English Water Spaniel vs Bullmastiff - Breed Comparison

Both English Water Spaniel and Bullmastiff are originated from United Kingdom. English Water Spaniel may grow 17 cm / 6 inches shorter than Bullmastiff. English Water Spaniel may weigh 39 kg / 85 pounds lesser than Bullmastiff. Both English Water Spaniel and Bullmastiff has almost same life span. Both English Water Spaniel and Bullmastiff has almost same litter size. Both English Water Spaniel and Bullmastiff requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Sporting dog
Working dog
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Height Male:
49 - 51 cm
19 - 21 inches
61 - 68 cm
24 - 27 inches
Height Female:
45 - 47 cm
17 - 19 inches
59 - 68 cm
23 - 27 inches
Weight Male:
16 - 20 kg
35 - 45 pounds
41 - 59 kg
90 - 131 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 18 kg
30 - 40 pounds
39 - 59 kg
85 - 131 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 14 Years
10 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 8
6 - 10
Medium dog
Large dog
Other Names:
Water Dog, Water Rug
Bull Mastiff
Colors Available:
liver and white
Fawn, Red or Brindle
dense, waterproof, doublecoated
Short and dense
Affectionate, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


The English Water Spaniel breed is extinct and has been since the early 1900’s. It was last seen in the 1930s. The breed was a hunting breed, diving for duck and hunting other waterfowl. Legend has it that Shakespeare was referring to this breed of dog in Macbeth when he refers to the “water rug”. Again, in Two Gentlemen of Verona one of the character states about another that “She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel.’

The English Water Spaniel came along before the Irish Water Spaniel and had a part in the development the Curly Coated Retriever, the American Water Spaniel and the Field Spaniel. The English Water Spaniel looks somewhat like a Poodle/Springer Spaniel cross or a Collie. It is not known whether the English Water Spaniel was part of the development of the Irish Water Spaniel.

When the English Water Spaniel was first developed the UKC had a “Water Spaniels other than Irish” and the English Water Spaniel had no standard written and accepted for it yet. But by 1967 the breed was extinct. Still the American Water Spaniel and the Flat Coated Retriever are believed to be descendants of the English Water Spaniel.

The Old English Mastiff as well as the Bulldog are the breeds behind the Bull Mastiff. The Bullmastiff was originally developed in England around the 1860’s. Gamekeepers in England wanted a large, brave, robust dog which could help with keeping poachers away from their large estates which kept game.

As these large estates dwindled, so did the need for the services of the Bullmastiff and later they were simply bred to be family companions. As more Old English Mastiffs were bred, the dog became lighter, so that light tan or fawn became the preferred color.

The breed was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1924, and the American Kennel Club in 1933.


Resembling the Springer Spaniel, poodle, collie and setter the English Water Spaniel has very little in common with the Irish Water Spaniel in respect to looks. The English has a narrow and somewhat longer head their than other spaniels and they have long furry ears. Their body is stout, and they are shaped like a barrel – more like a Clumber. With long legs and large feet, it is ready to take to the hunt. There coat was waterproof, and their toes were webbed.

Bullmastiffs are large, brachycephalic dogs, and heights are between 61 and 68cm and the dog weight anything between 41 – 59kg. While it isn’t particularly tall, the dog is thickly set with a deep chest and strong, muscular legs. The Bull Mastiff has a powerful build and plenty of strength with an imposing look on his face. He is a powerful, active breed with a short coat which is also weather resistant and can be any shade of fawn, red or brindle.

The dog has a black muzzle and the skull is large and square. The ears are set high and are short and floppy. The tail was once docked, giving the dog an even more distinctive, powerful appearance, but these days, due to regulations, the tail is left long.


The Bullmastiff is a loyal, devoted, fearless, protective dog. When he belongs to a human family, he becomes a companion but a fierce protector too, being a territorial dog. They love being with their family and can be good with children too, and even other pets, but proper training and socialization will be important. They aren’t aggressive around strangers, though he does make a wonderful guard dog.

He is intelligent and stubborn and if you don’t want him becoming destructive, even though he is a low-energy dog, you will need to exercise him and walk him every day.

Health Problems

The English Water Spaniel is a fairly healthy breed given to some fairly common disorders such as:

Hip Dysplasia

Can lead to lameness and arthritis

Cardiac abnormalities

Arterial fib and flutter and other problems that could lead to death.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This is a disease seem in several “Dwarf” breeds such as Corgis, as well as in many spaniels. This is the canine version of Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS and it is fatal.

The Bullmastiff is a generally healthy breed, but even so, the breed is known for having to contend with certain health issues. He doesn’t have a particularly long life span either and can live to be about 10, ll or 12 years of age. Some of the more common illnesses to look out for include -

Hip Dysplasia:

This is a condition where the thighbone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint. The troublesome part is that it can lead to arthritis, pain and lameness for your pet.


This is a worrisome, life-threatening condition for a dog, particularly for large, deep-chested dogs such as your Bullmastiff. Instead of feeding your Mastiff one large meal, it is recommended to feed him 2 smaller meals. Bloat occurs when the stomach is distended with gas or air and twists, restricting the normal return of blood to the heart.

Caring The Pet


The English Water Spaniel is not an overly energetic dog and has a tendency to over eat. Feed him 1 to 1.5 cups of high quality dry dog food over two meals each day.

Health issues

In addition to the health issues mentioned earlier, the English Water Spaniel is also prone to:


Pattern baldness – is genetic and occurs on the neck and back of the hind legs.


English Water Spaniels can have these in old age like most other breeds.

Retinal Dysplasia

Clumps form in the retinal tissue and can lead to blindness

Exercise and games

The English Water Spaniel was a worker and an outdoor athlete at a time before organized canine games and activities such as agility and flyball. They loved to swim, and they loved to hunt. Without a job to do they could become barky and destructive.

Grooming for Health and Happiness

The Bullmastiff has a short dense coat which is looked upon as low-maintenance. He will require a brushing twice a week, being a light to average shedder. He is a dog that tends to drool quite a bit so you may need to wipe away slobber from time to time. Because his face has wrinkles, check the creases to ensure they remain free of dirt and food particles to ward off infection.

Check his ears at the same time, brush his teeth at least twice a week with special dog-toothpaste and brush and keep the nails trimmed.


Your large Bullmastiff will require high-quality commercial dog food but he will also need some home-made food in between such as rice, vegetables and meat. He is a large dog and will have to get an intake of raw meat too. Dogs denied raw meat can end up with skin problems as well as other health issues.It is better to feel your Bullmastiff smaller meals than to give him one large meal which he scoffs down quickly. Smaller meals will help prevent the most dangerous illness known as Bloat.

Ensure he has a steady supply of fresh, cool water.


The English Water Spaniel was aloof with strangers but loyal with his hunter. He was a little stubborn and an excellent water dog. They loved being in the water and could enter it without making any noise so as not to frighten his prey. He was highly intelligent and trainable. He also was very affectionate with his people.

Contrary to his formidable looks, the Bullmastiff is a gentle, affectionate pet when he has been properly socialized. He is a great pet for families and will guard them with his life. He is loyal and devoted but can be somewhat aloof, particularly with strangers.

He isn’t a highly energetic dog and he is more or less low maintenance and easy-going. Feed him correctly, give him a nice, warm sleeping spot to call his own and give him attention like he deserves as a family member. The Bullmastiff will reward you by being a solid and devoted companion.

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