Mastiff

September 27, 2021

A Mastiff is the largest breed of canine in the world. They are noted for their large size, enormous head, short coat, and distinctive black “mask-like” face coloring.

Appearance

  • An average male mastiff will be about 30″ tall and weigh between 150-250 pounds.
  • Their large and broad frames are another distinctive characteristic, giving an overall larger appearance than taller breeds like the Great Dane.

Mastiffs in History

  • There is evidence of the Mastiff’s existence in Mesopotamian art from the 2nd millennia B.C.
  • The first occurrence of the name Mastiff in English was from a list of dog breeds in The Book Of Saint Albans, published in 1465.
  • The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.
  • Very few mastiffs existed outside of England until after World War I.
  • The breed came close to extinction in the early 20th century, with records showing as few as a dozen of the dogs existed for a time.

Mastiffs Today

  • Today the breed is prevalent around the world and is listed as the 28th most popular breed in the United States.
  • The offspring of these dogs were likely crossbred with other large breeds like Bullmastiffs or Saint Bernards, creating the modern English Mastiff.
  • Mastiffs are brave and good-tempered dogs. The American Kennel Club considers them docile, powerful, and loyal.

3 Comments

  1. Brian Navejar

    Mastiff breeders near Abilene TX

    Reply
  2. Vickie Dawson, formerly Vickie M. Head

    Any long time Mastiff breeder like me can tell you that SOME crosses to other breeds were done after WW1 and WW1. There was a breeding nucleus of purebred Mastiffs in Canada left after both wars, that were used by the best breeders, to revive the breed. These purebred Mastiffs did not produce the long coats, bob tails, and Foo Dog faces of those lines that were crossed out . They were also much sounder, with a lower incidence of hip dysplasia. I have a trove of pictorial pedigrees showing some winning Mastiffs, who were out of those long coated, bob tailed, Foo like bitches. Fortunately, most did not reproduce.
    Who is the Mastiff pictured ?

    Reply
  3. CattieAnne

    Catherine Fong
    Such a beautiful dogs…
    When I little girl at summer camp, I petted a Mastiff by pulling hairs on his back toward his head. He turned around and put my wrist in his mouth. There was no harm. I was scared but quickly told that he wouldn’t hurt me and never do that to any dog.
    I was a valuable lesson and from that day forward I learned how understand dogs and love them. <3

    Reply

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