Mastiff puppyMastiff

The Mastiff, also called the Old English Mastiff, is a large muscular dog that is a powerful guardian. Mastiff’s are working dogs used as guard dogs, police dogs, military dogs, and search and rescue dogs.


Mastiffs were found in Britain during ancient times and came to America on the Mayflower. The first Mastiff club was formed in 1879 although the current Mastiff club was created in 1929. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Mastiff in 1885.


The Mastiff dog breed is a member of the American Kennel Club‘s group of working dogs. You can teach them to put their toys away or to find you when you are hidden. They like to have a job to do.


Mastiffs stand 28 to 31 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh an average of 175 to 190 pounds. Due to their large size, they are not recommended for families with small children. You can teach older children how to interact with a Mastiff.


Mastiffs may be one of three colors and one marking. The colors are apricot, brindle and fawn. The one standard marking is the black mask.


Gentle, courageous, affectionate with their family. They are suspicious of strangers and will need socializing as a puppy. Although they will bark at strangers and are protective of their family, they don’t bark often but they are loud when they do.

A Mastiff doesn’t like arguments and will get between two people in an argument, even if it is two family members. They are actually sensitive dogs and you should never yell at them or treat them rough.

Mastiffs are chewers and will need tough toys to chew on. You will have to teach your Mastiff want is appropriate to chew on and what is not.

Mastiff in woodsEnergy

The Mastiff is a easy-going dog that needs about 30 minutes of exercise each day. Mastiffs are not good jogging partners as they overheat easily and their joints can suffer from the stress of running. You should also limit jumping.


The large Mastiff has a short lifespan of 8 to 10 years. They drool quite often and they tend to snore loud.

Mastiffs are generally healthy dogs but some Mastiffs will have hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, retinal atrophy, seizures, bloat, cystinuria, bone cancer or von Willebrand’s disease.


The Mastiff dog breed has a short flat coat that sheds moderately to heavy, depending on the time of year. They will shed heavier during Spring and Fall, but they can also shed hair daily. Brushing will be required to keep the shedding under control.

My dog, Freckles, sheds her hair daily. I am so happy that I found the Furminator to keep the hair under control. She loves it and it removes a lot of hair that would otherwise be on the furniture and floor. Now I spend less time cleaning up hair! Click on the picture to the right to see the Furminator at Amazon.

Other Grooming

Mastiffs require minimal grooming but the basics are necessary. You must brush their teeth, trim their nails and clean their ears regularly.


They are easy to train using positive reinforcement with treats and praise. These large dogs are sensitive and can shut down with negative behavior. Stay positive and upbeat to keep your Mastiff learning commands.

You can have several training sessions each day for about 10 to 15 minutes each. Your Mastiff will enjoy training as they like to have a job to do and they like to please their owners. Make training fun and both of you will enjoy the training sessions together.

Obedience training is necessary for a Mastiff due to their large size. You must be able to control them using commands due to their great strength and size. Obedience classes are a good choice as they will allow for training and socialization.

Separation Anxiety

Mastiffs do not do well when left alone for long periods of time without human interaction. They will become lonely and develop destructive behaviors. They are big dogs that like to chew and nothing is to big for them to chew, including your sofa.

If you are going to be gone for long periods of time, you will want to get a dog sitter, dog walker, or doggie daycare for your Mastiff. They need human interaction to be happy and well adjusted.


To find a Mastiff rescue organization in your area, you can enter “Mastiff Rescue” into a search engine such as Google. You can also search including your zip code by entering “Mastiff Rescue + zip code”, replacing zip code with your actual zip code.

Mastiff profileMastiffs will make a good guardian dog and they will protect you. Although they don’t usually attack, they will attack if they are provoked. They prefer to corner the person or animal they see as a threat to their owner or family.

What do you think about the Mastiff dog breed? Leave a comment below or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.