The Mastiff was originally used for hunting and grazing cattle. Also, this breed has participated in dog fights and fought in the arena with bulls, lions and bears. During the Second World War, Mastiffs almost went extinct in England. However, these dogs were exported from the USA and Canada and thus restored.

Height: 26-30 inches  Weight: 175-200 pounds  Lifespan: 10-12 years


Huge, muscular and powerful, the Mastiff is considered to be one of the most challenging and heaviest dogs. Hence, males can weigh more than 90 kg (200 lbs). This breed is fearless, courageous and seeks to strike dominance. Mastiffs are often called gentle giants, because they are majestic and behave with dignity. Comparable Breed: Bullmastiff, Great Dane.


The Mastiff is a vigilant, reliable and intelligent dog, very loyal to his family. This dog does not tolerate loneliness, as a matter of fact, he needs love and attention. Mastiffs get along well with teenagers, and they can find a common language with other pets within the family. This breed is not recommended for inexperienced and passive dog breeders.

Coat / Care:

The Mastiff has a double coat. While the outer layer is a short, smooth and glossy, the undercoat is thick, tight to the body. Coat colors include fawn, apricot, silver or brindle, while the dog’s ears and the muzzle are usually black. The Mastiff’s coat requires minimal care. Therefore, it is enough to periodically clean your pet with a stiff brush. Bathing is allowed only if absolutely necessary, using a dry shampoo. Mastiffs are prone to hip dysplasia and joint disease, swelling, retinal atrophy, cardiomyopathy, ectropion and twisting of the stomach. Also, this breed is prone to snoring, grunting, snorting and excessive slobbering.


Early socialization and obedience training are very important for this breed. Mastiffs need a dominant trainer. Despite the fact that this dog is always striving to please his master, teaching can be a challenge. The Mastiff will not respond to harsh training methods. On the contrary, the teacher should be respectful, patient and perseverant. Mastiffs are great guard dogs, they are engaged in police work, military and search and rescue.


Mastiffs can be quite inactive and lazy. It is recommended to regularly walk the dog on a sturdy leash or in a securely fenced yard. This breed can bear apartment living if it gets enough attention and physical activity.

 Photo credit: Claudio Gennari/Flickr

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