There are more than two dozen different Mastiff breeds, and each has their own unique look and temperament. Below is a description of six of the most popular types of Mastiffs.
The English Mastiff is one of the most common Mastiff breeds.
Colors include various shades of fawn or a fawn brindle. English Mastiffs are noted for courage, loyalty and their good nature. Because of their massive size, they require a lot of room to live and play.
English Mastiff Puppy
The Cane Corso has been a working dog throughout its long history, and has held many jobs including boar hunting, cattle driving and security detail. The Cane Corso is easy to train and is very willing to obey in order to please its owners.
The powerful dog will make a good guard dog, but it is important that proper training be implemented in order that the dog learns the difference between a genuine threat and a neighbor going for a walk.
Colors are black and fawn and the dog has a large head with flat forehead and flat muzzle. They weigh in at between 99 and 150 pounds.
Cane Corso relaxing on the grass
The Bullmastiff is one of the Mastiffs that was bred specifically for use as a guard dog. In the 19th century, breeders mixed Old English Bulldogs and English Mastiffs to create a breed that could be used in guarding estates.
Colors include fawn, brindle or red. Males weigh between 110 and 130 pounds, and females weigh between 100 and 120 pounds. While natural guardians, they tend to be rather quiet and do not bark a lot. They do well with agility sports.
This ancient breed made headlines in 2011 when one was purchased for $1.5 million, which was the largest amount ever paid for a dog.
The Tibetan Mastiff is known for its long, beautiful coat which, in certain colors, makes the dog resemble a lion. They weigh between 105 and 180 pounds. Typical colors include red, black and black and tan. Tibetan Mastiffs tend to be more active at night, and they are very vocal, sometimes barking at every sound they hear.
French Mastiff (Dogue de Bordeaux)
The French Mastiff is known for its interesting, thoughtful looking face, muscular body and large head.
The French Mastiff has the largest head to body ratio of any other dog. Colors include fawn, black or brown and the dog will always have a red or black mask that contrasts with the coat color. This Mastiff breed is of French origin and has been used to pull heavy loads and as a guard dog of both flocks and homes.
The average lifespan is a rather short 6 to 7 years.
A Word About All Mastiff Breeds
Mastiffs are powerful dogs, and they are all good choices for guard dogs IF they have knowledgeable owners and the correct training.
They are not the best choice for first time dog owners, or for anyone who is not willing to put in the time and money required to ensure the dog is trained properly from an early age.
With most Mastiff breeds, consistent training will be required. Knowing how to properly handle such powerful dogs is an absolute must before choosing to bring one into a family.