The Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix: A Powerful and Intelligent Mixed Breed Dog with Precise Needs
chloe camden
Author: Chloe Camden
Chloe Camden, a full-time writer with extensive experience in the animal industry, excels in show rings and advocates for animal rescue.
Published date: July 1, 2021
Updated date: September 15, 2022
This article was reviewed and fact checked If you have found any errors, please contact us!

The Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix: A Powerful and Intelligent Mixed Breed Dog with Precise Needs

The Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix is a hybrid of two remarkable and well-known dog breeds: the powerful and imposing Bullmastiff and the keenly intelligent German Shepherd. With proper training and handling, it can be a fantastic option for the right pet parent.

This large crossbreed is both intelligent and powerful. It has intense guarding instincts and is eager to please.

This mix may be prone to genetic ailments like hip dysplasia and should undergo obedience training early on. It can be a great dog for experienced owners desiring a protective and energetic canine companion.


The Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix at a Glance

While no two dogs are exactly alike, the root breeds that make up a mix like this can have an enormous impact on its overall appearance, mannerisms, temperament, genetic predisposition, adult size, and more.

This remarkable mix incorporates the immense size, loyalty, and protective instincts of the Bullmastiff with the unmatched trainability, intellectual capacity, and energy of the German Shepherd dog.

In appearance, this pooch is large in stature and imposing in build. You can expect a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix to weigh anywhere from 60-120 lbs and measure anywhere from 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder. That’s a pretty big pup!

These dogs are protective and eager to please with strong guardian instincts and an innate ability to protect their families.

Mastiff breeds have been used as guard dogs for centuries and German Shepherds were bred to be equally protective hard workers.

It Is Important to Understand What You Can Expect With a Mixed Breed Dog

No two mixed breed dogs are alike. Whether you call them hybrids, crossbreeds, or mutts, there’s something special about knowing that your mixed breed dog will be unique. Your unique dog will have a set of unique needs. It’s a good idea to know what to expect.

The uniqueness of a mixed breed can make it fairly difficult to predict the future temperament, appearance, grooming requirements, and mature weight of your dog. This is where background breed history and purebred characteristic knowledge will come in handy.

To understand mixed breed dogs properly, you first must understand what owning a purebred dog entails. Purebred “full-blooded” dogs tend to have pedigrees that go back multiple generations. This makes their temperaments and physical characteristics more predictable.

While it’s easier to predict what you’ll get with a purebred puppy, these dogs also tend to have greater health risks, physical abnormalities, and other issues that come from decades of limiting their gene pool through restrictive breeding practices.

Mixed breed dogs don’t usually suffer from these same overbreeding issues, though they can have specific problems of their own.

You could end up with any number of unexpected traits, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for anything that may come your way.

With a mixed-breed dog, you’re likely to get a healthier dog with fewer physical ailments at the cost of overall predictability. Your mixed-breed dog will be unique in many ways, with unknown traits and brand new characteristics.

If you know what breeds have gone into the genetic makeup of your mixed-breed pooch, you can gain a deeper understanding of what benefits you can enjoy or challenges you can expect in the future.

According to, your dog will be likely to display key characteristics and behaviors from both of its parents. So, for a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix, you can expect traits like protectiveness and intelligence to appear.


Training and Upbringing Will Have the Biggest Impact on How a Dog Will Ultimately Behave

We’ve all heard it before. Comments like “Bully breeds are aggressive!” or “Pomeranians are too hyper.” While these prejudices are rooted in fact to some extent, they don’t necessarily ring true. Every dog is different, and upbringing overrides everything.

The way that you train and raise your dog will have a far greater overall impact on their temperament and behavioral characteristics than their breed makeup will. It doesn’t matter what breed your dog is, everything comes down to how they are conditioned.

Dogs are highly-attuned pack animals that learn quickly from a young age. From the second you take home a new puppy, their mind is absorbing everything around them and helping to make them into the dog that they will ultimately become.

This goes for aggression and other “breed-specific” characteristics as well. While it is true that some dogs are naturally more protective than others (both German Shepherds and Bullmastiffs fall into this category), training and conditioning trump all.

In fact, according to Rose Eveleth from the Smithsonian Magazine, scientific research proves that training your dog well and early can help you avoid problems like aggression, regardless of a dog’s breed.

Is Training Critical for Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix?

Is training is honestly all that important? Won’t a dog figure things out naturally in time? Why should obedience training be taken so seriously?

It’s simple: if you want a good dog, you’ll have to put in the work. It doesn’t matter what breed your dog is. Proper training, socialization, and care are essential.

You should never leave a large, powerful, and intelligent mixed-breed like this to his own devices. You’ll need to begin obedience training early with a muscular and energetic breed like the German Shepherd Bullmastiff mix.

This is a big dog that will likely want to work. If you don’t train them correctly from puppyhood, you could end up with a gigantic destructive, and wayward dog that no one can handle or control.

German Shepherds can be very high-energy dogs with a desire to do a job and knack for getting into mischief when left unattended. Bullmastiffs can be strong-willed and are physically powerful both in stature and in their physical muscular makeup.

Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mixes are not well-suited for novice dog owners. Be prepared to devote plenty of time and energy into training and socializing this mix from the minute it enters your life.

However, if you properly socialize and train this mix (which won’t be hard if you start training at a young age) you’ll have an obedient dog who’s eager to please and capable of following a variety of complex commands.

It’s recommended that you begin training any puppy at around 8 weeks old. With a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix, you’ll want to focus on training your puppy in certain breed-specific areas. For example:

Bullmastiffs are classified as working dogs and respond well to most standard training methods. According to Ty the Dog Guy, adequate training can help properly channel a Bullmastiff’s guarding instincts.

German Shepherds are also a working breed. They should begin their training from the instant you bring them home. According to Cynthia L. Olson from Petlifetoday, without structure and training, they can become difficult to manage as they grow.

Since a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix will contain elements from both the Shepherd and the Mastiff breed, focusing your training efforts toward the well-known mannerisms of these working and guarding breeds is wise.


What Will the Personality of Bullmastiff German Shepherd Be Like?

The temperament of every dog will vary, and while training and upbringing must be taken into consideration, in general, this mix will be devoted, eager to please, and competent. This mix has the potential to have balanced energy, a keen mind, and a patient attitude.

The spunky and malleable nature of the German Shepherd blends well with the strong-headed and mellow tendencies of the Bullmastiff.

This means that your Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix should ultimately be well-rounded, easy to train, and extraordinarily loyal.

How Do Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mixes Look in Appearance?

Predicting what your mixed breed dog will look like isn’t a straightforward science. You can expect a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix to have a black and tan coat and be fairly large. Everything after that will depend on the background of your specific puppy or dog.

If you’ve adopted a Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix puppy, it’ll likely be tan with a black muzzle and floppy ears. Whether these ears stand up in adulthood and that black muzzle becomes a full mask will depend on your specific dog’s genetics.

According to the AKC, Bullmastiffs are 25-27 inches tall at the shoulder, weigh anywhere from 100-130 pounds, and have a life expectancy of 7-9 years. Their coat has a black mask, can be fawn, brindle, red, and should be short and smooth.

Alternatively, the AKC states that German Shepherds stand from 22-26 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50-90. They have medium or long black and tan coats with erect ears when fully mature and a well-defined muzzle.

Bullmastiff German Shepherd mixes are not recognized by the AKC as an official breed. Your mixed dog will most likely have some combination of all of these features and could look more like either the Mastiff or the Shepherd breed. It will all depend on your specific pup.

In summary, appearance-wise you can expect your Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix to be a large dog that has a medium-length coat and black and tan coloration in any number of patterns.

What are the Grooming Requirements for Bullmastiff German Shepherd?

Bullmastiffs are short-coated dogs with minimal shedding, though their coats can have a good bit of oil and they do get smelly if they skip too many baths. German shepherds can have short, medium, or long coats and require significantly more grooming.

Though Bullmastiffs don’t require a ton of grooming, German Shepherds do. If your dog has more Shepherd-like tendencies, they may need a lot more grooming. There’s a reason these dogs are sometimes humorously referred to as “German Shedders.”

Since it’s pretty much impossible to predict what the adult coat of your Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix will be like, we will go over the grooming requirements of all coat lengths that the mix may exhibit.

If your dog has a short coat

Short coats are by far the easiest to groom. A simple monthly bath is often enough to keep your dog clean.

You should always groom short-haired dogs before a bath with a quick brush down. Weekly brushing a short coat is also a good idea to reduce possible shedding.

If your dog has a medium-length coat

Medium-coated breeds require a moderate amount of brushing. Matting can sometimes occur in short coats. Brushing every other day with a bristle or pin brush is a good idea. Bathing should be done twice a month as needed.

If your dog has a long coat

German Shepherds sometimes have long coats with a thick undercoat. If this is the case for your pup, be prepared to brush them daily. They may also need to have their undercoat removed twice a year at the groomers. Bathing should be done as needed, if not weekly.

What Health Risks do Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mixes Have?

While the health risks of mixed breeds like the Bullmastiff German Shepherd are still unknown, it’s safe to assume that this dog may suffer from the ailments that their parent breeds are genetically predisposed to have.

Both Bullmastiffs and German Shepherds often suffer from large breed issues hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, arthritis, and osteochondrosis dissecans. Osteochondrosis dissecans is a condition that develops in fast-growing puppies.

This video can help you better understand what health issues large breed dogs often face.

It’s critical to be aware of any potential health issues before bringing home any dog or new puppy. Here’s another video that shows which large breeds have the most health issues.


Frequently Asked Questions

How big will a German Shepherd Mastiff mix get?

German Shepherd Mastiff mix puppies tend to be larger than lots of other breeds as puppies, so you can assume they will grow to be pretty large dogs.

Their full-grown height and weight will depend on the gender and what characteristics they get from their parents.

For example, a purebred male German Shepherd will grow to around 26 inches and weigh as much as 90 pounds and females will be around 2 inches shorter on average and weigh up to 70 pounds.

Mastiff males and females will grow to between 28 and 36 inches, and males can weigh up to 220 pounds and females will weigh up to 170 pounds.

A German Shepherd Mastiff mix could end up being as tall as the biggest German Shepherd and pretty heavy like a Mastiff. You should be wary of over feeding your Shepherd Mastiff mix because they can be prone to weight gain.

How long do German Shepherd Bullmastiff mixes live?

German Shepherd Bullmastiff mixes will typically live anywhere between nine and 13 years. These dogs are relatively large dogs and unfortunately, larger dogs tend to have shorter life spans than smaller breeds.

Lifestyle and illness will play a part in this though. A well looked after German Shepherd Mastiff mix that does not suffer from any life-threatening diseases, should live a long and happy life of up to 13 years.

Fortunately, mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier on average than pure breeds. That being said, there are some common health issues that both German Shepherds and Bullmastiffs can get during their lifetime that may be passed down to their offspring. These include:

  • Cherry eye
  • Seizures
  • Bloat
  • Cataracts

Wrapping Everything Up: Considerations and Key Concepts of Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mixes

Bullmastiff German Shepherd mixes can make fantastic pets. They are smart, trainable, and make very protective and loving family dogs if they’ve been properly raised.

Remember to take the grooming requirements and health concerns of a dog breed into consideration before adopting an adult dog or purchasing a new puppy.

In conclusion, if you train your Bullmastiff German Shepherd mix properly and provide them with a good diet, plenty of exercise, and above all, lots of love, you’ll have a loyal and stunning canine companion for many years to come.

Related Reading: Tibetan Mastiff German Shepherd Mix Breed Facts and Traits : In-Depth Guide

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