Mastiff Dog Breed Profile

Mastiff dog breed information
Tracy Morgan/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

The Mastiff (sometimes called the English Mastiff), is one of the largest dog breeds in the world. This immense dog is large-boned and muscular with a noble, gentle and loyal disposition. 

Caring for Your Mastiff

The Mastiff has a short hair coat that typically needs little more than routine grooming. This breed is a moderately high shedder. Additionally, the Mastiff's ears and facial skin folds (if present) should be kept clean and dry.

In addition, Mastiffs are known to salivate quite a bit; they might share their drool when the shake their heads, so be aware!

Like all dogs, proper training and socialization are both important for the Mastiff. This is especially crucial because of the giant size of this breed. Careful attention should be given to the prevention of jumping and leash-pulling.

In general, Mastiffs are quite docile (but not listless). Younger dogs are more playful, but an endearing quality of aloof laziness often develops as they mature. Routine exercise will help keep your Mastiff fit and motivated. 

Mastiff History

The Mastiff hails from England, where it has been bred for over 2000 years. However, the Mastiff (or its ancestors) can be traced back to ancient times. Though historically seen as a worker and watchdog, at one time this magnificent breed was sadly used for fighting. Fortunately, today's Mastiff is a lover, not a fighter.

Mastiffs have might have been brought to the United States over 200 years ago, but they were not officially recognized by the AKC until the late 1800s. The breed is referred to as the Old English Mastiff, the English mastiff, or simply the Mastiff.

Mastiff Information

  • Group: Working
  • Sizes:  FEMALES: 120-180 pounds, MALES: 150-220 pounds
  • Colors: Fawn, apricot, or brindle (all with dark muzzle, ears, and nose)

Mastiff Health Problems

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

Living With a Mastiff

Mastiffs are very gentle companions and family protectors that lack aggression, making them lovely family pets. These courageous yet well-mannered dogs can do well in most households. You don't need a huge home to have this giant dog, but you do need a little extra space (especially because of the long tail). Sadly, like other giant dog breeds, the lifespan of the Mastiff tends to be shorter than the average dog. However, with proper care, you can help your Mastiff live a full, healthy life.

As with any breed, if you think the Mastiff is the right dog breed for you, be sure to do plenty of research before adopting one. Talk to other Mastiff owners, reputable Mastiff breeders, and Mastiff rescue groups to learn more.