Mastiff Breed Information

Only you can decide if the Mastiff is the right breed for you and your family. We’ve provided some general information on the breed, but would highly recommend that you visit the Mastiff Club of America’s Frequently Asked Questions.


Mastiffs are one of the largest dog breeds. They are powerfully built and should give an impression of power and strength when viewed from any angle. They should have a massive body with a broad skull and a generally square appearance. You can view the complete standard on the Mastiff Breed Standard page.


The Mastiff breed is a combination of grandeur, dignity, and courage; calm and affectionate to its family, but capable of protection. The breed is innately good natured, calm, easygoing, and surprisingly gentle. It is a well-mannered house pet but needs sufficient room for exercise and activity. This is an extremely loyal breed, exceptionally devoted to its family and good with children.


Mastiffs require a good diet and consistent exercise. Because of their very rapid growth, it is not recommended for puppies to strenuously exercise and avoid excessive jumping during their first two years. Mastiff health issues include hip dysplasia, bloat, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). The expected lifespan is about 7 to 10 years. For more detailed information, please see Mastiff Club of America Health Information and Devine Farms’ Health Information.


The breed commonly called “Mastiff” in English-speaking countries is more properly described as the Old English Mastiff. It is a giant shorthaired dog, with heavy head and short muzzle, which has been bred in England for two thousand years as a watchdog. As far as the Mastiff is concerned, it has a longer history than most. Caesar describes them in his account of invading Britain in 55 B.C., when they fought beside their masters against the Roman legions with such courage and power as to make a great impression. The Mastiff is described throughout history and literature denoting its ongoing presence throughout England. The American Mastiff Club was formed in 1879, and some time thereafter disbanded. In 1920, the first Mastiff Club of America was founded and the present Club was established in 1929. More details on the history of the Mastiff can be found on the MCOA’s website.

Information from Wikipedia and AKC.