What Are the Different Types of Mastiff Breeds, and Which Is Best for Me?


Is Mastiff a Breed?

The mastiff is typically seen as one breed.

However, the reality is quite different being that there are over 14 different individual breeds that belong to the mastiff family.

If you accept it as one breed you will not get acquainted with some of its amazing qualities.

The majority will describe a mastiff as a very large, overpowering, and guard dog, but they do not notice certain individual differences between the breeds.

So as to bring it closer to you, we make a decision to break the group into the individual breeds within it and share with you all the important details.

We will discuss which are suitable for children and which types are the most affectionate.

The Different Mastiff Breeds

Breed Other Names Physical Characteristics Personality Characteristics
Argentinian Mastiff Dogo Argentino White and muscular Loyal, playful, easy to train
Brazilian Mastiff Fila Brasileiro Mastiff and Doberman; Large and wrinkly Aggressive, extremely loyal, impetuous
Bullmastiff Mastiff and bulldog; Solid build and short muzzle Very stubborn, males can be aggressive with other dogs
English Mastiff Extremely large Gentle, protective, good-natured, calm
French Mastiff Dogue de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Mastiff, Bordeauxdog Calm, patient, and loyal
German Mastiff Great Dane Very tall breed Friendly, dependable, usually good with children
Italian Mastiff Cane Corso Very powerful and agile Intelligent, easy to train, gentle but protective
Neapolitan Mastiff Mastino / Mastini Wrinkly and heavy-boned! Loyal and devoted to family
Pyrenean Mastiff A large dog with a heavy coat Calm and gentle but can be stubborn and independent
Spanish Mastiff Mastín Español A large dog with a wrinkly coat Less friendly mastiff, but a great guard dog
Tibetan Mastiff Very full, heavy, dark-colored coat Strong-willed, protective, and aloof
Canary Mastiff Perro de Presa Canario, Presa Canario Thick and muscular body Strong-willed but gentle and calm, can be suspicious and dominant
Japanese Mastiff Tosa Inu, Japanese Fighting Dog Massive and stately Gentle but can be aggressive
Alangu Mastiff Bulli Kutta, Bully Kutta Usually white, very muscular Protective, aggressive
South African Mastiff Boerboel Large, muscular dog Obedient and confident, very intelligent, but can be dominant and territorial
Kangal Light golden with a darker face Protective but sensitive, independent
  1. The Argentinian Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    A powerful, white, muscular dog bred for big-game hunting (boar) Up to 99 lbs and 27 in. Up to 88 lbs and 26 in. Loyal guardian, very intelligent, easy to train Yes Confident, consistent, experienced owners Can get aggressive with strange dogs

What Are Argentine Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

Argentine Mastiffs are better known as the Argentine Dogo.

We need to mention that this mastiff breed is such a loyal guardian of family and property.

What is even better, the Argentine Dogo is a really playful dog that gets along well with children.

Furthermore, being that it is very intelligent, you can train it easily.

Due to the fact that Dogos are powerful dogs,  you need to be a confident owner who will provide this dog a leadership.

In case this breed is raised with other pets, they can get along well with other animals, but can act aggressively towards other strange dogs.

  1. Brazilian Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    Wrinkly, short-coated breed of dog known for its tracking ability and aggressiveness Up to 110 lbs and 29.5 in. Up to 90 lbs and 27.5 in. Once bonded, completely devoted to family Yes, if socialized from birth Experienced owners Can be wary of strangers

What Are Brazilian Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

Brazilian Mastiffs are popularly called the Fila Brasileiro.

The Brazilian Mastiff is a combination of a mastiff and a bloodhound.

What is reached is a big dog with lots of wrinkles, that is so devoted to its owner.

It is their natural reaction to protect their family and when they are raised with small children, they will accept all the possible kinds of treatment from them, as they are incredibly gentle when with them.

This breed is known to get on well with other pets if they live within the family.

The owner needs to socialize Filas so as not to become wary of strangers, meaning that they need to be shown that not all things are a threat.

All in all, this breed is not a good choice for inexperienced dog owners.

  1. Bullmastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    Mastiff and bulldog mix Up to 130 lbs and 27 in. Up to 120 lbs and 26 in. Laid back, slow to anger; very stubborn Yes, if raised together Experienced owners Coat maintenance is minimal

What Are Bullmastiffs Like as a Breed?

The Bullmastiff is actually a combination of mastiff and bulldog, and we have to mention that this breed is quiet and gentle, very devoted to its family which makes it a great guardian.

This dog is so slow to anger, but in case it feels threatened, you can only see a brave protector.

The Bullmastiff is a very stubborn dog and it requires a strong and determined owner.

It would be difficult to force this dog to perform against its will.

So, this is another mastiff breed that is not for inexperienced dog owners.

Male Bullmastiffs rarely accept other male dogs and they are quite aggressive towards those dogs that they do not know.

On the other hand, they are good with children but only if they are raised together.

Daily exercise is necessary, but if compared to other mastiff breeds, the amount of exercise they need is pretty moderate.

You can give them a short walk or short bursts of play and that’s it.

When their appearance is in question, owners do not need to pay special attention to their coat maintenance, being that the Bullmastiff’s coat is short and dense.

  1. The English Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for… Other Notes
    An extremely large dog with a loving nature Up to 230 lbs and 36 in. Up to 170 lbs and 36 in. Gentle and easygoing Yes Owners of all experience levels Tends to drool

What Are English Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

English Mastiffs are well known as an amazingly gentle breed.

If you wish to have a house dog that will be your family member, then the English Mastiff is the right one for you.

Even though they do not express their emotions, these dogs are so devoted.

Daily exercise is obligatory and they really enjoy exercising in warm to cool weather.

Do not get confused if they do not want to exercise when it is hot, as they do not do well in hot weather.

The English Mastiff has the tendency to drool, coat maintenance is minimal and they tend to be longer than they are tall.

  1. French Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    Ancient French breed with a powerful body Up to 150 lbs and 27 in. Up to 125 lbs and 26 in. Calm, patient, and loyal If socialized, yes. Experienced dog owners Can be confrontational with strangers

What Are French Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

The French Mastiff is better known as the Dogue de Bordeaux.

If compared to the English Mastiff, it is smaller.

This breed’s characteristics are calmness, patience, and loyalty to its family.

You can see the Bordeaux sometimes confront strangers and you can consider it fearless.

However, it can be a good guard dog if this characteristic is properly trained and if the dog is socialized from the very beginning.

When socialized well,  they will do well with other animals.

This breed drools and it is famous for its snoring.

The Bordeaux is gentle with kids but should be kept by an experienced dog owner.

  1. German Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    Giant, gentle breed Minimum 120 lbs and 30 in. tall Minimum 100 lbs and 28 in. tall Friendly, dependable Yes Indoor living Can be unaware of large size

What Are German Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

The German Mastiff is also known as a Great Dane.

Like many other mastiff breeds, this dog is so friendly and good with children.

The Great Dane typically gets on well to other household pets, but, due to its size usually greater than the other pets’ size, it has to be monitored.

It requires only moderate daily exercise.

You can provide him a brisk walk or chance to play in a fenced area, which will be enough to keep it fit.

This breed of the mastiff is considered an indoor pet, and they cannot live outside.

Have in mind that some Danes drool but coat care is minimal when choosing it for a new pet.

  1. Italian Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    Powerful, muscled dog Up to 110 lbs and 28 in. Up to 99 lbs and 26 in. Gentle but protective Yes, with early socialization Experienced owners With plenty of exercises, will do fine in an apartment

What Are Cane Corsos Like as a Breed?

The Cane Corso, as the Italian Mastiff is frequently called, is a very powerful, agile breed that can be usually seen as a quiet and relaxed dog in the house.

It is very eager to please its family, intelligent, thus easy to train.

Cane Corso make excellent guard and watchdogs, that is at the same time great with kids.

Being that this breed is so affectionate with their owners, they are protective, as well.

They are really family members, as they do not like wandering.

Cane Corso is not a fighting dog, yet, it will protect both family and property if needed.

Early socialization and an experienced owner are obligatory when this breed is in question.

Obedience training is highly recommended and you will manage to keep this dog in an apartment as long as you provide it plenty of exercises.

  1. Neapolitan Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    Massive, awe-inspiring breed Up to 150 lbs and 30 in. Up to 130 lbs and 28 in. Loyal and totally devoted to family Yes, with thorough socialization Experienced dog owners Do not need a lot of exercises

What Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

The Neapolitan Mastiff is the most recognizable in the mastiff family.

This is due to all of its wrinkles.

Those who are interested in this breed have to know that this is a big drooler and can leave a mess.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a family guardian, amazingly loyal and devoted to its family.

Being that they are always suspicious of strangers, they can be very protective.

On the other hand, this dog can be loving towards children, if socialized at a very young age.

Again, this is not a dog for the inexperienced or first-time dog owner.

A good side of Neapolitans is that even though they need lots of space to stretch out, not too much exercise is required.

They like to be outdoors but not in the heat.

Their appearance alone is enough to scare off intruders, not to mention its surprisingly quick reaction when provoked.

  1. Pyrenean Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    Huge dog with heavy coat Up to 220 lbs and 30 in. Up to 200 lbs and 28 in. Devoted to family, uneasy around strangers Yes, with proper socialization Experienced owners Need daily exercise and regular grooming

What Are Pyrenean Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

The Pyrenees is known to be highly devoted to family, but not so pleased when surrounded by strangers, no matter whether those are dogs or humans.

The Pyrenees can be a calm, gentle, and well-mannered dog within a family.

Being that they are stubborn and very independent, they are not good pets for a timid owner.

Also, it is quite a wanderer and it is suggested not to be left off-leash in insecure locations.

This breed is also a barker and it requires quite a lit of exercise on a daily basis.

What they enjoy is being out in the cold weather, which is not the case in hot weather.

Weekly brushing of their coats is necessary, they can drool and are almost always a sloppy drinker.

  1. Spanish Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    A giant dog bred to protect livestock from predators Up to 220 lbs and 35 in. Up to 170 lbs and 35 in. Extremely protective and territorial No Very experienced owners Can be prone to annoyance barking

What Are Spanish Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

Spanish Mastiffs are really protective and are considered as the less friendly mastiffs of all.

This makes it an excellent guard dog and this is definitely not a breed for an inexperienced or first-time dog owner.

The Spanish Mastiff is known to be very independent and not very affectionate.

Furthermore, the males are considered to be a bit more affectionate than the females.

Barking is their characteristic, and when their appearance is in question, they have short, dense coats that should be brushed regularly.

  1. Tibetan Mastiff

    Description Size (Males) Size (Females) Personality Good With Kids? Best for . . . Other Notes
    A large dog bred to protect livestock from predators Up to 160 lbs and 30 in. Up to 120 lbs and 28 in. Devoted to family, aloof to outsiders With socialization, yes Experienced owners Can be destructive if bored

What Are Tibetan Mastiffs Like as a Breed?

The Tibetan Mastiff is very independent, yet devoted to family.

So as to be well mannered, they should be socialized at a young age.

The Tibetan is patient with its family’s children, but not that affectionate when strange children visit.

In the majority of cases, this breed is good with other dogs and animals.

If you give them enough activities outside, the Tibetan will be more relaxed and calm indoors.

A long daily walk will be enough for it to stay fit.

This breed is known to be sometimes destructive, but this happens only out of boredom when they are alone for a long period of time.

Tibetans require to be brushed several times a week and their long coat needs the extra attention.

In Summary

As you could see, the majority of mastiff breeds make great companions and protectors, but only if they are kept by experienced owners.

With all the breeds, proper training and socialization are necessary.

While some are more gentle, all of the Mastiffs make excellent guard dogs.

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