Mastiff: Care & Characteristics of the Dog Breed

Mastiff: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

One of the biggest dog breeds in the world is the mastiff. This enormous dog has a noble, sympathetic, and devoted personality and large bones and muscles. Mastiffs are wonderful family pets since they are non-aggressive and incredibly gentle companions and family guardians. These brave yet well-behaved canines may fit in with most homes.

To have this enormous dog, you don't need a vast house, but you do need a little more room (especially because of the long tail). Sadly, the Mastiff tends to have a shorter life than the normal dog, similar to other huge dog breeds. But with the right care, you can ensure that your Mastiff lives a long and healthy life.

Breed Overview


HEIGHT: 27.5 inches and up

WEIGHT: 120 to 220 pounds

COAT: Short and sleek.

COAT COLOR: Fawn, apricot, or brindle, all with a dark mask on the muzzle, ears, and nose.

LIFE SPAN: 10 to 12 years

TEMPERAMENT: Calm, affectionate, protective, loyal, peaceful, sweet-tempered


ORIGIN: England

Characteristics of the Mastiff

Mastiffs, despite their intimidatingly massive look, are extraordinarily tender-hearted animals. The enormous breed, often referred to as gentle giants, has developed a reputation for its willingness to interact well with children and other family members. Due of their size, they require some maintenance but will provide their owners with a lifetime of love and company.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly HIgh
Pet-Friendly Low
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Low
Intelligence Low
Tendency to Bark Low
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Mastiff

The Mastiff is an English breed that has been produced for more than 2000 years. But the Mastiff (or its progenitors) may be seen depicted on Egyptian monuments, and Caesar even made note of them when he conquered Britain.

This wonderful breed was sometimes utilized for combat, especially in gladiatorial contests between humans and other animals, despite previously being viewed as a worker and watchdog. They later appeared in dogfights that spectators in Westminster, London, saw. The Mastiff of today is a lover, not a fighter, and in 1835, the United Kingdom outlawed dogfights. The Mastiff breed's present bloodlines date back to the 19th century, when aggression was no longer a desired trait.

Although mastiffs may have been imported to the country more than 200 years ago, the American Kennel Club (AKC) did not formally recognize them until the late 1800s. The ancient English mastiff, English mastiff, or simply mastiff are all names for this breed.

The last dog to hold the title of largest in the world was an English mastiff by the name of Aicama Zorba of La Susa, who weighed 343 pounds and stood 37 inches tall at the shoulder in 1989. This record will endure as the organization stopped keeping track of pet record sizes in 2000.

Mastiff Care

To maintain their finest appearance and health, mastiffs require routine grooming and maintenance. Although they aren't thought to be very bright or trainable, it's always a good idea to give them a little basic obedience training to make sure they stay safe and make wonderful companions.


Mastiffs are often fairly peaceful animals (but not listless). While younger dogs are more lively, as they become older, they frequently develop an attractive trait of aloof laziness. Regular will keep your Mastiff motivated and fit.

Mastiffs do better in chilly temperatures than in hot weather since they are a huge breed. In the summer, exercise your mastiff in the cooler hours of the day. Even in an apartment or home with a gated yard, they thrive indoors. However, if your living arrangement calls for ascending stairs, you might want to plan ahead as an older dog may find it challenging to do so.


The Mastiff has a short coat that usually just requires basic maintenance (regular brushing, bathing, and nail trimming). This breed sheds on average a lot. The mastiff's ears and any existent facial skin folds should also be kept clean and dry. Keep drool towels close by since mastiffs are known to drool a lot and may share it when they shake their heads.


The Mastiff needs socialization and adequate just like any other dog. This is especially important given the breed's enormous size. Leash tugging and leaping should be prevented with great care. A Mastiff should be properly socialized to ensure that its innate protectiveness is suitable and that it does not become overprotective around guests.

Think about mastiff-proofing your house. The dog could be tall enough to sample your food off the dining room table and its powerful tail can sweep anything off of tables. In an effort to preserve your furniture, you should provide your mastiff lots of sturdy chew toys to play with.

Common Health Problems

Breeders that practice responsible breeding work to uphold the highest breed standards as set out by organizations like the AKC. These breeding guidelines reduce the likelihood of inheriting health issues in dogs. However, Mastiffs are susceptible to several inherited health issues. Be mindful of the following circumstances:

  • Hip dysplasia: This is an inherited condition that can get worse with age. Breeders screen for it.
  • : This is bloating that is common to large dogs that have deep chests. Gulping down food and water can lead to the stomach filling with gas and then twisting to cut off the blood supply. This is an emergency situation.

Diet and Nutrition

To ensure that a Mastiff puppy grows consistently and not too quickly, feed them food designed especially for huge dogs. By doing this, the chance of adult-onset hip dysplasia can be decreased. Even if they are trim during their puppy years, puppies will still grow to their full size.

The daily dry food need for adult Mastiff dogs is six to eight cups, which should be divided into two meals to assist prevent bloating and stomach torsion. Consider looking into feeders that need slower feeding. It is recommended to supply clean, fresh water at several times throughout the day for mastiffs since they are sloppy drinkers and have a lot of backwash into their water bowls. Additionally, they frequently pass gas.

Be sure to monitor your mastiff for weight gain and discuss this with your veterinarian to get recommendations on how to address it with diet and exercise.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Mastiff

The best places to find a Mastiff for a pet are specialty breeders or regional adoption organizations. There will likely be a waiting list if you're searching for a Mastiff breeder, although pups are often available all year round. Look for a respected breeder who has a reputation of raising healthy litters and providing meticulous care; they should be able to respond to any inquiries you may have about the pedigree, health, and background of the litter and its parents. To have a better understanding of the personality, size, and temperament of your future pet, you should ideally meet one or both parents.

Consider rescuing a Mastiff through one of the below organizations:

  • The Mastiff Club of America
  • Mastiffs to Mutts Rescue Inc.
  • Southern States Mastiff Rescue

Mastiff Overview

  • Gentle and loyal

  • Protective

  • Become endearingly lazy as they age

  • Drool quite a bit

  • Large tails can cause damage and require extra space in your home

  • Heavy chewers

  • Extensive food requirements

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Do a ton of study before acquiring a Mastiff if you decide that breed is the best fit for you. The Mastiff Club of America is a good resource for further information about the breed. To find out more, speak to other Mastiff owners, reliable breeders, and rescue organizations.

If you are interested in similar breeds, look into these to compare the pros and cons:

There’s a whole world of  out there. With a little research, you can find the right one to bring home.

  • Are Mastiffs good apartment dogs?

    Mastiffs are regarded as suitable dogs for compact environments like flats or condominiums despite their big size. They are not particularly energetic dogs and prefer to laze around, so they'll spend much of their time on the sofa or on a dog bed.

  • Are Mastiffs aggressive?

    No—Mastiffs are not considered an aggressive breed. On the contrary, they've gained a reputation as very docile, and while they are protective of their family, they are not known for causing trouble.

  • Are Mastiffs a good family dog?

    Mastiffs are a wonderful choice for families with children because of their caring and friendly temperament. They are often quite tolerant of the mayhem that young children can cause, but because of their size, they should not be near newborns or toddlers.


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