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tell me about these types of dog?
Mastiff & Bull Arab

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#1 kell-pea

Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:07 PM

Checking out the local shelters and most of the dogs appear to be cross with Mastiff or Bull arab or cattle dog.

I am ruling out cattle dog as I guess they are working dogs so will require more exercise than we will be able to give.

I know it will depend on the cross but I know nothing about mastiff or bull arabs- are they generally ok breed for families?


#2 ubermum

Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

Not my family. No way. Especially the bull arabs. They are hunting dogs. Often used for pig hunting. Looking for a family dog, I would be more inclined to look at the rehome a greyhound scheme than look at the breeds you have mentioned.

#3 DrDC

Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:27 PM

Maybe as a purebreed kept by people who know the breed and bred for temperament, but most dogs mixed with those breeds have been intentionally bred for pig hunting in my experience. And I agree with your assessment on the cattle dog mixes. Persist. even look at some of the on-line rehoming sites and you can certainly get a more family friendly mix or pure breed.
Do your research about what breeds offer what your family wants, and then be patient. You'll have your dog a long time! Good luck!

#4 dj26

Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

Have a look on petrescue.com.au there are lots of pups looking for homes...all shapes and sizes!  

We got a new family member just over 2 years ago..we wanted a dog that would be good with our son (always under supervision of course) and also a good watch/guard dog.  I did the research and we ended up with a ridgeback x boxer.  Each of these breeds has their own 'history' - but at the end of the day it's how you treat the dog and teach your kids how to interact with the dog.  

Good luck - dogs are great!!

#5 dreamingofcats

Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:46 PM

I have a mastiff x greyhound. He has a very sweet nature, not the brightest lightbulb in the pack but has always been relaxed around people and other dogs.


I am going to have to be very careful when baby comes along as he is as solid as a rock. Even his tail is like being wacked with a peice of wood. And they are big dogs, Sam when excited can be a little over enthusiastic. Its not intentional but he is solid and big. Training is very, very important.

#6 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:51 PM

It depends. There are so many variables.

Generally, Mastiffs are gentle giants and great dogs to be around families.

Here is the dogsonline profile for Mastiffs.

Here is the profile for the Bullmastiff.

A Bull Arab, however, is a working dog - specifically a hunting dog often used in hunting feral pigs.

So, a Mastiff cross, not so much of a problem (except you may need a bigger couch). A Bull Arab, definitely not a 'family pet' kind of dog.

Check if there are any dogs being fostered, the fosterer will have a better idea of temperament that can be assessed in a shelter. And Pet Rescue is also a great place to look - most will fly dogs to you if they consider you suitable.

#7 Jelly Bee

Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:01 PM

I rescued a Bull Arab (don't believe this is actually a breed? Just a general term for this sort of dog? Correct me if I'm wrong anyone)

Massive sook. Serious attachment issues and has to be by my side 24/7 - medicated for separation anxiety.

Had her 3 years now and she still growls (fear growl) at every single child she meets.

Based on my experience, I would not do it OP.

#8 Jelly Bee

Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:01 PM

Double post

Edited by Jellyblush, 19 August 2012 - 06:04 PM.

#9 Jelly Bee

Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:01 PM

Double post

Edited by Jellyblush, 19 August 2012 - 06:04 PM.

#10 vrx_chick

Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:23 PM


This is just my experience - we adpoted a Bull Arab / Boxer cross a few months ago at 6 months old...

While he is a great guard dog and barks at people walking past the fence, the rest of the time he is gentle as anything...

He jumps ( more a boxer bounce than anything else) , but if I sit on the ground he tries to curl up on my lap!

Everyone who has met him has said what a gorgeous temperament he has...

He has not shown any aggression of any type towards myself, DH or DS - who is 10 (but not small original.gif, or any family members who have come over the one weekend we have been away to feed him...

We are training him, but so far I have no problem with his breed at all....

And I have no idea on his history as we adopted him from Animal Welfare...


#11 unicorn

Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:32 PM

My old neighbour used to have two Bull Arab x Sharpei dogs, he used them for hunting, but they were such beautiful dogs, loved being around the kids and they were big sooks and loved getting scratched behind the ear, to the point of almost falling asleep, farting all the while. I love big dogs, but if you don't have a lot of dog experience then you are probably better off with something more manageable.

#12 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:33 PM

Bull Arabs are trying to become a breed.

They have DNA testing, and are well on their way to meeting the registration requirements. Based on DNA, they can now determine if a dog is a 'purebred' BA, or a cross bred. They're not registering the cross breds, as they have a sufficient pool within the registry to not need to outcross their lines.

They can be sooks - they're certainly supposed to be even tempered and friendly. Its part of the breed standard they're working with.

However, this would entirely be dependent on who did the breeding and I'm not inclined to be so trusting of humans who, if cross-breeding, are probably not the most reliable or responsible people on the planet.

#13 la di dah

Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:47 PM

I don't know anything about Bull Arabs but the Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs I've met have been pleasant.

The mastiffs  (English mastiffs and Neopolitan mastiffs) have been lazier, the English mastiffs laziest of all. Very amiable and steady.

The bullmastiffs were more active and a bit like Boxers or Rotties, who can be headstrong.

They drool/snore/fart like absolute horrors. Nice temperments on the ones I've met but you may be begging for death regardless.  sick.gif  biggrin.gif

The farting. It's otherworldly.

Edited by la di dah, 19 August 2012 - 06:49 PM.

#14 medion

Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:03 PM

My BIL has a Bull Arab and he's an absolute gentle giant, a really beautiful, placid dog! He's great with their 2 year old. I don't know much about the breed but just know how great this particular dog is. He really is a giant though, the biggest dog I've ever seen! I think no matter the temperament, there would always be a potential issue for injuries just due to the sheer size and strength as compared to a child (or adult, he's knocked me down just by leaning against me for a scratch! laughing2.gif )

#15 Chardonnay Buffay

Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:15 PM

I knew a bull arab, I thought he was aggressive and unpredictable. But that was just one dog, not representative of all of them original.gif
We have a bitsa dog, and one pure bred, and I would never ever ever again have a bitsa. One day I think I know her, the next she's snapping at the children.
Our purebred is a dream, exactly like I thought she would be, it's been 7 years of devoted love we've had so far. She's big (50kg) but gentle and loving. (bernese mountain dog)

They both went to a solid year of obedience training through RSPCA. The bitsa is still unpredictable, the BMD is obedient as the day is long. This is probably reflective of her breed traits.

#16 Oriental lily

Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:37 PM

Op if your heart is set on a rescue I would personally not worry so much on breed but concentrate on dogs currently being fostered that are a size that appeals to. Foster carers will be able to tell if an individual dog is suitable for a family or not,

Because when it comes down to it x breeds are a varied mob and two x. Breeds will never be similar even if they are a similar mix of breeds. Just to many variables.

#17 Oh My......

Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:28 AM

I have had a bull Arab. Biggest soon ever and in all honestly the best dog I ever had. But she was trained from day one. Alot of work went into training her.

#18 Red Cabbage

Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:04 PM

I would ask you how much experience with dogs you have had. It's probably a breed I wouldn't recommend to first time dog owners.

#19 Beancat

Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:15 PM

The fact that the shelters are over represented with these breeds would be enough to ring the alarm bells for me - ie why are people giving up/dumping these dogs?

You are sensible not going for a working dog.  I have had a lot of experience with them - they are great one-on-one dogs for adults, very protective and certainly not suitable for people with young children (on top of being being very active)

#20 MrsLexiK

Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:20 PM

QUOTE (ubermum @ 19/08/2012, 05:25 PM)
Not my family. No way. Especially the bull arabs. They are hunting dogs. Often used for pig hunting. Looking for a family dog, I would be more inclined to look at the rehome a greyhound scheme than look at the breeds you have mentioned.

Agree, of they where pure breed then maybe but the cross is purely for pig hunting. We had a cross mastif (with a Dane) and she was the most gentle girl but I know my parents were at the time wrote about the mastiff in her. If your kids were older (teenagers) I would say no issue.

#21 bebe12

Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:34 PM


All are dogs have been rescued dog range of breeds (not the breeds that you have talked about).

Depending on the age of the dog when we got it, alot of work was need to undo so of the trauma some of these animals had experieced at the hands of other humans.
The younger the dog (under six months) was easiest the older ones age 3+ took over 12month to get rid of some of their aggressive habits.

One dog had been beaten with a belt, we found out one day as i was runing late and was walking past putting it on and he wet himself an cringed and at that time he had been in  our care for 5 months and had never been treated badly by us. Point of this story is that dogs like humans can have long memories an if they have been maltreated or trained to react a certain way, it might come up months later.

Good luck and love that you are keen to rescue a pet

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