• Overview

    The largest dog on record was an 8-foot long, 323-pound Mastiff named Zorba. These hulking dogs weigh between 120 and 220 pounds and stand at least 2 feet, 3 inches tall. Mastiffs are larger than Bullmastiffs and they have a greater tendency to shed, but their personalities are similar.

    The Mastiff is an enormous dog. Even though they are not particularly active, they need plenty of space to be comfortable. They shed heavily and they require some firm, dominant training, but they make adoring and devoted family companions.

  • Personality

    Mastiffs are extremely powerful dogs with large, muscular bodies and strong limbs. Still, despite their impressive size, they are gentle with those they love and their eyes are kind, pleading and alert. They are not particularly active, especially indoors, so don't be surprised if your big dog confuses himself for a lap dog or an ottoman. Mastiffs love to cuddle, and they especially enjoy being in close range of their owners, which makes for some humorous situations indoors. Once they grow into their bodies and are trained to understand their size and power, Mastiffs are well-mannered and calm companions. They are extremely protective of their owners and their property, so if they are not socialized as puppies, they can become aggressive or overly protective. Although Mastiffs are not particularly active, they do need a fair amount of exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Owners may need to bribe their oversized dogs into active play or exercise, but once Mastiffs are engaged in activity, they can be extremely playful.

  • Coat Care

    The Mastiff is double-coated and sheds consistently. They have a short, straight outer coat that is slightly hard to the touch and a dense, short under coat. Mastiffs are seen in shades of fawn or apricot and brindle. Their nose, ears, face and eyes are outlined in a dark mask, which should be dark black. Brindle Mastiffs have dark black stripes and fawn undertones.

    Bathing them with a shedding reducing shampoo will help cut back on the amount of hair they lose. Clean your Mastiff's facial wrinkles daily with a damp washcloth to prevent infection. Make sure to dry the wrinkles and clean the hanging skin above the upper lip after mealtimes.

Brushing

Mastiffs shed significantly in spring and fall. They should be brushed weekly with a firm rubber bristle brush, but while they are shedding, brushing them daily will help reduce the amount of hair they lose.

Bathing

Clean your Mastiff's facial wrinkles daily with a damp washcloth to prevent infection. Make sure to dry the wrinkles and clean the hanging skin above the upper lip after mealtimes. Use a shed-reducing shampoo while your Mastiff is shedding to help cut back on the significant amount of hair they can lose.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Most dogs with short coats generally require occasional trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth with trimmers or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove tangles and mats. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed.  When finished, the coat should lay flat and smooth against the body of most short-haired dogs.

Nails

Because Mastiffs are not particularly active, make sure to trim their nails weekly, because they might not wear them down naturally.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some short-coated dogs, like hounds and mastiffs, have large, sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Pug, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like Pugs and Dogues de Bordeaux, be wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.