The Largest Mastiff Dog Breeds
PETSIDI – Mastiffs are a group of large and powerful dog breeds originally bred for guarding and protecting. Their massive size and strength coupled with their loyal and loving nature makes them popular family companions and guard dogs.
While there are many different Mastiff breeds, some of the largest include the English Mastiff, Tibetan Mastiff, Great Dane, Neapolitan Mastiff, and Cane Corso. Here is an overview of these gentle giants and what makes them the biggest Mastiff breeds in the world today.
The Mighty English Mastiff
The English Mastiff is one of the most ancient and famous Mastiff breeds. Often called the “gentle giant”, it is the largest dog breed by mass.
Mastiffs have existed in England for thousands of years. They were originally bred as ferocious war dogs by the ancient tribes who inhabited England. The aggressive nature of early Mastiffs made them invaluable during times of war.
Over time, through dedicated breeding efforts, the English Mastiff’s temperament was mellowed. It evolved from a vicious war dog into a loyal and loving guard dog and companion.
Some key facts about English Mastiffs:
- Males can reach heights of 30 inches and weigh up to 230 pounds
- Females are typically 27.5 inches tall and weigh around 150 pounds
- They have a broad and wrinkly head with a black mask on the muzzle
- Their coat is short and comes in apricot, fawn, or brindle colors.
- Despite their intimidating size, they are gentle and calm dogs.
- They make excellent watchdogs and family protectors due to their devotion and protective instincts.
- With proper training and socialization, they get along well with children and other pets.
- They have an average lifespan of 6-10 years.
Owning an English Mastiff is a big commitment due to their massive size and exercise needs. They require regular daily walks and access to a large fenced yard. Their food costs are also higher than average.
Overall, the English Mastiff is the archetypal gentle giant – massive in size yet loving and docile in temperament. They thrive as watchful and faithful companions.
The Noble Tibetan Mastiff
Originating from Tibet, the Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed that evolved in harsh mountain environments. For centuries, it has guarded Buddhist temples, flocks, and villages high up in the Himalayas.
Some interesting facts about the Tibetan Mastiff:
- Males can reach heights of 26 inches and weigh up to 160 pounds.
- Females are typically 24 inches tall and weigh 70-120 pounds.
- They have a lion-like coat with thick hair around the neck that resembles a mane.
- Coat colors are black, brown, and blue/grey with gold markings.
- They have a regal and aloof temperament befitting their status as nobility in Tibetan culture.
- Tibetan Mastiffs mature slowly and don’t reach full size until 18-24 months.
- They are instinctually protective and make excellent guard dogs.
- Early training and socialization are vital to prevent aggression towards strangers.
- Their average lifespan is 10-14 years.
Tibetan Mastiffs are the most expensive dog breed in the world, with puppies costing up to $7,500. But their royal heritage and devoted protective nature make them worth it for the right owner.
The Towering Great Dane
Great Danes stand as one of the tallest dog breeds in the world today. Originally bred in Germany as war dogs and big game hunters, these gentle giants are dependable family companions.
Here’s an overview of the magnificent Great Dane:
- Males stand over 30 inches tall and weigh 120-200 pounds
- Females are typically 30 inches or less and weigh 100-130 pounds
- They have a short, smooth coat that comes in brindle, fawn, black, or harlequin colors
- Their most distinctive feature is their towering height combined with their slender, muscular build
- Despite their imposing size, they have friendly, patient temperaments and bond strongly with their owners
- They generally get along well with children and other household pets
- Proper training is important to prevent accidents and destructiveness in the house
- Great Danes require at least 30-60 minutes of daily exercise
- Their average lifespan is just 6-8 years, making health a priority
Great Danes flourish when treated as loving family members and provided with adequate activity and space. Their remarkable size and congenial nature make them unforgettable companions.
The Strong and Sturdy Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff has its origins as a guardian of property and defender against wild animals in southern Italy. Its intimidating appearance and protective inclinations make it an exceptional guard dog.
Fun facts about the Neapolitan Mastiff:
- Males are 26-31 inches tall and weigh 130-155 pounds
- Females are 24-29 inches tall and weigh 110-130 pounds
- They have loose hanging skin and a short, dense coat of grey, brown or black
- Their massive wrinkled head has drooping jowls and lips that cover the teeth
- Neapolitan Mastiffs are fearless and defensive of their territory
- Without proper training, they can be aggressive toward strangers and unfamiliar dogs
- They are loving and loyal towards their owners and family
- Due to their size, they are not recommended for homes with young children
- They need regular moderate exercise to stay fit and healthy
- Their average lifespan is 7-9 years
Neapolitan Mastiffs require experienced handlers who can provide consistent training, socialization, and leadership. When properly managed, these bulky guardians make devoted companions.
Cane Corso – The Italian Mastiff
The Cane Corso originates from Italy, where it worked as a farm hand, hunter, and protector. Its athleticism and versatility have earned its place as a popular modern companion.
Here’s what makes the Cane Corso unique:
- Males stand 25-27.5 inches tall and weigh 99-110 pounds
- Females stand 23.5-26 inches tall and weigh 88-99 pounds
- They have a short, stiff coat that can be grey, black, fawn or red
- A distinguishing feature is their intimidating muscular physique and broad head
- The Cane Corso is highly energetic, eager to please, and intensely loyal
- They bond closely with their owners and are reserved towards strangers
- Early proper socialization and training is essential
- Without enough activity, they can become destructive and hard to handle
- They need consistent leadership along with daily exercise
- The average Cane Corso lifespan is 10-12 years
The Cane Corso needs an experienced owner who can provide rigorous training, activity, and structure. Their commanding presence and devotion make them an exceptional companion for the right household.
Finding the Right Mastiff For You
When searching for a Mastiff puppy or adult dog, it’s important to research breeds and genetics to find the best match. Reputable breeders focus on health and temperament over looks alone.
No matter which breed you ultimately choose, socialization, obedience training, and proper care from an early age are key to a well-adjusted Mastiff. These giant dogs require time, effort, and dedication. But for the right owner, they make wonderfully endearing pets and steadfast companions like no other. Their imposing yet amiable presence provides a sense of comfort and security to those fortunate enough to call them family.