How Many Mastiff Breeds Are There?

Neapolitan Mastiff

There are a number of mastiff breeds in the family, and they’re not all as similar as you might think they are. Yet, they are just as similar as you might think that they are. From the English mastiff to the Cane Corso to the Tibetan mastiff, there are a number of mastiff breeds that are all very large, very protective and very loving family dogs. They are all big, and that makes them scary. Most people would not want to go near a mastiff even if they did know him even just a little. However, they’re very gentle giants with very loving personalities and surprisingly calm temperaments. They do not care for confrontation, but they also do not care for intruders or anyone who is causing harm to their family – so those people better watch out. Mastiffs are big, brave and they are fearless watchdogs. However, they are also very sweet animals that make great companions for kids; and that’s enough to make you feel safe, secure and very comfortable with a mastiff around.


Born to guard, the Mastiff is a born protector and a large dog. It’s very gentle, but its appearance is very intimidating to anyone who doesn’t know or is not familiar with the breed. This particular breed can grow to be as large as 30 inches and 160 pounds. It’s one of the heaviest dogs in the world, and it’s not uncommon for some males, as they are much larger than females, to exceed the 200 pound mark.

Tibetan Mastiff

With a big coat of fur around his face similar to a ruff, the Tibetan Mastiff is a dog that looks a lot more like a lion than a dog. This fearless dog is very calm and very loyal, which is not what many people assume based on the size of this massive dog. It’s a very good indoor dog, but it does love to be outdoors protecting the family from dangerous animals and ensuring that no one is going to mess with them. This particular mastiff breed can grow to be as large as 28 inches and as much as 220 pounds.

Neapolitan Mastiff

A bit wrinkly, like a pug or a shar pei, this mastiff breed is really cute for a huge animal. With a very affection and loving personality, it’s not the dangerous dog that you might think that it is, but it’s also not the dog for every family. It’s a bit of a drooler, which many people do not love in a dog. It’s a dog that’s great with kids, but only if the kids are leaders in the dog’s eyes. However, they are often stubborn and can show difficulty listening when they feel that they are the pack leader rather than you. These mastiffs are often as tall as 30 inches and weigh up to about 200 pounds, though more commonly in the mid-160s.

English Mastiff

We toyed with adding this one to the list since the mastiff and the English mastiff are mostly one in the same, but we thought we’d add it for your information. The English mastiff is just like the regular mastiff; it’s a natural leader and protector, and it will do whatever it takes to protect its family and its loved ones. It’s a larger dog that is going to grow up as much as 200 pounds, and it’s a dog that will defend you until the death.


This is a big dog, but it’s one with a wonderful temperament. It’s a dog that is very fearless but also just as affectionate. It’s a very sweet dog that will not attack you, but it is a dog that will knock down and hold anyone that seems to be unwelcome into the home. The good news is that it will not bite an intruder. This is a very powerful dog that loves kids and is very tolerant of children. However, it is also a breed that requires a very strong leader with a very strong personality to keep it in line at all times. It’s a dog that will do whatever it takes to avoid danger, but it will not back down from it. Perhaps not as big as some of the other mastiffs on the list, the bullmastiff is still large at 27 inches and as much as 133 pounds.

Boerbel Mastiff

If you want a dog that is reliable and obedient, and also wonderful at the watchdog job, this is the mastiff breed for you. It’s very playful and it’s a dog that loves to play fetch, but the dog does have a very big issue with popping balls and other toys with its very strong jaws. This is a dog that loves kids that it knows; but is not a fan of kids it does not know. This dog will act like your kids’ personal horse allowing them to ride on him and have a good time. He’s not very aware of any pain, but he is not going to do well with other pets that are not dogs, especially if they come anywhere near his bowl. The boerbel mastiff will grow to around 28 inches call and around 200 pounds, making it a very large dog.

Cane Corso Mastiff

The Cane Corso is very quiet and almost lazy around the house. With a very keen sense of intelligence and a very wonderful sense of protection and watchdog behavior, this is a dog that looks mean and evil but is actually very gentle and loving. This breed enjoys being close to his family and is not likely to wander away or go far, but it’s not a dog that likes to fight. It’s a protector, but it will not start a fight; though it will not back down from one, either. These dogs do not like strangers much, but they do love kids, so they are a great family pet. The Cane Corso is also a large dog, like all mastiff breeds, standing around 27 inches tall and weighing in around 110 pounds.

Photo by Getty Images

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