Types of Mastiffs - Full List
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Mastiff dogs are characterized by a muscular and incredibly strong body. Mastiff dogs are considered one of the most ancient dog breeds and records of its ancestor, the molossus, date back to roughly 5,000 years ago. There are, however, various types Mastiff dog breeds that all share common elements while others are completely independent.
Discover our full list of Mastiff dog breeds here at AnimalWised, including photos and characteristics of each.
Mastiff dog breeds
The mastiff is a dog breed borne from its ancestor the mollosus dog. As we’ve already mentioned, records of its existence date back to II century BC. With time, either naturally or due to human intervention, the mastiff dog breed has developed to form different varieties.
So, how many types of mastiff dogs are there? The International Cynological Federation recognizes approximately 8 varieties of mastiff, most of which come from European countries. All of these recognized mastiff types make up separate breeds, but share similar Molossian hound characteristics.
Discover more about the types of mastiffs below:
1. Neapolitan mastiff
The Neapolitan mastiff variety is recognized as a native dog breed from Naples, where its official breeding began in 1947.
This is one of the largest mastiff breeds and measures between 60 and 75 cm at the cross and generally weighs between 50 and 70 kilos. It has a powerful jaw, a incredibly muscular body and a wide thick tail. Its coat is short and dense, hard to the touch, and can vary from reddish in colors to brown, tabby or gray. Because of his alert and faithful personality, Neapolitan mastiffs are considered excellent watchdogs.
For more, we recommend reading our article where we list the top 10 Italian dog breeds.
2. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan mastiff is native to the Tibetan region, where it is popular as guard and companion dog. There are records of this variety dating back to 300 BC, when they lived among nomadic shepherds.
The Tibetan mastiff is characterized by its powerful and imposing appearance. Tibetan mastiff puppies generally experience a delay in reaching maturity, since females only reach adulthood at 3 years and males at 4. They have a rough and thick coat which is more abundant on the neck and shoulders. This coat can vary in color, from black to bluish or reddish, with brown or white spots.
For more about the Tibetan mastiff, we suggest taking a look at our article where we list the top 12 fluffiest dog breeds.
3. Caucasian Shepherd dog
The Caucasian Shepherd dog is a watchdog breed with a bold and loyal personality. This mastiff dog breed is characterized by its large and heavy body. Its abundant coat gives off the impression of poorly formed muscles, however, they are actually incredibly strong dogs.
Their thick fur is more abundant in the neck area, where it may also present folds. This coat may vary in coloration, always combined with different colors, such as black, brown and beige or black and reddish brown, among others.
The Caucasian Shepherd dog is known for loving the outdoors, in addition to spending time with its family.
4. Italian Mastiff
The Italian mastiff, also known as the Cane Corso, is a descendant of the Roman molosser. It is a medium to large sized dog with a muscular but elegant appearance. It is characterized by its large head with a black nose and a square jaw.
The Cane Corso coat can vary in color from black to gray or tawny, and is dense and shiny. Cane Corso dogs are loyal and attentive, and are known for being excellent watchdogs.
Do you have a Cane Corso? If so, read our tips on how to train a Cane Corso.
5. Spanish Mastiff
Also known as the Mastín español, the Spanish Mastiff is one of the most well-known types of Spanish mastiffs. Originally from Spain, this mastiff type has been used for both herding and guarding. As for appearance, it presents a compact skeleton that gives it a solid and strong appearance, with proportioned extremities. Its mantle is semi-long, smooth and dense and can very in color from yellow to reddish to black tones, or as a combination of the three.
These mastiff types stand out for being incredibly intelligent and loving.
For more, we recommend reading our article where we list the top 26 Spanish dog breeds.
6. Pyrenean Mastiff
The Pyrenean Mastiff, from the Aragonese Pyrenees in Spain, is a mastiff sheepdog breed. This mastiff type is medium in size with a large head, small eyes and drooping ears
Its mantle is thick, dense and 10 cm long at each strand. The Pyrenean mastiff is characterized by a mark on its face, covering both eyes.
For more about this breed, we recommend reading our article where we list the top 10 best guardian dogs.
The Boerboel is a Molossian breed of South African origin, which is why it is also known as the South African Mastiff. Its origins date back to 1600, when it was used as a guardian dog on farms. This large dog breed reaches between 55 and 70 cm at the cross.
Its short and shiny coat may vary in color from sand to brindle and/or reddish tones.
8. English Mastiff
The English mastiff is also considered one of the largest mastiff breeds.Originally from Great Britain, was registered as a breed in the fifteenth century.
The English mastiff has a square head and large and imposing body. English mastiff temperament are generally affectionate and well-natured, as well as being considered great watchdogs. They carry a short and rough coat which can vary in color from tabby to yellowish, in addition to evident darker spots around the eyes and muzzle.
For more, read about the differences between English, French and Spanish Mastiffs.
Types of Mastiffs
Some of the rarer mastiff types, some of which have not yet been officially recognized, include:
Also known as the Bakharwal dog, this mastiff type has not yet been recognized by any canine federation. This mastiff workdog breed was raised in the Himalayan mountains, where it was used as a protective dog for livestock.
The Kashmir mastiff has a muscular body with a broad chest and long legs, formed by strong bones. Its coat is smooth and of medium length, it can vary in shades of brown, black and/or spotted.
Also known as the Kuchi dog, the Afghan mastiff was originally used as a watchdog for nomadic tribes in ancient times. This mastiff type has not yet been recognized by any canine federations.
The Kuchi dog has a medium-sized body with long and thin legs, in contrast to its muscular torso. Its snout is thin and its ears are somewhat bent. Its coat, of average length, is more abundant in the neck and tail area and varies in color sandy to darker brown tones.
The Bullmastiff , originally from Great Britain, may classify as a type of mastiff, but is in fact a mastiff mix (mastiffs and bulldogs). This mastiff type was originally used as both a guard and ranger dog.
This mastiff type is both symmetrical and strong in appearance, but not heavy. Its snout is short and flat and it carries a strong jaw with bulging cheeks. Its coat is short and rough to the touch and can vary in color from reddish tones to sand and brindle and/or light or dark. This coat is also usually covered with white spots on the chest and a black mask around the eyes.
The bullmastiff is characterized for being courageous, loyal and faithful and is also known for being an excellent companion dog.
For more, we suggest taking a look at our article where we list the cutest large dog breeds list.
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- Estándar FCI N 197. Mastín napolitano. Consulta: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/197g02-es.pdf
- Estándar FCI N 91. Mastín español. Consulta: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/091g02-es.pdf
- Estándar FCI N92. Mastín del Pirineo. Consulta: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/092g02-es.pdf
- Estándar FCI N 230. Dogo del Tíbet. Consulta: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/230g02-es.pdf
- Estándar FCI N 343. Cane corso. Consulta: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/343g02-es.pdf
- Estándar FCI N 157. Bullmastiff. Consulta: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/157g02-es.pdf
- Ripley, Katherine. (2006, diciembre 5). 7 things you didn´t know about the bullmastiff. American Kennel Club. Consulta: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/7-bullmastiff-facts/
- Caucasian shepherd dog. American Kennel Club. Consulta: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/caucasian-shepherd-dog/
- Estándar FCI N 264. Mastiff. Consulta: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/264g02-es.pdf