One of the biggest dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club, the massive Mastiff loves being around people and is known to bond closely with his 'family.' A combination of grandeur and good nature as well as courage and docility, he was bred in England and used as a watchdog for more than two thousand years. The breed's short coat can be fawn, apricot or brindle.
A Look Back
As early as 3000 B.C., drawings on Egyptian monuments depict typical Mastiffs. Later, even Caesar noticed the fearless, strong Mastiff as it fought alongside the British soldiers in 55 B.C. Impressed by the breed's courage, he brought a group of them back to Rome and forced them to take part in bull baiting, lion fighting and fights with human gladiators. Later, the Mastiff became popular with the peasants in England, where the dogs were used to keep wolves and other dangerous predators under control as well as to protect the home.
Right Breed for You?
The Mastiff is a powerful yet gentle and loyal companion, but because of his size and need for space, he is best suited for country or suburban life. The breed requires light exercise and minimal grooming.
- Working Group; AKC recognized in 1885.
- Minimum height of 30 inches tall at the shoulder for males and 27 1/2 inches tall for females.
- Guard dog.
AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.