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Our canine companions have little say in some of the changes that happen in our life like having a baby, moving to a new home, or taking a job with longer working hours. We should of course consider the needs of our canines when making decisions that will impact them, but we’re often put in those same situations at a moments notice too. So how much should you worry about separation anxiety in the Bullmastiff? Let’s find out.  ENERGY We’ll dive right in and look at how the breeds energy level can affect their level of separation anxiety. The Bullmastiff reaches maturity around 3 years of age, and with their puppy and teenage years coming to a close, their energy level drops a bit. They are generally a pretty low-energy breed, but they will range closer to moderate-energy for their first three years of life. They don’t need much exercise throughout the day so taking them for a longer walk before you’re going to be gone longer than normal can help keep them sleeping happily for longer. They aren’t prone to destructive behaviours once they reach maturity and prefer to doze in a comfy spot most of the day, but as with all guardian breeds, they are happiest when their whole family is home.  TRAINABILITY/INTELLIGENCE The Bullmastiff is fairly trainable and willing to please their calm, consistent leader which can come in handy when their life is uprooted. You want to train them and start easing them into new routines as early as possible and this can be easier when they are tired. Remember, your Bullmastiff’s ancestors were bred to be estate guardians so they prefer situations that are familiar so they can easily spot anything amiss. Keeping their routines as familiar as possible will help to transition them into their new life whether that be a new home, a new baby, or less time with you.  FAMILY & SOCIAL The Bullmastiff is a devoted family canine that thrives when someone is with them but they are generally quite comfortable being alone. It’s still critical that you work on their confidence alone from an early age and build up the time they are left alone rather than jump in. Bullmastiff’s are capable of destroying their kennel, chewing the any number of things, and other destructive behaviours when they aren’t trained to accept being alone. Moderate exercise, quality bonding, and crate training are going to be key in keeping your Bullmastiff from developing separation anxiety. Since you never know when you might suddenly start working more or be home later, it’s crucial that you teach this acceptance early on and keep this training maintained throughout the life of your Bullmastiff. It will make many of life changes easier for both your canine and you to adapt to at a moments notice. AFFECTION/INDEPENDENCE Bullmastiff’s are incredibly devoted and affectionate with their family, so changes in their life that result in less time with you, or the rest of the family, are going to be the hardest for them to adjust to. If you’ve taken a job with longer hours and don’t have a family member that can be there, you’ll need to work harder when exercising and bonding with them in the morning and evening. If you or someone your Bullmastiff trusts can be there for an hour or two in the middle of the day to give them some attention then they’ll be far less prone to developing separation anxiety. As with most things, it’s easiest to make the adjustment in stages if possible and get creative when making accommodations if it’s not. Keep in mind that if you know a life change that will directly impact the amount of time you can spend with Bullmastiff is coming, start adjusting to the new routine as early as possible. WRAP UP Overall, the Bullmastiff is one of the few guardian breed dogs out there that doesn’t often develop intense separation anxiety, but you’ll still want to train them in and for a variety of situations since it’s impossible to know what changes you’ll experience in their life. Their guarding instincts and devotion are going to be two of your biggest factors when considering how to prevent separation anxiety so start working on those early and then often throughout their life to make changes as easy on them, and you, as possible.

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