Dog Breed 101: English Mastiff

 Written by Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq DVM, MS ABG (Animal Breeding and Genetics)



Known to be good-natured, loving, and an excellent companion to older children, the imposing Mastiff must be exposed to as many new people and situations as possible as a puppy.

A mastiff supposedly came to America on the Mayflower. The fully developed male is 30-31 inches tall and can weigh as much as 200 pounds.


Mastiff, also called Old English mastiff, has an ancient heritage. These dogs were found in Britain when the Romans assaulted the island. They may have been transported there by Phoenician merchants in the early sixth century BC. The Romans employed these dogs as shepherds and guards for the people.

Today, the Dog is well recognized in England, Canada and the United States. Although the Dog's abilities include surveillance, police work, and military work, as well as search and retrieval, many Mastiffs today consider their mission in life to be a loving companion to their human owners.

According to the Cynographica Britannica, which was published in 1800, "What the Lion is to the Cat, the Mastiff is to the Dog. The noblest of the family, this dogs stands alone, and all others sink before him."


Mastiff is a nasty but good animal. It loves and cherishes its family, and its calm demeanour makes him a good companion for older people. However, the breed is not recommended for young children because of its high volume.

When the visitors come to the house, Mastiff may act as a guard dog. The Dog has to protect their family from strangers or suspicion and dominate the whole area.


English Mastiff can be a wonderful, loving family pet, but its enthusiastic patronage requires moderation through social and obedience training. It is essential to expose as many new people, places and situations as possible, especially when they are puppies.

Mastiff is a well-known drooler and snores loudly. The Mastiff's body coat requires weekly brushing after a bath and quick wiping with a towel or chamois cloth.

Like other large breeds of dogs, Mastiff does not usually live as long as small dogs do. The average age is 8 to 10 years.

Breed Characteristic

Weight Range:

  1. Males: 175-190 lbs.
  2. Females: 175-190 lbs.

Height at Withers:

  1. Males: 31 in.
  2. Females: 28 in.

Other Body Features

  • Eyes: Droopy eyes
  • Ears: Floppy ears (naturally)
  • Exercise Requirements: <30 minutes/day
  • Energy Levels: Medium
  • Longevity Ranges: 8-10 yrs
  • The tendency to Drool: High
  • The tendency to Snore: High
  • The tendency to Bark: Moderate
  • The tendency to Dig: Low
  • Social/Attention Needs: High
  • Bred For: Guardian

Coat Characteristic

Coat Length: Short
Coat type: Flat
Coat Colours: Fawn. Apricot, Brindle
Overall Grooming Needs Low

Club Recognition

  • AKC Classification: Working
  • UKC Classification: Guardian Dog
  • Prevalence: Common

English Mastiff is an enormous, powerful and robust Dog. Their head is weighty and square, with a small black mask covering the whole eyes and nose. The eyes are dark hazel or grey. The ears are dark in colour.

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