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Mastiff Lifespan: How Long Do They Live? Facts & Temperament


May 17, 2023
Portrait of a Mastiff Dog in outdoors


Portrait of a Mastiff Dog in outdoors

If you want a massive dog, part of the tradeoff is a shorter lifespan. Unfortunately, this is often true with the Mastiff. While the breed can live for up to 10 years, it’s not uncommon for them to pass on after just 6.

But a large portion of this depends on what breeder you go with, dietary decisions, and other factors. Keep reading, and we’ll break down everything you need to know!

Breed Overview


Apricot, brindle, and fawn

Suitable for:

Families with plenty of space, those looking for an extremely loving dog, and experienced dog owners


Loyal, loving, sometimes stubborn, extremely protective, and highly adaptable

While the Mastiff isn’t an excellent choice for first-time dog owners because of their giant size and stubborn tendencies, there’s no denying just how loving these pups can be. Few dogs will love their owners and want attention as much as a Mastiff.

They’re classic lovable giants, and sometimes, they just want to be a lap dog, even if their massive size won’t allow it!

Mastiff Characteristics



High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.



Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.



Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.



Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.



Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Mastiff Breed Puppies

Purebred English Mastiff puppy
Image Credit: Jennifer Wallace, Shutterstock

If you’re interested in getting a Mastiff, there’s no shortage of options out there. You can find Mastiff breeds in shelters for as little as $150, but typically, they’ll have other breeds mixed with them.

Meanwhile, if you want a breeder with AKC certifications, you should expect to spend at least $1,300, but it’s not uncommon to find breeders charging closer to $3,000 for a pup. There are plenty of breeders out there, but this makes it extremely important for you to do your research and only purchase from a reputable breeder.

It might take a bit more work and cost a little more upfront, but they’ll give you a puppy with a much lower chance of future health problems, saving you money in the long run. And with so many breeders out there, you don’t need to settle for anything but the best!

Temperament & Intelligence of the Mastiff

While Mastiffs are massive dogs with an unfortunate fighting history, the Modern Mastiff is an extremely loving dog that gets along great with families. However, they can be extremely protective, and because of their massive size, they can be a bit more challenging to control.

This is especially true because they possess a stubborn streak at times. An experienced handler can easily tame these dogs, but they don’t offer as much room for mistakes because of their huge size.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes! Few dogs get along with kids as well as a Mastiff will. Just keep in mind that the Mastiff is a very large dog, and while they generally do a great job of recognizing just how large they are, you should still be careful with them around smaller children.

Additionally, the Mastiff can be very protective, so you’ll want to ensure you avoid roughhousing around a Mastiff, as they might misinterpret the situation.

Blond boy with a large dog, English Mastiff
Image Credit: Vira Sivachuk, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

While the Mastiff generally gets along great with kids and other family members, you should display a little more caution before introducing them to other pets. With proper socialization, a Mastiff will usually do great around them, but it does take proper socialization.

Another concern with Mastiffs is that they can be playful with smaller animals, and sometimes they forget about their own size. And with dogs as large as Mastiffs, this can have disastrous consequences.


Things to Know When Owning a Mastiff:

The Mastiff is a massive dog and is a massive commitment, so you’ll want to get as much information as possible before bringing one home. That’s why we highlighted some of the most important information you should know before you get a Mastiff.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

A Mastiff’s size can commonly differ by over 100 pounds, so it’s no surprise that their food requirements will vary a ton too. Smaller Mastiffs that weigh around 120 pounds will need about 5.5 cups of food daily, while larger Mastiffs that weigh 230 pounds will need about 8.25 cups of food daily.

For quality kibble, this cost will fall somewhere between $90 and $135 each month. Typical wet foods require a single can for every 10 to 15 pounds of weight, meaning an astronomical price for quality wet food.

Fresh food plans work the same way, and many fresh food companies don’t even provide plans for larger Mastiffs. If you can find a plan, you should expect to spend somewhere around $400 monthly for their food.

Exercise 🐕

As adults, Mastiffs require about 1 hour of exercise each day, and it’s best to take them out for walks or have a fenced-in yard for them to explore to meet these exercise needs. While you can take your Mastiff to a dog park to try and meet these needs, keep in mind that their much larger size can lead to some problems with some dogs at the park.

english mastiff running on grassy field
Image Credit: Vira Sivachuk, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

While Mastiffs are incredibly intelligent, some do have a stubborn streak that you’ll need to work through. Additionally, it’s best to start training as early as possible because once they reach their full size, an unruly Mastiff can be incredibly difficult to control.

Whenever you’re training a Mastiff, consistency is critical; aim for at least one 15- to 20-minute training session each day. Don’t extend training sessions any longer than that, as your Mastiff will lose interest, and you won’t get the desired results.

Grooming ✂️

There’s no way around it—a Mastiff is going to shed a ton. Part of this comes down to the fact that they’re such large dogs that have more fur to shed. But part of it also comes down to the fact that they’re simply heavy shedders.

But while they shed a ton, they have a shorter coat, and you only need to brush them out about once a month. In addition to that, you should give them a bath every few months, brush their teeth daily, and trim their nails as needed. Overall, they might shed a lot, but grooming maintenance is on the lower end of things!

Health and Conditions 🏥

Unfortunately, the Mastiff is especially prone to a wide range of health problems and isn’t one of the healthier dog breeds out there. Because of this, it’s extremely important that you get your Mastiff from a reputable breeder that provides a full health history for both parents, references, and a health guarantee.

From there, feed your Mastiff a high-quality diet, and ensure they get to a vet for regular checkups. Below, we’ve highlighted some serious and minor health conditions you need to keep an eye out for.

Minor Conditions

  • Cherry eye
  • Allergies
  • Cataracts
  • Entropion and ectropion

Serious Conditions

  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Gastric dilation

Male vs Female

By far, the most notable difference between a male and female Mastiff is their size. While female Mastiffs start at 120 pounds and top out at 170 pounds, males usually start at 160 pounds and can weigh up to 230 pounds!

There’s no such thing as a small Mastiff, but since males can weigh twice as much as females, you need to be extremely careful if you don’t want a massive dog and you’re considering a Mastiff. There’s a big difference between owning a 120-pound dog and a 230-pound dog!


3 Little-Known Facts About the Mastiff

There’s no shortage of interesting facts about the Mastiff out there, and we could create books full of content highlighting everything that’s interesting about them. Still, we worked hard to narrow it down to just three and highlighted each one for you here:

1. Mastiffs Come From the Brits

Roman soldiers visited Britain during ancient times and upon seeing the dogs, wanted to bring them to the fighting arenas. The Brits used Mastiffs to guard castles and estates, so it wasn’t a far stretch to turn them into pure fighting dogs. Either way, it seems likely that Brits bred the first Mastiff thousands of years ago.

2. Mastiffs Descend From War Dogs

Mastiffs descend from the now-extinct Molosser dog, which followed Roman soldiers into battle. While you won’t see any Mastiffs on modern-day battlefields, it’s not hard to see how these massive dogs would’ve been extremely beneficial during ancient times!

3. The Largest Ever Mastiff Weighed 343 Pounds

Most Mastiffs will never come close to anything over 230 pounds, but these are massive dogs. In fact, the largest Mastiff ever weighed 343 pounds. If you’re getting a Mastiff, get ready for a large dog; otherwise, you should consider a different breed.

Male English Mastiff
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

While you might not get a ton of time with a Mastiff because of their shorter lifespan, the time you do get with them makes them an outstanding companion. They’re extremely loving, and if you need them to keep intruders out of your home, they do an outstanding job.

But at the same time, they get along great with kids, giving you the best of both worlds with a massive dog. They’re great pets, just know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before bringing one home.

Featured Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

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