Old and survivors of an extinction, English Mastiff dogs are famous for being the guardians of hearth and home besides having large proportions: in fact, they are akin to proverbial “elephants of dogs.”

Though they have a giant body, they are gentle at heart – just like most large dog breeds, especially the Kangal. Due to their desirable personality and temperament traits, affordable care requirements, and guarding skills, English Mastiffs are a popular choice for experienced owners.

But there is a lot more to learn! Keep reading.

Did You Know?

Standing tall at around 27.5 to 30 inches and weighing up to 170 pounds and sometimes beyond that, English Mastiff is the largest dog breed by size in the world.

English Mastiff Overview

English Mastiff Overview

Other Names: The Old English Mastiff, Mastiff

Size: 27.5 to 30 inches

Weight: 120 to 170 pounds

Lifespan: Six to 12 years

Hypoallergenic?: No

Coat Colors: Apricot, fawn, or brindle

Eye Color: Hazel Brown

Nose Color: Black

Place of Origin: United Kingdom

Temperament: Protective, laidback, gentle, and friendly

Suitable For: Experienced owners and families, laidback dog owners

Breed Scorecard



Pet friendly:

Stranger friendly:









The English Mastiffs are big, muscular, and heavy-boned dogs. With a fair amount of body fat, they look huge when viewed from any angle. Their body is covered with a coat that is short, coarse, and double, with the upper part being denser than the lower one. Though English Mastiffs also exist in fluffy coats, such types are rare. Also, some of them have a white patch on their chest. Overall, despite their large size, they are adorable.

To describe English Mastiff appearance nose to tail, their muzzle is about half a length their head; eyes medium-sized, widely set apart; ears small and V-shaped; the head square with a black mask on it, and their tail is tapered, either straight or slightly curved.

Personality and Temperament

English Mastiff personality is a perfect blend of grandeur and tenderness. As a matter of fact, English Mastiffs are very gentle and make friends easily. Besides, they do great with children and other pets as well. But since they are guard dogs, their friendly face is only for their loving owners. They are not much welcoming of strangers or other dogs but with early socialization that can be dealt with.

However, the primary trait they are known for is their loyalty. Due to their long history of guarding and fighting wars, they are extraordinary at servicing and pleasing their owners.

English Mastiffs have a negative trait also: they need companionship. They simply do not like to be left alone for hours and can exhibit behavioral changes when left alone for long times.


The earliest history of the English Mastiff breed can be traced back to 2000 B.C. when the decedents of the Molosser family were brought to the British Isles. However, they came to the limelight when the invasion of Britain during 55 B.C. by the Romans occurred. Julius Caesar – impressed by the ferocity of English Mastiffs – brought them to Rome to fight wild animals and human gladiators. After that, these dogs gradually rose to fame for their guardianship and hunting abilities. Their population, however, was severely depleted after the Second World War, but the breed was rebuilt with the help of dedicated breeders in the United States. Today, English Mastiff dogs are far more friendly and docile than their ancestors.

Did You Know?

Though the actual importation of English Mastiff dogs in the U.S. began during the 19th century, these dogs might have arrived in the American land far earlier. Through scarce records, it is assumed that Plymouth colonists took an English Mastiff and a Spaniel with them when they embarked on their journey in Mayflower.

English Mastiff Growth Chart

English Mastiff dogs grow and gain weight quickly in their first year. Afterward, their growth slow down considerably until they completely stop growing by the age of two years. Take a look at the following English Mastiff growth chart to get an idea about how your English Mastiff puppy will grow.

Age (Months)Weight Male (pounds)Weight Female (pounds)
OneFive to 20Five to 15
Two20 to 3515 to 30
Three35 to 5530 to 50
Four50 to 7040 to 60
Five60 to 9050 to 80
Six80 to 11060 to 90
Seven110 to 14075 to 100
Eight120 to 16085 to 115
Nine130 to 17095 to 125
10140 to 180100 to 140
11145 to 190105 to 150
12150 to 200110 to 160
24160 to 230120 to 170

Did You Know?

The puppyhood in English Mastiffs is much longer than in other breeds. They do not fully grow physically and mentally until the age of three years.

Full Grown English Mastiff: How Big Do English Mastiffs Get?

While the average size of English Mastiff ranges between 27.5 to 30 inches and 120 to 170 pounds, they can grow even bigger than that. Some can even grow up to 36 inches and weigh up to 230 pounds.

That said, like most other dog breeds, male English Mastiffs are bigger than their female counterparts. Where males have an average height of 30 inches and weight ranging between 160 to 230 pounds, female English Mastiffs stand tall at 27.5 inches and weigh between 120 to 170 pounds.

English Mastiff Care

Owning a big dog comes with the big responsibilities of its maintenance.


Considering the big English Mastiff size, proper intake of a nutritious diet becomes especially critical. However, before we delve into the food requirements, there is a recommendation that every English Mastiff owner must be aware of: since fast growth in English Mastiffs is discouraged because it leads to several health problems, puppies should never be fed a calorie-dense diet. Furthermore, the diet should not have a protein content of more than 26%, and the calcium-phosphorus ratio must be maintained at 1.2 to 1.

How much English Mastiffs should eat is about eight cups of high-quality dry kibble per day work best. Nevertheless, dividing this quantity into at least three different meals is a must to avoid the risk of gastric torsion, turning these gentle giants into ‘gas giants.’

While looking for your English Mastiff’s food, always read the table of ingredients to make sure that it contains all the essential nutrients required by your big boy.


Though counterintuitive, despite having an enormous size, English Mastiff dogs do not have much exercise requirements, nor do they need much space to live in—they can easily adjust to an apartment lifestyle.

Nonetheless, consider walking your dog for about two to three miles daily to keep obesity at bay and avoid letting your pet become a couch potato.

As for the puppies, decrease the distance further and add to it with age only steadily. Additionally, never let them jump stairs or run for long distances.

Exercise Tip!

English Mastiff dogs have a bad reputation for sitting down right on the spot when they feel tired. Therefore, do not exercise your dog more than suitable, or you might have to carry your mighty furry friend back home!


English Mastiff trainability is good because of the willingness of these dogs to please their owners. You can make the training sessions more fruitful by having a handful of treats or by offering loads of love and affection to your pup for obeying and following commands. That said, while training your English Mastiff, you should keep the following points in mind:

  1. Begin training your English Mastiff at an early age. Do not wait for puppyhood to be over.
  2. Socialization and obedience training must be carried out on a priority basis.
  3. Avoid repeating typical training sessions as these dogs easily get bored and consequently become stubborn.
  4. Since English Mastiffs are great at communicating their feelings, consider maintaining eye contact throughout the training sessions.
  5. Always use positive rewards and restrain from raising your voice or punishing your dog for not being a good learner. Just be patient and consistent.


Piece of cake – thanks to their low-shedding coat, brushing English Mastiff dogs every few days suffices the grooming requirements. However, during heavy shedding seasons twice a year, more frequent brushing is recommended.

As they drool a lot, keeping a wipe in hand is advisable to maintain the cleanliness of the muzzle. Besides, toenails are unlikely to wear due to low activity levels, requiring regular trimming or grinding. You will also have to regularly check their ears, eyes, and wrinkles around their head for any signs of infection.

Besides that, you will have to brush your dog’s teeth daily or at least two to three times a week using dog toothpaste. This will help maintain the oral health and pleasant breath of your English Mastiff.


Generally healthy, the English Mastiff breed is not known for any specific disease. However, due to their large size, they are prone to dysplasia and bloating. Besides, the following health problems can prevail in them:

  1. Cancer
  2. Entropion
  3. Ectropion
  4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  5. Obesity
  6. Hypothyroidism
  7. Epilepsy

Keeping these health issues in view, the Mastiff Club of America (MCOA) has recommended the following tests for English Mastiffs before the age of two years:

  1. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  2. Eye Clearance
  3. Congenital Cardiac
  4. Thyroid
  5. Cystinuria Urine (for males only)

English Mastiff Price

For English Mastiff puppies, the price ranges between USD 1,500 and 3,000. However, it can go even higher, depending upon several factors such as bloodline.

Though you might find the price hefty, you will not face any problem finding breeders – thanks to the popularity of English Mastiffs. Despite this privilege, consider approaching only those who are willing to provide test evidence of both the puppy and its parents.

English Mastiff Facts

Here are some cool facts about the English Mastiff breed.

Mastiff Means Mild, Gentle, and Tame

The word ‘mastiff’ has roots in the Latin language, and it gives the precise description of English Mastiffs’ temperament when translated – mild, tame, and gentle.

World’s Largest and Heaviest Dog Was an English Mastiff

343 pounds in weight and above eight feet in length, Aicama Zorba, an English Mastiff (1981-92), holds the Guinness Record for the heaviest and longest dog in the world.

One of Bullmastiff Breed’s Ancestor Is English Mastiff

The Bullmastiff, a famous hybrid, originated as a result of a cross between the English Mastiff and the English Bulldog breeds. Similarly, Pit Mastiff was developed by mixing English Mastiffs with American Pitbull Terriers.

Why You Should or Should Not Get an English Mastiff?

Here are the benefits and disadvantages of getting an English Mastiff:


    Guardianship: They are very loyal, pleasing, and protective.

    Apartment-friendly: Despite being the largest dog breed, Mastiffs can easily adjust to the apartment lifestyle.

    Very Calm: They are one of the calmest dog breeds with very few exercise requirements.


    Size: They are very big to accommodate easily.

    Expensive: Their price is high.

    Excessive drooling: They drool a lot, so you will have to carry a wipe to clean their muzzle.

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