English Mastiff

English Mastiff At-a-Glance

The English Mastiff is a giant breed of dog with an intimidating appearance. It originated in England and has a long and fascinating history dating back more than 2,000 years. It was used as a guard and fighting dog for centuries, although today this gentle giant is known for its loyalty and affection toward its family. Weighing up to 230 pounds, this is one of the largest and most powerful breeds in existence.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 160-230
Female: 120-170
Height (inches)
Male: 30-33
Female: 28-31
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Protective Nature
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • Low Amount of Barking

Neutral Rated

  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Shedding
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Likes to Play
  • Easy to Train
  • High Energy Level
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Good General Health

Lowest Rated

  • Low Drooling
  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Hot Climate
  • High Intelligence

General Overview

English Mastiffs are known to be excellent with children, which makes them great family dogs. They enjoy the company of kids and are patient and tolerant of them during playtime. That said, supervision is always required when they are around children, as their massive size can accidentally cause injury.

Although English Mastiffs aren’t typically aggressive, they do tend to be cautious of strangers. Their loyal and highly protective nature makes them great watchdogs and guard dogs for their families. However, proper training is essential to prevent these massively powerful dogs from becoming overly protective to the point of creating problems.

English Mastiffs can generally coexist peacefully with other dogs and pets if they are properly socialized from a young age. Introducing them to a variety of animals and environments from an early age helps them understand proper doggy etiquette and fosters harmonious relationships with other pets.

From a maintenance standpoint, English Mastiffs are sort of good news and bad news. Their short, coarse coat requires minimal maintenance. However, they are known to be heavy droolers, so be prepared to clean up a fair amount of saliva messes.

Since these are loyal and affectionate companions, it’s no surprise that they can sometimes develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Since these are dogs that can move furniture, you don’t want them to be alone so long that they become depressed and destructive!

Despite their large size, English Mastiffs can adapt well to apartment living, as long as they have enough space to move comfortably. Keep in mind that regular exercise and outdoor access are still crucial for their overall well-being.

However, due to their size, a home with a larger yard may be more suitable.

English Mastiffs have a low to moderate energy level, with a daily walk and some playtime being all that’s required to keep them healthy and happy. And their large size means you need to keep the intensity of activities moderate to minimize stress on their joints.

English Mastiffs don’t fall highest on the intelligence scale, but their calm nature and eagerness to please mean they are very trainable. At the same time, they do have a stubborn streak so patience is important. As with all giant breeds, it’s also important to begin training early while they are still smaller than you are!

Also like other giant breeds, English Mastiffs face some health issues such as allergies, eye anomalies, and certain joint and bone issues. Sadly, their lifespan is relatively short at six to ten years, so a well-balanced diet, regular check-ups, and exercise will help to hit the longer end of that short life expectancy.

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