Male vs. Female Mastiff: Which Is Better?

Male and female Mastiff in white background

The topic of male and female Mastiffs is a very tricky subject. Males have advantages over females, but so is the other way around. If you’re wondering which of the two will suit you better, you are in the right article!

Generally, male Mastiffs are more active and more affectionate than female Mastiffs. They are also taller and beefier than females. Meanwhile, female Mastiffs are arguably smarter and easier to train than males. They also mature faster. Moreover, female Mastiffs make excellent nannies for kids.

Like any other breed, having a male or female Mastiff has its benefits and drawbacks. If you want to know more details, keep on reading! By the end of this article, you just might find the right match for you.

Physical Difference

Female Mastiff getting some sun

Male Mastiffs

It may be hard to tell the physical differences between a male and female English Mastiff. Aside from their reproductive organs, they pretty much look exactly the same.

Usually, you can tell their size difference when they reach adulthood at around 18 months old. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), males stand approximately 30 inches tall and weigh between 160 and 230 pounds.

However, it is recorded in history that a male Mastiff named Zorba was once named the biggest dog in the world. Recognized in November 1989, Zorba stood around 37 inches and weighed about 343 pounds.

Given this, you can expect a male Mastiff to potentially grow more than the usual range. As a result, these big dogs are more suitable in large homes with spacious backyards.

Moreover, male Mastiffs have more prominent muscle mass and larger frames. Plus, they have rounder and deeper chests than females. Their bones are also more solid and defined than females, making them appear more athletic.

Female Mastiffs

In contrast, female Mastiffs stand around 27.5 inches, just slightly shorter than male Mastiffs. They also weigh slightly lighter, between 120 and 170 pounds, according to the same breed standard mentioned above.

In addition, the female Mastiff has thinner muscle mass and a slightly toned-down athletic build. Females also have softer features and expressions compared to their male counterparts. 

One thing they share with the males is their wrinkly foreheads, which all Mastiffs have. However, it is easy to notice that female Mastiffs have a more elegant stance than males as they carry themselves more gracefully.

Temperamental Differences

Male Mastiffs

Generally, how a Mastiff is trained and nurtured is an essential factor in how they behave in different situations and companies.

However, there are certain natural-born traits unique to each gender. Male Mastiffs are most likely to show affection to their owners and express their need for attention and care.

In addition, they are pretty straightforward dogs and are never shy. But on the downside, they get aggressive with others who they don’t see as members of the pack.

This behavior is usually exhibited toward other male dogs. As expected, a male Mastiff may be more inclined to do this if it is intact or unneutered. 

Likewise, its aggression towards the same sex may be heightened if an in-heat female is in the same area. This is just their way of asserting dominance.

Aside from these things, male Mastiffs are more active and playful than their female counterparts. This is the dog to get if you live an active lifestyle.

In a nutshell, male Mastiffs are excellent and loyal companions. However, they are not immune to some common behavioral issues present in male dogs.

Female Mastiffs

Female Mastiffs are more well-mannered and gentler than males. They are also more sociable, especially with other pets and kids.

Additionally, they also have a particular degree of independence. Despite being tolerant of hugs and kisses, female Mastiffs enjoy their alone time. In fact, they may not need too much of your attention.

Naturally, they are fast learners, and since they mature much earlier than male Mastiffs, they are easier to train.

However, female Mastiffs may exhibit stubbornness and mood swings caused by their heat cycles. Their behavior can be unpredictable during these times, so you should give them their space.

Overall, female Mastiffs are friendly and wise dogs that don’t waste energy goofing around. They would instead finish their task and be vigilant of their surroundings, making them excellent protectors.

Behavior and Training

Male Mastiff near the fence

Male Mastiffs

Proper behavioral training and socialization are vital for a Mastiff to develop desirable traits. Male Mastiffs are intelligent dogs but mature slower than females.

Moreover, they are more active and playful. Due to this, they are most likely to look forward to exploring the great outdoors or get curious about splashing in puddles and water sprinklers.

Male Mastiffs are harder to control, especially during their puppyhood. Moreover, like other male dogs, it’s common for male Mastiffs to mark territory by urinating.

Urine marking usually starts at three months, and this generally happens when your dog visits a new location. Intact male Mastiffs are more likely to mark than neutered ones.

Furthermore, male Mastiffs tend to be stubborn and easily distracted. They are also prone to aggression; hence, early training should be a priority. 

You can train your male Mastiffs more effectively in the form of short, varied training throughout the day. This works well since they get easily bored with repetitive ones. 

Male Mastiffs also respond well to positive reinforcement training, so get your treats and toys ready!

Female Mastiffs

Unlike their male partners, female Mastiffs are highly trainable due to their sharp focus. They mature earlier and would rather finish tasks than have zoomies around the house.

Although they also have a playful side, female Mastiffs are generally more mature and responsive to training than males. However, like males, they prefer varied exercises rather than repetitive activities.

In addition, female Mastiffs also respond well to positive reinforcement training, like males. They can also be a bit stubborn but are naturally fast learners. 

Usually, females do not mark their territory by urinating; however, one thing to watch out for is their heat cycles. When in heat, it’s important not to overwork your female Mastiffs. 

During these times, you may also notice a shift in their mood, making them impossible to train. If this happens, just let them rest, as they may be experiencing discomfort and pain.

When it comes to exercise needs, both male and female English Mastiffs need at least an hour of physical and mental stimulation daily. This will keep them happy and healthy.

Health Differences

Male Mastiffs

Both male and female Mastiffs have an average lifespan of 6 to 12 years. Generally, they also suffer from the same illnesses. However, there are a few gender-specific diseases they may be susceptible to.

Male Mastiffs are usually prone to heart, reproductive, and weight-related conditions due to their size and anatomy. Some may be severe, while others are preventable.

Below are some health issues your male Mastiff may develop:

  • Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM): This condition is common in giant breeds. Male Mastiffs are more susceptible to DCM because of their larger muscle mass. DCM causes the thinning of the heart’s muscles, making it difficult to contract and pump blood.
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): BPH is usually common in intact male Mastiff dogs. This can exhibit through painful urination and bleeding caused by an altered or abnormal estrogen-androgen ratio.
  • Pulmonic Stenosis: Pulmonic stenosis is a genetic condition that causes a malformation in the pulmonic valve, leading to obstruction of blood flow from the heart into the lungs. This is the most common congenital heart defect in dogs.

Getting your male Mastiff from a reputable breeder is crucial for their health. Moreover, reproductive diseases can be prevented by neutering them. 

Aside from contributing to their health, neutering your male Mastiff can also help in taming their aggression towards other male dogs and female dogs in heat. It can also lessen their habit of marking territory.

Female Mastiffs

Like male Mastiffs, females are also linked to reproductive conditions, especially if unspayed. That’s why it’s recommended to spay your female Mastiffs to keep them healthy and less moody.

Here are some health conditions your female Mastiff is at risk of:

  • Vaginal Prolapse: Vaginal prolapse or vaginal hyperplasia is a condition in female dogs that causes the vaginal tissue to be seen through the vulva. This condition is painful for the affected dog and requires medical attention.
  • Pyometra: Pyometra occurs when there is an infection in the womb. This health issue is prevalent in unspayed female Mastiffs and can cause a bacterial infection after they have finished their heat cycle. Usually, it is treated with antibiotics. However, it can be fatal if untreated.
  • Lymphoma: Lymphoma is a type of cancer common in female Mastiffs. It involves the dangerous growth of lymphocytes in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus. These lymphocytes help the immune system fight off infection.

Staying away from backyard breeders and puppy mills is a must to ensure your Mastiff’s health and quality, regardless of its gender. Additionally, vitamins and visiting the vet regularly can prevent diseases and prolong your Mastiff’s life.

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male English Mastiff near a small horse

Male Mastiffs

Generally, male Mastiffs are naturally inclined to assume the alpha position; hence, they tend to be aggressive to other male dogs and females in heat. However, socialization, training, and neutering can lessen these tendencies.

Exposing them to other pets at an early age or letting them play in pet parks or doggy daycare can help them be at ease and be used to having animal companions.

Moreover, they don’t usually initiate fights, but they can be territorial if they are untrained. However, if they are trained and socialized, they can be ideal pets.

A client of mine who loves large dogs has a pair of male Mastiffs, along with a male Cane Corso and a male Great Dane. It may seem like an unlikely mix of dogs and difficult to control; however, you will be surprised at the excellent job of this dog owner when it comes to socialization.

He is able to keep all his male dogs within the same huge enclosure where they run, play, and get along well with each other without becoming aggressive, even at the sight of food. Of course, obedience training also helped to achieve this setup.

Female Mastiffs

Female Mastiffs are natural caregivers and are more friendly than their male partners. However, they can show aggression to other female pets, especially if untrained and unspayed.

Once they are spayed, they usually become gentler and more protective of other pets, given that they are used to having them around.

In addition, since female English Mastiffs are more responsive to training, you will have an easier time managing them and helping them warm up to other pets, especially those new to their eyes. 

With Children

Male Mastiffs

Male Mastiffs do well with children, especially if properly introduced. They may see your kid as a playmate and would love to be around them. However, most of the time, they prefer to bond with adults.

When you allow your child to play with a male Mastiff, make sure to keep an eye on them since they can easily knock your child over without meaning to. You must also set boundaries between them.

If not, your male Mastiff may not understand that your kid does not have the same energy level as them. They may disturb them during rest just to play. It is best to raise them together as they will form a more special bond this way.

Moreover, male dogs do not have parental instincts like females, which may sometimes cause them to engage in rough play. Parental supervision is always advised to avoid unwanted accidents.

Female Mastiffs

Just like other female dogs, female Mastiffs are naturally gentle with kids. Assuming they are socialized and trained, they can be protective and caring over kids as if they were their own.

Since they are not as active and are slightly smaller than males, they tend to be safer playmates for children. Also, female Mastiffs can make excellent babysitters if trained properly.

However, female Mastiffs are still large dogs, so it’s still better to supervise them when around kids. 

Teaching your kids how to handle dogs is also recommended. Some children tend to grab and poke dogs too much, which is not good.

Overall, female Mastiffs are more suited to bond with children than males since they are more nurturing and less rambunctious.

Check out this adorable video to see how Mastiffs socialize with babies:

English Mastiff and Baby Compilation

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Mastiffs

Female English Mastiff lying on the grass

Male Mastiffs

No matter the breed, having male dogs has pros and cons. Male Mastiffs are no exception. However, they still make excellent companions, especially with an owner who perfectly matches them.

Having a male Mastiff in your home can be exciting since they are fun to be with. They love adventures and want to do everything with you. Moreover, they are affectionate and excellent guard dogs.

On the contrary, since male Mastiffs are highly active, they may not be suited for non-adventurous people. They can exhibit destructive behaviors without the proper activities and exercise.

In addition, they thrive on their owner’s attention. So they may be pretty needy and at risk of developing separation anxiety. Male Mastiffs also mark territory and hump, especially when they are intact.

Furthermore, these male dogs are more challenging to train since they get distracted easily. They usually channel their energies to running around rather than focusing on training.

Sweet-natured and affectionateTend to hump and mark territory
Excellent guard dogsCan be aggressive to other dogs
Bonds well with adultsHarder to train
Playful and funExtremely hyper
Good for active peopleMore likely to develop separation anxiety
Striking appearanceEasily gets distracted

Female Mastiffs

Female Mastiffs are known for their laid-back and independent personality. They are fast learners and easier to train. Moreover, they mature early and are more efficient in doing tasks since they don’t get distracted quickly.

Additionally, female Mastiffs are gentler to children and friendly to other pets, making them excellent family companions. They are also neater and easier to clean than males.

However, female Mastiffs can exhibit stubbornness and mood swings due to heat cycles, which makes them unpredictable at times. Since they are bred as guard dogs, they can be suspicious and distrusting of unfamiliar faces.

Moreover, they can exhibit aggression toward other female dogs, especially if they are unspayed. Female Mastiffs may also require personal space and are not as affectionate as their male counterparts.

Highly trainableUnpredictable 
Gentle with kidsMore likely to have mood swings
Matures earlyTends to be aloof at times
Very neatLess clingy
More likely to get along with other petsSuspicious of strangers and other pets

Should You Get a Male or Female Mastiff?

Both male and female Mastiffs are fantastic pets. Now that we have gone through all their similarities and differences, it will be easier for you to decide which matches your lifestyle and preference.

If you want cuddles, bonding moments, and lots of playtime with your dog, then the better pet for you is the male Mastiff. 

A male Mastiff is also an excellent choice if you’re into colossal dogs and have enough space in your home.

Moreover, if you have an adventurous spirit and love to explore the great outdoors, your lifestyle is perfect for male Mastiffs. They also come in handy if you’re looking for guard dogs.

Meanwhile, if you’re keen on having an intelligent and easy-to-train pet, your best bet is having a female Mastiff. It is also an excellent choice if you have small children and other pets.

Additionally, if you’re a working individual, you will not worry much about female dogs because they like their personal space and independence.

Take time to weigh all the factors we’ve discussed in this article to avoid future cases of neglect and abandonment. After all, having a pet is a lifetime commitment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Male Mastiff out in the snow

Are Male or Female Mastiffs Calmer?

Female Mastiffs are more friendly and laid-back compared to males, making them suitable for homes with kids and other pets. Although they may distrust strangers, they do not exhibit extreme aggression.

Are Male or Female Mastiffs More Affectionate?

Both male and female Mastiffs are capable of showing love. However, the more affectionate pup is the male Mastiff. They are much needier when it comes to their owner’s attention and exhibit more clinginess than females.

Are Male or Female Mastiffs Easier to Train?

When it comes to training, female Mastiffs excel more. They mature earlier than their male counterparts. Also, female Mastiffs don’t get distracted quickly and are usually eager to finish tasks.

Final Thoughts

Regarding differences, reproductive organs are not the only factor to look through between a male and a female Mastiff. As puppies, they may look similar, but their size will be more distinct when they reach adulthood.

Aside from their physical appearance, male and female Mastiffs also differ in dynamics, preferences, and temperament. After discussing everything above, there is no right or wrong answer to which gender is better.

Overall, socialization and training will play a crucial role in obtaining desirable traits from both genders. Our best advice is to cross-match your lifestyle and its pros and cons to see which gender is best suited for you.

Have you taken your pick between the two? Let us know in the comments below what you think about male and female Mastiffs!

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