Difference Between Bullmastiff and French Mastiff

Bullmastiff vs French Mastiff

Both Bullmastiff and French mastiff, being two of the unique dog breeds, pose some interest among the dog-loving world. They have quite a few characteristics, which are common for both of them, mainly due to the fact that Bullmastiffs being a precursor of the French mastiffs. There are many differences between Bullmastiff and French mastiff despite the commonly discussed ancestry.


Bullmastiff is a dog breed with a large body and short, but strong muzzle with drooping lips. They originated in Europe after crossbreeding the English mastiff and Old English bulldog breeds in the nineteenth century. The purpose of creating this dog breed was to guard the estates against poachers. They were accepted as purebred dogs since 1924 by the English kennel club.

Bullmastiff’s coat is dense, harsh, rough, and short in structure while its colour is a mixture of red, brown, fawn, or brindle. However, their short, but strong muzzle is mostly blackened (black mask). Their drooping lips give them a sad but cute and adorable appearance. Their males are slightly larger than females with the minimum and maximum heights being 63 and 69 centimetres respectively. Males weigh between 50 – 59 kilograms and females have about 45 – 54 kilograms of weight.

The lifespan of Bullmastiff ranges around eight to eleven years. The considerable susceptibility of Bullmastiffs for inherited diseases is a bit of a concern about them. However, their independent, loyal, quiet, and intelligent temperaments have been the main causes to attract people towards them.

French Mastiff

French mastiff is known in few other names such as Bordeaux dog, French Bordeaux, and Dogue de Bordeaux. As the name depicts, they have been originated in France in the background of Bullmastiff, but there are many theories to explain their origin from different dog breeds. History shows that these dogs existed in the 1800s, but French mastiff has been accepted as a purebred breed since its characterization in 1970 (updated in 1995).

French mastiffs are large and heavy dogs with weights being more than 68 kilograms for males and over 57 kilograms for females. A purebred adult male French mastiff should measure between 60 and 69 centimetres while a female should be around 57 – 65 centimetres. The most conspicuous feature of the French mastiff is their large head, which is considered as the largest head among all the dog breeds. In fact, they have the largest head among all the canines. A rough estimation states that the circumference of the head is equal to the height at withers. Their mask is not black coloured, but the upper lips are drooping and hanging over lower lips. One prominent dewlap is formed with the loose skin on the neck. Their coat is available in many colourations, yet its texture is soft, fine, and short. Some rich colourations, such as fawn colouration between red fawn and light fawn with limited white patches around the neck and chest have been accepted according to the standards in purebreds. They are not long-lived dog, as the average lifespan ranges around 5 – 6 years.

What is the difference between Bullmastiff and French Mastiff?

• French mastiff is larger and heavier than Bullmastiff.

• French mastiff has been originated in France, but the exact location of origin of Bullmastiff has not been recorded unless somewhere in Europe.

• Both breeds have a short coat, but it is fine and soft in French mastiff while it is harsh and dense in Bullmastiff.

• Head is more conspicuous in French mastiff than in Bullmastiff.

• Bullmastiffs are available with a black mask, but not the French mastiffs.

• Bullmastiffs can live longer than French mastiffs.