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How To Groom a Mastiff: 10 Expert Tips

Written by: Greg Iacono

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

english mastiff

How To Groom a Mastiff: 10 Expert Tips

Mastiffs are enormous dogs that you would think need a lot of grooming. However, because they have short and dense coats, Mastiffs are one of the easier breeds to groom. Like any task, however, some techniques will make grooming your Mastiff easier, faster, and more pleasurable. We’ve gathered 10 of the best below to help you groom your lovable Mastiff.

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Top 10 Tips on How to Groom a Mastiff

1. Keep a Cloth on Hand at All Times

One trait that isn’t the most appealing in a Mastiff is their drooling. To clean up their drool, it’s best to always keep a cloth around. That’s especially true when your Mastiff is excited since they will drool even more. With a cloth handy, you can clean up their face and jowls (and anything else they drool on) before it becomes a big mess.

giant mastiff up close
Image Credit: Michelle Cavanagh, Shutterstock

2. Train Your Mastiff to Stand While being Groomed

As we know, Mastiffs are huge dogs with long, large bodies. When a Mastiff is lying down, grooming many parts of its body, especially its nails will be extremely difficult. That’s why groomers recommend training your Mastiff puppy to stand while grooming and doing it from a very early age. When your Mastiff is an adult, it should be used to standing while being groomed, which will help you both immensely and make grooming less of a chore.

3. Clip Your Mastiff’s Nails Once a Week on a Schedule

Mastiffs are intelligent dogs and will recognize patterns in your routine, including when grooming will be performed. That’s why it’s best to clip your dog’s nails once a week on a set schedule; that way, they know it’s coming and will be relaxed during the clipping session. Also, by keeping your Mastiff’s nails clipped and clean, they will have fewer issues with overgrowth that can interfere with walking and running and cause joint problems down the road.

Leg of a mastiff leon dog (Spanish mastiff)
Image Credit: Sara Sanchez PHOTO

4. Keep a Close Eye on Your Mastiff’s Eyes

We know that Mastiffs drool, but they also have a lot of leakage around their eyes. It’s not unusual for a Mastiff to have mucus and other debris around its eyes in the morning, which you should wipe away with a warm damp cloth. If you don’t, dirt, grime, and other gunk can cause eye infections and other issues. It can also stain the fur around your Mastiff’s eyes and muzzle and anything else they rub their faces on, including your clothes, sheets, sofa, and more.

5. Brush Your Mastiff Before Giving It a Bath

Even though Mastiffs don’t shed excessively most of the year, they still shed enough that you should brush them before bathing them. This isn’t a necessity and won’t particularly harm your Mastiff, but, if you don’t brush them, tons of hair will come out in the bathwater. That can make bath time a lot messier, clog your drains, and be a pain to clean up afterward. In short, brushing before bathing your Mastiff is highly recommended.

dog brush on a wooden surface
Image By: fur-care, Pixabay

6. Use a Ramp to Get Your Mastiff onto a Grooming Table

When you consider that the average Mastiff weighs around 190 to 200 pounds, picking them up to place them on a grooming table is not an easy task, especially for smaller folks. Rather than do that, invest in a good ramp that your furry friend can use to get onto their grooming table on their own. This will save your back and protect your pup’s joints. You can also use it to help your Mastiff get up on the sofa, bed, or into your car or truck.

7. Make Brushing a Time to Bond with Your Mastiff

This tip isn’t about grooming your Mastiff, per se, but rather about bonding with your pet more strongly. Professional groomers recommend brushing a Mastiff a little bit every day or a lot every other day. During these times, it’s great to interact with your pet, talk to them, and let them know you love them. Plus, by making it a special time, your Mastiff will look forward to brushing and won’t give you as much pushback about the activity. Having some treats on hand isn’t a bad idea, either.

Owner brushing grooming French Mastiff
Image By: Vitaly Titov, Shutterstock

8. Brush Downward from Your Mastiff’s Neck to Tail

While brushing a Mastiff isn’t a difficult task, it is a big one and must be done correctly to get the best results. One of the most important facets of brushing is to brush downward, away from your dog’s neck and towards their tail. Brushing their fur in the opposite direction can be uncomfortable for your Mastiff and cause skin irritation. Plus, it’s a lot more difficult and causes a huge mess of fur to fly everywhere.

9. Make Sure Your Mastiff’s Nails Are Dry before You Clip Them

This might seem picky, but clipping should always be done when your Mastiff’s nails are very dry. Clipping its nails when wet or even damp makes it more difficult for both of you. You could slip and cut them, and damp nails aren’t as easy to cut as dry nails. Also, your pet’s nails should be clean when you clip them so that dirt and debris don’t get in the way of your clippers.

a person trimming a dog's nails
Image By: Duet PandG, Shutterstock

10. Use a Sharpie to Make Lines on Your Mastiff’s Nails Before Grinding Them

If you use a grinder to trim your Mastiff’s nails rather than a nail clipper, use a Sharpie or other marking pen to mark its nails first. That way, when you’re busy grinding, you won’t go too far and cause your puppy pain or bleeding. Having a styptic pencil on hand is also a good idea if you accidentally cause your Mastiff’s nail(s) to bleed. A styptic pencil stops the bleeding quickly and provides pain relief. A dog’s claws, including a Mastiff, should never be longer than their paw pads. Keeping them short and well-trimmed is highly recommended by vets.


Grooming a Mastiff is no different from most other dogs except for their size. That’s why it’s important to train your Mastiff from an early age to stand while being groomed. Getting them fully used to brushing, nail clipping, ear and eye cleaning, and more is also a must when your Mastiff is a puppy. If you don’t, by the time they’re adults, grooming time might be more of a job than you or even a professional groomer can handle!


Featured Image Credit: Michal Ninger, Shutterstock

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