10 Reasons Why Bullmastiffs vs Rottweilers are a Great Match

Bullmastiffs vs Rottweilers – these two powerful, imposing breeds make for loyal companions and dedicated guardians. With their intimidating builds, intense gazes, and unwavering protective instincts, it’s no wonder they strike both fear and awe into passersby.

But don’t let the tough exteriors fool you – behind those strong, stoic demeanors lie sensitive souls devoted to their families. Make no mistake, these are not breeds for the faint of heart. Proper handling, training, and early socialization are musts for responsible bullmastiff and Rottweiler ownership.

Still, an experienced owner will find a steadfast best friend in either breed. So you find yourself torn between these two canine gentle giants – which is the better fit for you?

While similar in stature and purpose, key differences exist that make one better suited for certain lifestyles and families.

This guide will dive deep into all you need to know about both breeds – from temperament and care requirements to ideal living conditions.

You’ll discover how bullmastiffs and Rottweilers compare in personality, trainability, exercise and grooming needs, health concerns, and family-friendliness. We’ll also provide tips for finding a reputable breeder or adoption agency for either breed.

Let’s explore what sets these powerful pups apart and determine whether the docile, sensitive bullmastiff or the active, protective Rottweiler makes the ideal addition to your home.

The intricacies of these breeds may surprise you – peeling back the layers reveals playful, loving companions beneath the intimidating armor. Make an informed choice that leads to years of happiness with your canine companion.

Temperament and Personality: Key Differences Between Bullmastiffs Vs Rottweilers

At first glance, bullmastiffs and Rottweilers appear equally imposing – but look beneath the muscular exteriors and you’ll discover distinct personalities. Though devoted protectors, bullmastiffs tend to be more docile, while Rottweilers lean confident and powerful.


Bullmastiff Temperament

The bullmastiff is renowned for its mild-mannered temperament. They are:

  • Devoted and extremely loyal
  • Calm and dignified indoors
  • Courageous and protective when necessary
  • Aloof with strangers but not aggressive
  • Sensitive – responsive to scolding or harsh treatment
  • Intelligent and moderately easy to train

Bullmastiffs bond closely with their families while remaining wary of unfamiliar people. Proper socialization is key to prevent overprotective behavior or anxiety around strangers and dogs. Reward-based training works best for these sensitive souls.

Rottweiler Temperament

In contrast, Rottweilers exhibit:

  • Extreme loyalty and confidence
  • Courageous nature and natural protectiveness
  • Alertness and readiness to respond
  • Dominance and tendency to test boundaries
  • Wariness of strangers – early socialization essential
  • Intelligent, but can be stubborn during training

Rottweilers need extensive obedience training and firm, consistent leadership. Their guarding instincts make them more naturally suspicious of strangers. With proper handling, Rottweilers become devoted companions.

Socialization & Training

Due to their guarding heritage, extensive socialization is critical for both breeds, especially Rottweilers. Positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods work best. Bullmastiffs respond better to gentle guidance, while Rottweilers need consistent rules and boundaries.

Prey Drive

Bullmastiffs have a relatively low prey drive, making them amenable to homes with other pets. Rottweilers have higher prey instincts – caution is advised around small pets. Proper socialization can help mitigate this.


In summary, bullmastiffs offer more docile companionship, while Rottweilers exhibit more intense protectiveness. Match the breed to your lifestyle, training capabilities and socialization commitment.

Size, Appearance and Grooming: Key Physical Differences

Bullmastiffs and Rottweilers are similarly large, imposing breeds – but upon closer inspection, distinct physical differences emerge.


  • Bullmastiffs stand 25-27 inches tall and weigh 100-130 lbs.
  • Rottweilers range 24-27 inches tall and 95-135 lbs.

So both are classified as giant breed dogs, with Rottweilers on the slightly smaller side.



  • Large, square head with loose folds/wrinkles
  • Broad muzzle and black nose
  • Dense, short-haired coat – fawn, red, or brindle
  • Powerful, muscular build yet agile


  • Blocky head with oval eyes
  • Broad chest and thick neck
  • Black mouth and markings with rich mahogany/tan points
  • Medium length double coat – straight, coarse outer hair
  • Docked tail leaving 2 tail vertebrae

Grooming & Shedding

  • Bullmastiffs – Require minimal grooming but shed moderately. Weekly brushing assists removal of loose hair.
  • Rottweilers – Need more frequent brushing and grooming due to longer coat. Shed heavily twice yearly.

Health Issues

  • Bullmastiffs – face wrinkles need cleaning to prevent infections. Prone to hip dysplasia, eyelid issues, cancer.
  • Rottweilers – docked tails linked to nerve damage and incontinence. Prone to joint dysplasia and bone cancer.

In summary, bullmastiffs boast more wrinkles and a short coat, while Rottweilers have a longer double-coat that requires extra grooming. Both breeds tend to drool.

Exercise and Activity Levels: Key Differences in Needs

Proper activity is essential for both bullmastiffs and Rottweilers to stay fit and prevent behavior issues. But their exercise needs differ.


Bullmastiff Exercise Requirements

  • Moderate energy level
  • Require 30-45 minutes of exercise daily
  • Sensitive to heat – walks in cooler parts of day
  • Enjoy leisurely walks, hikes, swimming

Rottweiler Exercise Requirements

  • High energy breed
  • Require minimum 60 minutes exercise daily
  • Thrive on activities that stimulate body and mind – agility, obedience training, jogging


  • Bullmastiffs have lower exercise needs and adapt well to apartment life if walked regularly.
  • Rottweilers need more intense activity to expend their high energy and stamina. Better suited for active families.

Mental Stimulation

  • Both breeds thrive on mental stimulation through training, food puzzles, variety in walks.
  • Prevent boredom-related behaviors like destructiveness.

Over and Under-Exercising

  • Puppies of both breeds should not exercise excessively to protect developing joints.
  • Overweight or under-conditioned adults prone to injury if over-exerted.
  • Lack of activity leads to boredom and behavior issues in both breeds.

In summary, Rottweilers require greater physical and mental stimulation than the more sedate bullmastiff. Match exercise routines to the breed’s activity needs.

Training and Obedience: Key Differences in Handling

Proper training and socialization from an early age is essential for both bullmastiffs and Rottweilers. But each breed responds best to different handling methods.


Bullmastiff Training

  • Sensitive nature responds best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training
  • Generally eager to please owners and moderately easy to train
  • Requires firm, fair guidance using positive methods
  • Introduction to varied people, animals and situations critical

Rottweiler Training

  • Respond best to experienced handlers using structured, consistent training
  • Dominant personality requires rules and boundaries
  • Obedience training is a must to establish control and respect
  • Socialization essential to curb wariness; exposure to diverse scenarios

Obedience Expectations

For both breeds, focus training on:

  • Solid recall skills – respond promptly when called
  • Polite leash walking and manners in public
  • House training from an early age using crate training
  • Impulse control around doors, food, toys

Professional Training

Consider professional training or obedience classes for:

  • Proper socialization
  • Effective leash handling of large, powerful breeds
  • Advanced skills like therapy dog training

The Takeaway

Tailor training techniques to the breed. Bullmastiffs need gentle guidance and Rottweilers require firm leadership. Lifelong training strengthens the owner bond.

Health and Care: Key Considerations for Both Breeds

Responsible ownership of bullmastiffs and Rottweilers requires understanding their extensive health and care needs.


Major Health Conditions

  • Joint dysplasias – hip and elbow – susceptible in both breeds. Screen breeding dogs.
  • Bloat – potentially fatal twisting of stomach. Prevent with proper feeding and exercise.
  • Cancer – bone cancer, lymphoma are concerns, especially in Rottweilers.
  • Heart disease – Subaortic stenosis common in Rottweilers. Bullmastiffs prone to dilated cardiomyopathy.


  • Bullmastiffs live 8-10 years on average
  • Rottweilers live 9-11 years on average

Nutrition and Feeding

  • High quality food formulated for large/giant breeds
  • Monitor caloric intake – prone to obesity
  • Feed smaller meals spaced throughout day
  • Don’t exercise immediately before or after eating to prevent bloat

Routine Vet Care

  • Annual exams, vaccines, preventatives
  • Monthly heartworm, flea and tick prevention
  • Nail trims, ear cleaning, dental checks

Health Screening

Reputable breeders will conduct genetic and orthopedic screening on breeding dogs to reduce risk of inherited diseases. Ask for proof of health clearances.

The Takeaway

Bullmastiffs and Rottweilers require vigilant health monitoring and preventative care to live full, healthy lives. Research breed-specific conditions.

Family Suitability: Key Considerations

Before bringing home either breed, honestly assess your household’s suitability for a bullmastiff or Rottweiler.

As Family Dogs

  • Devoted to their families, but need extensive training and socialization
  • Require experienced owners used to handling large, powerful breeds
  • Shed moderately – consideration for neatniks
  • Prone to drooling – can be messy drinkers

With Children

  • Supervision always required when around kids
  • Socialization essential to prevent possessiveness or herding
  • Bullmastiffs tend to tolerate kids better than Rottweilers

With Other Pets

  • Early socialization critical to coexist with other pets
  • Bullmastiffs calmer around other dogs and pets
  • Strong prey drive in Rottweilers warrants caution

In Apartments

  • Bullmastiffs adaptable if exercised sufficiently
  • Rottweilers need space to expend energy

Common Reasons for Rehoming

  • High activity needs not met
  • Under-socialization leads to behavior issues
  • Health issues become too burdensome
  • Lack of training experience with powerful breeds

The Takeaway

Bullmastiffs tend to tolerate young kids and multi-pet homes better than Rottweilers. Consider activity levels and training experience before adopting either breed.

Finding a Responsible Breeder: What to Look For

Since bullmastiffs and Rottweilers are prone to certain health conditions, finding a responsible, ethical breeder is crucial.


Warning Signs of Bad Breeders

Avoid breeders who:

  • Have multiple litters available
  • Offer little to no health guarantees
  • Don’t screen breeding dogs for genetic issues
  • Can’t provide proof of health clearances
  • Keep breeding dogs in poor conditions
  • Pressure buyers or request deposits very early

Hallmarks of Responsible Breeders

Look for breeders who:

  • Focus on just one or two dog breeds
  • Screen breeding stock for genetic and orthopedic issues
  • Provide health clearances for hips, elbows, thyroid, cardiac
  • Breed to better the breed, not for profit
  • Offer lifetime return policies
  • Are involved in breed clubs and competitions

Questions to Ask

Responsible breeders will gladly answer:

  • What health screens are the pup’s parents cleared for?
  • What is the incidence of bloat, cancer, joint disease in your lines?
  • What is the puppy’s health guarantee?
  • What is your breeding philosophy?
  • What support do you offer new owners?

The Takeaway

Thoroughly vetting breeders protects pups and owners alike. Never cut corners when acquiring a living creature.

Adoption and Rescue: Finding Your New Best Friend

For those seeking a mature, trained bullmastiff or Rottweiler, adoption and breed-specific rescues are excellent options.

Benefits of an Adult Dog

An adult or senior dog offers:

  • Established personality and temperament
  • Potty training and vetting already completed
  • Lower activity level than a high-energy puppy

This allows better matching to your lifestyle.

Breed Rescues

Contact local and national:

  • Bullmastiff rescues
  • Rottweiler rescues

Rescues thoroughly vet dogs for health and behavior before adoption.

Assessing Adoptable Dogs

When meeting candidates, observe:

  • Overall health and body condition
  • Comfort level around people and other pets
  • Basic obedience skills
  • Activity level and exercise requirements

Transitioning Home

Set adopted dogs up for success by:

  • Puppy-proofing home in advance
  • Establishing a routine right away
  • Enrolling in training classes bonding and manners
  • Scheduling vet visit to address any lingering health issues


Consider being a foster home to take in dogs temporarily until permanent homes are found. Rescues provide guidance and cover major expenses.

The Takeaway

Adoption and rescue offer rewarding alternatives to find your perfect bullmastiff or Rottweiler match.

Conclusion: Finding the Right Match

Bullmastiffs and Rottweilers share imposing builds and loyal, protective temperaments. But key differences impact suitability for different homes.

Bullmastiffs tend to be:

  • More docile and sensitive
  • Lower exercise needs
  • Adaptable to apartments if exercised
  • More tolerant of children and other pets
  • Moderately easy to train using positive reinforcement

Rottweilers tend to be:

  • More dominant and territorial
  • Require greater physical and mental activity
  • Need space to expend energy
  • Better with experienced handling and training
  • Higher prey drive warrants caution with small pets

While both make devoted companions, bullmastiffs offer more easygoing family companionship, while Rottweilers need intense activity and experienced handlers.

Thoughtfully consider your lifestyle, training capabilities, and commitment to exercise and socialization. This ensures a happy, lifelong bond with these impressive breeds.

Work with responsible breeders or rescues to welcome your new best friend into the family!

Q: Which breed is better with children?

A: Bullmastiffs tend to be more tolerant of children than Rottweilers. However, supervision is still required around kids with both breeds. Proper socialization is key.

Q: Are bullmastiffs and Rottweilers good apartment dogs?

A: Bullmastiffs can adapt to apartment living if exercised sufficiently. Rottweilers generally need more space to expend their high energy.

Q: What health issues are common in these breeds?

A: Joint problems like hip and elbow dysplasia are concerns for both breeds. Cancer and heart disease are also potential health issues to be aware of.

Q: How much exercise do bullmastiffs and Rottweilers need?

A: Bullmastiffs require 30-45 minutes of daily exercise. Rottweilers need more vigorous activity for at least 60 minutes a day.

Q: Are bullmastiffs or Rottweilers easier to train?

A: Bullmastiffs are moderately easy to train using positive reinforcement. Rottweilers can be more stubborn and need experienced handling.

Q: What grooming needs do these breeds have?

A: Bullmastiffs have short coats requiring occasional brushing. Rottweilers have longer double coats needing more frequent brushing.

Q: How can I find a responsible breeder of bullmastiffs or Rottweilers?

A: Reputable breeders focus on one breed, conduct health screens, emphasize breed betterment over profit, and require contracts protecting both pup and owner.

Q: Should I adopt a bullmastiff or Rottweiler from a rescue?

A: Adoption can be a great option. Breed-specific rescues thoroughly vet dogs before matching them to suitable homes.


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