How Much Exercise Does a Bullmastiff Need?

The Bullmastiff was originally bred to be a guard dog. Its two most distinctive features are its massive head and its powerful jaw. These characteristics help give an intimidating profile that has served it well throughout history.

Typically gentle and extremely loyal, their impressive stature makes them perfect for keeping unwanted visitors away from the family home. It is one of the dog breeds that has developed a strong instinct to protect.

Hence, owners need to channel this desire into appropriate pursuits, rather than allowing it free reign and they must be socialised whilst still a young puppy.

So let’s jump straight in and find out how much exercise does a Bullmastiff need.

The Bullmastiff does not need too much exercise. It has a relatively low level of activity inside the house. However, it does require frequent walks to release pent-up energy, prevent health issues and stop it from becoming overweight.

Dog owners need to be aware of this intensely loyal breed’s tendency to gain weight quickly once it reaches adulthood, so a moderate walk twice a day is necessary.

The result should be a happy, healthy dog with impressive muscle tone that looks forward to going for walks and being involved in family activities.

Why is Exercise Vital for Your Bullmastiff?

A Bullmastiff in the garden

Regular exercise is vital due to the breed’s size. Even though they don’t have high energy levels and are sometimes known to be lazy, a Bullmastiff cannot get away with just lying around.

Lack of regular exercise is likely to wear your Bullmastiff down and cause health problems in the future. Your dog needs at least 30 minutes of activity every day to stay physically and mentally healthy.

Bullmastiffs tend to put on weight quickly. This could lead to all sorts of health problems if they aren’t getting the necessary exercise.

They will become bored and destructive without daily walks and nobody wants behavioural issues with this giant breed, so they need mental stimulation too.

Owners need to take care when exercising a Bullmastiff during hot or humid weather as they can quickly overheat. Make sure they always have access to shade and plenty of water.

How Much Exercise Does an Adult Bullmastiff Need?

a male bullmastiff running in a field

While these dogs are not the best hiking companions, they do need frequent walks to keep them fit and to help expend excess energy.

They are known for being couch potatoes but do need to get out of the house or apartment during the day, even if it’s just to run around in a fenced-in yard.

Both obedience training and mental enrichment are essential for this breed. Bullmastiffs love their toys and will happily run around the garden after a ball.

Tug of war is a great way to exercise your dog, especially if you have a strong breed like these that can handle quite a bit of pulling.

Tugging toys are readily available in pet stores, or you could simply play tug with an old sock, towel or toy designated for this activity.

Ensure your dog understands the leave command before engaging in this activity and stop if they become over-excited. 

Best Types of Exercise for Bullmastiffs

a big bullmastiff running on a woodland path

Bullmastiffs need a moderate exercise routine to keep them healthy and happy. The following is a list of the best types of exercise for Bullmastiffs to keep your dog active:


Walks are great for the entire family as well as your Mastiff! Walking allows them to explore their surroundings, get fresh air and sunlight and socialise with other local fur balls.

Pulling Weights

This can be an excellent exercise for adult Bullmastiffs and clear their mind of any excess energy. You can use a weighted vest or buy a dog cart online for more training.


This is a fantastic exercise for bigger breeds like the English Mastiff, improving balance and coordination without putting pressure on joints.

At the same time, it teaches them to listen to basic commands and enhances the bond between dog and owner.

Puzzle Toys

These are a fantastic addition to Fido’s exercise routine and can be used from an early age.

They will keep your Bullmastiff entertained while stimulating his mind to learn and problem solve and actually wear the dog out as much as short walks.

Playing Fetch

Playing with a frisbee or a ball is a simple but fun way to fulfil your Bullmastiffs exercise needs!

This is an excellent option for people who can’t walk their dog for any reason, perhaps on a rainy day or one that needs to improve their social skills before visiting the dog park.

Can a Bullmastiff Over Exercise?

a tired bullmastiff sleeping

Over-exercising is not advisable for a Bullmastiffs’s overall health. Their genetic makeup, which leads to their massive bone structure, increases the risk of injury if overexerted.

There are several things Bullmastiff owners should be aware of when it comes to exercise. This breed can be prone to several health issues, including hip and elbow dysplasia.

Over-exercising can be a significant factor in their prognosis, which is why it’s so important to know when to stop.

Senior Bullmastiff Exercise Requirements

a black bullmastiff on the lead

All dogs need mentally stimulating and some physical activity. A lack of activity leads to weight gain and several other issues leading to a shorter life span.

However, too much exercise can be just as harmful as not enough for seniors.

Senior citizens have special needs when it comes to exercise. As the dog ages, their bodies aren’t as durable or resilient as those of young adults or puppies, and too much strenuous exercise may lead to injury.

An overweight senior dog is likely to suffer from arthritis issues, making it difficult for them to move around. Even a routine walk can be painful if your dog’s joints are worn down and stiff.

This makes it essential for senior dogs to get the proper amount of exercise without going too far overboard.

This is particularly important if your dog is overweight or obese, as the extra weight will only worsen joint pain.

Keeping them at a healthy weight with nutritious food and only moderate exercise is the best way to keep them strong and limber well into their golden years.

How Much Exercise Do Bullmastiff Puppies Need?

two bullmastiff puppies playing in the garden with toys

Bullmastiff pups need to keep themselves busy, so they should always be encouraged to do something. They should not just spend their days lying around – if you want a healthy dog.

However, bullmastiffs shouldn’t get too much physical exertion when they are puppies. They should not be allowed to engage in strenuous physical activity or serious, rigorous games.

Unlike small dogs, they have soft growing bones that aren’t fully developed until they are around 18 months of age.

You will find that your Bullmastiff puppy, like many breeds, will be pretty happy to play with you in the garden; he may need daily exercise, but it doesn’t have to be strenuous.

When your puppy is about nine months old, you can take him out for a couple of miles without worrying too much.

Your Bullmastiff shouldn’t need any vigorous exercise until he is fully grown; then, you may find that he needs longer walks and more playtime, depending on the dog.


Can A Bullmastiff Hike?

An adult Bullmastiff should be able to tackle a short hike if they have been well-trained and physically conditioned from a young age.

However, these canines can overheat quickly in high temperatures.

Can You Run With Bullmastiffs?

Not really, most dogs can jog along at your side, but these are not the best running companions.

They can have hip joint issues and heart problems which is why pet insurance costs a fortune for this breed. But a, young, healthy adult may be able to keep up if they are physically conditioned from an early age. 


a bullmastiff sprinting

Bullmastiffs are not the most active of dogs, but they need to be exercised. Not enough exercise can result in them becoming become destructive and they could succumb to obesity.

The average life span of the Mastiff is between 8-10 years. The primary health concerns are breathing problems, hip dysplasia, and joint problems, so the right amount of Bullmastiff exercise is crucial to keep them in tip-top condition.

Known for both its intelligence and its tireless work ethic. Bullmastiffs are easy to train because they are eager to please, making them excellent family dogs.

Bullmastiff exercise should be fun, engaging them in games that strengthen the human-canine bond.

Some favourite activities include retrieving balls or ropes, tug of war, and short walks twice a day which should fulfil their exercise needs.

People sometimes ask about other breeds, can you walk your dog too much and what is the recommended range for smaller dogs. Well, now you can find out.

John Devlin

Blogger and owner of George and Henry. Two gorgeous goldens that couldn’t be more different. One is a dream loving and caring, and his sibling is as naughty as can be. When I am not blogging about dogs, I love watching sport and travelling with the family.
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