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10 Incredible English Mastiff Facts That You’ll Love to Learn

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

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With just one look at an English Mastiff, you’ll realize how impressive these dogs are. You’re not going to find another dog that they can’t rival in size. In fact, the Mastiff will dwarf just about any other dog on the planet.

But while the Mastiff is massive, that’s far from the only thing that makes them so interesting. Below we’ve highlighted 10 incredible English Mastiff facts for you to check out.

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The 10 Amazing English Mastiff Facts

1. A Mastiff Was on the Mayflower

While Mastiffs didn’t come to the United States en masse until the late 1800s, there are several records of a Mastiff coming with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. There are only records of two dogs making the long journey, but an English Mastiff is one of them.

But while a Mastiff made that journey, you couldn’t find Mastiffs all over the place in the United States until much later. But with the size of these dogs and the issues early settlers had with food, it’s not all that surprising.

English Mastiff
Image Credit: Karen Arnold, Pixabay

2. The Largest Dog Ever Was a Mastiff

According to the Guinness Book of World Records,1 the longest dog of all time was an English Mastiff. This English Mastiff, Zorba, weighed 343 pounds, stood 37 inches high at the shoulder, and was 8 feet 3 inches long! That’s one big dog no matter how you look at it.

3. A Mastiff Stays a Puppy for a Long Time

While Mastiffs have a relatively short lifespan compared to other dogs, they remain in their puppy stage much longer. Many English Mastiffs don’t stop growing until they’re about 2 years old, giving you twice as much time with them as a puppy compared to many other dog breeds.

But this also means you’ll need to deal with puppy behaviors longer, and because of their shorter average lifespan, you won’t get quite as much time with them as an adult.

english mastiff puppy
Image Credit: Jennifer Wallace, Shutterstock

4. They Descend From Roman War Dogs

English Mastiffs descend from the Molossus, which was a feared Roman war dog.2 The Molossus was fiercely loyal and an excellent fighter, and it’s from these dogs that the English Mastiff descends.

In fact, early English Mastiffs were fighting dogs too, but today these lovable giants are far from those fearsome fighting beasts.

5. English Mastiffs Are the Heaviest Dog Breed

While English Mastiffs don’t stand taller than every other dog out there, if you only look at the number on the scale, they’re the biggest. They weigh more than any other dog breed on the planet, but they don’t get the title of the tallest dog, as that pedigree falls on the Great Dane.

English Mastiff
Image Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski, Shutterstock

6. Mastiffs Drool a Lot

If you look at a Mastiff, there’s a good chance you’ll see some drool going down their jowls. The reason is that the shape of these dogs’ heads, lips, and jowls simply can’t hold all the drool they produce.

And since the Mastiff drools a lot, you better be ready for them to create some puddles! We recommend putting down a towel or a blanket on their favorite sleeping and resting spots; otherwise, you’re going to have a constantly damp area from Mastiff drool.

7. English Mastiffs Snore Loudly

English Mastiffs sleep up to 16 hours a day, and with most Mastiffs, you know when they’re asleep. Even if they’re sleeping in a different room than you, you’ll typically have no problem telling when these dogs fall asleep thanks to the snoring. In fact, many Mastiff owners recommend new owners pick up some earplugs when getting their pups so they can continue to get sleep at night as well.

english mastiff sleeping
Image Credit: Maiorescu Mihaela, Shutterstock

8. They’re Gentle Giants

While the English Mastiff has a strong fighting lineage, when you look at the modern Mastiff, they’re far from fighting dogs. They’re incredibly loving and do a great job around kids, although you should be careful with them around smaller kids simply because of how large they are.

Just keep in mind that while the English Mastiff is a gentle giant, they do need early socialization to keep them from becoming overly protective in the wrong situations.

9. English Mastiffs Don’t Bark Much

While the English Mastiff makes an outstanding guard dog, they really don’t make much noise. While each English Mastiff will have their own personality, if your Mastiff is barking, it’s probably something you’ll want to check out.

male english mastiff
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

10. The British Bred the Modern Mastiff

Phoenician traders brought the Molossus to England over 1,000 years ago, and it was there that the British bred these dogs into the modern Mastiff. The British used the Mastiff to guard estates and castles, and they were known to drive away any intruders. Because of their massive size and loyal demeanor, the English Mastiff was incredibly effective at all these tasks.

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Now that you know a bit more about the English Mastiff, you can appreciate the breed just a bit more, although one look at these massive giants probably had you in awe already. They’re phenomenal dogs that are easy to fall in love with, and if you care for them properly, they’re as loyal and as loving as they come.



Featured Image Credit: Volodymyr Burdiak, Shutterstock

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