Mastiff Resource


Sometimes known as the Old English Mastiff, the Mastiff is an ancient breed, associated with Babylonians, Marco Polo, Hannibal, King Henry VIII, and Elizabeth I. Mastiffs are the likely ancestors of the mountain dog breeds, such as the Saint Bernard. A giant breed, the Mastiff was bred to be tough and imposing. Used to guard and fight alongside soldiers, they were well known for their abilities as a hunter, guardian and combatant.

The Mastiff today is a gentle companion. A bit more laid-back than his ancestors (the military hasn’t exactly lined them up for duty lately!) his watchdog instinct still remains an integral part of his identity. His size alone will provide a deterrent to would-be intruders.

Generally tolerant of both children and other animals, the Mastiff makes a good family dog– if you have room for his sheer size. Although large, his exercise requirements are rather average. A good-size yard is ideal, but owners in small homes can manage a Mastiff if they provide daily walks.

Training a Mastiff may take some patience. Owners should take full advantage of training in the puppy stage, when the dog is small enough to easily manage.

The Mastiff

Peaceful Bodyguard

Are you and the Mastiff a match?

Terrific for a person who: :

      Expects a watch dog without all the extra barking.


      Wants a big dog with an equally big heart.


    Takes dog drooling, snoring, or slobbering in stride

Think twice if you’re a person who: :

      Lives in a tiny space with a boatload of breakables.


      Expects the dog to perform in strenuous sports or agility.


    Can’t physically manage a huge pup and then a 200 lb. dog.

Care and Maintenance of a Mastiff:

A Mastiff sheds, but not in large quantities. Regular brushing is beneficial, as is an occasional bath. Slobber towels will be helpful for daily drool.

The Standard Look:

The Mastiff stands 30 or more inches at the shoulder; females 2.5 inches less. The coat is short and dense in shades of apricot, silver fawn or dark fawn-brindle, all with darker muzzle, ears and nose.

Possible Health Concerns

Hip Dysplasia

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Large Dog Breed
Fawn, apricot or brindle (a subtle striped pattern).

Straight, short and coarse.


Brush weekly.

Life Expectancy:
6 to 10 years
AKC Group:
Working Group
UKC Group:
27.5 to 30 inches at the shoulder
Proportionate to height
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