The Mastiff: A Complete Guide

Last Updated:

If you are looking for a huge dog that pretty much doesn’t have to move a muscle to scare off the intruders, then the Mastiff is one of your better options.

However, this is completely not the dog everyone thinks he is. He is huge and scary looking. And, his habit of not reacting, but just watching and waiting for the development of the situation is terrifying.

The truth is, this dog is a gentle giant. Sure, you don’t want to enter his territory uninvited, but if you are in his circle of trust, then there’s nothing that could ever harm you while he is on watch.

But, how does one go from wanting a Mastiff to owning a Mastiff? Is it simple? Can you buy just any Mastiff puppy you find? Do you have to know something specific about them before becoming an owner?

Just a few of the questions that are going through your head, right? Don’t worry, you are on the right page, and this Mastiff guide is going to help you in making an informed decision.

Let’s begin with the puppies and what to know before buying one.

The Mastiff Puppies – Before You Buy…

A small brown Mastiff sitting down
Mastiff is well suited for families with a large backyard.

Before actually buying the pup, there are a few things you should consider to Not make a mistake.

For example, what is the price you should expect for a healthy, high-quality puppy?

What price are the Mastiff puppies?

For a Mastiff puppy, the price range can go from $500 to $5000.

If you want to buy a pup from a reputable breeder, with all the necessary paperwork, the range you should expect goes from $1800 to $2500.

If you find it for a lot less than $1500, for example, the chances are great that there is a good reason why the price is low.

How to find reputable Mastiff breeders?

Just as we slightly hinted in the previous section, the price of the puppy can tell you a lot about the puppy itself and the breeder.

You now know the price range you can expect and, based on your needs, you know which price you are going after, right?

For example, if you are looking for showcase puppy quality, the hand will have to reach deep into the pocket.

If, on the other hand, you just want a healthy pet, it will go lower, but how low to go is allowed?

If you buy a puppy for a “bargain” you have probably bought it from either a puppy mill or from a backyard breeder. In both cases, it’s a low-quality puppy that is most likely sick right away or will become I a few months.

A reputable breeder holds a slightly higher price but with a good reason. He stands behind his puppies and you get what you paid for.

No hidden health issues (he will show you, the health test clearings for both parents), no development and current health problems. In two words, perfect puppy.

He will also give you an insight into the breed’s history, as well as how to take care of your puppy and how and when to feed him.

You will walk away happy and with a puppy that is your match made in heaven.

3 Little-known facts about the Mastiff puppies

A Mastiff sitting in the park
Mastiff is a couch potato when it comes to exercise.

To give you a better idea of what to expect from the Mastiff puppies, here are three rarely known facts about them.

  • They are protectors

This is an old breed that was bred for war times. But after the wars ended, they became great home protectors, and they will give their lives to protect the ones they love.

  • They can get gassy

Mastiffs are known for being gassy, even from their puppy days. And, it just keeps getting worse and smellier as they mature.

  • You get them when they are 12 weeks old

Many people count their dog’s birthday as the day they took him from the breeder. Which is symbolic, but incorrect. In most cases, the breeders keep the pups until they are 3 months old.

This way, they are making sure the dogs are developed and strong enough to live in a new home and environment.

Physical Traits of the Mastiff

Time to get physical with these big doggies! Mastiffs aren’t the biggest dog breed, but they sure are huge!

Let’s see how huge actually and how heavy because they do seem like they carry quite some weight, don’t they?

How big is a full-grown Mastiff?

When it comes to height, the male Mastiffs go from 29 to 31 inches, and can have a weight of up to 190 pounds! We told you they were heavy, didn’t we!

The females are slightly smaller and lighter, but still huge. Their weight goes up to 175 pounds, while the height can reach up to 28 inches max.

What is the life expectancy of the Mastiff?

Not as much as you would like as a future owner, but 12 years with a family that cares about him, in our book, is a happy doggy life!

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Mastiff

A Mastiff enjoying the sun
Mastiff is a gentle giant.

The massive Mastiff is a gentle giant. The tough guy appearance stops the moment he is alone with his family.

Then he shows his true, gentle, loving side of the personality. They are obedient and responsive and come with an amount of serenity and intelligence that makes them softies for their humans.

You can rarely hear a Mastiff barking, and, in fact, they hardly ever make some noise. When you enter the house, you will probably spot him on the sofa or the carpet, just chilling and enjoying life.

He will greet you with an eye roll, but that is pretty much all the enthusiasm you are going to notice.

If you do however make him stand up to greet you or make room for you, he will slam himself on your feet as soon as possible.

Now, having in mind the fact that the Mastiffs were used as guard dogs for thousands of years when it comes to home and family protection, it doesn’t get any better than this.

But, they are aware of their size and scary appearance, and they don’t react violently unless there’s no other way. Though, with that size, they just have to show up and nothing else.

Some Mastiffs can gain some serious amounts of weight, for example, one mastiff had gained 200 pounds of weight.

Now imagine managing such a beast! It takes some muscle power and sweating to just get them in and out of the car, nevertheless to just walk them.

But, if you have a well trained and socialized Mastiff, there will be no need for pulling or stressing out your muscles.

Your mastiff will follow your lead and listen to your commands in the most calmed possible way.

If you are wondering if a Mastiff can live in an apartment, the answer is YES, it can live in an apartment, as long as he has enough daily walks and a corner of his own because there’s nothing they love more than laying around the house the entire day.

You will discover your Mastiff to be affectionate and loving towards your family and yourself. And, his calm approach makes him a great companion for people who don’t like things going too fast.

Don’t worry, the Mastiff also loves going slow and has that “we will get there don’t worry” attitude.

Mastiff Diet

When it comes to Mastiff’s diet, it should be a pure meat based diet. In the beginning, while still a puppy, your Mastiff should have a meal that is 27% protein and 15% fat.

While a puppy, he is still growing and developing, so he needs extra “Juice” to grow nice and healthy.

On the other hand, once your Mastiff reaches adult ages, you should cut the protein intake to 25%, while the fat should be some 10% of his meal.

How much Exercise does a Mastiff need?

Mastiffs are no runners. In fact, they would love it if they could stay inside the whole day. But, in order to keep their health and prevent some bone or muscle issues, they do need regular walks.

It won’t be a power walk like with a Russell Terrier, but a slow paced, relaxing walk that doesn’t last more than 40 minutes. They are likewise bad jogging or bike riding companions, so don’t even try it.

You also need to know that they overheat quite quickly when the weather is hot, so during the hottest part of the day, make sure you stay inside with your Mastiff.

Early morning or late evening walks are the best time of the day for Mastiff walks.

The Mastiff Health and Conditions

Mastiffs are a relatively healthy breed. But, certain health issues trouble them as well, and they include elbow and hip dysplasia, eye problems, and heart diseases.

Therefore, it’s really important to check with the breeder if the pup’s parents suffered from any of the mentioned issues, and see health test clearances for both of them.

The Mastiffs can also have problems with bloating, so smaller portions of dog food are better than pouring everything in the bowl at once.

My final thoughts on the MastiffA Mastiff looking at you

So, we have reached the end of our guide. Has your opinion about Mastiffs changed since the beginning of the guide?

Do you appreciate the breed more now? Are you still considering becoming a Mastiff owner?

To help you make the final decision on the right one, we have summarized everything we learned today about Mastiffs, into a short final conclusion.

Even though the Mastiffs are, as dedicated to a family as a dog gets, they still have plenty of power and can be dangerous for others.

To avoid bad situations, early, proper socialization and proper training are a must. They are noble in general, but with training, their nobility becomes even greater.

On the other hand, if the guarding traits are not your cup of tea and you are looking for a partner to do couch “potatoing” together, you have just scored big time!

A couch potato is the Mastiff’s favorite job and he will gladly take it. But, keep in mind that both of you need exercise to retain your health, so early morning, late evening, don’t be lazy. You will both feel better afterward!

All in all, this is a breed that is well suited for families with a large backyard where he can stretch his legs when he needs to and play with the kids when it’s not too hot outside.

But, don’t get us wrong, this dog can live quite nicely in an apartment as well, but regular exercising is a must.

You will have a guardian that doesn’t even have to move if an intruder or a burglar enters your household because his size and appearance will scare off anyone. Though, if by some chance some intruder does decide to try his luck, he will soon find out that it was a big mistake.

In the end, thanks for sticking with us till the end of the guide, and feel free to share it on social media so that your friends can learn more about this noble breed.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3