How to Train a Bullmastiff? (What you need to know)

Any Bullmastiff owner will tell you that training a Bullmastiff puppy is no easy task. There is so much to know when it comes to training these adorable four-legged guys; therefore, it is essential that anybody looking to adopt a Bullmastiff knows what to expect in terms of training. So, what do you need to know about training a Bullmastiff?

When it comes to training a Bullmastiff puppy, you must learn to potty train them, train them to walk on a leash, and, more importantly, prevent any aggression. Training a Bullmastiff can be a real challenge if you are not up to the task.

Before you jump at the opportunity to adopt a Bullmastiff, ensure you are ready to handle all the training required! In this article, we will help you understand what is ahead of you if you choose to adopt a Bullmastiff puppy.

Importance of Training your Bullmastiff

The importance of training the bullmastiff is so that your pet remains obedient and friendly to you. Without training, your dog can be indiscriminately aggressive. 

Dogs are natural hunters, and if they’re not trained, they’ll chase down anything in sight-even cars. They can also harm or kill household pets such as cats and smaller dogs, which can make them dangerous to have around the house.

It’s important to train your bullmastiff because, without training, they may become indiscriminately aggressive or chase cars or other animals. It’s also essential to train them because it’s hard for them to coexist with people in the house if they don’t get trained.

Dog training is essential because the dog will develop a more desirable behavior and learn how to behave. This can make a difference in a dog’s life and give them a chance of going on to live with a good owner.

Why You Should Start Training at a Young Age

Bullmastiff dog sitting with a tree

It’s easier to train your bullmastiff from a young age because you give them time to develop and grow before they start developing bad habits. It also means that they will be easier to handle as an adult. 

When dealing with a Bullmastiff, you’ll first need to capture and maintain his attention and then shape and reward the appropriate behavior. A good way of mastering this is by using treats or toys that can be used as rewards for desired behaviors. 

Puppies learn faster than adult dogs. They also need a lot of attention and will show what they want. Dogs that are trained from a young age will then be easier to train. However, this is not always possible or practical for everyone; therefore, although it is possible to train an older dog, it is easier to teach new habits to a young dog than one that is grown up.

So, often, the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is true, hence the importance of early training.

Importance of Socializing Your Bullmastiff

Half image of a man holding Bullmastiff dog with collar

One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to socialize it. This is especially important when you have a Bullmastiff since they are more aggressive than other breeds. 

You can teach your bullmastiff how to interact with other people and animals in the neighborhood without becoming frustrated or agitated by taking it out in public places and teaching it that not all humans want to hurt them. This, in turn, will help deter the dog from becoming confrontational when they see someone different in public.

Many owners choose not to socialize their bullmastiff from a young age, and others forget that this is important. By not socializing your bullmastiff, you could be causing it to become defensive and dangerously aggressive. 

There are many small steps that you can take to get your dog used to other people and animals while avoiding aggression towards them.

Take your bullmastiff out regularly and allow it to investigate new places and meet new people. Allow your neighbor’s dog into the yard while you go for a walk with your dog, or allow someone into the yard while you’re there. 

If possible, try taking your pet along when you go out jogging or biking-just keep them close by so that they don’t feel left out or become distracted from what is going on around them. This will also help build their stamina and give them some exercise at the same time.

While your bullmastiff is out and about, be sure to reward it for being calm around other people or animals. By taking small steps every day in helping your dog become accustomed to strangers, you’ll find that their aggression level decreases over time. 

Remembering these pointers can save both yourself and your newfound friends from unnecessary accidents or injuries.

Potty Training

Dog's face

Start by picking a time in the day when you can spend at least 30 minutes away from your bullmastiff. Fill the chosen potty spot with your potty item selected (i.e., newspapers). 

Bring your dog to this spot-ensuring he is on a leash, and allow him to sniff around for 30 seconds or so. Then, go back inside your house or another area where he can’t get into trouble while you wait. 

When he shows interest in the potty item, give him verbal encouragement and reward him with his favorite treats when he uses them. 

After about three reps, get ready to leave again, but wait just long enough for him to get interested in the paper again before you go. Repeat this until he has completed three reps of going to the potty spot and going on the paper.

Here are some critical potty training tips to keep in mind:

  • Pick a time in the day to train your bullmastiff (morning, evening, etc.).
  • Before you start training, make sure your dog is healthy and cannot have any accidents where you plan to train him (i.e., no diarrhea). If they do, wait for them to be entirely over their illness before training them.
  • Choose an appropriate potty item (newspaper, puppy pad). Appropriate potty items will reduce issues with housebreaking and encourage accurate behavior from your bullmastiff.
  • Never punish or scold your dog if they have an accident; it could negatively impact their behavior.
  • Ensure the paper you choose is absorbent. Newspapers will not hold moisture like puppy pads, which can make housebreaking more difficult for your bullmastiff.
  • Never use the same spot to potty your dog twice in a row; they will think that because it was used recently, they are still allowed to use it when they need to go number 2. If they have an accident in the house, clean it up immediately with an enzyme cleaning product or hot water and soap (to prevent them from smelling where they went before, so they don’t want to use that spot again).
  • Each time your bullmastiff successfully goes on his pad/paper, give him verbal praise and put some of his favorite treats on it. Your bullmastiff will quickly figure out that the paper/pad is where he needs to go and not your carpet or their favorite spot in the yard.
  • Continue this training for at least a week, so your bullmastiff gets the hang of it before you move on to step two.

Leash Training

Bullmastiff dog jumping in snow

One of the essential aspects of leash training is to make sure that your dog is comfortable and at ease with the collar and the leash. As the dog learns to become more comfortable with his collar and leash, you can tighten up on him a little bit at a time. 

It’s also a good idea to work on teaching your bullmastiff various commands so that he knows how to behave on a walk. This will make it easier for you to teach him how to heel as he walks next to you.

If your bullmastiff has a lot of excess energy, it’s always best to take him out for a walk. This is also true if he seems particularly restless or agitated. If you want to train a Bullmastiff, then one of the first things you need to do is establish a positive relationship with him and show him that training can be fun. 

A dog needs consistent training from its owner for it to learn what appropriate behavior looks like. Trainers believe that this early stage of training should happen almost daily so that your pet becomes accustomed to learning little commands early on in its life. 

Keep sessions brief and positive and, as training progresses, your dog will become more confident and at ease with you.

Preventing Aggression

One of the main things that Bullmastiffs are bred for is their ability to guard. They are not only bred for their intimidating size but also their temperament. However, if you don’t properly train these dogs, they can become aggressive. 

To prevent your dog from becoming aggressive, make sure to start training around eight weeks. The best time to start training is when your pet is calm and has had enough exercise. It’s unnecessary to take them out when they are excited or tired because this will lead to disobedience.

Short Training Sessions

To keep your bullmastiff on the right track, you should keep training sessions short. Training sessions lasting longer than 15 minutes can diminish the effect and contribute to unwanted behaviors (such as many breaks in the training session). 

If you want to create a more strenuous exercise routine for your dog, you should do more frequent workouts rather than one long workout.

Staying Consistent

It’s very important that you’re consistent with your training sessions. If you have a hectic week and can’t do a session one day, try to get in two the next time. The more consistent you are with training sessions, the quicker your dog will learn.

Furthermore, avoid taking steps backward in your training progress as this can confuse the dog and result in training delays. Always progress; never look back on what has already been learned by your pet.

Focus on Positive Reinforcement

Bullmastiff dog with collar around his neck sitting calmly

Positive reinforcement is a valuable tool for training a Bullmastiff. For instance, if a Bullmastiff makes a mistake, the owner should not punish the animal. Instead, the owner should offer the dog treats or give him affection to know he is still doing something right. 

If this is done, there will be more incentive for the bullmastiff to do well to get more rewards.

Focus on what the dog has done right rather than what he’s done wrong. If the dog sits, give him a treat for sitting, even if he tries to jump on someone or get into another room. 

If you wait until an action has occurred that you don’t want before rewarding your bullmastiff, the animal may decide it isn’t worth it to sit to receive praise because there are no other dogs around, and he would rather be petted.

Don’t forget to exercise!

In addition to training, you’ll want to make sure your mastiff gets plenty of exercise. Mastiffs were bred as hunting dogs and enjoy a good chase. Many will relish the opportunity to hunt small creatures and larger ones like rabbits and deer if they have the chance.

Final thoughts

Bullmastiffs are intelligent creatures that respond well to patience, praise, and treats. If you want your dog to behave in a certain way, he must understand what is expected of him first. 

This will be easier if the behavior has already been established. For example, teaching an adult Bullmastiff not to jump on people by rewarding them with food when they don’t do so may take longer than reinforcing this same lesson for a puppy.

The more consistent you are with these rules, the better your chance of establishing good habits that will last for years to come!