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Bullmastiff vs. Rottweiler: Choosing the Best Breed for Your Family

bullmastiff vs rottweiler

Both the Bullmastiff and the Rottweiler are considered to be large breed dogs and they both belong to the Mastiff family. This means that they both have a lot of qualities in common.

However, they also have some differences between the two breeds that may help you to decide which is better for your family. Looking closely at each breed can help you to decide which of the two you should choose.

Similarities of the Bullmastiff and Rottweiler

Both breeds are purebred dogs with a very high level of intelligence. They are both loving and willing to please their owners and can live indoors or in an apartment as long as they have regular exercise.

Their exercise levels are about medium and they both have a very high strength level.

They both have low maintenance coats and their level of drool is in the medium range of the scale.

Differences between the Bullmastiff and the Rottweiler

Both the Bullmastiff and Rottweiler have shortened life spans than small breeds of dogs. The Bullmastiff has an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years and the Rottweiler has an average lifespan of 8 to 11 years.

At maturity, both breeds are close to the same size. The Bullmastiff reaches 24 to 27 inches tall with a weight of 110 to 130 pounds.

The Rottweiler is a bit smaller–especially the females, and reaches 22 to 27 inches tall and has a weight of 85 to 130 pounds at maturity.

The Bullmastiff ranks very well at getting along with other pets, but the Rottweiler is a bit below average for getting along with others, although Rottweilers are better in the stranger-friendly department.

The Bullmastiff does have a higher degree of shedding at a medium level and the pet dander ranks at medium, while the Rottweiler ranks in the lower range for both of these traits associated with their coats.

Breed History Comparison


The Bullmastiff originates in the United Kingdom, where he was used to guarding the prized pets and animals of his home from poachers who would steal them.

At this point, the Bullmastiff with a darker coat was better at doing his job and not being seen right away in the dark. After poaching died out, the Bullmastiff became a reliable and loyal companion to families.


Many people believe that the Rottweiler came from Germany, but in actuality he was first from Rome and then was brought to Germany by the Romans, making him one of the oldest dog breeds in the entire world.

His main purpose was for herding and guarding livestock and the owner’s property as well. He also guarded the money against the sale of the livestock in a pouch placed around his neck so thieves couldn’t get to it.

In World War I, the Rottweiler became police dogs for their great guarding abilities as well as their strength and stamina.

Appearance Comparison


The Bullmastiff is a large breed of dog but quite a bit smaller than the English Mastiff, which is a giant breed of dog. The females of the breed are usually a bit smaller than the males and will reach 24 to 27 inches tall and weigh 100 to 130 pounds.

This breed looks chunky because he has a very broad neck and chest to support his power and strength. His face looks like a Bulldog with a black mask covering his nose and down the face to the muzzle. He has small and dark ears.

Bullmastiff’s paws are very large and the legs are very thick while being straight in the front legs and angled in the back legs.

He has a long tail that can reach his ankles when it’s down and he comes in different colors, such as solid fawn or red, red and fawn, red brindle and red fawn brindle, and red brindle. The Bullmastiff’s coat is smooth and is a single coat.


The Rottweiler is a large breed of dog that weighs in at anywhere from 80 to 135 pounds and tops out his height at 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder at maturity.

The Rottweiler has a strong and muscular body with a long tail just like the Bullmastiff does. However, working Rottweilers usually have their tails docked when they are only a few days old.

Rottweilers have a short coat, but he is double-coated with a thick undercoat and a smooth outer coat. The Rottweiler has a distinctive coloring of black with rust highlights on his muzzle, legs, chest, and two expressive spots on his eyebrows to give him a very interesting and intelligent appearance.

Temperament Comparison


The Bullmastiff needs to be trained and socialized from a very young age. He will become quite a large dog and you don’t want him to knock down small children or accidentally hurt them.

He also needs to learn the difference in his actions when meeting a new person who is a family friend or an intruder.

Bullmastiffs quite often think they are lap dogs all of their life and can be quite silly at times. He gets along well with other dogs in your family and becomes a great pack and family member.


The Rottweiler has mostly the same temperament as a Bullmastiff. They both like to snuggle with their family members, enjoy the attention, are affectionate, and do not like being left alone.

The Rottweiler may be a bit stubborn at times and he is more protective of his family members.

Rottweilers also tend to guard their food bowls, so if you have other pets in the home, you should practice feeding them apart from each other to avoid any behavioral issues that may arise.

Exercise Comparison


This purebred dog loves his daily exercise. Some individuals are a bit quieter than others and others can be very active. Moderate exercise is great for a Bullmastiff but makes certain that he has a secure fence around his backyard.

He should not be able to interact with people he doesn’t know and he may show some aggression when a person or other pet enters his yard without being correctly socialized.

The Bullmastiff makes a great walking partner for any family member. However, he doesn’t make a good running partner for long stretches of trails.


A Rottweiler will love any attention he gets from his human family members. His loving nature starts even as he’s a young furball and he loves to swim, walk and trot with his pack members. He is muscular and athletic and should have the ability to get exercise every day to stay happy.

Rottweilers are quick to learn games and tricks with their humans and try to please them at all times. His great intelligence will allow him to do any type of games or exercise that you teach him and he catches on quickly. When he starts to play fetch, he can play this game for hours on end without tiring.

Training Comparison


You should start training your Bullmastiff puppy as soon as you get him home. As with all large breed dogs, this breed will be of great size and they can also be stubborn at times.

Many breeders encourage new owners to enlist their pups in local puppy classes to get started on training and socialization, especially if they have never trained a puppy before.

Bullmastiffs are working dogs and they are great in competitions as well. They excel in agility, rallying, scenting and tracking, and obedience.

These types of training can be a way of life for you and your Bullmastiff and make your new pet a part of your family.


This breed of dog is intelligent and highly trainable as he wants, above all else, to please his family members, who he loves to spend time with as much as possible. You should start training at a very young age and socialization as well to teach him how to deal with strangers.

Rottweilers can roughhouse if they are allowed to do so. It’s important to teach him appropriate indoor and outdoor behavior when young because a large breed that pulls you down when playing isn’t a great idea.

As with all dogs, both breeds learn very quickly when you use positive reinforcement training. You should teach your large breed puppy to sit for the first command.

Then you can build on this command with other common ones that are helpful throughout his life.

The sit and stay commands are very important for a large dog to learn at a very young age, so he won’t jump up on people or knock them down when he’s only trying to play with them.

Both large breed dogs should have an ample supply of chew toys as they have very strong jaws and can easily tear up stuffed animals, shoes, and your furniture when they are teething.

You might choose toys that are made for strong chewers even when your choice of breed is only a puppy.

Strong chewing puppies can chew off a piece of rawhide and choke on it by accident, so this type of toy shouldn’t be offered to him.

Health Comparison

All purebred dogs have some sort of health issues that they may be predisposed to simply from inheritance from their bloodlines. The good news is that when you choose a reputable breeder, they will have screened both parents before breeding them to produce a litter of puppies.

This is information you need to ask to see before you choose a new furball baby. It can put your mind at ease as to whether your particular pup will be healthy as a whole.


The Bullmastiff does have quite a long list of health issues that he may end up getting. These include cancer, such as lymphosarcoma, and osteosarcoma, as well as heart problems, hypothyroidism, kidney issues, and progressive retinal atrophy. Your particular pup may not have any of these health issues or may have only mild symptoms of them.


Rottweilers may have allergies, bloat when they eat too much at once, hip and knee dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and eye issues. Once again, you should get the medical records of both parent dogs from the breeder so you can check on the parents’ health and it will put your mind at ease if both parents are very healthy.

The good news is that with regular vet visits, your new buddy can be screened for any health issues as soon as possible and get the care he needs before he becomes ill with any health issues.

Nutrition Comparison

Bullmastiff and Rottweiler

In the nutrition and feeding department, both the Bullmastiff and the Rottweiler have the same requirements. You should provide the correct life stages of food with approved dry dog food. Approved dog foods will be listed on the bag and it is a complete and balanced diet.

Start with puppy food for your new furry friend. These two breeds of dogs don’t start to be mature until they are around two years old, so you need to ask your veterinarian when to change his food to an approved adult dog food.

If your Bullmastiff or Rottweiler is on the high end of the scale for size and weight, you may need to feed him food that is formulated for large breeds of dogs. Your vet will also advise you on this type of food or any other special diet that your pet needs to stay happy and healthy.

Rottweiler’s do often guard their food and they are prone to overeating as well. You may need to feed your Rottie several times a day so he doesn’t overeat and bloat. Bloat can be very serious and can even kill a dog.

If you have other pets in the home or children, you may need to feed your Rottweiler baby separately and don’t let people around him while he eats. You can train a puppy to not guard his food by petting him as he eats when he is young and this is the best thing for the guarding behavior which he has from his history as a working dog.

Grooming Comparison


Your Bullmastiff buddy is very easy to keep in tip-top shape as his coat is short and he only requires brushing about once a week. When you do brush him, you should check his eyes, ears, and nails to see if they need to be trimmed.

Usually, nails are trimmed about once a month if your four-legged friend gets exercise on hard surfaces, such as walks on a sidewalk. You need only bathe your Bullmastiff when he is dirty or smelly, which can be only about every two to three months.


If you choose a Rottweiler for your new pup, you will need to brush him once a day if possible or at a minimum of twice a week. Rottweiler’s have a double coat with a thick inner layer that needs to be brushed through to prevent mats. This also adds to the shedding factor in the spring and fall when he will shed vigorously.

When they shed a lot or blow their coat, you should brush your dog daily. You should also check his eyes, ears, and nails about once a week for any signs that he is not feeling well. Rottweilers only really need a bath when they are dirty about every few months.

Puppy Prices Comparison


The Bullmastiff is a purebred dog with a Mastiff parent and a Bulldog parent in the lineage to produce Bullmastiff puppies.

Then two Bullmastiffs will likely be the parents of your new puppy for a beautiful boy. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 for a puppy, which is more expensive than a Mastiff and a lower cost than a Bulldog.


The cost of a Rottweiler puppy varies greatly. If you want a show dog quality pup, it will be between $2,500 and $4,000. For a companion and pet that is registered but not of show quality, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000.

Make certain that your new furry friend comes from a reputable breeder, no matter which of the two breeds you decide on.

You should also be able to see both parents of the litter of puppies, so you can observe them and their demeanor.

The puppy you choose should not be shy and should be willing to play with you even though you are a stranger.

This shows you that your new family member has been handled and socialized from a very young age. Socialized puppies make better dogs for families as they are more willing to learn, play with others, and are usually smarter too.

Final Thoughts

Both the Bullmastiff and the Rottweiler make great family pets and they are much alike in many manners. It should be stressed that you will want a puppy so it can be properly trained and socialized.

Adult dogs of any breed can be aggressive if they are trained without positive reinforcement, lots of praise, and treats.

Both breeds are similar in size and weight and have about the same amount of yearly costs associated with them.

Your newfound friend should go to the vet when he is a puppy and get all of his vaccines on time.

Afterward, he will usually only see the vet about once a year for a good checkup and your vet will screen him for any health issues.

No matter which of the two breeds you decide on, they both make great additions to your family and will love to be part of your pack.