially a good choice for experienced owners if they’ve developed the skills to be the calm, consistent canine leader this breed demands. There are many wonderful breeds out there that are better suited to inexperienced owners, and jumping right in with such a powerful breed like this could be a recipe for disaster. No matter what breed you choose, or your experience level, seriously consider your lifestyle and how happy the canine you choose will be with it. If you've decided the Bullmastiff isn't the best choice for you, make sure you check out the other videos over on the Fenrir Canine Show and round-ups of the best breeds for first time canine leaders.