Types of mastiff

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The Mastiff is a breed of dog characterized by having a muscular and stocky body. This breed, in turn, presents different types, varieties with their own characteristics that, however, share common elements. In fact, some of them constitute independent breeds.

If you want to adopt one of these dogs or simply want to find out about its varieties, do not miss this complete list. Discover in AnimalWised how many types of mastiff are there and many curiosities about them. ¡Keep reading!

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  1. How many types of mastiff are there?
  2. Neapolitan mastiff
  3. Tibetan mastiff
  4. Caucasian Shepherd
  5. Italian mastiff
  6. Spanish Mastiff
  7. Pyrenean Mastiff
  8. Broerboel
  9. English Mastiff or Mastiff
  10. Other unrecognized types of mastiff

How many types of mastiff are there?

The Mastiff is a breed of dog of the Molossian type. There are records of its existence from the second century BC. Over the centuries, either naturally or due to human intervention, the race has developed into different settled varieties.

However, ¿how many types of mastiff are there? The International Cynological Federation recognizes 8 varieties of mastiff, most of which come from European countries. They all make up separate breeds, have the characteristics of Molossian dogs and have very ancient ancestors..

Find out more about each of the types of mastiff dogs.

1. Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a descendant of a Molossian dog of which there are records from the 1st century AD. This variety is recognized as native to Naples, where its official breeding began in 1947.

This type of mastiff measures between 60 and 75 cm at the withers and can weigh between 50 and 70 kilos. It has a powerful jaw, a muscular body, and a wide, thick tail. As for the coat, it is short and dense, hard to the touch, in reddish, brown, brindle or gray colors. Due to his alert and faithful personality, he is considered a excellent watchdog.

2. Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff or Tibetan Mastiff is native to that region, where it is used as a guard and companion dog. There are records of this variety since 300 BC, moment in which he lived with nomadic shepherds.

The Tibetan is a powerful and imposing looking dog. Mastiff puppies of this variety take time to reach maturity, since the females reach adulthood at 3 years and the males at 4. As for their coat, it is rough and thick, more abundant on the neck and shoulders; can be black, bluish or reddish, either pure or with brown or white spots.

3. Caucasian Shepherd

The Caucasian Shepherd is a dog with a daring personality, used for a long time as a guard dog. Presents a heavy-looking large body, because its abundant coat gives the impression of poorly formed muscles. However, it has a lot of strength and is a faithful dog.

The fur is dense and thick, more abundant on the neck, where it also accumulates some folds. It presents a varied coloration, always in combination with different colors, such as black, brown and beige; black and reddish brown, among others.

Although he loves outdoor activities, the Caucasian Shepherd also enjoys spending time with his family, so, with proper training, they can be quiet companions..

4. Italian Mastiff

The Italian Mastiff, also called Cane Corso, is descendant of the roman molossus. It is a medium to large dog with a muscular but elegant appearance. Features a large head with a black nose and square jaw.

With regard to the coat, this type of mastiff dog has a black, gray or tawny coloration in a thick and shiny coat. The Cane Corso's personality is loyal and attentive, making it an excellent watchdog..

5. Spanish Mastiff

Also known as leonese mastiff, This is one of the best known types of Spanish Mastiffs. So it is originally from Spain, where it has been used as a guard dog for property or flocks. Regarding its appearance, it presents a compact skeleton that gives it a solid and strong appearance, with proportionate limbs. The coat is semi-long, smooth and dense, it can appear in yellow, reddish, black tones, or a combination of the three colors in different quantities..

With regard to personality, Spanish stands out for showing intelligence and having a loving character.

6. Pyrenean Mastiff

Among the types of mastiff, the Pyrenean also has its origin in Spain, where it is used as a watchdog. It is a medium-sized variety with a large head, small eyes, and floppy ears..

With respect to the mantle, it is thick, dense and each strand 10 cm long. It is presented in white with a dark mask on the face, it is for this reason that many people know this variety as "white mastiff ". However, there are also some specimens with yellow, brown and gray tones.

7. Broerboel

The broerboel is a breed of molosser of South African origin, which is why it is also called South African Mastiff. Its origins date back to the year 1600, when it was used as a protective dog on farms. It is considered a large breed, it reaches between 55 and 70 cm at the withers.

As for the coat of this type of mastiff, it is short and shiny in appearance. The color can vary, appearing in sand, brindle and reddish tones.

8. English Mastiff or Mastiff

The English mastiff, also called a mastiff, is originally from Great Britain, where the breed began to be registered in the fifteenth century. However, there was an ancestor that was recognized during the Roman invasions of England, so it is suspected that the mastiff is much older.

The breed features a square head and large, imposing boned body. His personality is affectionate but, at the same time, he fulfills the role of a watchdog. As for the coat, it is short and rough. It has a tawny or brindle hue, accompanied by a black nose, ears and muzzle, as well as spots of this color around the eyes..

Other unrecognized types of mastiff

There are some unrecognized mastiff breeds, they are the following:

Cashmere Mastiff

This breed of mastiff is often called bakharwal and it is not yet recognized by the canine federations. It is a working breed that is bred in the himalayan mountains, where it is used as a protective dog for livestock.

It has a muscular body with a broad chest and long legs, made up of strong bones. The coat is smooth and of medium length, it is presented in brown, black and spotted tones..

Afghan Mastiff

The Afghan Mastiff has been used since ancient times as nomadic tribes guard dog. However, it has not yet been recognized by the canine federations.

It has a medium body with long and thin legs, which contrast with its muscular torso. The muzzle is thin and the ears are slightly bent. As for the coat, it is of medium length, more abundant on the neck and tail, and occurs mainly in sand and light brown tones..


The bullmastiff is originally from Great Britain and although many classify it as a type of mastiff, the truth is that not considered a true mastiff dog, since it was developed from the cross between an old mastiff and a bulldog. In its origins, it was used as a guard dog and ranger.

The variety has a strong and symmetrical appearance, although not heavy. The muzzle is short, the profile flat and the jaw strong with raised cheeks. As for the coat, it is short and rough to the touch, it has reddish, sandy and brindle colors, light or dark, with white spots on the chest and a black mask around the eyes..

With regard to personality, this breed of dog is characterized by being spirited, loyal and faithful, so it becomes an excellent companion dog. In addition, the puppies of this breed gained popularity when certain celebrities, such as Bon Jovi and Christina Aguilera, decided to adopt dogs of this breed..

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