English Mastiff, from the Dogs of the World

Mastiff can refer to one of a group of dog breeds usually grouped together as the Molosser group. There are several types of Mastiffs.

English Mastiffs

When people speak of Mastiff dogs they are usually referring to an English Mastiff. English Mastiffs belong to the giant group. English Mastiffs can grow to weigh over 200 pounds. The largest recorded English Mastiff, named Zorba, weighed over 300 pounds. Despite their huge size and massive build, English Mastiffs are very sweet and gentle dogs. English Mastiffs are very devoted to their families. They can be overly protective of their people. Because of their giant size, English Mastiffs usually only live between 9 and 11 years. They also have specific nutrition and exercise needs because of their huge size. There is a variation of the English Mastiff called an American Mastiff. The American Mastiff is not a recognized breed, but is basically an English Mastiff without the excessive drooling English Mastiffs are known for.

Bull Mastiffs

Bull Mastiffs are a cross between an English Mastiff and a Bulldog. Originally they were bred to hunt poachers. Bull Mastiffs love children. A Bull Mastiffs protective nature and love of children make it a great family pet. Children should always be supervised around a Bull Mastiff because they could unintentionally be injured by a Bull Mastiff’s bulky frame.

Neapolitan Mastiffs

Neapolitan Mastiffs are one of the most ancient dog breeds. Neapolitan Mastiffs are said to be descendents of Molossus dogs, huge war dogs bred in the ancient Middle East. Neapolitan Mastiffs were used as opponents of Leopards in Roman arenas. There is evidence of Neapolitan Mastiffs going back to 100 BC. Because of their huge size and wrinkly coats, Neapolitan Mastiffs require extensive bathing and coat care.

Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is a bit smaller than the other Mastiff breeds, but also dates back to ancient times. It was bred to be a herding dog protecting sheep and livestock from leopards and wolves. Tibetan Mastiffs can have a very different temperament than their American counterparts. They can be very aggressive and suspicious of people other than their owner.

French Mastiffs

French Mastiffs were bred in France as fighting and guard dogs. They are massive in size and do not respond well to training. The dog star of the movie Turner and Hooch was a French Mastiff.

Where To Get A Mastiff

Once you have decided that a Mastiff is the right dog for you, finding a good Mastiff breeder is essential. Mastiff puppies can be expensive, so you might want to consider adopting from a Mastiff rescue. Whether you live in California or Texas, an Internet search can help you find a reliable Mastiff breeder.