VCA Bering Sea Animal Hospital



Basic Mastiff Information

  • Lifespan: 9 - 11 years
  • Height: 28 - 30 inches
  • Weight: 175 - 190 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Mastiffs

Mastiff Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Mastiff History

  • The mastiff breed is the namesake of the larger mastiff family of dogs. The mastiff family is an ancient group of dogs that was used in hunting, battle and in gladiator sports.
  • By medieval times mastiff-type dogs were almost commonplace. They continued to be used for large game hunting, bear and bull baiting, dog fighting, and guarding.
  • Mastiffs were favorites among many of the nobility. The mastiff of Sir Peers Legh was famous for standing over his master after Sir Legh fell in battle, protecting him for hours. The dog became the foundation of the Lyme Hill mastiffs, which figured prominently in founding the modern mastiff some 500 years later.
  • Although a mastiff is said to have been aboard the Mayflower, the earliest documented mastiff in America was not until the 1800s.
  • The AKC recognized the mastiff in 1885.
  • World War II decimated the breed in England. American mastiffs were used after the war to reconstitute the breed.

Mastiff Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a loyal and protective companion.
  • Gentle and generally good with children, but may be overly protective of them when around strangers. As with all large dogs, dogs and children should always be supervised.
  • Tends to be aloof toward strangers. Early socialization is essential.
  • Fairly friendly toward strange dogs.
  • Good with other pets.
  • Learns quickly, but can be stubborn. It tends to rebel against forceful methods.
  • Does best with a firm owner who can combine reward-based training with good control and leadership.

Mastiff Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a calm and well-mannered housedog.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a moderate walk or short jog.
  • The mastiff prefers cold weather to warm.
  • Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.

Mastiff Grooming

  • Coat is short, straight, and coarse.
  • The coat needs only occasional brushing, once every week or so, to remove dead hair.
  • Shedding is average.
  • Be prepared for drool.

Suggested Mastiff Nutritional Needs

  • Mastiffs tend to stay in good weight or be slightly overweight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, please contact Pet Emergency at 907-274-5636.