Mastiffs are some of the largest breeds of dogs and can make for great companions if you enjoy heavy breeds of dogs. There are a variety of breeds considered mastiff, like the popular bullmastiff or English mastiff. Each dog is different, but these breeds tend to be robust and can even make for great protection dogs. The American Kennel Club recognizes four dog mastiff breeds: the Bullmastiff, English Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, and Tibetan Mastiff.
Other breeds may also be considered mastiffs and share similar traits like their larger-than-life size. Mastiff and human relationships date back hundreds of years. Let’s go over some of the biggest mastiff dogs in the world and fun facts to learn about each one.
10 Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan mastiffs weigh between 90 to 150 lbs (40 to 68 kg) and are 24 to 26 inches (60 to 66cm)tall. This mastiff looks different from other breeds because it is a mountain dog. Tibetan mastiffs have dense coats that give them a teddy bear look and help them stand out from other mastiffs. Even though they can get quite large, their muscular build allows them to run up to speeds of 20mph. They are friendly dogs that are good with children and even cats.
9. Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan mastiffs average around 150lbs (68kg). They grow to be 26 to 31 inches (66 to 78cm) tall. This breed is loyal and friendly to its owners. They were bred to be guard dogs and date back to Ancient Roman times. They have thick loose skin and folds forming all over their body. Their saggy skin made them preferred defense dogs and give them their iconic look.
8. South African Mastiff
South African mastiffs are an intelligent and muscular breed. This breed is also known as the Boerboel. They weigh 150 to 200lbs (68 to 90kgs) and are around 22 to 27 inches (55.8 to 68 cm) tall. Boerboel’s origins come from South Africa in the 1800s. They were a mix of several breeds and were bred for protection. Mastiffs, greyhounds, terriers, foxhounds, pointers, and bulldogs are the breeds from which they are thought to come. Hunting and guard dogs are the jobs they perform best at.
7. Brazilian Mastiff
Brazilian Mastiffs are a working breed coming from Brazil and are also known as the Fila Brasileiro. This breed is large and able to reach 26 to 30 inches (65 to 75cm) in height. Their weight is around 88 to 110lbs (40 to 50 kg). This breed is thought to descend from Europe and was raised in Brazil as farm dogs. They were trained to chase down animals and people. They are aggressive and will hold down prey until their owner comes.
6. Pyrenean Mastiff
Pyrenean mastiffs are an old and rare breed from the mountains of Spain. They are a heavy breed weighing from 120 to 240 lbs (54.4 to 108kg). 30 to 31inches (76 to 78cm) how tall they can get. These giants are gentle and excellent family dogs. They have long coats and thick fur. This breed is rarer when compared with other mastiffs since they tend to have more health issues. Pyrenean mastiffs were used initially to help protect and wrangle flocks of animals.
5. German Mastiff
German Mastiffs are better known as Great Danes. They are not technically mastiffs but are descendants of the mastiff. Great Danes are one of the tallest dogs in the world and are around 30 to 32 inches (76 to 81cm). They have long limbs and weigh around 140 to 175lbs (63 to 79 kg). Great Danes were born to be hunting dogs but have become great pet companions and are highly affectionate. They are one of the most active dog breeds and need constant exercise.
4 Japanese Mastiff
Japanese mastiffs are also called Tosa Inus and are one of the most friendly mastiff breeds. They weigh between 100 to 200 lbs (45.3 to 91kgs) and are 21.5 to 23.5 inches (53 to 59cm)tall. Tosa Inus come from Japan and are a rare breed. This breed was banned in the U.K and other countries since they were bred for dog fighting and are said to fight silently. They are also hunting dogs used on animals like boars or pigs. Even though they have a bad reputation, they are docile and can do good in a family home.
3. Alangu Mastiff
The Alangu mastiff is more commonly known as the Bully Kutta. Other names for this dog include the South Asian Mastiff, Indian Mastiff, and Pakistani Bully dog. They weigh between 154 to 200 lbs. (70 to 91kg). Their height is around 26.9 to 42 inches (76 to 107cm). Bully Kutta is a large and fearsome breed. They were originally bred to help hunt bears and other large animals. This breed originated from India and was used by kings as protection and hunting dogs.
2. Spanish Mastiff
Spanish mastiffs are another large breed of mastiff. On average, they weigh between 140 to 200 lbs (63.5 to 90.7kg). Height wise they are around 28 to 35 inches (71.1 to 88cm) tall. They have an independent nature, and like most mastiffs, they make excellent watchdogs. They were originally found in the mountain regions of Spain, and years of domestication have turned them into the ideal pet. Their broadheads, large bodies, and narrow eyes are traits similar to other mastiff breeds.
1. English Mastiff
The English Mastiff is the largest breed of mastiff dogs. It is more commonly referred to as just a Mastiff and is the dog most people think of when referring to the term. English mastiffs can grow up to 30 inches tall (76cm) and have the capability of weighing over 230lbs (104kg). The largest English Mastiff ever recorded was Zorba. He weighed 345lb (156kg) at his heaviest and was 37 (94cm)inches tall. These dogs were bred for fighting and were even war dogs in Ancient Rome. Today they make for giant companions and good pets.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Rosalba Matta-Machado/Shutterstock.com
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.