How to Groom a Mastiff
Teeth, Nails, Bathing and Ears and everything in between

by Ken Alden

When it comes to the topic of how to groom a Mastiff there is a lot more to it than the occasional brushing of their fur coat. Owning a Mastiff will require minimal grooming to maintain the health of their fur, skin, ears, mouth, gum, and nails and prevent your pet from experiencing uncomfortable pain and irritation.

How To Groom A Mastiff Schedule...


  • Brushing
  • Dental Hygiene (if needed)
  • Ear and Eye Cleaning (if needed)

Every 4 to 6 weeks:  

  • Bath time
  • Nail trimming
  • Dental Hygiene – brushing
  • Ear cleaning – use personal discretion
  • Cleaning eye gunk – as needed

If you are ready to adopt a Mastiff fur-child, or you already own your beloved giant, grooming will be incredibly important for their hygiene to prevent skin conditions and reduce shedding. Grooming is essential to their skin and coat health.  Compared to many breeds, the Mastiff is easy to groom. We already know these sweethearts are worth every bit of effort, so use this guide to understand all your Mastiff’s grooming needs from tail to toes! Read More Below...

Pro-tip: Ever try lifting a 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 now.

How to groom a Mastiff

How to Groom a Mastiff 

When it comes to how to groom a Mastiff they are one of the easiest canines to groom, and they won’t require much of you besides a little tender, love, and care.

TLC aside, I want to state that grooming your pet is not solely cosmetic or so they look nice. Dogs need their skin, hair, and bodies cleaned just as humans do to maintain proper health and live a full life.

Even though they don’t require as much grooming, don’t completely ignore it. Some of the conditions they can develop without proper grooming include:

  • Eye and ear infections
  • Ear mites and fleas
  • Skin bacteria
  • Skin infections
  • Foul smell from bacteria, sweat glands, and mites
  • Increased shedding 

It is not just about them smelling nicer, which is a lovely bonus. We will break down each step, so your Mastiff gets precisely what he or she needs.

If any of the how to groom a Mastiff steps are overwhelming to you or you don’t want to risk hurting your dog from inexperience, we recommend you take him to your local groomer for things like fur and nail trimmings and your local veterinarian for things like dental hygiene, ear cleaning, and routine check-ups.

Pro-tip: 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!

How To Care For Your Mastiff's Coat

A Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds on the planet, according to the American Kennel Club.

Your mastiff will shed year-round, but less in seasons of cold weather. In the Autumn and Winter, your dogs’ fur becomes thicker to protect them from the environment. With the Mastiff’s history originating in the Tibetan Mountains, the amount of fur they produce can be overwhelming. how to groom a mastiff

By the warmer seasons of Spring and Summer, the shedding will be heavier as your Mastiff creates a more lightweight Summer-cardigan compared to their thick Winter-Parka.

Your Mastiff may shed the most at the start of Summer and Fall as these are significant shifts in the temperature that may trigger more hair loss.

Brushing Your Mastiff

Brush your mastiff a little every day. Some  experts say every few days.  The goal is to be sure your Mastiff’s short coat is free of dead hair and skin cells.

You will never remove all of it. Mastiffs are meant to shed year-round and unless it’s an unusual amount of fur falling out, you have nothing to worry about.

Brushing them daily is always better than not.  It will keep your Mastiff’s fur and skin healthier, which leads to less shedding.  Plus, it gives you a minute or two of quality time.

The best brushes (found on Amazon) for your Mastiff’s thin fur-type are:

The step by steps to brush your mastiff’s fur properly:

1. Take off the collar to brush through their neck fur. This will feel especially good to them as the collar can get itchy to them over time.

2. Be sure it is an enjoyable experience. You can offer your Mastiff treats and give them some loving.  If they fear the grooming-task, it will be significantly harder for you. Make it a pleasant experience and help them to trust you.

3. Brush in a downward motion from neck to tail.  Moving in the opposite direction is uncomfortable.

4. Gently brush along the areas you see fur shedding from, often on their lower back and near the tail, as well as the neck.

5. Check for ticks and other fur/skin abnormalities as you go.

6. Give them a treat at the end to reward them for behaving so well.

Bathing A Mastiff

Bath time is a tricky one because your Mastiff will either love it or hate it. Many Mastiffs love water and enjoy playing in it, but some dogs will always have a deep hatred of bath time, just like some kids.  What’s up with that? 

You can bathe them between every one to two months.  This will depend on the following factors: 

  • Climate – if you’re in a warmer place where they sweat more, they may need more baths.
  • How much they shed – you’ll have to pay attention to questions such as how much they shed, does bath time help, is this the right shampoo for my mastiff’s needs, does he shed more than usual and need more bath times?
  • Activity level – if your Mastiff plays outside and sweats more, they need more baths.
  • Time of year – is it a season in which you should increase the frequency of bath times? Pay attention to their hair loss.  Many groomers recommend more frequent bath times during peak seasons of shedding.

We recommend these shampoos because they are natural, non-toxic and can be found on Amazon:

    - Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo for Allergies
    - 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo Hypoallergenic All Natural With Aloe

How To Trim A Mastiffs Nails

Nails will be the next step after bath time.  Your dog’s nails need to be dry before you trim them.  Wet nails will be more difficult to cut while dirty nails will obstruct the clippers as you work.

Therefore, we recommend you clip after your dog has taken a bath.  We recommend a nail trimmer (found on Amazon) that is called a Miller Forge Style Nail Clipper.

If trimming without a grinder, always have Kwik Stop Styptic Powder (found on Amazon) on hand to stop bleeding if you’ve cut too close to the paw.

If you are scared to cut them, use this highly rated Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder (found on Amazon) to have a painless trimming with low-risk. 

The steps to trim your dogs’ nails are as follows:

1. Be sure your dog is comfortable and always move slowly/calmly. Your dog is attuned to your energy.  Dogs don’t enjoy having their nails trimmed, so you need to be gentle while also being firm.    

2. Ideally, they should stand so that you can pull one foot up at a time, being sure they’re well-balanced on the other three legs as you begin. If your dog is more comfortable sitting, this is fine too, simply be sure you can clearly see what you’re cutting.

3. Mark lines with a sharpie on your dogs’ toenails to be sure that you don’t trim them too far.

4. Use the line you’ve marked to keep each nail a few millimeters long, still in the shape of a toenail, which will be pointed. You don’t want to flatten the nail too much or cut it too short.  

5. Press on the toe you want to trim to pop it outwards for easier visual access

6. After cutting each nail, stop to check for bleeding before continuing.

7. If a nail does start bleeding, use the  Kwik Stop Styptic Powder to gently stop the bleeding and offer pain relief to your dog.

A dog’s nail should never exceed the pads of their paws. This will mean trimming them every month or so and checking them every other week to see how long their nails have gotten. how to groom a mastiff

Again, if you are uncomfortable trimming them and don’t want to risk hurting your dogs’ paws, take them to a grooming professional. 

Your Mastiff’s Teeth and Gums

You’ll want to brush your dog’s teeth around every few weeks or around once a month. Many people brush their dog’s teeth every day and recommend three times a week, so this will be up to your personal preference.

The important thing is that you do it often and as much as you can.

1. Do NOT use human toothpaste as this is toxic to pets. Purchase Dog’s Toothpaste (from Amazon) or any product that is safe for pets. This is essential as they will undoubtedly swallow some accidentally.

2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush because dogs have sensitive gums. You can use a child’s toothbrush or a Dog’s Toothbrush or we highly recommend the finger-gloves with bristles that you can easily use as a Finger Toothbrush.

3. Look for redness along the gum lines and tartar buildup as you go.

4. Brush all sides and around each tooth, sure to remove tartar and plaque buildup without brushing too hard on their sensitive gums.

5. If you notice redness or signs of infection, take them to your local veterinary office for closer examination.

A dog’s breath should not be bad. If your dog does have bad breath, it means there is something wrong with their mouth, teeth, or gums that could require a veterinary checkup.

Pro-tip: 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 now.

Your Mastiff’s Ears

Veterinarians see dogs coming into their offices for ear issues on a daily basis. Ears are delicate and you’ll want to be extremely gentle with your dog’s ears. 

Nails and ears are the two grooming steps that many are afraid of because they don’t want to risk hurting your dog. If you are uncomfortable, we recommend taking them to a professional to avoid any errors.

The shorter ears of a Mastiff are open and will allow more aeration to circulate into their ears.

We recommend at least a month but check them on a weekly basis and examine for ear-mites, fleas, too much ear-wax build-up, or skin oil. Use your discretion to determine if your dog would thrive with an increase in their ear cleanings.

How To Clean A Mastiffs Ears

The steps to take while cleaning your Mastiff’s ears are:

1. Make sure your dog is comfortable and feels like they’re being pampered. Dogs can be sensitive about their ears.  Take this into account by moving gently and slowly.

2. There are two ways to do it – the easy way with a tissue or the harder way with a solution. Some will just take a tissue and clean the ears gently with their fingers, never getting too close to the ear-drum. If you don’t want to do it the in-depth solution way, use Pet-MD Cleaner Wipes for Dogs (from Amazon) to help prevent mites, yeast, and itching.

3. The better and recommended way will involve a solution, which will be a more in-depth process that will result in cleaner ears. This method will probably require an assistant or a second pair of hands.

4. Have one person hold the dog’s head still and calm them as the handler.

5. Have the other person pull the dog’s ears out, opening up the ear and pulling it away from the dog’s head, so you can see the exposed inside of the ear.

6. Pour in a cleaning solution like VetWELL Ear Cleaner for Dogs (from Amazon) into the ear canal, holding up the ear, so it pools in the inside of his ear canal. Fill it up until you can see the top fluid.  You may need to hold their head slightly sideways.

7. Your dog will probably pull away when you pour the cold liquid in their ear.  Comfort them and hold them still. how to groom a mastiff

8. Gently move the solution around in a massaging circular motion. This ensures you are getting it thoroughly soaked through the ear.

9. Put a towel around the head to protect your face, clothes, and furniture, and then allow your dog to shake his head around. This will loosen the final amount of ear-wax and debris, and you are covering yourself to avoid getting soaked the way a dog does after a bath.

10. Repeat on the second ear and dry each ear after completion, moving tissues around the crevices to dry them thoroughly. Be sure to remove all liquid as this could leave an excess of moisture in your dog’s ear that can cause a fungus or create yeast which results in infection. 

11. If you use a Q-tip, move slowly, have someone to hold their head incredibly still and avoid movement, and only use the Q-tip where you can see in the ear canal. Do not go beyond where you can see.

Your Mastiff’s Eyes

Lastly, this is an easy one! Simply check your Mastiff’s eyes for morning gunk, dark coloration, and eye-crusties. 

Take a tissue, and you can add a bit of water if it is very crusty. You don’t want to pain your dog or risk hurting their eye, so do this gently.

If you don’t clean your Mastiff’s eyes, this gunk can end up on your furniture, rugs, or wherever they can wipe it off on. Save your home and keep your pup seeing clearly without painful eye crystals. Clean this daily, every few weeks, or whenever you see an eye-buildup of gunk.

Final Mastiff Grooming Tips

The only other thing to maintain grooming-wise will be their anal glands to be sure they are not irritated.

Clearly, this isn’t every owner’s favorite task, so many take them to their veterinarian for this step. This should be done on a regular basis and as commonly as your routine checkups.

I hope this guide has been useful to you in learning more about your Mastiff’s needs. Don’t be intimidated by any of this, and always seek professional help if you are unsure. 

Mastiffs deserve the best from you and will thrive in a healthier life through your grooming and care. We already know you’re the best Mastiff owner for reading about how to care for them properly. You’ve taken the time to be a responsible owner and for this, you are both lucky to have each other!


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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