BULLMASTIFF CROSS STAFFY – A CLOSER LOOK AT THE MIX OF TWO GREAT DOGS
The Bullmastiff Cross Staffy is a great mix breed depending on what your looking for in a new puppy. In this article Dogs Barn will take a look at info on this mix, like size, weight and temperament. See if it's for you.
Are you considering buying a family dog?
Want one that's great with kids?
Find out if a Staffy Cross Bullmastiff mix might be the perfect dog for you
To Really Look At The Bullmastiff Cross Staffy We Should Start At The Beginning
Lets get started and see if this mix is right for you:
We are all aware of the increase of so-called designer dogs such as Cavapoos - Cavalier King Charles Spaniels crossed with Poodles, Sprockers - Springer Spaniels crossed with Cocker Spaniels and of course those unfortunately named Bulldogs crossed with Shih-Tzus.
But what if you prefer larger more robust dogs?
If so a Staffy cross Mastiff could be just what you are looking for.
The Bullmastiff Staffy cross is a hybrid of a Bullmastiff and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, both fantastic breeds. They haven't got a fancy name and you definitely can't carry them around in your handbag but one thing is guaranteed, with the right upbringing and correct training you will have a loyal, faithful companion.
Extremely powerful and sometimes stubborn they are not for everyone but for an experienced owner they can be a great family pet.
Ok, to understand more about the Bullmastiff x Staffy we need to look at each of these great breeds, study their temperament, individual traits and problems and consider the benefits of crossbreeding.
The breed originated in the UK during the 19th Century when they bred by gamekeepers as a deterrent against poachers on country estates. Bred for size and strength they were a cross between the English Bulldog and the larger less aggressive Mastiff.
Quiet dogs that rarely bark knocking down and pin the intruder to the ground rather than biting. They were recognised by the Kennel Club in 1924 and are still popular today.
The breed is large and stocky with bitches standing between 61-66 cm at the shoulder with males up to 69 cm and weighing in at up to 12 stone. They are a powerfully built good-natured dog with a broad head and short square muzzle typical of all the Molosser breeds.
They have a solid muscular body with a short rough coat that is typically Brindle, Red or Fawn with darker markings on the ears and muzzle.
A fearless yet laid back breed these big fellas will happily tolerate children and love being with family. They are wary of strangers and make excellent guard dogs due to their protective nature.
They do not need much exercise especially when young as their bones are not yet fully formed and too much exercise may cause problems later in life. They dislike being left alone for long periods and can be quite destructive when boredom kicks in, as with other soft mouthed breeds they drool. A Lot! so they are not the breed to choose if you like you are extremely house-proud.
They need an experienced owner who is able to provide consistent training as they can be extremely stubborn. They can happily get on with other animals if brought up with them but Bullmastiffs of the same sex rarely get on once they reach sexual maturity and a reputable breeder will usually not sell two puppies of the same sex to one household.
With a lifespan of 8-10 years, Bullmastiffs are an expensive dog to own, not only do they-they have a huge appetite and require a special diet as pups which is low protein and low in fat. They are unfortunately prone to quite a few health problems, therefore vet costs can be high as most medication costs are based on the size and weight of the dog.
Insurance is essential for this breed and works out between £20-£30 per month.
Common Health Problems for a Bullmastiff Include:
Gastric Torsion (Bloat)
Joint and Ligament Problems
Looking at the character of the Bullmastiff and some of the disadvantages of its size and health problems, what breed would provide the best cross-breeding?
Look no further!
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Sometimes known as the "Nanny Dog" these stocky little dogs have arguably the biggest personality in the canine world. Much maligned, yes you can't get away from the fact they were originally bred as a fighting dog in the 19th Century.
They were recognised by the Kennel Club in 1935 and have since gone on to become one of the most popular breeds in the UK.
A compact small to medium sized dog, they have a broad head with pronounced cheek muscles, a wide almost smiling mouth and small ears.
They are extremely muscular, with a powerful neck, deep chest and strong hindquarters, similar in appearance to the American Pitbull and American Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
They have received bad press in recent years mainly due to irresponsible ownership and unfortunately, are now the most common dog breed residing in UK rescue shelters.
However, a well socialised, and properly trained Staffy can be the perfect family pet, their playful energy and natural affinity with children making them a welcome addition to any household. In fact, they are the ONLY breed listed as totally reliable in their breed standard by the Kennel Club.
They do have some Terrier traits they love digging and are expert escape artists. So it is essential to Dog-Proof your yard or garden. Contrary to popular belief they do not make very good guard dogs as their good nature and genuine need to please people makes them something of a pushover.
Their compact, muscular solid build might make them appear as if they are the Mike Tyson of the dog breeds but they are in fact, funny, loving, gentle dogs who love nothing more than spending time with their family.
Small to medium sized dogs they stand at 36-41 cms at the shoulder and weigh between 26kg - 38kg depending on sex.
Colours for the Breed Include
Combination of any of these with White
These athletic, healthy dogs have a lifespan of between 12-16 years and suffer from few health problems the more common being skin allergies and eye disease or cataracts.
An intelligent dog, Staffys are keen to please and easy to train but do require mental stimulation to prevent boredom. As with the Bullmastiff, Staffys can be aggressive with other dogs if not properly socialised at an early age.
What Can You Expect from a Bullmastiff Cross?
These dogs will be medium-large when fully grown. Heavy, muscular and solidly built they will have the combined power of both breeds meaning they will certainly be a handful unless trained correctly and under proper control at all times.
The colouring for both breeds are similar so they are likely to be brindle, black, red, fawn or any of these colours mixed with white. The face will perhaps not be as squat and wrinkled as that of a purebred Bullmastiff.
That should reduce the problem with drool as the Staffy is not as soft-mouthed. In any event, these pups are cute!
The mixture of both breeds will produce varying characteristics of both parents, so you can expect the energetic hyper-activeness of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier to calm down somewhat, with the Mastiff's docile demeanour.
The Staffy x Bullmastiff will probably live longer than a purebred Mastiff as hopefully, the Staffy's lack of health issues and longer lifespan will counter the Bullmastiff's problems and relatively short lifespan.
Obviously, it depends on which of the breed types is more dominant in the pups as to what their appearance is like but taking both breeds into consideration here are some of the things you need to know.
Are Mastiff x Staffies Easy to Train?
Both breeds are exceptionally powerful so need consistent training from an early age to ensure a well-mannered adult.
Bullmastiffs are not renowned for their intelligence so hopefully, the intelligence of the Staffy will come through with their eagerness to please counteracting the Mastiff's independent and sometimes stubborn streak.
Neither breed responds well to impatience or negativity so firm reward based training is the way to go.
Both dogs can be aggressive towards others of their kind so it is essential to socialise them at a very early age, continuing to so in a controlled environment as they get older.
Do not let your Staffy x mastiff run around off the lead in the park as even if he is the friendliest of dogs he can potentially cause fear among over dog owners and serious damage if another smaller dog starts causing trouble.
What About Grooming?
Both the Staffy and Bullmastiff have short coats the former being sleek whereas the Bullmastiff's is rougher neither require much grooming although they do shed throughout the year so a daily brushing will keep the hairs down and get your pooch used to being handled. See this post if you want dogs that don't shed.
Both breeds can be prone to skin conditions so regular flea control is a must to prevent allergies. Ears need to be cleaned regularly and nail growth kept under control.
Does a Bullmastiff Staffy Cross Need Much Exercise?
There is a happy compromise here, it is not recommended to exercise the Bullmastiff overly in their first year as being such a large dog it can cause problems with their joints later in life.
Reducing the size by crossing it with a Staffy hopefully takes away some of these inherited problems and allows the gentle giant to become more active.
On the other hand, the Mastiff's laid back approach to life makes the energetic little staffy more relaxed and easy going.
Temperament - Good with Children?
Both these breeds are affectionate, loyal, calm and gentle they consider themselves guardians of the family and adore children. As with any dog, you should teach your children how to behave with the dog and vice versa.
Never ever leave any dog alone unsupervised with a child no matter the breed. Because the Mastiff is an excellent guard dog and the Staffy due to his happy nature and love of people not-so-much the Staffy Mastiff cross should be a good mix of the two, not easily agitated but a deterrent none the less.
What is the Cost of Owning this Mixed Breed Dog
Crossing these 2 breeds should reduce the high vet bills associated with owning a Bullmastiff. The dog should not have as many if any of the health problems that can be common in the much larger dog and procedures and treatments that do need to be carried out should cost less due to the reduction in size.
Food bills should also be slightly less. Staffies can be greedy dogs and are usually highly motivated by food, therefore, it is important to make sure you don't overfeed them as an overweight dog is more prone to illness and joint conditions in later life.
Is a Staffy Cross Bullmastiff the Right Dog for You?
A Bullmastiff cross Staffy is a fantastic family dog. They are adaptable and with enough exercise and space will happily live an apartment. They love their families and do not do well at home all day alone. Loneliness and boredom can lead to chewing and other destructive behavioural problems.
They also do not cope with the heat very well so always make sure they have a cool place to relax and as with any other breed never leave them in a hot car for even a short amount of time. If you have the patience and time needed to work with this cross-breed you will be assured of a loyal, faithful companion for many years.
How to socialise Bullmastiff Cross Staffy?
As with any breed, socialisation should begin at an early age to prevent fearfulness and possible dog aggression. Attend a puppy or training class and reward calm and relaxed behaviour when other dogs are present.
Take your puppy everywhere by train, bus or car so they get used to as many experiences as possible. Introduce them to all sorts of people, Dark people, men wearing hats, delivery drivers, children. Lots of positive re-enforcement will ensure they grow to be a well-balanced adult.
This crossbreed is strong so consistent training is needed to ensure they are well-behaved.
Bullmastiff Cross Staffy with other dogs?
An unsocialised Bullmastiff cross Staffy may have dog aggression so it is important to give them plenty of opportunities to mix with other dogs from an early age. There are many online groups that arrange group walks or perhaps arrange play dates with friends who own calm friendly dogs.
If you are in any doubt at all about how your dog will react with other dogs (or other dogs with them) keep them on the lead as they are an extremely powerful and could inflict a lot of damage if things get out of hand.
Staffy mastiff cross life expectancy?
Bullmastiffs are a giant breed and suffer a few hereditary health problems including hip dysplasia. As with most large breeds they have a relatively short lifespan of 8-10 years. Once crossed with the healthy Staffy they will be smaller, more active and potentially have fewer health problems so the lifespan should increase to more like 10-14 years.
How big do mastiff cross staffy become?
Although not as large as a purebred Bullmastiff, crossed with a Staffy it could still be a medium to large size and will be very powerful.
Is mastiff cross staffy temperament something to worry about?
If the puppy is properly socialised and trained correctly, then no, this cross can be a great family pet, both love children and while the Bullmastiff is an excellent guard dog the Staffy loves people so much it is virtually useless hopefully any offspring will be a happy mix of the 2.
Staffies can be a bit hyperactive but the calm docile demeanour of the Bullmastiff should calm this down slightly. Both dogs are extremely loving and devoted to their families but they are a large powerful breed.
You will need to be firm with training and use lots of positive re-enforcement to ensure a well-mannered adult and socialisation is essential as both breeds are prone to be dog aggressive. As with any breed never leave them unsupervised with a child.
If You are Considering this Breed as a Pet, Ask Yourself these Questions
Is the whole family fully committed to having this type of dog?
Are you able to spend considerable time training and providing the discipline needed?
Will you be able to attend obedience classes?
Can you afford the food and vet bills associated with a large breed?
Is there someone at home a lot of the time?
Have you researched both breeds thoroughly?
Can you provide a healthy happy home environment for the next 10-14 years?
If you can answer yes to all these questions a Bullmastiff cross Staffy may well be the perfect dog for you.
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