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8 Different Types of Mastiff (With Pictures)

Written by: Cheryl Regan

Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by Dogster Team

english mastiff dog on the grass

8 Different Types of Mastiff (With Pictures)

With their muscular, majestic looks and reputation as a loyal guardian, the legendary Mastiff has been a companion to mankind for more than 2,000 years.1 They’ve been used as war dogs, fighting dogs, and guard dogs. Their famously noble disposition compels them to protect the ones they’re loyal to, while their gentle nature makes them refrain from harming anything smaller or weaker than themselves.

Despite their deep, gruff bark and intimidating size, they are big-hearted, gentle giants. Whether you’re thinking of bringing a magnificent Mastiff into your home or you’re just looking to boost your canine knowledge, in this article, we’ll introduce you to eight types of Mastiffs!

The 8 Types of Mastiff

1. Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiff in the snow
Image Credit: AnjavdR, Shutterstock
Height 30–31 inches
Weight 120–240 pounds
Colors White with dark gray, black, brown, or tan spots

Originating from the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain, these fluffy gentle giants were bred to guard livestock flocks and deter wolves, bears, and thieves. The Pyrenean Mastiff makes a gentle and loving but independent pet.

Pyrenean Mastiffs aren’t known for barking constantly, but they will alert you if someone is nearby. The gentle dogs are friendly toward other pets and children; their low prey drive means they have no interest in chasing smaller animals.

Pyreneans predominantly have white fur that can be patterned with dark patches or brindle markings.

2. Spanish Mastiff

Spanish Mastiff_Marcelino Pozo Ruiz_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Marcelino Pozo Ruiz, Shutterstock
     Height 28–35 inches
Weight 140–200 pounds
Colors Black, fawn, red, wolf gray, yellow

Spanish Mastiffs are massive dogs with medium-length coats and gentle, if courageous, dispositions. Bred for guarding sheep and livestock, this Mastiff has a notably raucous, sonorous bark that they readily use to deter strangers and dangerous animals.

Spanish Mastiffs are highly affectionate to their family members, including younger ones! Spanish Mastiffs can display several solid coat colors, but they can also have brindle coats.

3. Mastiff (English Mastiff)

Male English Mastiff
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock
Height 30–31 inches
Weight 160–230 pounds
Colors Apricot, brindle, fawn

The ancient Mastiff, also known as the English Mastiff, is as brave as they are kind and loyal. These intelligent dogs were favorites of Roman nobility, though they were often pitted against gladiators, bears, lions, and other animals for sport.

Despite their large size and prowess, English Mastiffs are gentle-natured dogs suited to families. The most popular coat color is fawn, though they can also be brindle or apricot. However, English Mastiffs always have a black mask.

4. Tibetan Mastiff

beautiful Tibetan mastiff
Image Credit: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock
Height 26 inches (minimum)
Weight 90–150 pounds
Colors Brown and tan, red, black, brown, cream, blue-gray

Fluffy Tibetan Mastiffs are independent, determined, and intelligent. Some believe that they were the progenitors of the Mastiffs in the Middle East and Europe. Tibetan Mastiffs are intelligent and loyal, but don’t expect them to do something if they feel there’s no need.

Treats, for example, will not motivate them the same way they might with other dogs. The Tibetan Mastiff will learn quickly, but they may choose to ignore your commands occasionally. Unlike other Mastiffs, they can be aloof, which some people may interpret as standoffish. However, when it comes to protecting their people, they take their job very seriously.

5. Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiffs
Image Credit: Christian Mueller, Shutterstock
Height 26–31 inches
Weight 100–150 pounds
Colors Blue, black, mahogany, tawny

The Neapolitan Mastiff may be mean-looking and intimidating with their immense size, but they are among the sweetest and more placid Mastiffs. Neapolitan Mastiffs are another ancient breed with their wrinkled giant faces. According to the American Kennel Club, the Neopolitan Mastiff was rediscovered in Italy in the 1940s.

Neapolitans are loyal and watchful. They may come across as pretty lazy, but they’re just laid back! If you’re looking for a mellow, quiet Mastiff, the Neapolitan Mastiff may be a good option.

6. Cane Corso

cane corso in a frozen puddle
Image Credit: Vivienstock, Shutterstock
Height 23–27.5 inches
Weight 99–110 pounds
Colors Black, gray, fawn, black brindle, gray brindle, red, chestnut brindle

Cane Corso are loyal and eager to please, but at the same time, they can be willful and assertive, making them better suited to experienced dog parents. Their name translates from Latin to “bodyguard-dog,” and you can expect them to behave as such!

These intelligent dogs are affectionate with their family members, and with good socialization at a young age, they can also be good with kids. Despite the muscled physique of a Cane Corso, they move with remarkable grace. Corsi were all but extinct by the mid-20th century, until the 1970s when a group of Italian fanciers worked together to revive the breed.

7. Anatolian Mastiff

anatolian shepherd dog standing
Image Credit: SusImage, Shutterstock
Height 27–29 inches
Weight 110–150 pounds
Colors Biscuit & white, brindle, fawn, blue fawn, gray fawn, red fawn, liver, white

Known as one of mankind’s very first canine companions, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog, also known as the Anatolian Mastiff, is a true guardian, protecting flocks of sheep and livestock for thousands of years. This ancient breed is intelligent and responsive, though Anatolians are best suited to experienced dog parents who can handle a dominating breed.

With the right leadership and training, Anatolians are calm, loving, and fiercely protective of their family members.

8. French Mastiff (Dogue de Bordeaux)

dogue de bordeaux_Jan Steiner_Pixabay
Image Credit: Jan Steiner, Pixabay
Height 23–27 inches
Weight 110–140 pounds
Colors Fawn, mahogany, Isabella, red

The Dogue de Bordeaux, or the French Mastiff, is the most ancient of the French breeds. Like some of the other Mastiffs, they are known for their loyalty and affection toward their family. French Mastiffs have lovable expressive eyes set into a deeply furrowed brow.

They have a long history as a working dog. Although historical records show that the Romans used the ancestors of this breed as war dogs and ferocious gladiators, they were soon employed as guard dogs for the nobility before finally taking up the position of livestock drovers.

The Dogue de Bordeaux only gained popularity outside of France after the release of the 1989 movie Turner & Hooch, starring Tom Hanks and his adorable but stubborn French Mastiff.

Final Thoughts 

Though they vary slightly in looks, needs, and even temperament, Mastiffs are famous for their unyielding loyalty. They are enormous, as is the responsibility of owning one. Mastiffs need a strong leader and an experienced owner who will train them with calm, loving confidence.

With the proper socialization and training, these ancient canines grow to become loving giants and loyal companions.

Featured Image Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski, Shutterstock

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