The Mastiff is a catch-all term for a variety of large dog breeds with common heritage. Some of the most popular Mastiff breeds today include the English Mastiff, the Spanish Mastiff, and the Tibetan Mastiff. Other large dogs may also be considered a Mastiff, such as the Rottweiler, the Great Dane, and the Bulldog. Due to their size and strength, most of these breeds were developed to guard livestock or hunt prey. In the article below we’ll dive into the largest Mastiff ever, and also take a look at some of the largest Mastiff breeds.
How Big do Mastiffs grow?
The Mastiff dog type comprises a large number of breeds, ranging widely in size, shape, and appearance. The English Mastiff tops the scales, with an average weight of 150 to 230 pounds. Medium-sized Mastiffs are popular, such as the Cane Corso or the Tosa Inu, which usually weigh in at just over 100 pounds. Smaller Mastiff-type dogs also exist, such as the Bulldog (averaging around 50 pounds) and even the Pug (less than 20 pounds). However, these smaller dogs are relatives of the Mastiff breed and not always considered a true “Mastiff.”
The biggest Mastiff dogs can reach lengths of 7 to 8 feet. When standing on their hind legs, they are taller than most humans and can easily overpower their owners. This is why consistent training and socializing are necessary to ensure a well-behaved Mastiff.
Zorba: the Largest Mastiff Ever Recorded
The largest mastiff ever was Zorba, an Old English Mastiff that grew to around 345 pounds. Also known as Aicama Zorba of La-Susa, Zorba may still hold the record for heaviest dog in the world, regardless of species.
Zorba broke two Guinness World Records in 1987: both the longest and heaviest dog in the world. At the time he only weighed 314 pounds, but he eventually grew to around 345 pounds and a total length of 8 feet 3 inches.
Zorba will always hold the “official” record of largest Mastiff ever, as the Guinness Book of Records stopped accepting submissions for largest pets after the year 2000 due to cases of animal abuse.
Euphrates: One Big Puppy
Born in 2017, Euphrates is an American Molossus, which is a cross-breed between the English and Neapolitan Mastiffs. The Molossus was an ancient breed of guard dog that may even be the ancestor of modern-day Mastiffs.
By 2018, at only nine months old, Euphrates had reached a height of 6 feet and a weight of over 180 pounds She was shaping up to be one of the largest Mastiffs ever, but her current size and weight are unknown. Hopefully, her owners will release information about her adult size in the future.
What are the Largest Mastiff Breeds?
There are a number of mastiff breeds, let’s take a look at some of the largest in the world.
English Mastiffs are one of the most popular and biggest breeds of Mastiff. Adult English Mastiffs usually reach a weight between 150 and 230 pounds According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the standard height for a male English Mastiff is 30 inches.
The English Mastiff is known for its docile and gentle nature, as they were bred as a guard dog (as opposed to an attack dog). The breed holds the record for the largest canine species in the world. On average, they are over 100 pounds heavier than their wild cousin, the wolf.
In ancient Spain, the Spanish Mastiff was used as a guard dog by traveling Merino sheep ranchers—the massive dogs could defend the livestock against wolves and other dangers. They are known as majestic and noble dogs, with the ability to fiercely defend their territory while also showing affection to their family.
An adult Spanish Mastiff will usually weigh between 140 and 200 pounds, with a shoulder height between 28 and 35 inches.
The Tibetan Mastiff has a distinctively different appearance than most other Mastiff breeds—this is due to the fact that they are not a true Mastiff, but rather a massive mountain dog that was mislabeled long ago.
In any case, the Tibetan Mastiff still grows to massive proportions. According to the AKC, adult males will usually weigh between 90 and 150 pounds with shoulder heights around 26 inches. Their fluffy coats often give them the illusion of being larger than they are. They don’t quite match up to the size of English Mastiffs, but they are still an imposing force that work well as livestock guardians.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large dog breed with Italian heritage. In Italy, the breed is called Mastino Napoletano. This dog features an especially droopy, wrinkly face and usually has a dark gray coat. The Neapolitan Mastiff grows to around 150 pounds with a shoulder height of 26 to 31 inches. These gentle giants were used as guard dogs throughout history, possibly as far back as ancient Roman times.
The Cane Corso is another large Mastiff breed with Italian heritage. The breed has been used as a guardian, to protect livestock, and to hunt. Male dogs stand around 28 inches high and often weigh in at over 100 pounds.
In the 1960s, due to a change in the farming system in Italy, the Cane Corso nearly went extinct. But with the help of dedicated breeding programs in the 1980s, the Cane Corso made a comeback and now enjoys a healthy population around the world.
What About the Smallest Mastiffs?
While Mastiffs often tip the scales at tremendous weights, some are smaller breeds.
The English Bulldog is a medium-sized breed with stark similarities to the much larger Mastiffs. The Bulldog features the characteristic wrinkled face and muscular body of Mastiffs, but in a much smaller form factor. The average English Bulldog will weigh in at 50 pounds with a shoulder height around 15 inches.
The Pug is not a true Mastiff, but is thought to be a descendant or relative of the breed. The Pug shares many physical characteristics with Mastiffs, such as the wrinkled face, black muzzle, and muscular build. Pugs usually weigh between 14 and 18 pounds and stand at just 10 to 13 inches high.
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?
How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.