English Mastiffs

Massive, affectionate and docile, the English Mastiff breed defines what it means to be a gentle giant. Find out everything you need to know about this loving breed.

 The English Mastiff is one of the most ancient breeds of dog, with ancestors dating back 5,000 years. Originally bred as a war dog to fight lions, these days Mastiffs are known as one of the kindest, most docile breeds and are more accurately described as couch potatoes than warriors.

English Mastiffs are extremely affectionate and attached to their people. Though they do need exercise to stay healthy, they want nothing more than to curl up with their human and cuddle the day away — a far cry from their days on the battlefield.

Why We Love the English Mastiff Breed

  • Mastiffs are true gentle giants. Even when they’re protecting their family, they’re more likely to corner an intruder and lay down on them than attack with any aggression.

  • These dogs are very watchful and love to guard, but they’re never loud and know when to use their indoor voice.

  • English Mastiffs are homebodies and love to stay indoors, no matter if their home is a small apartment or a luxurious mansion. As long as they get their exercise from daily walks, they can adapt to any living situation.

Things to Consider

  • Mastiffs are prone to drooling and snoring. If you’re not willing to follow them around with a mop, these dogs might not be for you.

  • These pups love their owners fiercely, which means they’ll want to be around you all the time. They do not do well when left alone for long periods of time, so if you spend a lot of time away from home, you might want to consider a different breed.

  • Mastiffs are a very strong-willed breed. Despite their docile nature, they’ll need someone assertive who can remind them who’s in charge. 

Why Rescue?

These big dogs are very misunderstood. Often mistaken as aggressive watchdogs, many people turn them away when they realize they’re lovers, not fighters, leaving many Mastiffs without a home.

Additionally, English Mastiffs have a short lifespan and are prone to health issues, such as hip dysplasia and gastric torsion.

These problems are all exacerbated by over-breeding. If an English Mastiff is the dog for you, rescue one who is already in need of a home instead of buying one from a breeder or pet store. 

English Mastiff Rescues

Whether you’re looking for a Mastiff puppy or a full-grown friend, there are plenty of pups who are ready to love you unconditionally. Find your new companion here:


Courageous, gentle & intelligent
Avg. Weight
120 - 230 lbs
Occasional grooming recommended
Avg. Life Span
6 - 10 years
English Mastiffs near 20149
Animal Rescues near 20149
Organization City, State Contact
Persian Rescue of Virginia
Ashburn, VA emziemer@aim.com
The Cats at Longstreet
Sterling, VA longstreetcats@gmail.com
Save The Tails Rescue Group, Inc.
Leesburg, VA 1 888 379 5558 x1
Humane Society of Loudoun County
Leesburg, VA (703) 777-2912
Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society
Reston, VA littlebuddies@erols.com
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