Last Updated on September 18, 2021 by Marco C.
If you’re looking for an extra-large guard dog that can also be socialized and is quite energetic, meet the bullmastiff and lab mix and its many lovely contradictions. This large cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Bullmastiff (or, sometimes an English Mastiff) combines the traits of two great, albeit quite different breeds.
Unfortunately, this means that there really isn’t a set-in-stone standard for this breed as its physical and personality traits can vary wildly. Fortunately, both labs and mastiffs are fantastic family pets in their own right so the same applies to their cross – the Mastador.
So, exactly what do you need to know about this still-rare but emerging new crossbreed?
What’s The Size and Physical Appearance Of The Bullmastiff and Lab Mix?
Labradors and bullmastiffs are both pretty large breeds and the same will be true for your Mastador puppy. However, there’s also quite a bit of difference between the two parent breeds. Labradors are usually about 22 to 24 inches (55 to 62 cm) tall at the shoulder while bullmastiffs can grow up to 30 to 34 inches (76 to 86 cm). So, a Mastador puppy can fall anywhere between those parameters.
The same applies to this crossbreed’s weight – it will typically be anywhere between 80 and 130 pounds (36 and 59 kg) which are the standard adult weights of labs and bullmastiffs.
In terms of appearance, this crossbreed can vary even more. The Mastador will either inherit the short and single-layer coat of the bullmastiff or the double coat of the Labrador. The first means minimal shedding and grooming needs while the second means bi-annual heavy coat blow-outs and regular shedding throughout the rest of the year.
The coat can also come in different colors, depending on the parents’ (and especially the lab parent’s) colors. The cross can either have the mastiff’s black muzzle or not. The standard colors you can expect include:
- A combination of two of the above
- Any of the above with brindle markings
As for other physical characteristics such as head shape and body type – those can go either way. Mastador puppies will usually be heavily built but they can have either of the parent breeds’ muzzle types, ears, and body types. Fortunately, it should be relatively clear early on whether the dog has a flatter brachycephalic muzzle or not.
Learn more about: Lab And Rottweiler Mix – A Special Cross Between Guard and Family Dogs
Mastiff Lab Mix Temperament Specifics
Labs are social and outgoing while bullmastiffs are a more introverted and classical guard dog breed. So, a Mastador can either be more social or more aloof around strangers.
In both cases, you’re going to want to socialize your dog as well as possible. Proper obedience training is also a must, especially with such large dogs. Fortunately, both parent breeds respond well to training even if bullmastiffs are a bit more stubborn than labs.
The good news is that this crossbreed is always good with kids. That is, as long as you keep in mind that large dog breeds have bad special awareness and can knock a baby accidentally. So, adequate supervision is still recommended.
As for living with other dogs and pets – it’s possible, as long as you’ve raised them with your Mastador. Another good thing is that the bullmastiff in your Mastador can be less prone to separation anxiety than a standard Labrador.
What Are The Exercise Needs Of The Mastador Dog Breed?
While Labradors are highly energetic outdoorsy animals, bullmastiffs tend to be more chill and prefer to spend their days indoors. So, a Mastador can go either way here too. If your crossbreed pup takes from its lab parent it will need a couple of hours of active outdoor exercise each day. This doesn’t mean just walks – it means jogging, playtime at the park, etc. After that, it will also need some outside time in a well-fenced yard.
However, if your pup is more mastiff-like, it will still need 1-2 hours of outdoor time but it will be more chill about it. Such dogs usually don’t need any yard time too as they’ll be more than happy to spend the rest of their day in the living room with you.
Either way, proper exercise is a must if you want your dog to grow up healthy and happy.
How Healthy Are Labrador Mastiff Mix Puppies?
As a crossbreed, the Mastador can either inherit all the healthy and beneficial physical traits of both its parent breeds or all the negative health predispositions of both. Or, usually – a bit of both.
So, spending some extra time researching the health of your pup’s parents is quite important. You want to always work with reputable breeders who go the extra mile to breed only healthy dogs. You should always ask for health certificates too. If you’re not careful (or if you’re a bit unlucky), your Mastador pup can inherit or develop either of these conditions.
From The Labrador Side Of The Family:
- Patellar Luxation
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Eye problems
- Centronuclear myopathy
- And others
From The Mastiff Side Of The Family:
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (bloating)
- Brachycephalic Syndrome
- And others
Of course, adequate care is crucial too. This includes excellent food, regular and well-measured exercise, and routine vet check-ups. Do all that, and your healthy Mastador puppy can live up to 8 to 12 years on average.
Pros and Cons Of The Bullmastiff and Lab Mix
- Lovable and affectionate dog
- Good with kids as long as you account for size
- Easy to train and socialize
- There are a few potential health issues to account for
- Exact physical and personality traits can vary between pups
- This crossbreed is still rare so you might have to spend more time looking for the right dog
Is The Bullmastiff and Lab Mix The Right Dog For You?
This question will largely depend on whether either of the parent breeds seem good for you and your lifestyle. Because mastiffs and labs are so different, the pups of the resulting cross can be drastically different as well. So, you can’t really know which parent breed’s traits the Mastador pup is going to take and you’ll need to be fine with both.
In general, if you’re up to the challenge of a large, potentially quite active dog breed that might also need some extra healthcare – then you should have no problem looking after a bullmastiff and lab mix dog. These canines are incredibly smart, loyal, and affectionate – great for both single-person households and large families.