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Brindle Mastiff: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

A brindle Bullmastiff dog

If you’re interested in large dogs, you won’t find many dogs larger than the Mastiff. But where did the Mastiff come from, has brindle always been an acceptable color variation, and what else do you need to know about this massive breed? We’ll answer all those questions and more for you here.

Height: 27.5–32 inches
Weight: 120–200 pounds
Lifespan: 6–10 years
Colors: Apricot, brindle, and fawn
Suitable for: Families with kids, those with plenty of space, and experienced dog owners
Temperament: Affectionate, protective, stubborn, and eager to please

The Mastiff only comes in three different color variations, apricot, brindle, and fawn. Moreover, while the American Kennel Club sets minimum size requirements for the Mastiff, they don’t set any maximum size requirements.

In short, if you’re getting a Mastiff, expect a massive dog. That’s part of their appeal, of course, but it also can lead to its own challenges. Still, they have a rich and interesting history that you’ll want to learn more about whether or not you’re bringing one into your home.

Brindle Mastiff Breed Characteristics


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The Earliest Records of the Brindle Mastiff in History

There’s a rich history behind the Mastiff, and you can find the earliest mentions of these dogs far back in human history. The Romans discovered the Mastiff when they invaded what is now present-day Britain, but it’s thought that Phoenician traders brought the dogs to the island during the 6th century BC.

That means the Mastiff has been around for at least 2,600 years, although it naturally leads to the question of how long the Phoenicians had the Mastiff before they brought them to England.

And while the Mastiff has a long history, it’s also a full history. Ever since the 6th century BC, you can find records of the Mastiff all over history books.

Brindle Mastiff
Image by: Touched by light images, Shutterstock

How the Brindle Mastiff Gained Popularity

Because of their large and intimidating size, it’s no surprise that the Mastiff was once a guard dog. Not only did people use Mastiffs to guard livestock, but they also acted as protectors for people and valuables.

But while this is why the Mastiff gained popularity in early human history, it’s their loving demeanor and laidback personalities that have kept them at the forefront of popularity in recent years.

Today, you can find Mastiffs all over the globe both as working dogs and more commonly as family companions!

Formal Recognition of the Brindle Mastiff

With such a long and rich history, it’s no surprise that the Mastiff has enjoyed formal recognition for quite some time. And with only three formally accepted colors for the Mastiff, it’s also no surprise that the brindle Mastiff has enjoyed formal recognition from the same time frame.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) was officially formed in 1884, and one of the first breeds they recognized was the Mastiff in 1885. Meanwhile, the United Kennel Club (UKC) came into being in 1898, but it took them until 1948 to accept the Mastiff.

But no matter which club you’re looking at, the brindle Mastiff has enjoyed formal recognition for quite some time.

Brindle Mastiff Close up
Image by: Joseph Gruber, Shutterstock

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Top 3 Unique Facts About the Brindle Mastiff

With a history that stretches more than 2,500 years, it’s no surprise that the Mastiff has a ton of unique facts to pick from. We’ve highlighted three of our favorites here, but there’s no shortage of brindle Mastiff facts out there.

1. A Mastiff Was on the Mayflower

When the Pilgrims first ventured to the New World in 1620, they had at least two canine companions on board with them. The breeds of these dogs were the English Mastiff and the English Spaniel, and you can find written records of them in several of the pilgrims’ journals.

2. The Largest Mastiff Ever Weighed 343 Pounds

Mastiffs are extremely large dogs, with an average weight between 150 and 200 pounds. But the largest Mastiff ever dwarfed that size, weighing in at 343 pounds! The Mastiff, named Zorba, stood 37 inches high and was 8 feet 3 inches long!

Brindle mastiff sits in the middle of a forest of trees
Image by: Joseph Gruber, Shutterstock

3. The Mastiff Snores a Lot

When you purchase a Mastiff, we recommend getting a set of earplugs too. These are lovable dogs, but boy are they noisy. Even if you sleep in a different room, you might hear them snoring away. And since they can sleep up to 16 hours a day, there’s a lot of snoring going on!

Divider 5Does a Brindle Mastiff Make a Good Pet?

While the brindle Mastiff might not be the best choice for a first-time dog owner, there’s no denying that they make a great companion. They’re docile by nature, although you need to socialize them early and often to help offset some of their guard dog tendencies.

Furthermore, while they’re loving and eager to please, their extremely large size means they cost a bit more to care for and you really can’t make many novice owner mistakes. Still, they’re great dogs that are an absolute joy to hang out with.

Brindle Mastiff
Image by: Michael J Magee, Shutterstock

Divider 5Summary

With such a rich and storied history that goes along with their massive size, it’s no wonder that the brindle Mastiff has enjoyed popularity for over two millennia. While they’re the largest dog on the planet, they’re still outstanding companions, and you can expect people to keep enjoying the company of a Mastiff for years to come!

Featured Image Credit: Jen Dunham, Shutterstock

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