Mastiffs breeds are beautiful and fascinating. They may be tough and protective on the outside, but for the most part, they are gentle and loving to those they consider families. This may remind you of some people and if it does, chances are they own one type of Mastiff. Who can blame them? You want the best around you and it certainly doesn’t get better than the proud and gentle Mastiff dog breed.
When we talk of Mastiffs, you probably have a picture of the English Mastiff in your mind. These large creatures are fairly common, but did you know they have a few relatives scattered around the world? That’s right, there are several Mastiffs breeds from different countries and although they share the same breed, they have some differences that are quite interesting.
Dogue de Bordeaux. This is the French Mastiff. While a little smaller than the English Mastiff, many say that the Bordeaux is a better guard dog than the former. It is extremely protective, but recent breeding have seen them to be more gentle than their predecessors. They are very patient and make for excellent family pets.
The Spanish Mastiff is a large creature, some males even weighing around 250 lbs. Some people can be quite intimidated by them as they can get fierce when protecting their own. Their muscular and stocky built, and innate sense of guardianship is designed to protect their families from any harm at any cost.
Neapolitan Mastiff. These are a rarer type of Mastiff that has been bred in the United States since the mid-90s. They are not as territorial or daunting as the other Mastiffs, they possess a more gentle and calming personality. The Neapolitan Mastiff is very wrinkly and drools a lot, making it a funny and interesting pet to have around. They are very large, quiet and they do well around children.
Fila Brasileiro. Like the Neapolitan Mastiff, this Brazilian Mastiff is a wrinkly fellow. However, what they share in facial crevices, they differ in personality. They are fierce and super protective. It is said that it is extremely difficult to train them socialization skills. They are loyal and protective with their families, but they will attack strangers at the slightest provocation. The Fila is a Brazilian Mastiff mixed with Bloodhound breed so you can expect a strong, working quality in this dog.
Tibetan Mastiff. Another dog that do not do well with strangers is the Tibetan Mastiff. They are very independent and stubborn, although loving and gentle with their family. What sets them apart is their long, thick coat. Obviously, being bred in Tibet, their coat protects them from harsh weather conditions in their country. The dense undercoat helps them retain heat, and the top coat is water resistant to keep them as warm and toasty as possible.
Tosa Inu. The Tosa Inu is a Japanese fighting dog. They are courageous, attentive and strong. They are also trained to be quiet because in Japan, dog fighting requires them to not be noisy. Of course not all Tosa Inu breeds are used for fighting, they make for great pets as well. They can thrive in apartment dwellings because of their quiet demeanor and low exercise requirements. As with many of the Mastiffs breeds, they do not do well with other male dogs and can get very attached to their owners.
Bullmastiff. This breed is 40% Bulldog and 60% Mastiff. They can have the tenacious and strong willed temperament of the Bulldog, so do not expect him to be as laid back as the English Mastiff. Although they are smaller in size, they have a stocky built and a huge energy reservoir. Socialize them well to enjoy an affectionate and good natured pet.
If you plan to adopt one of these Mastiffs breeds, you need to take time to give them obedience training as early as a few weeks old. These large dogs are often quite aggressive and dominant and if they have no clear concept on who the leader of the pack is (you), they will be a nightmare when they grow up. Exercise them regularly to prevent them from being overweight because obese dogs tend to acquire more dog diseases.