There are different Mastiff breeds, and each type has its purpose, characteristics, and traits. Interested in knowing them one by one? Continue reading this article to know more about them and how to take care of them properly!
What Are Mastiffs?
Mastiff dogs are known as one of the heaviest and largest dog breeds. They can weigh up to 220 pounds and more. The English Mastiff named Zorba once held the record as the heaviest and longest dog in the world.
Because of their weight, Mastiffs historically served as guard dogs and wartime support. The Mastiff ancestors are proven to exist way back 2,500 B.C. Aside from their weight and historical background, Mastiff dogs are known for their wide variety of breeds.
10 Different Types of Mastiff Dog Breeds
Here are the 10 different types of Mastiff dog breeds, their characteristics, personality, and more!
1. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiffs are large mountain dogs that weigh around 160 pounds and can grow up to 26 inches. They look different from other Mastiff dogs because of their thick dark-colored coats of hair. Tibetan Mastiffs use their thick hair to survive the cold winter in the mountains – where they originated.
The Tibetan Mastiffs are friendly, intelligent, protective, independent, and can also be stubborn. They can be good family dogs, but their eager personality makes them need obedience training. They are most suitable for experienced owners and not recommended for families with little children. Tibetan Mastiffs usually serve as livestock guard dogs. They are also one of the most expensive dog breeds.
2. English Mastiff
The English Mastiffs are the largest Mastiff breed weighing around 230 pounds and can grow up to 30 inches. They are also a direct descendant of the Molosser dog breed. The English Mastiffs’ coat colors range from golden fawn, light fawn, apricot, or brindle. They also drool more than other Mastiffs because of their prominent jaws.
They were historically used as war dogs, but now, they make great family dogs because of their gentleness and loyalty. The English Mastiff doesn’t also like loneliness and constantly needs companionship. They are known as gentle giants but still require social training to not be aloof with strangers.
The Bullmastiffs are a mix between a Bulldog and a Mastiff with a large and muscular demeanor. Unlike the previous Mastiff, Bullmastiffs only weigh around 100-130 pounds and can only grow up to 27 inches. They have smooth short coats that come in fawn, red, or brindle.
The Bullmastiffs are a perfect combination of friendly and protective, making them good therapy dogs. They are also affectionate and gentle with family members, which makes them great family dogs. Despite their friendliness, Bullmastiff supervision is required if children are around because they can be knocked off accidentally. Bullmastiffs also serve as estate guards.
4. Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiffs weigh around 150 pounds and can grow up to 31 inches. They have short and smooth coats that can be black, blue, mahogany, or tawny with brindle markings. This type of Mastiff served as protection against intruders since the Ancient Rome period. Their iconic saggy skin makes them look more intimidating and a preferred guard dog.
This Mastiff breed is very watchful of strangers – another trait that makes them a perfect guard dog. The Neapolitan Mastiffs are also a great family dog, especially if you don’t have a huge space available. Despite their size, this type of Mastiff only needs nap space and casual walks to be satisfied.
5. Argentinian Mastiff
The Argentinian Mastiffs or Dogo Argentino are large, muscular, and athletic dogs. They weigh around 100 pounds and can grow up to 26.5 inches. This type of Mastiff is used for hunting boars and mountain lions in Argentina. The Dogo Argentino has smooth and short white coats.
This Mastiff breed is powerful, easy to train, and requires experienced, confident, and consistent pet owners to ensure proper training. They are loyal to their families and duty but can get aggressive with other animals if poorly trained. Dogo Argentinos are sometimes used for police, military, and rescue work.
6. German Mastiff
The German Mastiffs are known as the Great Dane. They weigh around 175 pounds and can reach 32 inches in height. This Mastiff also has a wide variety of coat colors like black, white, brindle, fawn, silver, and mantle, and sometimes has more than one coat color. They can also have markings and masks.
This breed is known for being gentle, friendly, and good with children, which makes them good for families. The German Mastiffs are also more suitable to be an indoor pet. Like the other Mastiffs, early obedience training during puppyhood is recommended.
7. South African Mastiff
The South African Mastiff or Boerboel is a type of Mastiff with thick muscles and prominent jaws. They weigh around 200 pounds and can reach 24-27 inches. Their coat colors range from brindle, brown, cream, red, and tawny. Boerboels also have different markings, masks, and piebalds.
Coming from South Africa, Boerboels served as a guardian dog against ferocious animals. Their dominance and intelligence make them perfect for the job. Even though they qualify as guard dogs, improper training might cause aggressiveness toward other people and animals. This Mastiff can also be too much for inexperienced owners.
8. Cane Corso
The Italian Mastiff or Cane Corso, whose name translates to “bodyguard-dog,” is described as a peerless predator. This Mastiff breed can be as heavy as 120 pounds and as tall as 27.5 inches. The Cane Corso’s coat colors can be gray, black, fawn, red, and different shades of brindles.
With their assertive and intimidating looks, this Mastiff’s first weapon against intruders is their fierce features. This breed is not ideal as the “first pet” since it requires rigorous obedience training and socialization. The Italian Mastiff is both a war and guard dog.
9. Brazilian Mastiff
The Brazilian Mastiff or Fila Brasileiro is a type of Mastiff that originated from Brazil. This breed weighs up to 180 pounds and can grow from 24 to 30 inches. Their smooth and short coats can be fawn, brindle, or black. The Brazilian Mastiff can also have black masks or markings.
They have natural high energy and stamina, so they are not suitable to live in houses with small spaces. The Brazillian Mastiff is also not ideal to play with kids because they can be aggressive; thus, supervision and boundaries are crucial. This breed is classified as a working dog, and like the other Mastiffs, obedience training during puppyhood is necessary.
10. Spanish Mastiff
The Spanish Mastiffs are muscular dogs that originated from Spain. They are in great size at 200 pounds and as tall as 28-35 inches. This Mastiff has medium-length coats that vary in colors like black, red, fawn, wolf gray, and yellow. Sometimes, Spanish Mastiffs can have white and black coat markings.
Less friendly than other Mastiffs, this breed is most suitable for guarding and defense. They are also not that affectionate and friendly with kids. Lastly, the Spanish Mastiffs are extremely protective and territorial, so they are recommended for highly experienced pet owners.
Mastiff Breeds: General Care & Overall Health
Mastiffs have a short lifespan, so properly taking care of them is extra crucial. Here are the ways you can take care of them properly:
- Each mastiff has unique health risks, so consulting Mastiff breeders about possible genetic disorders is a must.
- Ensure to provide them healthy meals and monitor their weight. Obesity can cause issues like hip dysplasia, joint problems, and osteoporosis.
- Pet owners should watch out for other diseases like osteosarcoma, elbow dysplasia, cystinuria, and gastric torsion.
- Daily care and maintenance are needed since their physical features can cause problems like infections, ingrown hairs, cysts, and cherry eyes if not cleaned properly.
- Lastly, daily vet visits and consultations are important to monitor their overall general health.
All different Mastiff breeds possess their traits and purpose. Despite their differences, they are all considered magnificent gentle giants and should be trained and taken care of properly.