Mastiff is a name used for the English Mastiff, which is one of the largest dog breeds. Although the breed was established in the UK, it nearly became extinct in England after World War II. A collaboration of breeders in the United States then re-established the breed and increased its population. The breed was often given working roles as guard dogs.
If you are a fan of Mastiffs, there are some other breed options that have similar physical characteristics and personality traits. Here are 10 breeds that are similar to the Mastiff.
1. One of the Most Similar Breeds to the Mastiff: Dogue de Bordeaux
An excellent choice, if you are considering dog breeds that are similar to a Mastiff, is the Dogue de Bordeaux. They are large and powerful dogs, and their heads are the proportionally largest of any breed. Dogue de Bordeaux has an expressive face with facial folds and a short muzzle. Adult males grow to around 27-inches at shoulder height and weigh approximately 110 pounds.
In terms of their personalities, Dogue de Bordeaux is a sweet and sensitive breed that is loyal to their family. On the other hand, they have a stubborn streak, so early training and socialization are essential.
Like most Mastiff-type dogs, the Dogue de Bordeaux needs a lot of exercise. Therefore, you should only welcome this breed into your home if you can commit to their physical needs and have time to walk them daily. Until your Dogue de Bordeaux is around 18 months old, you should limit their physical routine to low-impact exercise to avoid straining their joints. A fantastic activity for the breed is swimming, as it is something they love and it is suitable for both young and older dogs.
2. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is also known as the Italian Mastiff due to its origins, and it is closely related to the ancient Greek dog breed Molossus. Originally, the dog was bred to hunt game, herd cattle, protect livestock, and act as a guard dog. However, it is now mostly kept as a companion dog. The breed was not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 2010.
It is a large and muscular dog, although females are usually smaller than males. The Cane Corso is slenderer than the Mastiff, as an adult male stands at around 28 inches at the should but is only 100 pounds.
Some people find the physical appearance of the Cane Corso intimidating, which is another reason they are ideal as guard dogs. It is not just the size of the breed but also the facial features. The slight droopy eyes and mouth make the dog look displeased, giving the impression it is aggressive. However, most dogs of this breed are intelligent, loyal, and keen to please their family.
3. Sociable with Other Dogs: Alano Espanol
If you already have dogs in your home and you want a dog similar to a Mastiff, then an Alano Espanol is a great choice. The Spanish breed, which is also known as the Spanish Bulldog, they were used for bullfighting, but they were also used for cattle management, hunting, guard dogs, and war dogs. As their working roles involved them being around other dogs, they are naturally suited to being around other dogs, so they are a great choice if you already have pets in your home.
Although the first written evidence of the breed is in the 14th century, it is possible that the origins of the breed go as far back as the 5th century when nomadic pastoralist people brought their dogs to Spain from Central Europe.
The Alano Espanol is smaller than the Mastiff, as it measures around 24 inches at the withers and weighs around 66 pounds. Therefore, it is ideal for those who like the look of the Mastiff but want something a little smaller.
Other than their size, the Alano Espanol and Mastiff share many similar features. The Alano Espanol has a cube-shaped head, neck folds, and a short muzzle. Most dogs of this breed are brindle, including sable wolf brindle, black and brindle, or fawn brindle.
The Boerboel is a South African dog breed that is also known as the South African Mastiff. It was bred for use as a family guard dog, as it is loyal to its family and has a physically intimidating appearance. The breed is recognized by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa but not by the American Kennel Club or the Federation Cynologique Internationale.
Just like the Mastiff, it is a large and muscular dog with a broad head and short muzzle. The coat is short, and recognized colors include brown, fawn, and brindle. Most have either a partial or full black face mask, and some have white patches on their chest, although white should not be a prevalent color.
The downside to owning a Boerboel is that they do not always get along well with other dogs and can become aggressive toward them. Therefore, they are not necessarily the best option for households with other pets. It also means that early training and socialization are essential for this breed.
A Bullmastiff is a cross of a Bulldog and a Mastiff, and the American Kennel Club first recognized the Bullmastiff as an independent breed in 1934. As a member of the Mastiff family of dogs, the Bullmastiff shares many physical characteristics and personality traits with the Mastiff.
They have the same large, broad head, dark eyes, and broad muzzle. They have short coats that are either brindle, fawn, or red. Bullmastiffs are intelligent, alert, and confident dogs, so they are excellent companions. The breed also has a protective nature, which makes them ideal guard dogs.
One of the main differences between the Bullmastiff and the Mastiff is size, as the Bullmastiff is usually smaller. The average height of a healthy adult Bullmastiff is 27-inches at the shoulder, and they usually weigh between 100 and 130 pounds.
6. Great Dane
The Great Dane is amongst the top ten largest dog breeds in the world. Although it was created by cross-breeding the English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound, it is recognized as a breed in its own right. German nobles bred the breed to hunt large game, especially wild boar.
Great Danes stand at 32-inches at shoulder height. Males weigh up to 175 pounds, while females are lighter at around 140 pounds. They have a slighter frame than the Mastiff, and their heads are not as broad. Great Danes come in various colors, such as black, blue, white, brindle, silver, fawn, harlequin, merle, and mantle. Some have white or black markings.
Despite their size, the Great Dane is a gentle giant with no intimidating nature. It is a loving and gentle dog that is known for its playful nature. They are also alert, patient with children, eager to please, courageous, and friendly. Although they are intelligent and friendly, early socialization and training of Great Danes are essential due to their size and power.
7. Neopolitan Mastiff
Also known as the Mastino Napoletano, the Neapolitan Mastiff is an Italian dog breed from central Italy that were bred to work as guard dogs. Although it is an ancient breed, the Ente Nazionale Della Cinofilia Italiana only recognized the breed in 1949, then was later recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in 1956.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are closely related to the Cane Corso, and they share many physical characteristics with the Mastiff. However, the Neapolitan Mastiff has an abundance of loose skin on its face, which is one of the main differences between the breed and the Mastiff.
Like the Mastiff, the Neapolitan Mastiff has a large and sturdy body and stands between 24 and 31-inches at the shoulder. In terms of weight, the Neapolitan Mastiff weighs from 110 pounds to 150 pounds. The most common coat colors are black, gray, and leaden, but other coat variations include fulvous, fawn, mahogany, isabelline, dove-gray, and hazelnut.
Although they are large and sturdy dogs, the Neapolitan Mastiff thrives on human contact and is a fantastic family dog. These dogs are sweet, placid, and loyal, so they are equally as good at being companion dogs as they are guard dogs.
8. Cimarron Uruguayo
An Uruguayan dog breed, the Cimarron Uruguayo is also known as the Cerro Largo Dog, Maroon Dog, Cimarron, Cimarron Creole, Perro Cimarron, Uruguayan Gaucho Dog, and Uruguayan Cimarron. The Federation Cynologique Internationale recognizes the breed. Following exportation to the United States, the United Kennel Club recognized the breed.
Like the Mastiff, it is a large, muscular dog that measures 24 inches at the withers and weighs around 99 pounds. Usually, adult females are smaller than adult males. The coat is commonly pale brindle or yellow with a black face.
Many owners of the Cimarron Uruguayo use them as working dogs due to their strength and intelligence, and typical roles include rescuing, guarding, herding, and hunting. Some dogs are involved in dog sports. However, they can also make fantastic companions, as they are a calm and stable dog breed that does not bark unless it believes there is a real threat.
The Tosa is also called Japanese Mastiff, Tosa-Ken, and Tosa Inu. It is a Japanese breed in the Mastiff family, so it shares many similarities to the English Mastiff. The breed’s origins date to the latter half of the 19th century, and it was created by crossing breeds such as the Saint Bernard, English Mastiff, German Pointer, and the Old English Bulldog.
There are significant variations in the size of this breed, as dogs bred in Japan are approximately half the size of Tosas bred internationally. While Japanese-bred Tosass weigh between 80 and 135 pounds, non-Japanese Tosas can weigh as little as 130 pounds or as much as 200 pounds.
Tosas have a short, smooth, double coat that requires little maintenance. Typical coat colors include black, brindle, fawn, and red. Their coat is darker around the nose and ears, and some have white or paler markings on their chest.
Unfortunately, the Tosa is banned or has ownership restrictions in many countries that consider it a dangerous breed. However, the American Kennel Club describes the breed as a patient, loyal, composed, bold, calm, and courageous.
Although the breed is not aggressive with humans, some are wary of other dogs, and it can result in aggressive outbursts. For this reason, early socialization with dogs and a rigorous training program is vital if you want to raise a well-rounded, sociable, and non-aggressive Tosa.
10. One of the Most Affectionate Dogs Similar to the Mastiff: Bloodhound
If you are a fan of large dog breeds but want one that has an affectionate nature, then the Bloodhound should come high on your list. It has a gentle personality that makes it ideal for families with children or pets.
The gentle nature of the breed is in contrast with its formidable size. Males are up to 28 inches at the withers and can weigh as much as 120 pounds. Females are usually smaller, measuring 26 inches at the withers and up to 106 pounds. Although it is large, bloodhounds have soft faces, which means they do not look as intimidating as some other breeds similar to the Mastiff. They have droopy ears, and soft skin folds around their mouths and necks. In the past, there were multiple coat colors available, but modern colors include red, black and tan, and liver and tan.
The Bloodhound has been around since the 14th century and was used in Medieval times for hunting boar. One of the skills for which Bloodhounds are best known is their sense of smell, so other working roles have included search and rescue missions. These days, most people who have a Bloodhound keep them as companions.