Number 10 – The Bullmastiff
And we start with one of my favourite breeds of all times - the Bullmastiff. Even though they “only” measure up to 68 cm (or 27 inches) at the wither, they are one of the best family guardian breeds in existence. Unshakable in their loyalty, these dogs will not hesitate to risk their lives for their owners. With their big, blocky heads and their stocky appearance, Bullmastiffs come with a massive intimidation factor.
Number 9 – The Cane Corso
The majestic Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff breed that used to battle alongside Roman soldiers. In the centuries that followed the fall of the Roman Empire, Corsos served as multi-purpose working dogs for the farmers throughout Italy. Today, the breed has gained international recognition, and has become quite popular. Corsos measure up to 70 cm (or 28 inches) at the wither.
Number 8 – The Boerboel
On our number 8 spot, we have a South African breed that is a descendant of the Bullmastiff, who was crossed with other large breeds – with the aim to create the ultimate farm guardian: “Boerboel” literally translates into “famer’s dog”. This massive, muscle-packed Mastiff is even more effective as a guardian than the Bullmastiff himself. Just like Corsos, Boerboels grow up to 70 cm – which amounts to 28 inches.
Number 7 – The Portuguese Mastiff
And next on our list, on number 7, we have Portugal’s very own Mastiff breed: The Rafeiro do Alentejo. This giant dog is one of the four Portuguese livestock guardian breeds. And to this day, its main role consists in protecting flocks and herds from the Iberian wolf and other predators. With their large size and enormous, blocky heads, these dogs look quite fearsome. Portuguese Mastiffs can reach 74 cm at the wither, which is 29 inches.
Number 6 – The Newfoundland
Newfoundlands were never bred for protection purposes: Their job was saving people from drowning, and retrieving fishing nets in the freezing waters off Newfoundland’s coast. Famous for their love for children, Newfoundlands are not aggressive, but they have an extraordinarily strong and solid character. In size, they are equal to the Portuguese Mastiff – who happens to be one of their ancestors!
Number 5 – The Tibetan Mastiff
With a height of up to 76 cm (which is almost 30 inches), the Tibetan is one of the larger Mastiff breeds. Ever watchful and fiercely protective, this awesome guardian is the most expensive dog on the planet. With its thick fur and lion-like mane, the Tibetan looks absolutely awe-inspiring. And it is said to be the ancestor of many modern Mastiff- and livestock guardian breeds.
Number 4 – Neapolitan Mastiff
Next on our list of the TOP 10 largest Mastiffs, on number 4, we have another Italian breed – the Neapolitan Mastiff. Extremely devoted towards its family, this fearless guardian is ever watchful and suspicious of strangers. Neapolitans make superb family dogs, but they are mostly known for their abundance of loose skin on their face and neck: These “Kings of droop and drool” are unrivalled in the canine world when it comes to their adorable, deep wrinkles – and to the amount of drool they can dispense! Neapolitan Mastiffs can grow up to 77 cm (or 30 inches).
Number 3 – The Spanish Mastiff
Here on the Bronze Medal spot, we have an absolutely awesome Iberian breed: Measuring up to 88 cm at the wither (that is almost 35 inches), the Spanish Mastiff is a true giant. These colossal guardians were bred to protect flocks and herds from predators – most prominently, from the Iberian wolf. To this day, wolves and stray dogs are causing Iberian farmers huge losses. Unless, of course, they have a team of Spanish Mastiffs on duty. Their well-balanced nature also makes these Mastiffs perfect property- and farm guardians.
Number 2 – The Saint Bernard
Now, here we are at our second position on the pedestal, the Silver Medal Spot. And the dog that has conquered this spot is absolutely massive: One of the largest and heaviest breeds in existence, the Saint Bernard is a very gentle giant. Bred by monks in the Swiss Alps, this Mountain Mastiff traditionally served as a rescue dog. Over the centuries, Saint Bernards have saved countless people from certain death in the freezing cold mountains. These beautiful giants can measure up to an incredible 90 cm, which is equal to 35 inches.
Number 1 – The English Mastiff
And now, we come to the absolute top-spot on our list of extremely large Mastiffs. The Gold Medal goes to the awesome, amazing and unique English Mastiff. Standing up to 91 cm (or 39 inches), these dogs weigh around 200 to 230 pounds. This makes the English Mastiff not only the largest Mastiff, but also the heaviest dog breed on the planet. Despite their size, English Mastiffs are veritable sweethearts towards their favourite humans. Born with a great love for children, they are one of the best family guardian breeds in existence. And their affectionate, even-tempered nature makes it hard not to fall in love with these Kings of the canine world.