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Mastiffs Facts
General Facts & Stats


Mastiffs factsThe Mastiff refers to the English Mastiff….Many confuse this with the American Mastiff which is a hybrid breed not yet recognized by the AKC.

They are also known as the Old English Mastiff.

One of the most interesting Mastiffs facts is that this dog is huge…they are 1 of the largest dog breeds in the world.

They were originally bred in England to be bull-baiting dogs, and then were later used as both hunting and guard dogs. 

There is debate regard the origin of the name. Some say that it comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "masty", which means "powerful". However others say that it comes from the French word "mastin" which means "tame".

Weight will range from 130 (58 kg) to 175 pounds (79 kg).

Height for males can reach 30 to 34 inches (76 to 86 cm) from floor to shoulder.

Height for females can reach 28 to 32 inches (71 to 81 cm) from floor to shoulder.

The record for the largest Mastiff is 343 lbs. and 8’ 3” from head to tail.

Life span is a short 8 years, however many live in the 10 to 14 year range.

The average sized litter for a Mastiff is 8, however as little as 1 or as many as 15 pups is in the normal expected range.

They are the 28th most registered breed in the United States.

Facts About Mastiffs Behavior and Temperament

They are extremely affectionate and bond very closely to their human family members.

They are playful and good-natured dogs.

Due to the origin as guard dogs, most Mastiffs used to be very aggressive. Now, due to well planned breeding over the years, this breed is generally very easy going and friendly. 

With some socialization training, this dog can get along well with other animals such as dogs and cats.

facts about MastiffsThey are good with children and will watch over them, however due to their massive size it is not recommended to leave a young child alone with the dog.

Due to the shape of the mouth and jowls, it is normal for there to be some drooling.

The best owner of this breed will be one who is perfectly alright with a 100 + pound dog placing their massive head on their owner’s lap during a nap or having the dog want to take over the sofa, leaving you little space.

They are minimal barkers, usually only barking if left alone without enough distractions or to warn the family of approaching strangers.

It is not uncommon for them to snore.

Color and Appearance Mastiffs Facts

Color can be brindle, apricot or fawn.

Brindle Mastiffs will have an apricot or fawn base color with dark striping.

All purebreds will have ears, muzzle and nose that are dark in color, most often a deep brown or black.

They have 2 coats of fur, an inner layer and an outer layer. Fur is short and will lay fairly close to the body.


facts about Mastiff dog

Due to their size, they do best in large homes with large outside areas.  They do not do very well in small apartments.

As one may imagine, they need to eat quite a bit to maintain their size….however fast eating can cause bloat (a very serious health issue)….For this reason, meals should be scheduled and it is highly recommended to obtain a special bowl to slow down the ingestion of food…These dog food bowls have safe obstructions that spread out the food and force the dog to eat slower.

They are sensitive to hot weather and care should be taken to not expose the dog to warm / hot temperatures for more than 20 minutes.  During hot summer months, walks are best done in the early morning or late evening.

Fresh, cool water should be made available at all times. 

Females often have difficulty during delivery and often have many pregnancy related health issues…For this reason they are not often bred more than 2-3 times in total.   Any breeding should be done between the ages of 2 and 6 years.

Mastiff puppyGrooming

Despite their huge size, grooming is relatively easy.  They should be brushed approximately 1 time each week to keep shedding to a minimal amount.

Baths (which can be quite an undertaking and can be done outside if the weather is above 70° F) should be given 1 time every month.   An owner may alternatively wish to use a dry canine shampoo, used every other bath time.

Attention should be paid to the wrinkles on this dog.  Any moisture trapped there or any debris can cause irritation at best and very uncomfortable skin issues such as yeast infections at worst.  On a regular basis, one should clean each wrinkle by swiping it out with a soft cotton swab.   After baths or any time that the dog gets wet, one should make sure that both ears and all folds of the body and face are completely dried.


Mastiff infoSome genetic issues that this breed is prone to are:  Gastric torsion (bloat), progressive Retinal Atrophy( an progressive eye disease), bone cancer and hip dysplasia (a condition in which the hip joint and socket become dislodged).


Puppies who are still in the growing process should not be over exercised.

With a shorter than average life span, one should provide exercise for optimal health for adults. A daily walk is highly suggested…. Many owners have found that a well exercise Mastiff is a better behaved dog.

While playing catch or Frisbee is usually appealing to dogs, it is a Mastiffs fact that most have no interest in retrieving what-so-ever.

Points of Interest

One of the largest dogs ever recorded was an English Mastiff named Aicama Zorba of La Susa that weighed 343 lbs. (156 kg).

This breed was almost non-existent in the United States in the early 1900's. Only 24 Mastiffs were in the U.S. and all were imports from overseas._nbsp.css;  In 1945 there were only 14 Mastiffs in both Canada and the U.S combined.  The gene-pool was so scarce that it is believed  by some that other dogs such as the St. Bernard and Bullmastiff were brought into breeding programs.  In 1959, a Mastiff brought to the U.S. from France helped to revive the gene pool and is credited with saving this breed. 

Several Mastiff dogs were spotlighted both on TV and in the movies including the Sandlot, the Transformers and Hotel for Dogs.



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