Facts and Information
About English Mastiffs
16 Interesting Facts About This Breed

by Ken Alden

The English Mastiff, sometimes simply known as the Mastiff, is a member of the Working Group in the American Kennel Club. Weighing in at up to a staggering 230 pounds, the English Mastiff makes for a great family watchdog and loyal companion. 

Some Facts And Information About English Mastiffs...

  • The English Mastiff were known as bait dogs in Medieval times. 
  • They tend to develop separation anxiety when alone for too long
  • The English Mastiff is great with children and has an innate sense to protect his brood.
  • This dog can reach 230lbs. and can grow to 30in. at the shoulders

Despite his massive size, the English Mastiff is one of the most popular dog breeds. Let’s go over everything you need to know about the English Mastiff. 
Read More Below...

Pro-tip: Ever try lifting an English Mastiff? Their weight can hurt not only your back but their joints when they hop down from cars, sofas or even your bed. To protect your back and theirs check out the best Mastiff ramps on Amazon.com now.

Facts and information about English Mastiffs

What Are English Mastiffs Bred For?

The English Mastiff was historically known for being a bait dog during Medieval times. These dogs would be thrown into a ring with a lion, bear, or a bull and forced to fight to the death to entertain the public. English Mastiffs were later bred as fighting dogs.

When baiting was eventually banned, the English Mastiff transitioned to a role as an estate guard dog. Today, the English Mastiff is a wildly popular family dog, companion, watchdog, and guard dog. 

Are English Mastiffs Expensive?

Buying a purebred English Mastiff will cost you a bit of money. On average, you’re looking at about $1,200 for an English Mastiff puppy. Yet, puppies that come from a good line or that have an ideal appearance can cost you upwards of $5,000.

However, the costs continue throughout the lifespan of the English Mastiff. So, you need to take into consideration the price of vet visits, medical treatments, food, and supplements….and did we say food?

Yearly Care Cost

Simply saying that English Mastiffs are expensive is a little vague, so we’re going to break down the cost of owning an English Mastiff.

Vet visits: Since the English Mastiff is usually a pretty healthy breed, you’re looking at about one vet visit per year. The average vet visit is anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on your location, so let’s factor in $100 just to be safe.

Total: About $100 

Food: Depending on the size of your English Mastiff, you’re likely going to be feeding him about 8 or so cups of dry food per day. That’s about 14 pounds of food per week and 728 pounds of food per year.

Good large breed dog foods usually are a little above $2 per pound. So, on a yearly basis, you’re looking at nearly $1,500 on dry food alone. If you’re feeding wet food and treats, that’ll be an additional cost.

Total: About $1,500

Learn more about how much it costs per year to feed a Mastiff here...

Joint supplements: The English Mastiff has delicate joints due to his massive size and body weight. Since you’re going to be feeding your English Mastiff about three joint chews a day (glucosamine & chondroitin), you’re looking at a 90-chew $25 container once a month.  

Total: About $300 Facts and information about English Mastiffs

In total, you’re looking at close to $2,000 a year to keep your English Mastiff healthy.

Keep in mind that treatment for other health issues like hip dysplasia, bloat, or cardiomyopathy can cost you up to $7,000 as well, so remember to factor that into your decision.

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

Here’s a great course that addresses these issues along with many other dog training basics: Check it out now!

Are English Mastiffs Smart?

The English Mastiff is considered a very smart breed. They pick up on new skills and commands relatively quickly and are willing to do whatever it takes to please you. 

At the same time, the English Mastiff is a skilled watchdog and has an impressive ability to recognize danger. Your English Mastiff will likely camp himself out by a window or glass door and keep an eye on your property for you.

But sometimes, the Mastiff is too smart for his own good. Your Mastiff might get a little destructive when he’s left alone for too long, so make sure you hide the treat containers and any valuable property.

Are English Mastiffs Easy To Train?

The English Mastiff definitely handles new rules and commands quite well, so long as you’re working on training from day one. Starting at about the time your English Mastiff is 8 weeks old, you should be working on basic commands (sit, stay, come) and potty training.  

The English Mastiff is also known for being quite stubborn. He might be a little resistant to training at first and try to bend the rules to see what he can get away with. That’s why it’s so important that you assert yourself as his leader confidently.

Positive reinforcement and treats both go a long way. It’s also a good idea to keep training sessions on the shorter side, as the English Mastiff tends to get bored rather easily.

How Big Do English Mastiffs Get And How Fast Do They Grow?

According to the American Kennel Club, a male English Mastiff weighs anywhere between 160 pounds (72 kg) and 230 pounds (104 kg) while a female English Mastiff usually weighs in at 120 pounds (54 kg) to 170 pounds (77 kg). Just how much your English Mastiff weighs depends on whether you’re feeding him a healthy diet.

In terms of height, the English Mastiff will likely tower over you when on his hind legs. The female English Mastiff is usually 27.5 inches (69 cm) tall at the shoulders while the male English Mastiff is 30 inches (76 cm) and up.

English Mastiff Growth Rate

Giant breeds like the English Mastiff grow incredibly fast. Near the end of puppyhood, you might be feeding your English Mastiff up to 12 cups of dry food on a daily basis just to keep up with his appetite and growth.

When your English Mastiff is around three months old, he might be nearly a whopping 40 pounds. To put that into perspective, that's much larger than a lot of full-grown dog breeds.

By six months old, your English Mastiff might weigh in somewhere between 80 and 100 pounds. Just a few short months later, he might already be 140 pounds (63 kg) if he’s destined to be a large English Mastiff.

The growth of this breed starts to slow at about a year old. So, by 18 months, growth should be nearing completion, and your English Mastiff will probably be his full-grown size.

Growth Rates Of English Mastiffs: Learn more from this page on our site just what to expect in the first year or so of growth.

Do English Mastiffs Drool?

The English Mastiff is one of the worst offenders when it comes to drooling. That’s because of the physical structure of the English Mastiff’s lips. The looser the lips, the less likely they are to be able to hold in the slobber.

The good news is, the English Mastiff isn’t always drooling. He’s more prone to drooling when he’s hungry, drinking water, or running around and playing. It’s also possible that he’ll drool when he’s feeling anxious or lonely.

Even though you might try to avoid looking at your English Mastiff’s drool, it’s important that you keep an eye on it. Excess drooling can be a sign of a medical issue or even the development of heatstroke, which is a serious condition.

Are English Mastiffs Destructive?

Since the English Mastiff builds solid connections with his family, he’s also more likely to develop separation anxiety. In essence, he’ll go into a sense of panic when he’s left alone for too long without you by his side. 

So, you might come home to find the house is an absolute wreck. Separation anxiety makes dogs do crazy things, including urinating or defecating in the house, chewing on furniture, digging holes in the carpet, or even attempting to escape the home.

Do English Mastiffs Like Water And To Swim?

Despite their massive size, the English Mastiff definitely can swim. Since English Mastiffs get incredibly hot when in the hot summer sun and humidity, your English Mastiff might enjoy hopping into the pool and cooling himself off.

Just remember that your English Mastiff will probably have a pretty low energy level. He might be absolutely exhausted only 10 minutes into swimming. For that reason, you should always supervise your English Mastiff when he’s in the pool or lake.

However, there are no guarantees that your English Mastiff will love water. So, don’t force him into a pool if it seems afraid.

Are English Mastiffs Affectionate?

Even though the English Mastiff seems a little intimidating to most people, he’s extremely cuddly and snuggly with his family. He likes to let you know just how much he loves you and will likely spend hours on the couch, weighing your legs down as you watch TV.

When you get home from a long day at the office, your English Mastiff will definitely take notice. So, be prepared for a 200+ pound (90+ kg) dog to come racing toward the front door and jump on you to formally welcome you back home.

Are English Mastiffs Good Family Dogs And Pets?

The English Mastiff is honestly the perfect family dog. Even though he towers over young children and toddlers and seems a little frightening, he truly knows just how big he is and will play gently with your little ones. 

He’s a great companion and loves to spend time with each and every family member. The English Mastiff is also easy to train and is considered rather obedient. He’ll definitely go out of his way to keep you happy and smiling.

The English Mastiff would make a good fit in just about any loving home. Just make sure you’re showing your English Mastiff just how much you care for him on a daily basis, and you can be sure he’ll be there whenever you need him.

Pro-tip: English Mastiff's (and their owners) love dog crates…and for good reasons. Crates keep dogs from mischief while you're away, are perfect for house training, for traveling by car, and provide the dog a place to de-stress. Check out the best Mastiff crates on Amazon.com now.

Are English Mastiffs Good With Cats And Other Dogs?

The English Mastiff usually does well with other dogs and cats, but it really depends on your English Mastiff. The breed does tend to get a little territorial, which means it might not be the best idea to get a dog of the same sex. 

As long as you’re training your English Mastiff properly and teaching him how to socialize with other animals, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Your family cat should be absolutely fine, and a dog of the opposite sex would make a better companion for your English Mastiff. 

Make sure you know how your English Mastiff is with other dogs before letting him off the leash at the dog park, however. The last thing you want is a possible altercation as a result of your English Mastiff’s territorial nature.

Are English Mastiffs Protective?

When you put in the work to build a secure bond with your English Mastiff, he’ll be extremely protective of you for life. He’ll warn you of any dangerous people approaching the house and help you to keep your distance from strangers he doesn’t trust. 

The English Mastiff constantly fears for your safety. So, don’t be surprised if he growls or barks when he sees somebody he doesn’t know come close to the house. And as a bonus, he’ll be protective of your entire family too!

The protective nature of the English Mastiff does have a limit. He’ll bark, but he likely won’t attack unless severely threatened.

Can English Mastiffs Live Outside Or Inside?

In all honesty, no dog should be strictly an outdoor dog. When it comes to the English Mastiff, he won’t want to spend all that much time outside anyway. That’s because he would rather be inside the house in the cool air conditioning cuddled up next to you.

To make matters worse, the English Mastiff is known for overheating rather quickly. This makes the English Mastiff even more likely to develop heatstroke in hot and humid climates. So, if you do plan to leave your English Mastiff outside for a little while, shade and water are a must! 

Overall, the English Mastiff is a better fit for the indoors or cooler climates. However, we don’t think it’s a great idea to get a dog that you’re just planning to leave in the backyard most of the day.

But how well do English mastiffs handle hot or cold weather? Here's an interesting article from our site...

What Are Common Health Problems in English Mastiffs?

Dogs as large as the English Mastiff, are more prone to developing severe health issues on account of their size and weight. For the most part, the English Mastiff is much more likely to develop canine heart disease and cancer.

More likely are joint degeneration and bloat. So, let’s go over what these conditions are and some simple ways you can try to prevent them from occurring.

Conditions & Treatments

When a dog weighs as much as an English Mastiff, that puts a lot of stress on his joints and bones, which makes the English Mastiff more likely to develop hip or elbow dysplasia, a painful condition the joints of the legs begin to grind.

Chondroitin and glucosamine supplements are great for boosting collagen levels and providing greater protection and movement to the joints. These supplements are an absolute must for English Mastiffs.

Bloat is also common, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus. With this condition, your English Mastiff’s stomach will fill up with too much gas and food and then actually turn over on itself and trap the air.

The best way to avoid bloat is by feeding your English Mastiff two or three smaller meals during the day rather than one large meal once a day.

Mastiff Bloat: Read more about this common health issue on this page on our site.
Hip Dysplasia: Heavy dogs put lots of strain on joints, this article explains all.

English Mastiff Temperament: What’s It Like?

The English Mastiff is an affectionate breed that likes to cuddle up on the couch and snuggle with his favorite humans. He’s extremely protective, doing just about anything in his power to keep you and your family protected.

The English Mastiff is a gentle giant that loves to play with children, senior citizens, other dogs, and cats. He’s incredibly social and, if socialized well, makes a great companion for short walks and trips to the dog park.

He’s quiet, friendly, and lovable. The English Mastiff would make a great companion to just about anyone and any family. 

We write more about the English Mastiffs personality and temperament here...

Are English Mastiffs Good Guard Dogs?

While it’s possible to train your English Mastiff to be a guard dog, he’ll most likely be better off as a watchdog. That’s because the English Mastiff won’t engage with a threat unless provoked, and even then, he’ll probably only bark or howl.

As a watchdog, your English Mastiff will keep an eye on your property and the safety of your family. You might even notice that he uses his body as a barrier when you’re around strangers that he’s not comfortable with just yet.

The English Mastiff doesn’t bark all that much unless he’s being protective. So, if you hear your English Mastiff barking like crazy, you might want to check out why he’s barking.

Facts And Information About English Mastiffs...Final Thoughts

Once a breed used to fight large animals like lions and tigers, the English Mastiff has successfully transitioned to his role as a loyal family dog and quality watchdog. Here’s what you absolutely need to know about the English Mastiff.

  • They’re known for being affectionate, cuddly, and protective of their families.
  • They’re expensive to buy and care for, but most owners think they’re worth it.
  • They’re usually great with children, cats, and other dogs if trained properly.
  • They pick up on new skills quickly and are a breeze to train.

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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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