The Bullmastiff is a large dog that in spite of its size makes a very good family pet. They have a great disposition and love to play and be loved by their owners. They do have the reputation for being stubborn and very willful, but training at an early age can often eliminate many problems that may arise from this.
They are very protective of their family members and will do everything they can to protect them if they suspect danger. They make an excellent guard dog, but they are not an attack dog. They will knock the person down or stand in their way but they won't attack them. Often their size alone is enough to scare off strangers. For this reason (among many others), it is imperative that they have good training from a very young age.
There are some factors to consider before getting a Bullmastiff as a family pet. For example, they don't always get along with other animals. Sometimes this can be corrected, but if the dog is big when you get him, the problem may be very difficult - if not impossible - to cure. They specifically don't like dogs of the same sex. This problem may be lessened or eliminated if they are raised with other animals from the time they are little. Aggression is often a big problem with the Bullmastiff. If you are considering getting a Bullmastiff as a family pet, make sure you get one from a reputable breeder and, if possible, check out the parents of the dog you are contemplating getting.
The Bullmastiff is a very powerful dog which sometimes weighs up to 130 pounds or more, and it needs someone that can control them with a firm hand. From a young age, they should be obedience trained and definitely taught not to pull on the leash. This is not a dog that you want to feel is the alpha in your household. The Bullmastiff is a very sensitive dog and very in tune with the tone of your voice. They can sense if you are happy, angry, or sad, etc.
This dog craves human attention and is very good with young children, having lots of patience with them and their antics. Many Bullmastiff owners say their dog is very protective of their young children, never wanting to leave their side. They are very well mannered and easy going and not easily annoyed by young children as some dogs are. It is still very important the children know how to treat the dog with respect right away to prevent problems developing with even the gentlest dog.
Bullmastiffs do tend to drool a lot, a habit that many young children don't enjoy! Snoring is another trait of the Bullmastiff, so you may not want them sleeping too close to you. Another point to bear in mind is that this dog does not like being confined.
There are also negatives with the Bullmastiff that must be considered before getting one as a pet. This dog is not a couch potato type of dog. They are active and very messy, especially when they are eating. They also, unfortunately, have many health issues such as eye disorders, cancer, allergies, orthopedic problems, all which equate into vet bills and possible heartache down the road.