How much exercise does a Bullmastiff need

Bullmastiff Exercise Requirements

Bull Mastiff exercise

Every dog is an individual but the Bullmastiff are generally a little lazy and are happy with little exercise. However, it is important to encourage them to exercise to manage weight and keep their muscles strong to protect their joints.

The suggested minimum daily needs for a Bullmastiff is between 30 to 45 minutes every day. This should include a daily walk with additional free play and strengthening exercises. High impact or over strenuous exercise can lead to joint pain.

Their exercise routine can be broken down into four categories

  • Daily Walk
  • Free Play
  • Muscle Strengthening
  • Mental Stimulation

These exercise recommendations relate to a healthy adult Bullmastiff. The exercise needs of a puppy are different as their bones, muscles and tendons are growing and developing. See the bottom of this article for more on exercising a Bullmastiff puppy.

As a dog ages, their exercise needs decrease, however, exercise is still crucial to keep them healthy, supple and manage weight. Exercise becomes a balancing act between not enough and overdoing it. For more about exercising an older see the bottom of this article.

Obesity in Bullmastiffs

Obesity can be a common health problem in Bullmastiffs. Being overweight or obese may cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain and heart disease.

Obesity can cause your Bullmastiff to be resistant to walks or exercise. An obese dog pants more when walking or exercising.

This is why it is important to manage your Bullmastiff’s diet and provide regular daily exercise. For a guide to if your dog is overweight see here.

Bullmastiff Walking Distance

Make sure exercise is fun and not stressful for your Bullmastiff as they will be more eager to do it.

Take your Bullmastiff for short relaxed paced walks on a daily basis. Fifteen to twenty minutes or a casual stroll around the block should be more than enough. Ideally, two or three short walks would be better.

Avoid strenuous activity when the weather is hot or humid. This can cause them to overheat or have labored breathing. Ideally, plan their daily walks at a time of the day when the temperature is coolest to avoid any complications. For more tips on exercising a dog in hot weather see here.

Read “Over exercised dog symptoms” to learn about the signs and symptoms to be aware of to prevent overheating or even heat stroke or exhaustion.

It is best to exercise before meals. Bullmastiffs often prefer to just lay around when they are full. Daily walks will also provide an opportunity for mental stimulation from absorbing the sights, sounds, and smells.

Bullmastiff Freeplay exercise ideas

Play with toys

Provide you Bullmastiff with a good range of toys. This will help encourage them to be more active. See Dog toys that encourage exercise for ideas.

Fetch

Fetch is a favorite game for most dogs. It not only gets a dog moving but is also a great bonding activity for you both. Remember not to overdo it and end the game if they are panting excessively or showing signs that they have had enough.

Keep this a controlled game for your Bullmastiff so they are not turning too quickly which can put pressure on the joints. A soft surface such as on the grass is best.

Play with other dogs

Provide the opportunity for your Bullmastiff to play with other dogs. This is not only great to burn energy and stimulate their mind, but teaches them important social skills. Bullmastiffs love the company of people and other dogs.

Bullmastiff muscle building and strengthening exercise

One of the major benefits of incorporating muscle building and strengthening activities into your dog’s daily exercise is that it assists to prevent injury. This is achieved by building muscle to support and give stability to the joints and tendons and increase bone density.

From a fitness point of view strengthening exercises increase the cardiovascular system and reduces fat preventing obesity and helps maintain a healthy weight. For overall health, it improves gastrointestinal regularity, strengthens the immune system and improves sleeping and eating patterns.

Here is some suggested strengthening exercise you can do with your Bullmastiff.

Stair Climbing

Walking up and down stairs is a good exercise in that it provides two complementary actions. Going up the stairs makes them use their muscles to propel forward. Coming down the stairs requires balance and controlled core stability.

It is important not to rush up and down the stairs and keep this a controlled exercise to avoid injury. For more on stair exercise for dogs see here.

Tug of war

A classic dog game and one that is loved by most dogs. Make them use their strength to crouch and pull back. Many dog trainers are opposed to this game as they feel it encourages dominate behavior. As long as your dog takes and releases the tug toy on command and you control the game this is not an issue.

Spring Pole

spring pole is simply a spring connected to a rope that hangs from a tree branch or beam with a lure or toy attached to the end. This allows your dog to play tug of war with him or herself even if you are not there. Popular with a lot of dogs and particularly strong breeds like Bullmastiffs that love a good game of tug of war.

Jolly Ball

Jolly Ball is a nearly indestructible ball for dogs that they push and chase around. They come in a variety of sizes, styles and are also available with a handle or rope attached for tug of war.

View Jolly Balls on Amazon.

Check out the video to see what great exercise and fun they are for dogs.

Doggy Squats

This is similar to human squats. Have your dog sit and then stand. You can use treats to make this easier. If they don’t stand when you say just step back and offer the treat. After a week or two, you can increase the resistance of the exercise by putting a backpack on your dog and add weight, but not more than 10% of their body weight.

For more muscle building and strengthening exercises for dogs see here.

Bullmastiff mental stimulation

Your Bullmastiff will get some mental stimulation and enrichment from their daily walk and time spent with free play. However, it is a good idea to provide other activities that stimulate the mind. Mental exercise can burn as much energy as physical exercise.

Many dog behavior problems are a direct result of boredom. Read “Mental enrichment and mind stimulation for dogs” to learn about the six categories of enrichment for dogs.

Some ideas to provide mental stimulation include;

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are a great way to test your dog’s intelligence and improve their problem-solving skills. Check out “Top puzzle toys for dogs” for my top picks.
Kong toys which you stuff with food and treats work in much the same way. Read “How to use a Kong for dogs”.

Puzzle toys are great for times when your dog is home alone. Bullmastiff love company and many have separation anxiety when left alone. If your dog is home alone while you are at work or out you may find some helpful information at “Leaving a dog alone while at work”

Learning

Teaching new commands and tricks is also excellent to provide mental enrichment. A popular game that involves learning is to teach them the names of their toys. Dogs can learn hundreds of words and names.

Chew Toys

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs and has many benefits including maintaining dental health and keeping them occupied. It also as mental health benefits. When a dog chews it releases endorphins to their brain making them feel calm and relaxed helping to lift their overall mood.

For more on the benefits of chewing and the best chew toys for your dog see here.

Food enrichment

Turn mealtimes into an opportunity for your Bullmastiff to get a mental challenge and enrichment. Instead of feeding them from a bowl, give them activities that require them to work for their food. To learn more about feeding enrichment for dogs see here.

Enrich their environment

Environmental enrichment is the process of making a dog’s living space more engaging and interesting. To learn more about environmental enrichment for dogs see here.

How much exercise does a Bullmastiff puppy need

Bullmastiff puppy exercise

The exercise suggestions above relate to a healthy adult Bullmastiff. The exercise needs of a puppy are quite different. With puppies, their bones, muscle, and joints are still growing and developing.

Overly strenuous walks are not necessary and in fact, could possibly cause harm. An activity that is high impact on the joints should also be avoided.

The best exercise for a young puppy is free play with age-appropriate toys.

Socializing with other puppies or friendly adult dogs is a great way to burn some of that puppy energy along with teaching them the social skills they need.

As your puppy gets older you can take them for short informal walks allowing them to sniff and explore and get used to being on a leash. Puppies under three months probably haven’t had all their vaccinations so shouldn’t be walked in public. Check with your vet when it is alright to venture out to the park or street.

The general rule of thumb for walking a puppy is around 5 minutes for every month of age. However, for a Bullmastiff 2 or 3 minutes per month of age is sufficient. So, for example for a 4-month-old puppy, a walk of 8 minutes to 12 minutes is enough. Monitor your puppy on the walk for signs such as lagging behind, lying down or panting. End the walk if they seem too tired.

Mental stimulation is important for puppies and can tire them just as much as physical activity. For more on mental stimulation for puppies see here.

For more on exercise for your puppy read “How to exercise your puppy

How much exercise does a Senior Bullmastiff need

As a dog gets older they become less active and have lower energy levels. However, it is still important that they remain reasonably active to keep their joints and muscles mobile and to manage their weight. Read ” Dog exercise for a senior dog” to learn more.

Many dogs develop arthritis as they age. Exercise for them becomes a balancing act. It is important to keep their joints mobile and manage weight, but too much can make them sore. Read “How to exercise an arthritic dog” to learn more.

Summary – Bullmastiff exercise requirements

Every dog is an individual but the Bullmastiff are generally a little lazy and are happy with little exercise. However, it is important to encourage them to exercise to manage weight and keep their muscles strong to protect their joints.

The suggested minimum daily needs for a Bullmastiff is between 30 to 45 minutes every day. This should include a daily walk with additional free play and strengthening exercises. High impact or over strenuous exercise can lead to joint pain.

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