BULLMASTIFF VS GERMAN SHEPHERD
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Let’s look at the history of each of these breeds a bit so we can see how their early jobs still affect their temperament today.
Developed about 200 years ago, in the mid-1800s, the Bullmastiff is the result of crossing the English Mastiff and the now-extinct Old English Bulldog. The original role of the breed was as an assistant to English gamekeepers in protecting large estates from poachers. They primarily did this by running off the poachers or by running down and pinning a too-slow poacher until the gamekeepers could catch up. They are a large and powerful breed that makes still makes an impressive deterrent today but has a mellow enough temperament to do well as part of the family.
The German Shepherd dog was bred and developed in Germany bred to protect farms and herds of sheep. They originally were not thought of as companions or brought into the house and stayed with the livestock all the time. That being said, they have excelled off the farm and in protection work for decades since the railways negated a large part of their job.
Now let’s get into their different appearances. Both breeds are solid muscle and have a boxy build to go along with square heads and jaws, but the Bullmastiff can be a heavy drooler thanks to their large joules.
Bullmastiffs are part of the mastiff family as you can guess and are quite imposing in their size and general facial expression. They have a short double coat that comes in a variety of colors, and brindle variations are common among the breed. They can be graceful and light movers when they want to be, but generally have a slow steady gait. Like most canines in the mastiff family, which include the Great Dane and Cane Corso, they are very joule-y and you can expect plenty of drool around the house and on you.
The German Shepherd, also considered a large-size canine, usually appears as focused and light on its feet sporting a thick, fluffy coat that hides their sleek body. The Bullmastiff is obviously a large breed of the mastiff variety, and thanks to their loose skin and low energy, don’t appear as agile as the German Shepherd. Make no mistake, a Bullmastiff with the proper motivation has a huge stride and can execute the most complex of agility manoeuvres as flawlessly as the German Shepherd.
Their temperaments are both suited to family life but for different reasons. The Bullmastiff is loyal and protective of its family, but their low energy level means they are more of a cuddler than a player. They love to be with their family and keep an eye on them for as long as possible without moving from their favorite comfy spot. Their willingness to please is tempered by their energy which can make them stubborn and wilful when they aren’t in the mood to do anything. They are incredibly loyal to their family, even new babies, and take their role as a protector very seriously, and this instinct overrides their laziness when it comes to guarding the family.
The German Shepherd is highly intelligent and will make decisions for themselves without clear guidance from their leader. That being said, they are incredibly willing to please but can be bored easily and become stubborn if not given the proper mental stimulation. The German Shepherd is very eager to please and intelligent but will not become stubborn or wilful out of boredom so much as they will if they don't see you as their calm, consistent canine leader.
Both are wonderful family dogs though their temperaments and motivations are very different. German Shepherds are well known for the police and military work they've done in both protection and scent detection as well as being service dogs to those with disabilities. The German Shepherd is also good with all children, and once they've matured and have a good sense of when they need to be gentle. The German Shepherd is very protective and known for its excellent guardian and protection instincts.
The Bullmastiff is a wonderful family dog and their guarding instincts are more of a watch than a guard dog, but they have all the power and dedication needed to defend their home physically. As far as being part of the family, Bullmastiff’s are exceptionally gentle and affectionate canines with children. They are typically friendly with strangers while maintaining close bonds with everyone in their immediate family. This is another breed that is Velcroed to their people and will follow you from room to room.
Experienced canine leaders will find excellent guardians and family companions in both the German Shepherd and Bullmastiff. Those looking for a top-notch home guardian will love the Bullmastiff if their frequent drooling isn't an issue. Families looking for an active canine partner for agility or running will find the German Shepherd a playful and enthusiastic canine always up for an adventure. Before bringing either breed into your home, though, consider your level of leadership and the time you'll be able to devote to these loyal breeds.
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