Top 10 Mastiff Dog Breeds
Mastiffs; a family of dogs that as a rule are huge, powerful dogs. These Molosser breeds are dense, well-muscled and gorgeous!
While this list is certainly not all-inclusive of the Mastiff-type or Molosser dogs, we’ve gathered some of the most impressive of the group. Let’s get to know them.
10. Pyrenean Mastiff
Not to be confused with the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, the Pyrenean Mastiff is a large breed of dog originally from the Aragonese Pyrenees in Spain.
For a long time, the Pyrenean Mastiff accompanied the herds of sheep. Its main function was to guard and protect its herds and its masters from attacks by wolves, bears, and thieves.
At up to 220 pounds and 30 inches tall, this strong, rustic breed is self-reliant and calm. It’s even-tempered and docile at home and is protective of children. It’s gentle with other dogs as well as other pets and people it knows.
However, if challenged, this huge dog will not hesitate to defend its family from a perceived threat. Although it’s gentle and kind with a loving temperament, it takes its work seriously and needs a strong, experienced leader.
9. Fila Brasileiro
Known as the Fila Brasileiro, the Brazilian Mastiff is one of the smaller breeds on this list at a mere 110 pounds and 29 inches at the shoulder. Not that 110 pounds is what we’d consider a small dog.
The Fila Brasileiro breed was bred and raised primarily on large plantations and cattle farms in its native Brazil. They were taught to chase down Jaguars, cattle, and other animals, and occasionally people. The dogs would grab the animals by the neck and hold them until the farmer arrived. This instinct can be observed among puppies when they are playing
The Fila will be completely devoted to its owner and, once bonded, will not hesitate to protect its family. Once bonded, this breed will take a lot of poking and prodding from small children and are incredibly gentle when with them. This breed also tends to get along well with other pets within the family.
8. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff who’s Tibetan name means “nomad dog” reflects its use as a guardian of herds, flocks, tents, villages, monasteries, and palaces.
This dog is known for its loyalty, it has been used as a herding and guardian dog for thousands of years. In fact, a 2008 study that the Tibetan Mastiff diverged from the Grey Wolf some 58,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest lineages.
At up to 160 pounds and 30 inches tall at the withers, the Tibetan Mastiff is certainly a huge dog.
The Tibetan Mastiff is very independent and territorial. They can be devoted to family while aloof toward outsiders.
The Tibetan is patient with its family’s children but can be protective when strange children visit. This breed is usually good with other dogs and animals.
While active outside, the Tibetan tends to be more relaxed and calm indoors.
7. Great Dane
The German Mastiff or its more common name Great Dane is one of the more well-known dogs on this list. Thanks, Scooby Doo.
The German name of the breed is Deutsche Dogge, or German Mastiff. Unlike many of the breeds on this list, the Great Dane is not a herding dog, but rather a hunting dog, used to hunt boar and bear.
The German Mastiff typical weighs up to 120 pounds at 30 inches tall, but the world’s tallest dog was a Great Dane named Zeus who reached a height of 44 inches at the shoulder and weighed 155 pounds.
This breed of mastiff is friendly and dependable and usually good with children. The Great Dane also usually takes well to other household pets, but may not always be aware of its towering size over others so should be monitored.
6. Dogo Argentino
The Argentinian Mastiff or Dogo Argentino is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting, including wild boar, much like the Great Dane.
Dogos are big-game hunters and are also trained for search and rescue, police assistance, service dogs, competitive obedience, Schutzhund and military work.
The Dogo Argentino because of its purpose, is very stubborn and pain tolerant. This combined with the breed’s natural intelligence and domineering tendencies means that this dog is not suitable for inactive or inexperienced homes, and is ideal for a working home, or at a minimum a very active home.
Dogos typically weigh up to 99 pounds and stand up to 27 inches at the shoulder.
5. Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Mastiff, French Mastiff or Bordeauxdog is a large Mastiff breed—and one of the most ancient French dog breeds.
This brawny breed has been put to work in many different capacities, from pulling carts and hauling heavy objects, to guarding flocks and, historically, the castles of the European elite.
At up to 150 pounds and 27 inches tall at the shoulder, this breed is calm, patient and loyal to its family. The Bordeaux can be confrontational with strangers and seems to have no fear, making it a good guard dog with proper training.
4. Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff or Mastino (Italian: Mastino Napoletano) is a large, ancient dog breed. This massive breed is often used as a guard and defender of family and property due to their protective instincts and their fearsome appearance.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is probably one of the most recognizable in the mastiff family with all of its wrinkles. Bred to be a family guardian, the Neapolitan is amazingly loyal and totally devoted to its family and ever so watchful. They are very suspicious of strangers and moderately tolerant of acquaintances. This breed can be loving towards children, but needs to be socialized thoroughly at a very young age and should not be a dog for the inexperienced or first-time dog owner.
The Neapolitan can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand 30 inches at the shoulder.
Bullmastiffs are a large working breed originating in Britain in the mid-1800s as estate guardians to ward off poachers. They were bred by gamekeepers for strength, size and speed using a cross of the tough, heavy and aggressive now extinct Old English Bulldog with the large, strong, less aggressive Mastiff. As a result, the Bullmastiff is known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog. The preferred color, by gamekeepers, was brindle, as this color works as a more effective camouflage, especially at night.
This breed is a quiet, gentle companion devoted to and guardian of its family. Though laid back and slow to anger, once this dog feels threatened, it becomes a fearless protector. The Bullmastiff is a very stubborn dog and you may have great difficulty in getting this dog to perform against its will, especially since it can weigh up to 130 pounds and stand 27 inches at the shoulder.
Male Bullmastiffs can be very intolerant of other male dogs and, in general, can be aggressive towards dogs with which they are unfamiliar. With stubbornness aside, this breed can be good with children if they are raised together.
2. Cane Corso
The Italian Mastiff or Cane Corso, which means “protector dog” in Italian, is a large breed of dog at up to 110 pounds and 28 inches tall.
For years the Cane Corso has been valued highly in Italy as a companion and guard dog.
The Cane Corso is a very powerful, agile breed with a great deal of endurance. This breed is usually quiet and relaxed in the house and eager to please its family. They are very intelligent and their eagerness to please makes them one of the more trainable dogs on this list.
Cane Corso make excellent guard and watchdogs. They are great with kids and very affectionate with their owners: gentle yet protective. They like to stick nearby their family members and therefore are not very big wanderers.
Not considered a fighting dog, the Cane Corso will protect both family and property if the need arises.
At weights up to 230 pounds and heights up to 36 inches at the shoulder, the English Mastiff is distinguished by its enormous size, massive head, short coat in a limited range of colors, and always displaying a black mask. This is a powerful dog with great endurance.
The greatest weight ever recorded for a dog, 343 pounds was that of an English Mastiff from England named Aicama Zorba of La Susa. He stood 37 inches tall at the shoulder and was a full 8 foot 3 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. That’s a lot of dog.
The Mastiff is noted for its gentle and loving nature.
The English Mastiff is both gentle and easygoing making a great house dog, despite its size and loyal family member.
So, would you share your couch with one of these person-sized dogs? Let us know in the comments below.
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