Family Life


Household Pets


Are Mastiffs Good With Kids? What Parents Need To Know

Beautiful young bullmastiff standing

Are Mastiffs Good With Kids? What Parents Need To Know

Are Mastiffs good with kids? If you’re considering adding a new furry friend to your family, this is a very important question to answer. Mastiffs are known for their hulking size and sweet temperament. They are good with kids although their size can be overwhelming to smaller children. Be sure your child knows how to interact with a big dog before deciding to move ahead with buying a Mastiff for a pet. Mastiffs are an ancient breed, originating from the Molossus breed which existed some 5,000 years ago. Sometimes called “English Mastiffs,” these dogs were originally bred as war dogs. Their modern counterpart is regarded as a gentle giant (via Dog Time).

Mastiff Personality And Physical Traits

Mastiffs are affectionate, loyal, and incredibly family oriented. They love children, are patient companions, and will guard their families as a gentle protector. Mastiffs do alright around other breeds of dog although their size will always be something to measure up against. They do require early training and socialization so they don’t take their guard dog duties too seriously around strangers. They can also show signs of aggression if they’re left alone too much as puppies. So it’s best to get a Mastiff if you can put the time in to earn their trust and affection, or to be sure the puppy you get has been very socialized. In a family setting, these large yet incredibly kind dogs are a great addition. Physically, their size is perhaps the most noticeable aspect of their appearance. The standard coats for the English Mastiff are a fawn brown, apricot, or brindle color. They are heavy-boned and thickly set dogs with expressive eyes and darker faces (via American Kennel Club).

Why The Age Of Your Child Is Important

While Mastiffs are good family dogs, their size is a factor to consider. Sometimes, bigger dogs can be harder for younger children to know how to interact with. These gentle giants are patient pets but may do better with slightly older children. Be sure your child understands the boundaries of a larger dog, and how to be respectful and aware of this large creature's needs and body language. Encouraging your child to help with the training and exercise routine for your new Mastiff is a great way to garner trust between the two. Training and walking a dog can also teach a lot about responsibility.

On a dark brown background lying English mastiff. Perhaps one of the most well-known breeds in the world, a true Englishman and an aristocrat
Mastiffs can be large, but their size should not dissuade you. These dogs are total sweethearts.


What If My Child Is Allergic?

According to Mastiff Guide, this giant breed of dog is a prolific drooler. So while they may not require much grooming, they are heavy salivators. When people are allergic to dogs, they are typically allergic to the saliva and dander released by the dog. Because of this, Mastiffs may not be the best fit for your home if anyone in your family is allergic. Most dog allergies can be treated with the proper medication, so if your heart is set on its own in a Mastiff.  

How Big Do Mastiffs Get?

Mastiffs are called gentle giants for a reason. Males can weigh more than some human adults, clocking in between 160 to 230 pounds. Females are typically between 120-170 pounds. In terms of height, Mastiffs can reach upwards of 30 inches which are about 2.5 feet (via Dog Time). 

Energy Levels of Mastiffs

Mastiffs are not very active dogs. They’ll be happy with a few daily walks and time spent outdoors. The American Kennel Club recommends the rule of not walking your Mastiff further than you can carry them. Mastiffs can get overheated or tired and as a result, tend to simply lie down when they no longer feel like walking around. 

xWoman sitting next to dog and holding pet treat in hand in outdoors, side view
Mastiffs are pretty low-energy dogs, be sure you bring treats to entice them on walks!

©iStock.com/Irina Orlova

How Much Does It Cost To Own A Mastiff?

Mastiffs are an investment. This purebred breed can cost up to $2,500 with options on the lower end still close to 2,000 dollars (via A-Z Animals). Include the costs of vaccinating and any medical checkups. There’s also the money you’ll need to put into buying gear, food, toys, and a crate, bed, etc. for your growing Mastiff puppy. First-year costs alone could be upwards of $3,000 depending on where you get your Mastiff from. As always, an adoption is a great option. It is possible to find Mastiffs in shelters and rescue centers, just keep an eye out for the chance.

What To Know About Mastiffs 

Overall, Mastiffs are sweet and gentle dogs. Don’t let their size fool you, they have a patient and friendly demeanor. They play well with kids, though they may not know the best way to interact with kiddos who are much smaller than them. They do well in apartments despite their size because they don’t need a whole lot of exercise to maintain their muscled physique. Keep in mind the size of these dogs is downright behemoth. You should ensure there is plenty of space for your new pup to roam, especially as it grows rapidly in size. These dogs are a big responsibility but you’ll earn a giant companion for life.

To top