Mastiff | Dog Breed Guide

Mastiff | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

The Mastiff is a gentle giant who is affectionate and very protective of his family but is not a big barker.

Weight – Male: 160-230 pounds; Female: 120-170 pounds

Height – Male: 30 inches and up; Female: 27.5 inches and up 

Life Expectancy: 5-10 years

Group: Working group

Temperament: good natured, gentle, protective

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

Mastiffs aren’t the tallest dog breed but they are the heaviest, regularly weighing more than 200 pounds. Mastiffs likely originated in the mountains of Central Asia and were originally used as war dogs and to guard estates. 

The large and muscled Mastiff has a short double coat that has fawn, apricot or brindle stripes. He has a wrinkled face that has a sad, but friendly appearance. He doesn’t demand a lot of attention but loves to spend time with his family. He does not do well when he’s left alone, and if left alone in the back yard he may resort to digging. He will do well in an apartment or condo but consider his size if you have stairs. As he reaches his senior years, he may not be able to manage them.

The Mastiff is very protective of his family. He’s doesn’t bark a lot but will let out a big, deep bark when strangers approach.

He is easy to train and eager to please, but the Mastiff has a stubborn streak, so early training and socialization are important. Because of his large size, he needs to be trained not to jump on people. He loves children but he can inadvertently hurt or scare a child so supervision is a must. 

He tends to get along well with cats and other dogs.


The Mastiff’s short coat needs brushing a couple of times a week to remove dead hairs. During heavy shedding, which occurs once or twice a year, he will require more frequent brushing. Mastiffs drool, so you’ll need to keep his face clean, and the face wrinkles need regular cleaning as well. You’ll also want to clip his nails, clean his teeth and give him the occasional bath.

Energy Level

Mastiffs are low energy, so they need only a daily walk of a mile or so. But be aware that if they get tired or overheated during a walk, they may plop down and refuse to go any farther.

Health Concerns

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Seizures
  • Hygromas
  • Bloat
  • Eye disease

Health conditions to be aware of among Mastiffs include hip dysplasia and hygromas, which are harmless swellings that occur on the elbow. They are also susceptible to bloat, a condition where the dog’s stomach fills with gas and the pressure on the dog’s diaphragm constricts breathing. The Mastiff can also suffer from eye diseases including eyelid deformities, corneal dystrophy, progressive retinal atrophy, and retinal dysplasia. Fortunately, pet health insurance can help cover the veterinary costs of these conditions, provided enrollment occurs before symptoms appear.