Bull Mastiffs and Tibetan Mastiffs are among the most popular Mastiff dog breeds. The still primitive Tibetan Mastiff dog breed originated in Tibet many years ago.

Tibetan Mastiffs have historically served as guard dogs for livestock and property. Up to this day, they continue to do so. Also, they make lovely family pets and competition dogs.

The Bullmastiff dog breed makes an unflinching and forceful family protector. While reserved toward outsiders, they have compassion for their loved ones.

Despite being known as the “quiet watchdog,” this breed is so calm that they make excellent apartment dogs.

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Comparison Between These Mastiff Dog Breeds

Breed Tibetian Mastiff Bull Mastiff
Breed group Working dogs Working dogs
Height 24 – 30 inches 24 – 27 inches
Weight 75 – 150 pounds 99 – 130 pounds
Size Large Large
Life span 11 – 14 years 8 – 10 years
Coat Double coat Dense single coat
Coat colour Black, black & tan, brown, brown & tan, red gold, blue, grey Brindle, fawn, red
Shedding Little to medium Medium to high
Temperament Tenacious, aloof, strong-willed, intelligent, stubborn, protective Gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful;
Trainability Easy to train Easy to train


Brief History Of Both Mastiff Dog Breeds

Tibetan Mastiff

mountain dog breeds
Tibetan Mastiff – image by Grisha Grishkoff from pexels

Where else than Tibet is the birthplace of the Tibetan Mastiff? Like many breeds, he has a scant history before the late 19th century. Still, researchers believe that he has existed for many centuries.

According to DNA data, the Tibetan Mastiff is undoubtedly a descendant of the mastiff-type canines discovered in Tibet about 5,000 years ago.

They split into two groups: the smaller Do-Khyi, who protected flocks while residing in settlements or travelling with nomadic shepherds, and the larger Tsang-Khyi, frequently given to lamaseries and looked after the lamas who lived there.

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Bull Mastiff

boerboel and bullmastiff
Bullmastiff – photo by Crystal weed cannabis from Unsplash

The English gamekeepers, who needed a big, quiet, brave dog with the quickness to track down poachers, created the Bull Mastiff. Furthermore, these dogs also possessed the strength to hold these poachers down.

It was a relatively modern breed developed in the middle of the 19th century, most likely in 1860.

They undoubtedly tried a variety of breeds to find the ideal mix for their requirements. Still, the Mastiff/Bulldog combination was successful.

While the Bulldog was courageous and tenacious, it lacked the size necessary to knock down and restrain a man. The Mastiff is enormous but not violent enough.


This independent, headstrong breed can be difficult. The Tibetan Mastiff is a brilliant dog with a strong sense of self and does not want pet treatment.

A bullmastiff should be bold and self-assured while obeying its master’s commands. They can think independently and are trustworthy but want to win people over.

Early socialisation and ongoing training will help both breeds avoid developing territorial aggression.

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They can hone their social skills by frequently hosting guests, taking them to crowded parks and dog-friendly shops, and strolls to meet neighbours.

They are both natural guardians of the home and family and will instantly respond if they feel threatened. Furthermore, they are very loyal dogs.

Health Issues Prevalent In Mastiff Dog Breeds

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)

This heritable disorder results in the thighbone not fitting tightly into the hip joint, eventually leading to arthritis or disability.

Although hip dysplasia is inherited, environmental factors can also bring it on. Rapid development brought on by a high-calorie diet or accidents sustained when jumping can cause Hip dysplasia.

Elbow Dysplasia

It is a heritable disorder that affects large-breed dogs frequently. The bones that make up the dog’s elbow have three different growth rates, which results in joint laxity. Painful lameness may result from this.


The easiest way to explain panosteitis is as canine developing pains. Young, large-breed dogs are susceptible to this inflammation of the long bones, which results in lameness that frequently switches from one leg to the other. The illness often lasts one to six months before becoming better with age. You can use painkillers to treat any discomfort.

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Hypothyroidism  Gaining weight, having dry skin and having low energy are symptoms. Once hypothyroidism is identified, you can treat it with daily medicine, which your dog will take forever.

How To Take Care of The Tibetan And Bull Mastiffs

Tibetan Mastiff

As a companion dog, the Tibetan Mastiff should be indoors with access to a sizable, securely enclosed yard where he can run around and play. A small yard or dog run cannot meet your pet’s needs.

Although he can handle dry heat, his heavy coat renders him unsuited to life in a hot, humid area. Ensure your dog has fresh water and shade while outside in the summer.

The Tibetan Mastiff can exercise by playing outside for 20 to 30 minutes or taking a 30-minute stroll. He’ll enjoy playing with another dog, particularly one about the same size as him.

Bull Mastiff

Although their size makes them ideally suited to a household with a fenced yard, Bullmastiffs are low-energy dogs who can adapt well to most home circumstances.

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A fence restricts the Bullmastiff from extending its domain outside its home and yard. This could lead them to prohibit other people and dogs from entering the neighbourhood. Additionally, to prevent them from roaming and safeguarding them from traffic.

The Bullmastiff is susceptible to heat exhaustion and heatstroke due to its short muzzle.

Keep them inside during hot or humid weather and avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day. When your pet is outside, ensure it always has access to shade and clean water.


The recommended amount for the Tibetan Mastiff is 4 to 6 cups of high-quality dog food twice daily and 3.5 to 4.5 cups of high-quality dog twice daily for the Bull Mastiff.

Grooming Tibetan And Bull Mastiffs

The Tibetan Mastiff

Their double coat comprises a long, thick, coarse-textured topcoat and a thick, soft, woolly undercoat. In the warmer months, the undercoat is thinner. The hair is never curly, wavy, or silky; it is always rigid and straight.

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Depending on his living temperature, the Tibetan Mastiff sheds little or may not at certain times of the year. To get rid of dead or stray hair, brush him one to three times per week using a wire slicker brush.

Bathe your pet when necessary. This breed doesn’t smell much, so it often needs a bath once a month.

Other grooming requirements include nail maintenance and dental hygiene. Once or twice a month, or as required, he trims their nails. Ensure no dirt, redness, or swelling in the ears once a week.

Bull Mastiff

Bullmastiffs have short, dense coats that provide good weather protection from rain, snow, and cold.

Bullmastiffs don’t shed much, and a simple daily brush with a rubber curry keeps their coats clean and lustrous. Only bathe them when necessary.

Every week, check the ears and use a solution your veterinarian recommends to clean them as necessary. Once or twice a month, trim your pet’s nails, which are too lengthy if you can hear them clicking on the floor.

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Children And Other Pets

The Tibetan Mastiff is appropriate for families with older kids. Still, it can become too big to be around young children securely. Even though they wouldn’t intend to hurt them, it could trip them up or walk on them.

Bullmastiffs are kind to and protective of children. However, because of their size, they have the potential to trip or step on a young child. Consider their age and size when determining whether to get a Bullmastiff if you have kids.

Constantly instruct kids on how to approach and pet dogs. Always watch over interactions between young kids and dogs to avoid biting or yanking either party’s ears or tails.

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