Are Mastiffs Good With Kids?

Can This Dog Be Trusted?

by Ken Alden

Known for their large size, intelligence, and willingness to please, mastiffs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. These dogs make great pets as they are patient, loyal, and protective. But despite all these wonderful traits, are mastiffs good with kids? 

Mastiff breeds are good with kids. This large dog breed is very loyal, patient, and family-oriented. These natural characteristics make them great around small children because there’s a significant chance they’ll be gentle with them. However, you should always train your dog to be kid-friendly. 

This article will discuss three of the most popular mastiff breeds and their characteristics. We’ll see if they are kid-friendly and what to expect when you bring them home to a family with kids. Lastly, we’ll discuss ways to train your gentle giant to be kid-friendly as a safety precaution.

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How Kid-Friendly Are Mastiff Breeds?

The mastiff is a big, muscular, and sometimes scary-looking dog. Those dogs often seem dangerous and threatening to children and smaller animals. However, that is often not the case at all. Mastiffs are naturally amiable dogs, but there are always some exceptions to the rule. 

Even if you have a kid-friendly dog, it’s best to never leave your child alone with a Mastiff, especially when dealing with toddlers. Make sure you are around to keep an eye out for your child's safety, as these dogs can unintentionally hurt toddlers either due to excitement or during play.  

There are different mastiff breeds, and not all have the same character traits. However, most mastiffs are alike and tend to exhibit the same behavior as puppies and adults. 

Let’s take a closer look at mastiff breeds and their kid-friendliness.

Are Bullmastiffs Kid-Friendly?

The bullmastiff is an excellent guard dog. They are very loyal to their family and protective over them. The bullmastiff is usually naturally inclined to protect your child from anyone they deem a threat to their safety. 

are mastiffs good with kids

Bullmastiffs are kid-friendly due to their calm personalities. These dogs are known to be gentle, which makes them ideal for households with children. However, due to their protective nature, bullmastiffs need to be socialized early enough in order to accommodate your neighbor’s children. 

Bullmastiffs need a lot of attention (and love) and try to be as close as possible to their beloved family members. For families with kids, it’s best to train your bullmastiff not to jump, as they can easily injure toddlers and infants. These dogs usually weigh between 45 and 60 kilograms, which is enough to injure your little one.

Pro-tip: Mastiff anxiety, aggression, destructive chewing, jumping up, fearfulness, and other behaviors can be controlled with the right training program.

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Are Tibetan Mastiffs Kid-Friendly?

Tibetan mastiffs usually aren’t as loving and clingy as bullmastiffs. However, they are still very loyal to their family and will protect them when any danger lurks around the corner. They are up there with the best guard dogs in the world, as is the Spanish mastiff.


Tibetan mastiffs are kid-friendly dogs but not as much as other dog breeds. These dogs are highly territorial and aren’t as cuddly or needy as dog breeds like bullmastiffs. However, with the right training and socialization, Tibetan mastiffs can make great additions to families with kids. 

On most occasions, Tibetan mastiffs love sitting alone and guarding their territory. As such, it’s crucial to social train your Tibetan mastiff if at all he’s to be accommodative of guests and strangers on the streets when out on walks.

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Kid-Friendly?

Neapolitan mastiffs are some of the heaviest dogs you can find. They generally aren’t as heavy as English mastiffs, but they are certainly up there with the great Dane, Newfoundland, and Cane Corso.

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Neapolitan mastiffs are very protective and loyal to their family. They aren’t high-energy dogs, which means they’re less likely to jump on your kids during play or out of excitement. Despite their calm demeanor, Neapolitan mastiffs will still need socialization training to let their guards down.

As natural guard dogs, Neos will be inclined to protect their territories. This means they’ll need to be socialized with other household pets at an early age to accept them as part of the family. You’ll also need to caution your kids against playing rough games with the Neos due to their heavy weight.

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Are Cane Corsos Kid-Friendly?

Canes are high-energy dogs, so you do need to spend a lot of time playing with them or going for walks to ensure they aren’t too wild around your small children, which could result in them accidentally hurting someone.

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Cane Corsos are very affectionate dogs. They are very loyal and loving towards their family, great with children and other pets. Corsos are pretty heavy and strong, but not like other mastiffs. They require extensive training to teach them how to behave around other animals and children.

How Kid-Friendly Are Other Large Dog Breeds?

Not all dog breeds are the same. Some are loving and gentle, while others are aggressive during play despite being affectionate. Let’s take a quick look at how other large dog breeds are with kids, as we continue answering are mastiffs good with kids.

Are Great Danes Kid-Friendly?

Great Danes are tall and can be incredibly heavy, with a weight of up to 200lbs (90,7kg). Even though they can look quite dangerous, great Danes are usually calm and composed.

Great Dane 1 325x250

Great Danes are kid-friendly due to their easygoing personalities. They’re known to be gentle and highly accommodative of children, which is a massive plus for households with toddlers. However, you’ll need to keep watch of your Dane’s interaction with small children due to their weight.

Are Dogo Argentinos Kid-Friendly?

Dogo Argentinos reach a weight between 80 and 100 pounds (36.3 - 45.4 kg), which, although not the heaviest weight for a large breed dog, is certainly enough to knock a kid to the ground.


Dogo Argentinos are some of the most affectionate, family-oriented dogs. The breed is very friendly with other dogs and small children, but they need some training to learn to be more gentle towards others. Dogo Argentinos are also known to be intelligent and very easy to train.

How To Train Your Dog To Be Kid-Friendly

You can train your dog to be more gentle around kids. Not all dogs are the same and are naturally more protective and gentle when it comes to little kids, so it’s your job to teach them the behavior you expect as the alpha. 

You can train your large breed dog to be child-friendly through positive reinforcement by giving treats and attention when they behave the way you want them to behave around children. 

Positive reinforcement is the most effective method to teach your dog anything because they’ll associate good behavior with positive outcomes. Not all dogs are food-motivated, and for those, you’ll have to focus primarily on petting them, giving hugs, and dishing out praises.

It is also crucial to train your dog not to jump either due to excitement, during play, or when seeking attention. Large-breed dogs can easily hurt children by jumping on them, which is why you should curb this behavior at the earliest possible opportunity. 

Are Mastiffs Good With Kids...Final Thoughts

Mastiffs are generally very family-oriented, affectionate, and gentle. However, being gentle doesn’t always come naturally to them, so they should be trained to develop that behavior if small children and other dogs are in their environment.

Great Danes and Dogo Argentinos are very similar to mastiffs in their behavior. They can be very kid-friendly, but all require some training.

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Just how are mastiffs around babies? Can they be trusted alone? Are they good watchdogs? Might they hurt babies with their size?

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About Author

About the Author...

Ken Alden, a dedicated Mastiff owner for over eight years, is acclaimed for his expertise in care, grooming, and training. Read more About Me and my dog Shadow.

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