Mastiffs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. There are many different types of mastiff dogs, each with its own unique set of characteristics. In this article, we will take a look at eight different types of mastiff dog breeds.
Mastiffs are known for their calm and gentle temperament. They are good with children and make great family pets. However, they can be protective of their family and property, so they may not be the best choice for households with small children.
The Molossus was one of the earliest breeds of mastiff dogs. It is believed to have originated in Greece or Asia Minor and was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for hunting, war, and guarding livestock. The Molossus was a large, powerful dog with a gentle temperament.
It was used as a war dog by the Greeks and Romans, and later became a popular pet in England.
Types of Mastiff Dog Breeds
We will include pictures and descriptions of each breed so that you can decide which one is right for you.
1. English Mastiff
The English Mastiff is one of the most popular mastiff breeds and is also one of the largest. They can weigh up to 230 pounds and stand as tall as 30 inches at the shoulder. They are known for their massive size, wrinkled forehead, and long drooping jowls. English Mastiffs are gentle giants and make great family pets. However, their large size can make them difficult to handle for first-time dog owners.
The Old English Mastiff may have been introduced into Britain by Phoenician traders but it certainly was used as a war dog by Roman legions. Mastiffs were used as dogs of war until the late Middle Ages and then used to hunt bears and wolves and for the ‘sport’ of bear-baiting.
After bear-baiting was banned in the 19th century, the breed’s popularity declined in England but remained popular in the U.S. as guard and companion dogs. This giant breed was ranked 35 out of 197 dog breeds in 2021 AKC registrations.
Related: 140+ Names for Big Dogs
2. French Mastiff
The French Mastiff, also known as the Dogue de Bordeaux, is another popular mastiff breed. They are slightly smaller than English Mastiffs, weighing in at around 150 pounds. They are known for their large heads, square bodies, and short, wrinkled faces. French Mastiffs are loyal and protective of their families. They make great guard dogs but can be aggressive toward other dogs and strangers if not properly trained and socialized.
The average life expectancy of a French Mastiff is between 7 and 10 years. Like all dog breeds, however, they can vary in lifespan depending on their health and lifestyle. They were ranked 70 out of 197 in the most popular breeds by the AKC in 2021.
The Bull Mastiff is a very large dog that is a cross between the Bulldog and the Mastiff dog breeds. This breed is strong and alert and appears to be about 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. The Bullmastiff’s head is large and square with a pronounced stop and short broad muzzle.
This breed has a solid body with a deep, broad chest and short back The Bull Mastiff’s coat is short with hard water-resistant hair lying smoothly on the body. These dogs’ colors include brindle, fawn, or red and can have black markings on the head.
The breed is very large with male dogs standing 25 to 27 inches and females 24 to 26 inches at shoulder height. Male dogs can tip the scales at 110 to 130 pounds and females somewhat lighter at 100 to 120 pounds.
Bull Mastiffs belong to the American Kennel Club (AKC) Working Dog Group.
4. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the oldest mastiff breeds. They were originally used as guard dogs in Tibet and China. They are large dogs, weighing up to 200 pounds. They have a thick coat that can be either black, brown, or gold. Tibetan Mastiffs are independent and loyal dogs.
They make great guard dogs but can be aggressive toward other dogs and strangers if not properly trained and socialized.
The average life expectancy of a Tibetan Mastiff is between 10 and 12 years. Like all dog breeds, however, they can vary in lifespan depending on their health and lifestyle.
Tibetan Mastiffs are independent and loyal dogs. They make great guard dogs but can be aggressive toward other dogs and strangers if not properly trained and socialized.
They were ranked 147 out of 197 in 2021 by the AKC.
5. Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large Italian dog breed. They were originally used as guard dogs and fighters. They are known for their large size, loose skin, and pendulous lips. Neapolitan Mastiffs can weigh up to 200 pounds and stand as tall as 30 inches at the shoulder. They come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, brindle, and tan.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are loyal and protective of their families. They make great guard dogs but can be aggressive toward other dogs and strangers if not properly trained and socialized.
The average life expectancy of a Neapolitan Mastiff is between 7 and 9 years. Like all dog breeds, however, they can vary in lifespan depending on their health and lifestyle.
6. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is a large Italian dog breed. They were originally used as guard dogs and hunters. They are known for their large size, muscular build, and short coat. Cane Corsos can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand as tall as 27 inches at the shoulder. They come in a variety of colors, including black, brindle, fawn, and red.
The Cane Corso is recognized as a “Molossus” dog breed. This breed appeared constantly throughout Ancient Greek history in old sculptures and paintings. Molosser dog breeds are made up of both Bully dog and Mastiff dog breeds.
The Cane Corso was not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 2010. This means that they have a breed standard and breeders try not to stray too far from their Italian heritage.
Unfortunately, the Cane Corso is banned in some states throughout the United States due to their involvement of the injuring and killing of smaller domestic animals. There are also restrictions in some places for dogs who have a history of hurting or killing other animals, so you will need to check your local area.
7. Dogo Argentino
The Dogo Argentino is a large Argentinian dog breed. They were originally used as hunting dogs. They are known for their white coat, muscular build, and short muzzle. Dogo Argentinos can weigh up to 100 pounds and stand as tall as 27 inches at the shoulder.
Dogo Argentinos are loyal and protective of their families. They make great guard dogs but can be aggressive toward other dogs and strangers if not properly trained and socialized.
The average life expectancy of a Dogo Argentino is between 10 and 12 years. Like all dog breeds, however, they can vary in lifespan depending on their health and lifestyle.
8. Presa Canario
Presa Canario, which is a Molosser-type dog breed. You might know this dog as a Canary Mastiff (or Perro de Presa Canario or Dogo Canario) due to where they originated in the Canary Islands which are part of Spain.
If you are looking for a “proper dog”, then a Presa Canario might be the right choice for you. They’re large, protective, and definitely won’t be just a lap dog in your household. It’s not by chance that this breed has gained a reputation for being just like a guard dog, although don’t be fooled into thinking that the temperament of each individual canine is exactly the same.
These mastiff type dogs are study and hardworking, but a well-bred pup of this breed can also be trained to be calm and loving in the family home, provided they do not live with other pets. In some parts of the United States, this breed has been used for dog fighting, which is why they are often a misrepresented dog.
The Perro de Presa Canario has grown in popularity further than its country (or islands) of origin, but how did it become a well-loved (although sometimes misunderstood) big dog in households in North America, Europe, and elsewhere around the world? Sadly, the exact origins are not fully known, but there have been some educated guesses made which provide a good indication at the very least.
9. Anatolian Mastiff
Anatolian Shepherd dogs are excellent companions and working dogs, who excel especially when working as livestock guardians. They are particularly good at defending livestock from wolves, coyotes and other potential predators and farmers rely on them heavily. Since 1994, they have been used by farmers in Africa as a deterrent for big cats such as Cheetahs.
This protective nature can sometimes cause a few issues when introducing the Anatolian Shepherd as a pet to a family. However, with the right socialization, it can be done with no problem.
The Anatolian Mastiff breed has been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1999. They are currently ranked as the 90th most popular breed.
The Anatolian Shepherd originates from the Anatolia region of Turkey and is a Mastiff dog type. It is thought that they were first seen around 6000 years ago. This dog was first seen outside of Eastern Europe in the 1970s when one was imported to the United Kingdom by Charmain Hussey. They were also imported into United States around the same time.
The popularity of this purebred breed only grew in 1973 as a result of the Endangered Species Act. This act made it illegal to kill livestock predators, so farmers started using Anatolian Shepherds as deterrents to these predators on their ranches.
The Boerboel is a giant breed of dog that is also known as the South African Mastiff. These pups are one of the most powerful breeds of dog in the world, with an ability to exert 450 pounds of pressure per square inch when they bite. Combine this with their guarding nature and you might think you’ve got an aggressive dog on your hands — but, no!
With lots of training and socialization and the right owner, the Boerboel is an intelligent, friendly dog that is known for getting on very well with children.
The Boerboel’s name derives from the word “boer” which means “farmer”, so it is not difficult to guess what these dog’s were originally used for. A giant breed, these pups were originally bred to be guardians and protectors, although nowadays are also known for being pets and companions. They are actually known to be quite lazy and laid-back dogs, despite their size and power!
List of Mastiff Dog Breeds
- English Mastiff
- French Mastiff
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Cane Corso
- Dogo Argentino
- Presa Canario
- Anatolian Mastiff