Top 10 Mastiff Breeds You Should Know About

When we read or hear the word Mastiff, a large-sized strong dog with a bulky skull comes in our mind. The existence of Mastiffs dates back to about 3,000 years ago.

Because of their strong gesture and macho looks, they have been used as war dogs, hunting dogs, guardian dogs, and unfortunately the fighting dogs. In many countries, people use them legally and illegally for fighting purposes.

Mastiffs look like a very aggressive dog breed but believe it or not, most of the Mastiff breeds are calm and peaceful. The reason behind their aggressive behavior is the way they are raised and trained.

Other than some specific countries where they have been used for fighting purposes, they have been used as pet dogs and guardians.

Today, we are going to list the Top 10 Mastiff Breeds which are either popular in their origin country or around the world.

You may like reading: Jagdterrier

So, let’s explore the 10 best Mastiff breeds below.

Top 10 Mastiff Breeds You Must Know About

1: Bully Kutta

Bully Kutta Pakistani Bully Indian Mastiff

Image credit: Wikimedia

The Bully Kutta or a Pakistani Bully is one of the most popular dog breeds and it was originated in Pakistan and India. It dates back to the 16th century and was used as a hunting dog or guardian dog.

The Bully Kutta is an energetic, aggressive, and highly-intelligent Mastiff breed which is not an ideal breed for first-time owners. In 2009, the Bully Kutta outranked many breeds including Collies in an aggression test.

Unfortunately, the Bully Kutta has been used for fighting purposes in several areas of the sub-continent.

2: Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiff

Image credit: wobindwonderdog via Flickr

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a Spanish Mastiff dog breed which is a large-sized dog but has an exceptional temperament. It is very calm and peaceful which makes it an ideal Mastiff breed for families who are looking for large-sized dogs.

The Pyrenean Mastiffs are usually a lazy dog breed that doesn’t like to exercise much, still, they need to be exercised a bit to avoid any mental health issues.

The Pyrenean Mastiff does very well with the children but they need to be monitored carefully as their large size may be a threat to infants.

3: Abruzzese Mastiff

Abruzzese Mastiff

Image credit:

The Abruzzese Mastiff or Mastino Abruzzese is an Italian Mastiff breed that was used as a livestock guardian in Norway and the United States. While guarding the livestock, they are employed in a pack of 4 to 10 dogs and one of them engages the predator if they have a face to face interaction with it.

The Abruzzese Mastiff has further 5 sub-types such as the Maiella type, Marsicano type, Pescocostanzo type, Aquilano type, and the Peligno type.

4: American Mastiff

American Mastiff

Image credit: Edzed Photography via Flickr

The American Mastiff is a large-sized powerful dog that is a bit different from the other Mastiff breeds as it has the driest mouth than all the other Mastiffs. Despite its aggressiveness and powerful body, the American Mastiff loves children and is one of the best family dogs.

It is among the healthiest and the laziest breeds which tend to be a couch potato but a daily exercise would be the best to keep them happy and fit.

It is said that the American Mastiff is a product of the Anatolian Mastiff and English Mastiff breed.

5: Boerboel

Boerboel South African Mastiff

Image credit: H&T PhotoWalks via Flickr

The Boerboel is a South African dog breed and usually known as the South African Mastiff. The South African Mastiff was originally bred for a guard and working farm dog. Their origin dates back to 1652. They are highly confident, stable, and calm and are among the most popular pets in South Africa and many other countries.

The Boerboel’s bite is said to be one of the most powerful bites that may force up to 800 psi (A lion has 650 psi). Nowadays, Boerboels have been bred widely in South Africa and exported worldwide.

6: Bullmastiff

Bullmastiff Mastiff breeds

Image credit: kapchurus via Flickr

The Bullmastiff is a large-sized domestic breed from the United Kingdom which is a product of the English Mastiff and Old English Bulldog. The Bullmastiffs were used as estate guardians by the Britains in the 1800s. This strong but sensitive Mastiff breed can be trained to become the best family dog.

The Bullmastiffs are natural guardians and they don’t need any training to protect their home and owners. They may develop several health issues so it is important to get them checked by your vet every 6 months.

7: Cane Corso

Cane Corso Mastiff breed

Image credit: appliedvitals via Flickr

The Cane Corso is a large-sized Italian dog breed. Also known as the Italian Mastiff, it was used as a police dog, tracking purposes, guardian, and protection. It is a muscular dog and is related to Neapolitan Mastiff.

The Cane Corso is less bulky as compared to other Mastiff breeds. It usually comes in two basic colors: fawn and black. It is a loving, affectionate, and easily-trainable dog that loves its owner’s family especially the children.

8: Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff

Image credit: CowCopTim via Flickr

The Neapolitan Mastiff is another Mastiff breed from Italy which is the best guardian and the defender of its family. Also known as Italian Molosso, this dog is known as the cousin of Cane Corso.

It is a fearless, protective, and very powerful dog that prefers to be with its family and is always alert. This intelligent Mastiff breed is a quick learner and can be trained easily. If raising a Neapolitan puppy, it is important to socialize them properly to avoid their aggressiveness towards strangers.

9: Perro de Presa Canario

Mastiff breeds Canary Mastiff


The Perro de Presa Canario or Canary Mastiff is a large-sized dog with a thick and muscular body. They are aggressive and powerful because of which they were also used as a fighting dog.

The Canary Mastiff needs early socialization and training or they may give you a tough time in their adulthood, especially, when they see strangers and non-familiar dogs. In 2001 and 2017, two different people reportedly killed by the Canary Mastiffs when they were being used as guard dogs.

10: Tosa

Tosa Inu Mastiff breeds

Image credit: Pleple2000 via Wikimedia Commons

The Tosa is a Japanese dog breed which is also known as Tosa Inu and the Japanese Mastiff. The Tosa Inu is restricted in many countries because of its aggressiveness. In Japan, it is used for dogfighting purposes and unfortunately, it is legal in Japan.

The Tosa Inu dates back to the nineteenth century and later these dogs were bred with many other breeds to a larger and stronger breed. Many countries don’t allow to keep Tosa as a pet dog which includes the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Malaysia, and Germany.

Final Words:

So, these were the top 10 Mastiff breeds around the globe. Some of them are popular worldwide but many of them are unknown and less popular outside their origin country.

You may like reading about: Shih Poo and Saint Berdoodle