English Mastiff

english mastiff

The English Mastiff or simply the ‘Mastiff’ as the AKC refers to this breed. This dog breed is well renowned for its massive size and structure. The emphasis here, as you can see, is on ‘size’.

A face-off with an English Mastiff can be overwhelming for any fully-grown man. No wonder he can outweigh a man easily.

The Mastiff has a history of fighting battles with other dogs. So, when the situation demands, he can be an excellent guard dog.

But, before you jump onto any conclusions about this dog breed being just a guard-dog, listen up. English Mastiff is one of the most affectionate dogs. The sight of him jumping all over his parent with joy is a common sight.

As affectionate as they can be, they are also a tab more on maintenance. We kid you not, but an English Mastiff drools a lot. You’re going to get used to keeping clothes for wiping him time and again.

There’s a lot of things to know about an English Mastiff. We sure can’t fit everything in one article. So, if you’re up for a fun ride and want to know more about this large dog, Keep scrolling!

English Mastiff Pictures

Quick Facts

Average Weight: (Male) 200 pounds and (Female) 150 pounds.

Average Height: (Male) 2 Feet 5 inches and (Females) 2 feet 2.5 inches.

Dog Group: Working Group

AKC Rank: 29

At A Glance

The size of the English Mastiff is what makes it stand out from the rest of the dogs. This is a large breed and like all other dogs, the males and females vary in sizes.

Male – 200 pounds and are 2 to 2.5 feet tall.

Female – 150 pounds and are 2 to 2.25 feet tall.

The lifespan of English Mastiff is a good 6 to 12 years. Depending on many different living circumstances their lifespan can be long or short.

No! These dogs are large and large dogs are never a suitable fit for the apartment living. It is not only highly uncomfortable for these large dogs but also their pet parents cannot manage them in apartments.

These dogs have a heart as large as their size. The English mastiff loves being around his/her family. They are especially great around children. They are a little aloof but they care soulfully for their families and love them.

Their pet-friendliness depends on their ability to accept other animals or animals of the same sex. They usually get along well with other dogs. However, previous history or experience around the animal can make them furious.

Their pet-friendliness depends on their ability to accept other animals or animals of the same sex. They usually get along well with other dogs. However, previous history or experience around the animal can make them furious.

This dog has a medium level of tolerance towards cold and hot weather. The cold weather suits them well, to be precise.

Cold Weather – The cold weather is favorable for the English mastiff because of its straight outer-coat. The coat gives them great protection against the chilly weather.

Hot Weather – Tolerating heat can be quite a task for this breed and their coat type isn’t ideally heat resistant. So, cold weather can be good but they don’t do well in hot weather conditions.

Their intelligence or smartness is good but they aren’t the best at it. Due to this, their training can be some real work for their owners. Use easy tips and tricks to train them that doesn’t involve harshness towards them.

Looking at the size of this mastiff exercise is a MUST. A dog’s exercise needs mainly depend on its size and built. These large pooches surely need tonnes of exercise and outdoor activities.

The English mastiff doesn’t require a lot of grooming. It does require all the essential grooming care and a little bit extra here and there. They do shed a lot so all the combing and brushing is what they need.

As this mastiff shed’s a lot there is a lot of risk of the hair-producing dander and then further leading to allergies in the humans.

In the United States of America the price of English Mastiff starts from $200 and can be as pricy as $4000. In India, its price starts from 50,000.

About English Mastiff

 About english mastiff

As strong and stable on the outside, an English Mastiff is the same on the inside. Their outer appearance can be intimidating but these are huge and strong doggos with kind hearts.

A perfect mixture of docility and courage, these are great watchdogs, also curious to explore the outside world. He’ll always welcome visiting family members lovingly and also shows his suspicion when someone who’s a stranger, visits.

This a very muscular and powerful dog with a heavy head and short muzzle. The English mastiff also has drooping jowls and their face usually has a big black spot or mask all around their eyes and nose.

The English mastiff has a massive body, a skull that is broad, and a head that appears to be square-shaped. If measured in the terms of mass (body weight) this is the largest dog breed.

If compared, this mastiff is slightly heavier than his canine equivalent to Saint Bernard. When it comes to body mass and sturdiness the English mastiff also leaves behind the Great Dane and the Irish Wolfhound.

As blessed are these dogs in weight the English mastiff is also huge in height. When measured, males measure 30 inches tall at the shoulder while the females stand at 27.5 inches. Their forelegs in particular have immense depth and breadth.

They require regular exercise to be fit and at the same time will love lazing around with you on the couch. They have a great personality and mixed temperament. They also have a limited set of colors.

English Mastiff is a dog that comes with a lot of work. From grooming requirements to handling his massive size and training this big dog, the list goes on. However, their strong and rigid yet cute presence can make things easier to be managed.

The lifespan of this mastiff is similar to that of other large dog breeds and is probably set to 6 to 12 years. The average life expectancy of these dogs is quite low and their size and aging have a direct impact on the number of years.


English mastiff History

In the 6th century BC in Assyria there were statues of large dogs and these dogs were later believed to be the English Mastiff or the Mastiff type dogs. But there is no genetic evidence of the same and it can be just theoretical.

As mentioned previously that the English Mastiff has a history of fighting battles with other dogs. The statues and depictions of those large dogs seemed to be about the dogs that used to fight lions and tigers in the Roman history.

The Pugnaces Britanniae (Dogs that existed during the Roman rule) is considered to be a part of the development of an English mastiff. Later an ancient poet penned down his thoughts about this dog implying that they were as great as the Greek Molossus. (A dog breed in Greece)

Thus, they got to be known as the of the Molosser in some places. On the other hand, the Mastiff type originated from the ancient type of dogs situated in Asian mountains named “Molosser.”

Talking about the English Mastiff, in particular, they were found in Britain. They fought alongside the British soldiers and have a great history has British dogs used for fighting other animals.

Gaius Julius Caesar first mentioned about these dogs in the records in England in 55 BC. After serving as combat dogs, the English mastiff then becomes popular in England as great bodyguards or guard dogs and a great companion for humans.

When World War II was nearing its end even the English mastiff was nearing extinction. They were later imported from America and Canada to be bred again in England.

These dogs in history served as police dogs, military dogs, working dogs, watchdogs, and rescue dogs as well. They continue to serve their purpose but now they are also adored worldwide as great domestic pets.

Facts Theatre

Parenting Guide and Care

English mastiff care

To care for your dog and be the best dog parent depends on how you treat your pooch and take care of them. Getting a dog is just like having a baby they one specific thing in common “both come with a huge responsibility.”

The difference between dogs and babies is just the “human” and “animal” element. So, when you decide to be a dog parent of an English Mastiff you need to know how to handle this big baby.

Below are some Parenting and Care tips for you:

  • The first parenting step is training. Train your mastiff from an early age. These are huge dogs and need to be trained likewise. Also, they are all bouncy and hopping when a puppy, like all dogs. This can be a problem when they grow bigger and that’s why obedience training is a must.
  • Next comes socializing. Socialize your dog as much as you can. Huge dogs can be intimidating for strangers but they can also be shy or may not like attention from strangers. Socializing can teach an English mastiff to not be overprotective or too shy.
  • They have a playful nature and love being outdoors but this breed is a little tricky and they can develop a habit of being lazy and just laying around. Make sure you make these heavy dogs exercise a lot. Create an exercise routine for them and follow them regularly.
  • Take good care of your mastiff’s grooming. They don’t need excessive grooming but they might need extra attention. They have a short coat which may need more grooming. Regularly brushing and bathing is the best way to take care of them.
  • These dogs tend to drool a lot and their saliva can be a mess to handle. So always keep napkins or drool rags handy to get rid of the excessive drool.
  • English mastiffs do not do well in the hot weather. During the summertime try keeping the indoors all as much as possible. You can also create a cool water pool to relax in during the summer. Also, try shifting their exercise time when it is cooler in that part a sunny day.
  • These are quite the mouthy dogs and love to chew and nibble. Provide them with good quality chew toys. This will also cut the risk of them chewing on unwanted and risky things.
  • You should also dog-proof your house as these dogs have a tail that can make things fall even with the lightest of touch. Their height and weight bring this ability naturally to them.
  • You might also need to reconsider your living space as your mastiff starts aging. When this breed ages it can be very difficult for them to climb stairs because of their natural weight. As they age avoid a place that involves a lot of stairs.

Personality and Temperament

English mastiff personality

The English mastiff is an even-tempered breed. They are very protective of their owner and families and also very affectionate. They have both, a playful and lazy nature.

English mastiff puppies are the most adventurous and playful ones. And English mastiff puppy can also be funny and awkward at the same time. They usually mature well and being matured comes naturally to them.

These dogs also have the tendency to be shy or indifferent to new people. They need socializing a lot to overcome this behavioral obstacle. They can get very nervous or overprotective around strangers and they need time for this to grow on them.

Their size suggests of them being very active and up for adventures or exercise time. But in reality, these are pretty laid back and lazy dogs. They may not like to jog with you but they will love to laze around you on your couch or bed.

This huge dog is generally considered as a patient and gentle breed who learns any kind of training easily. Harshness and yelling don’t work well with them. They also crave attention or good feedback and criticizing or being rude is not welcomed by them.

They are also cunning when it comes to training. As are lazy they may often pretend to like the exercise or training but they can easily fool you to believe this. They may pretend to be training but they may not absorb any teachings.

Obedience training is a must for them as these dogs have a nature to jump on people. This is good as long as they are puppies but can be a problem when they are fully grown. Their playful nature can make them forget their size as they grow up.

The English mastiff is also called the “gentle giant” and this is true considering their overall nature. They are popular because of their size and instinctive skills but they are very gentle, calm, and have a balanced temperament.

They are gentle and rigid. Sturdy yet soft-hearted. They have all the potential to outweigh humans physically and mentally. This mastiff is gentle but also very stubborn and can get annoyed and aggressive if provoked.

If you get this one home and just keep him/her tied up or caged in the backyard all you will get is an annoyed and destructive monster. They love their families and protect them against anything and demand to have their earned attention and proper care.

Colors and Grooming

  • fawn english mastiff
  • black english mastiff
  • Brindle English mastiff
  • apricot english mastiff

The colors of the English mastiff are limited and only the registered colors are available. This breed has a short coat and it is very coarse and straight. They are available in the recognized colors only.

The colors are:

Apricot, Fawn, Brindle.

The colors black and blue are rare and they are also not eligible for registration and are not recognized by AKC.

One of the most important things to manage for an English mastiff is grooming. Their grooming needs to be taken care of well, really well. Grooming all dog breeds is important and still, for some dogs, it needs more importance.

Bathing your mastiff is probably the first and most important grooming step. They have a short and coarse coat that needs detailed attention before bathing them.

  • Always run a dryer over their coat before your pup enters the tub. Using a dryer (use a high-powered one) assure that no dirt remains on the coat and the dog gets a thorough bath. If you do not have a dryer you can also use a slicker brush and brush their coat right before a bath.
  • To avoid frequent baths, you can also trim the hair of an English mastiff is also useful and great to avoid excessive dirt accumulation. This also helps the owner to avoid all the bathing process.
  • This breed doesn’t require regular bathing and pet parents of this mastiff must refrain from giving them every day or alternative baths. Their skin becomes open to infection or skin rashes of bathed regularly. A bath once in 3 to 4 weeks is ideal for them.
  • The grooming thing that should be regularly done is brushing. Brushing their coat daily from top to bottom and all over is important. This eliminates dead skin formation and dust, debris, or dandruff formation. Brushing also helps their coat hair to be soft and maintain its natural texture.
  • Then follow all the smaller yet important grooming details. This includes cleaning their ears. Delayed ear cleaning can result in abnormal growth and formation in their ears. Their ear wax tends to stay wet for a long time after they are bathed.
  • Do not forget to clean the ear wax or dry their wet ears after a shower. Do not use earbuds to clean their ears that will only push the wax further.
  • The English mastiff has a saggy face, their skin is folded and loose. Due to this, their eyes can suffer a lot. Clean their eyes or else the mess that forms in and around them will end on your clothes or furniture. It also isn’t good for the dog’s eyes.
  • Lastly, trim and clip your mastiff’s nails. You do not require to do it regularly. Once a week is an average time. Do use good quality clippers. You also need to get good dog nail clippers.


English mastiff feeding

The breed English mastiff has a speedy growth rate and they tend to grow very fast during the first 18 months of their life. They need proper food and nourishment during this age in particular. Later on, their diet has to be consistent and its frequency changes. 

Puppy – (4 to 6 months)

English mastiff puppies that are between 4 to 6 months of age will need 2 to 3 meals a day divided in 8 to 10 cups. They should have a nutritious diet consisting of mostly meat.

An English mastiff puppy requires as much as 25% to 27% of protein and around 12% to 15% fat. As these dogs have a rapid growth rate at an early age, they require a lot of protein.

A proper protein and fat-based diet also help them with muscle growth.

Adult – (1 to 2 years)

A dog is considered an adult at 12 to 18 months of age and as a dog grows especially the English mastiff, the food requirement also changes.

However, it doesn’t change a lot but unlike before, now your mastiff will need 8 to 12 cups of food and 2 to 3 meals a day. At this age, your dog has probably developed enough and does not require the same amount of protein and fat content.

You should reduce your adult mastiff’s protein consumption to 21-25% and fats at 8-10%.

You can also feed them dry dog food. We recommend this packaged dry food for your mastiff.

Senior – (3 to 6 years)

For older mastiffs, their adult life food quantity which is 8 to 12 cups of food and 2 to 3 meals a day should continue. In some cases, it can be reduced as they may start getting obese and that is not good for them when aging.

Similarly, their protein consumption should be brought down to 21% or less. Older mastiffs may also need an external vitamin C supply their older ages.

Health and Vaccination

English mastiff health

The bigger the dog the more it is prone to certain health issues. The English mastiff falls under the giant breed category. Though giants these are lovingly called “Gentle Giants”. They are really gentle at heart and history has it that they are also “gentle” when it comes to health.

The mastiffs are very healthy at their young age but they are likely to face many health issues as they start aging. The biggest reason for this is believed to be their giant size.

Let’s have a look at all the health problems an English mastiff is likely to develop:

1. Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia

The most common health conditions in large breeds are hip and elbow dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a condition that concerns the ill-formation of a hip joint and the hip joint gradually loosing is laxity.

The pain that follows during a hip dysplasia can be very bad and it further leads to arthritis or joint degradation.

Elbow dysplasia is also a malformation of the joints but here it is the elbow joint. Elbow dysplasia in a mastiff is popularly considered to be a genetic inheritance. The malformation of the elbow joint often causes inflammation and further leads to osteoarthritis.

Both the conditions can be detected by an X-ray and its treatment usually involves surgery.

2. Lymphosarcoma

Canine cancer and especially the Lymphosarcoma is the leading factor for the fatality rate in English mastiffs. Lymphosarcoma is the cancer of the body’s lymphatic system. The symptoms include the swelling of the lymph nodes.

Some dogs may experience swellings around the neck or upper limbs (where the lymph nodes are located). This condition cannot be treated by surgery and requires medical treatment which helps in reducing the size of the swelling of the lymph nodes.

3. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

The gastric dilatation-volvulus is also known as the Bloat. It is a gastrointestinal condition that causes swelling in the stomach. This swelling or twisting is severe and often requires surgical removal.

The bloat is a health condition widely observed in large breeds like the English mastiff. To avoid this you should always feed your mastiff food that is divided into portions and 2 to 3 meals.

4. Eye diseases

Like all other giant breeds, this breed also tends to develop eye diseases. Out of all the possible eye diseases to occur Cherry Eye has the most potential to develop in an English mastiff.

Cherry eye is an abnormal mass formation on the dog’s eyelid. It is always a protruding mass (sticking out). There are many reasons for this disease to occur the top reason being a congenital weakness of the gland attached to their eye.

Vaccination Chart

  • At 6-8 weeks – Core Vaccines DAP (Distemper, Adenovirus, and Parvovirus)
  • 10-12 weeks – DAP and Non-core vaccines Leptospirosis and Canine Influenza.
  • 14-16 weeks – DAP, Rabies and Non-Core vaccines
  • Annual and 3 Years – Rabies and all Non-core vaccines.

Suggested: Guide To Dog Vaccination

Frequently Asked Questions

This breed has a long history of serving has working dogs, police dogs, guard dogs. Not just the serving purpose but this mastiff is also great at fighting other animals like lions and tigers. They are very courageous and protective of their families and hence, this is a really good guard dog for any family.

They have the reputation of being gentle giants. These are huge and heavy dogs but they are very loving and affectionate towards their owner. They can be aggressive if provoked and they become destructive if they are left alone or tied-up for too long.

With humans, these dogs are really good. Don’t judge them by their size. They are huge and intimidating but they are very loyal to their humans. They are playful and also lazy. The English mastiff makes a great companion and a bodyguard as for humans as well. They are also really good and well behaved with small children

This breed is not very long-living. Their maximum lifespan of English mastiff is 9 to 10 years. The average lifespan remains to be 6 to 10 years.

No! English mastiffs are ideally not suitable for the climate in India. However, many still live on and are surviving well in the Indian climate but it is not fair for the breed to bred and survived in India.

Similar Breeds

Hello Readers,

That’s all about this “gentle giant”, the English Mastiff. Hope you liked this article and it helped you know this breed a little better.

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    • Hi Jen!

      Thanks for bringing it to our attention, it gets really tough to manage quality when you are dealing with a large content team.

      We have changed all the images in the blog and now you can enjoy reading it with the right images.


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