Mastiffs are typically large, muscular dogs with bulky heads, drooping ears, short-haired coats, large feet, and long tails. All mastiffs are brachycephalic, meaning they have a short, board muzzle.

Mastiffs are mainly guard dogs, though they have been used for hunting and blood sports and also as war dogs. Their history goes back to ancient Roman and Egyptian civilizations. Mentions of mastiff-type show dogs can also be found in Asian and European records dated 3,000 years back.

Today’s mastiffs were developed from large livestock guardian dogs. They are considered two different groups now, except by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), who categorize them together as Molossian dogs. Modern-day livestock guardian dogs like the Tibetan Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff, and Pyrenean Mastiff are not considered true mastiffs, despite their name.

Despite their giant size and formidable appearance, mastiffs are gentle, loyal, and friendly dogs that make great pets. However, they are not suitable for first-time dog parents.

Types of Mastiff Dog Breeds

List of All Types of Mastiff Dog Breeds

  • English Mastiff
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Boerboel
  • Olde English Bulldogge
  • American Bulldog
  • Alano Español
  • Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
  • Boxer
  • Broholmer
  • Bully Kutta
  • English Bulldog
  • Campeiro Bulldog
  • Cão Fila de São Miguel
  • Chongqing dog
  • Cimarrón Uruguayo
  • Continental Bulldog
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Dogo Guatemalteco
  • Dogue Brasileiro
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • French Bulldog
  • Great Dane
  • Kurdish Mastiff
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Perro de Presa Mallorquin
  • Rottweiler
  • Serrano Bulldog
  • Tosa
  • Saint Louis Vincent Mastiff

Mastiffs can easily weigh over 100 lbs, with the group including some of the largest dogs in the world, like the Great Dane, English Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux, and Cane Corso.

Extinct Mastiff Breeds

With such a long history, some original mastiff breeds have gone extinct. These include:

  • Alaunt
  • Bullenbeisser
  • Córdoba fighting dog
  • Dogo Cubano
  • Fila da Terceira
  • Molossus
  • Old English Bulldog
  • Toy Bulldog


How long do mastiffs live?

Though the exact lifespan varies based on the breed, mastiffs live for 6 to 10 years on average. Being brachycephalic, they often have a lot of health issues which causes them to have a shorter life expectancy than other dogs (10-12 years).

Are they good with kids?

Mastiffs are among the most loyal and protective breeds, making great pets for families with kids. However, their massive size is a concern, and it is a good idea not to leave them unsupervised with small babies and toddlers.

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