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Bullmastiff Vs German Shepherd – One Stalks, One Bites

Bullmastiff Vs German Shepherd – One Stalks, One Bites

What would be better: to accidentally enter a stranger’s yard guarded by a German Shepherd or a Bullmastiff? Both are excellent watchdogs… loyal and ready to defend what is theirs. 

They are trained, you are a stranger, and they have to act. 

To run or not to run? To shout and act big to scare off or intimidate the dog?

Well, the odds of intimidation are low…

A good thing is that one of them won’t hurt you, but stalk you and pin you down until you pass out of fear. The passing out is a joke… Of course, they are waiting for their owner’s instructions.

However, the other one will not be as gentle…

The other one will bite you and let you know you are in trouble.

Which one?

Bullmastiff Vs German Shepherd

bullmastiff and german shepherd running in the snow

We are going to compare these two incredible dog breeds. I am sure you’ve heard of both, and realized that this is going to be a talk about large guard dogs that can easily weigh more than 90 pounds.

And, to help you if you ever wander off the trail and find yourself in trouble, I’ll mention the social and temperamental traits of both dogs.

From the size and coat color to their openness to strangers and everything in between – it’s the Bullmastiff vs the German Shepherd.

There are two charts. The first one is a quick overview of their size and price, and the other one gets into more detail about their temperamental traits.

BullmastiffGerman Shepherd
Height24-27 inches22-26 inches
Weight100-130 lbs50-90 lbs
Lifespan7-9 years7-10 years
BullmastiffGerman Shepherd
Less affectionateAffectionate
Not so good with childrenExcellent with children
Not so good with other dogsNot so good with other dogs
Not so open to strangersNot so open to strangers
Excellent watchdogExcellent watchdog
Less playfulVery Playful
Less AdaptableHighly adaptable
TrainableHighly trainable
Not vocalModerate barking
Moderate sheddingSheds a lot
Lots of droolingNo drooling

Physical Appearance

bullmastiff dog on the beach

Let’s get into the first thing that we all notice – what do dogs look like? What is their coat color? Are they big or small?

Well, these dogs have such unique looks that it is hard to mix them up. Everyone knows about the GSDs look. The Bullmastiff is also unique-looking, although it might get mixed up with some other Mastiff dog breeds.

So, let’s see what they look like.


This is a large dog with a smooth and short coat. It has a recognizable broad head, with a big jaw, and V-shaped ears.

They can weigh more than 120 pounds, and grow up to 27 inches tall. That is a powerful-looking guard dog.

The Bullmastiff comes in 6 AKC-recognized coat colors. The most popular is the fawn or fawn brindle coat color. Others include red, red brindle, etc. However, no matter the coat color, all Bullmastiffs have a black muzzle, dark brown or black ears, and black eyes

German Shepherd

It is the famous German Shepherd, with a height of up to 26 inches, and a weight of up to 90 pounds. Female and male GSDs have slight physical differences. Females tend to be smaller.

The coat color you will often see is black and tan, or black and red, but these days, you can find 15 different coat colors in GSDs — fawn, silver, black, and even a white German Shepherd!

No matter the coat color, the majority of GSDs have a double, medium-length coat. You can also find long-haired GSDs, which is just one of the 7 types of German Shepherds.

Personality Traits

german shepherd lying in the grass

Even though we love the way our dogs look, what actually matters is their health and personality. Personality is highly important when you want to bring a new dog into a home with children or other pets.

Is a Bullmastiff a good choice for children? Have you heard some people think that German Shepherds are aggressive?

Let’s find out what is the truth.


Here comes the truth about which one bites and which one pins you down. If you come across a property guarded by a Bullmastiff – you are lucky!

Not because you will easily escape, but because this is a brilliant guard dog especially trained and bred to stalk and pin down an intruder.

They were not bred to bite or bark. Their primary goal is to capture you so that humans can deal with you. You choose which one is better – judged by dogs or people.

So, they are excellent guard dogs, but if you have small children, a Bullmastiff needs early proper socialization.

This is also a must if you have other dogs or other pets.

Another “fun fact” about Bullmastiffs is that they drool a lot. Am I exaggerating? See for yourself: Bullmastiff Jet Drool.

But, Bullmastiffs are not that active or playful, so they don’t require too much of your time. Also, they shed, but it is quite easy to keep their coat healthy and beautiful with weekly brushing.

German Shepherd

Although GSDs are also not so good with other dogs or pets, they are incredible with children! They are perfect doggy nannies. It’s in their herding dog heritage – gather and protect.

Also, they are much more affectionate than Bullmastiffs, and they don’t drool.

But, just like any other large dog that is very loyal, GSDs need to be properly socialized as well.

They are not open to strangers, and they will bark and bite you if you are a stranger whom they deem as suspicious and dangerous.

But, because they are one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, they are highly trainable, and will easily learn not to bite intruders – if you teach them.

The GSD might not leave slobber all around the house, but they will leave their hair. GSDs do shed a lot.

Health Issues

sick bullmastiff lying on the blanket

Both Bullmastiffs and German Shepherds are healthy dogs. However, their size and deep chest make them prone to bloat – Gastric dilatation and volvulus.

They are also both prone to:

Bullmastiffs can have other health issues as well:

  • Eye problems
  • Heart problems
  • Thyroid problems

But, a responsible dog breeder will screen their dogs for health conditions, and will never breed dogs that have one of these health conditions. 

If you are interested in GSDs or Bullmastiffs, you can learn more about their price here:

The Conclusion

In my opinion, when talking about Bullmastiffs vs German Shepherds, it is much better if you come across a Bullmastiff. Of course, it would be best if you weren’t wandering around in the first place, but it happens. 

Although German Shepherds are excellent family dogs that show a lot of love and affection to their human family (including small children), they are not so open to strangers. But, that’s why they are such excellent guard dogs.

On the other hand, Bullmastiffs are not naturally affectionate toward children. However, they have one person they love so much they’d die for them.

But, such great love comes with great drooling.

Nothing is perfect… 

Choose wisely between these two dogs. Not because one of them is better, but because having a dog means much more than feeding it and taking it out for a walk.

They need constant care and love, and their needs won’t fit every type of family.