BaxterBoo Blog
May 11, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Mastiff

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  • Height: Males 30" minimum. Females 27.5” minimum.
  • Weight: Males 150 to 250 pounds, females 120 to 200 pounds
  • Historical function: War dog, guard dog.
  • Modern function: Guard dog, companion.
  • AKC classification: Working

Physical Characteristics:

The Mastiff is the largest breed of dog in terms of mass. It has a large, blocky head with a black mask. The triangular ears are dropped and dark. The eyes are dark brown or hazel. The body is very solid and broad through the chest. The short coat can fawn, apricot or brindle. Tends to drool.

History of the Breed:

The Mastiff breed originated in Britain; however, s early as 3000 B.C., drawings on Egyptian monuments depict typical Mastiffs. Ancient Romans marveled at the bravery of these dogs fighting with British soldiers in 55 B.C. A group was brought back to Rome by Caesar where they were used in the arenas for fighting humans, lions, and other wild animals. The dog has always been popular as a guard dog in England. The breed nearly became extinct with meat rationing during the world wars but has since recovered, becoming the 26th most popular breed as of 2012.


The Mastiff is a natural-born guard dog, though he is considered a gentle giant with his family. Even when guarding, this dog is more likely to pin a suspect rather than attack. The Mastiff is self-confident and watchful. The are patient and good with children. The are even tempered. These dogs need firm human leadership and patient training. One must be the pack leader of this dog to get best results. 

  • Best suited for: As this is a large, heavy dog, this breed is best suited for suburban or rural living. Can do okay in a large apartment as they tend to be inactive indoors, but needs a daily walk.
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog needs space. You will need a large car to transport this huge animal.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: The coat is short and is an average shedder. Expect to keep towels around to wipe up drool.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk. Tends to be lazy around the house, but exercise daily to keep this dog fit and healthy.
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to hip dysplasia and bloat. Feed two smaller meals rather than one large one.

Breed Club Links: Mastiff Club of America Perfect Pairings: Top Performance Top and Tail Wipes

Have any stories about a Mastiff? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Fotosuabe.

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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