Staffordshire Bullmastiff

Ana Oliveira
Dr Ana Oliveira (DVM, University of Lisbon)
Photo of adult Staffordshire Bullmastiff
Have an image we can use? Message us here!

The Staffordshire Bullmastiff, or Staffy Bull Bullmastiff, is a large dog with a gentle and calm temperament – an ideal companion for families with children or the elderly. His size is proportionate to his affection, although he may also have a more independent side, given the Bullmastiff ancestry. Indeed, this is a crossbreed between a Bullmastiff and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Easy to groom and generally healthy, this crossbreed is a great choice as a pet and despite his big size, he is quite lazy and does not need lots of exercise. They are best suited for owners with no other pets and training is especially important due to their strength. They can be difficult to train, so professional expertise should be sought if needed.

About & History

The Staffordshire Bullmastiff is a crossbreed with uncertain origins. We know the crossbreed results from crossing a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a Bullmastiff – both English breeds. The purpose of creating such a crossbreed is also unknown but, as occurs with other crossbreeds, it has probably originated from the love for both parent breeds.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Bred as fighting dogs in England, probably as far back as mid-16th century, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or Staffies, were used for blood sports, mainly bull-baiting and dog fights. Fancied by the working class, they were bred for strength and small size, as well as friendliness and loyalty towards humans.

They are probably a mix between Landrace working dogs, Bulldogs, and Manchester Terriers. After the banning of those cruel dog sports, breeders have selected Staffies for kindness and gentleness, refining the breed towards the lovely version we know today.

The Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs were originally bred in England for guarding and protecting properties. The breed resulted from crossing Mastiff dogs with the Olde English Bulldogge to create a fearful, large, yet stealthy dog.

The Bullmastiff was bred for selected traits that would improve his performance in the role he had been assigned, including power, boldness, and speed. Today, the Bullmastiff is a loyal companion, kept as a guarding dog, but also quite popular as a pet.


The Staffy Bull Bullmastiff is a big dog. Growing to be as tall and heavy as the Bullmastiff, it is one of the largest dogs around, weighing up to 55 kg (or 120 lbs). They can be from 51 to 66 cm (20-26 inches) tall, with females being a bit smaller than males. They will resemble more one of the parent breeds than the other, depending on the genetic makeup of each specific dog.

Staffy Bull Bullmastiffs are sturdy and muscular, with a compact body and a gentle face that contrasts with the overall intimidating look. They have wrinkles on their face, hazel eyes, black nose, and erect ears that may fold at the tips. Being tall dogs, their legs are long and strong, supporting their heavy body. They have a short, straight coat, with different color options: Brown, Black, White, Red, Tan, and Brindle.

Character & Temperament

The Staffordshire Bullmastiff is a naturally affectionate dog, gentle, friendly and fond of children, of whom they tend to be very protective. It is an interesting choice as a family pet, as he is loyal and reliable, devoted to his owners and always caring. At the same time, he is courageous, alert, and protective, which makes him a good guarding dog. Due to the crossing with the Staffy, the Staffy Bull Bullmastiff is less protective and territorial than the Bullmastiff parent. However, due to their strength, they require consistent training.

They are not particularly intelligent and may be quite stubborn, which adds to the need for regular and knowledgeable training. Staffy Bull Bullmastiffs are generally not friendly towards other dogs, cats, and pets in general, as they are tendentiously independent in nature. They are not the best choice for first-time dog owners, though they are an excellent option for the elderly, as they are calm – even lazy – and do not require a lot of active exercise. They are also silent, almost never barking.


Both his parent breeds are known to be somewhat difficult to train, as they are not on the top list of the smartest dogs. However, provided that a consistent and positive training routine is in place, it is possible to raise a well-rounded Staffordshire Bullmastiff. If training proves too challenging of a task, owners should look for professional help, as these are powerful dogs who need direction on how to behave.


As a general rule, crossbreeds are healthier than either parent breeds. This is no different for Staffy Bull Bullmastiffs who are healthier than their parents and live longer, up to 16 years, which is quite long for a large dog. Major health issues include:

Hip Dysplasia

More often associated with large breeds, hip dysplasia is a condition of the hip joint that affects the simple act of walking, negatively impacting the lives of dogs. Caused by an incorrect fitting of the ball of the femur bone and the socket in the pelvis, hip dysplasia can take different degrees of misalignment and thus of seriousness. This malformation leads to inflammation, pain, and lameness, which can be treated symptomatically (with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs) but for which no definitive cure is available.

Gastric Dilation Volvulus

This is a serious condition that may occur in large dog breeds with deep chests that allow for the internal organs to lie loosely in the abdomen. When a dog eats too fast and/or exercises after eating, ingesting a lot of air, the stomach fills up with air and may twist around itself.

This twisting stops blood flow, which then causes damage to the tissues that become progressively deprived from oxygenised blood. This is a serious condition that needs immediate surgery to undo the stomach torsion and restore blood flow. The stomach is then sutured to the abdominal wall or the diaphragm, anchoring it and thus preventing it from twisting again – a procedure known as gastropexy.


Entropion is a condition of the eye, being extremely unpleasant as it causes a lot of discomfort. What happens in entropion is the inward rolling of the eyelid (one or both), which allows the eyelashes to touch the surface of the eye, the cornea, irritating it due to prolonged scratching.

It is more common in dog breeds with wrinkles on their face or around the eyes, as occurs in the Staffy Bull Bullmastiff, as there is more skin available, which may potentiate this abnormal inversion of the eyelid. Fortunately, it is very easy to spot and also easily treated via surgical correction.

Patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap), elbow dysplasia (the same underlying mechanism occurring in hip dysplasia, but in the elbow joint), and other eye problems (cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic degeneration of the retina of the eye that leads to loss of vision and eventually blindness) can also occur.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Staffordshire Bullmastiffs are calm dogs who enjoy spending time indoors. They do not require lots of exercise, but they still need to be walked daily, even if only for short walks, as this helps keeping dogs mentally stimulated and healthy. Spending some time every day playing and engaging with the Staffy Bull Bullmastiff is also important, for exercise and activity purposes, as well as bonding.


Staffy Bull Bullmastiff dogs are very easy to maintain, as they tend to shed very little, just like both their parent breeds. Brushing their coat as needed, teeth brushing, nail clipping, and ear cleaning sum up their grooming routine.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.