Looking to add a dog to your family? The English Mastiff breed may be right for you! These regal-looking dogs are protective, loving, and a bit lazy. Keep reading to learn if the English Mastiff is a good addition to your home!
About The English Mastiff
How Big Do They Get?
English Mastiffs are a giant dog breed, which means they grow to weigh more than 100 pounds as adults. For male English Mastiffs, they can grow to be at least 30 inches tall (measured floor to shoulder)! Their full-grown weight settles around 160-230 pounds. Female English Mastiffs are only slightly smaller. They will be 27 or more inches tall and weigh between 120-170 pounds.
What Do They Look Like?
English Mastiffs are typically one of three colors: fawn (a light tan), apricot (a reddish-brown), or brindle (a light coat base with a dark striped pattern). They usually have very dark ears, noses, and muzzles. They have a short, straight double coat to cover their thick, rectangular body.
How Long Do They Live?
As with most giant breeds, English Mastiffs, unfortunately, have a very short life span. They can be expected to live from 6 to 10 years. Although they don’t live long, they are a very affectionate and family-friendly breed. They are sure to live their brief lives filling your home with lots of love and slobbers!
What It’s Like To Live With An English Mastiff
While English Mastiffs have a dignified, somewhat intimidating appearance, living with them is more like living with an overgrown puppy. Although they enjoy being playful, they’re not a particularly energetic breed. They have low energy and minimal exercise needs. They spend about 15-18 hours of their day snoozing! They are content to curl up next to you for a nap, but you might not get any sleep. English Mastiffs aren’t too keen on barking at every little thing, but they can be extremely noisy when it comes to snoring, grunting, and snuffling.
Their giant tails can cause a bit of chaos, knocking into people and furnishings, especially when excited. These humongous dogs tend to be a bit clumsy, so be sure to allow plenty of space for them to move through your home! Don’t worry about intentionally destructive behaviors, though. English Mastiffs are usually calm indoors, saving more boisterous activities for outside. While a roomy house and large yard would give them ample room to stretch their long legs, English Mastiffs also have success living in a smaller environment, like an apartment.
When it comes to interacting with others, English Mastiffs can be very sensitive and tuned in to the emotions of family members. They’ll likely stay by your side, offering a comforting snuggle. They tend to be very loyal and gentle, especially with children, making them an excellent choice for a family dog. Of course, they can be protective when it comes to strangers, but with proper socialization and training, English Mastiffs should not be aggressive.
Challenges of the English Mastiff Breed
As wonderful as English Mastiffs are, welcoming one into your life does come with some challenges. English Mastiffs are prone to serious health problems, leading to a maximum lifespan of 10 years. This requires potential English Mastiff owners to understand the responsibility that comes with this giant breed.
Just as with other giant dog breeds, you’ll have to prepare to say “goodbye” to your best canine friend much sooner than you’d like. As many dog owners will agree, losing a pet can be like losing a family member. If you’re set on an English Mastiff, be prepared to give them the best quality of life by taking care of their nutrition, exercise, and any other health needs that arise. This is the best way to lengthen their lifespan. Since English Mastiffs’ short lives are filled with health issues, you should also be prepared to handle many trips to the vet, as well as hefty vet bills.
There are many health issues that an English Mastiff may experience throughout their life. One of the most common is dysplasia of the hips and elbows. This is a common problem for big dog breeds, since they grow so quickly, and it can cause pain and impact your dog’s ability to move. Another common health issue is cataracts and retinal atrophy. This is particularly a risk for older dogs. Cardiac conditions like pulmonic stenosis are also a concern. If your English Mastiff is exhausted from small amounts of activity, it could be a sign their heart is working too hard. It’s also common for English Mastiffs to develop cancer towards the end of their lifespan.
English Mastiffs are majestic, laid-back dogs that can bring a strong and steady presence into your home. While they do come with some extra challenges and expenses, their affectionate, gentle nature will surely make up for it! As long as you don’t mind the drool, of course.
Written by: Heather Hayes