American Mastiff

The American Mastiff is a molosser-type dog that was created over 20 years ago by Fredericka Wagner of Flying W Farms by crossing an English Mastiff and an Anatolian Mastiff.

In an attempt to address issues of hip displasia, drooling, and a short lifespan, Fredericka Wagner of Flying W Farms crossed an English Mastiff with an Anatolian Mastiff, a very old mastiff breed known for its intelligence and lengthy lifespan for a large breed. Through very selective breeding, the American Mastiff was born. The American Mastiff looks similar to the English Mastiff. This line is relatively new, and the breeders have chosen not to register with most breed registries. They have, however, registered with the Continental Kennel Club which recognized the line as purebred in 2000. American Mastiffs were bred to be family dogs, not show dogs. There are 10 authorized breeders in North America/Canada which comprise the American Mastiff Breeders Council (AMBC) and whose dogs' bloodlines can be traced exclusively back to Flying W Farms. This is not the same as a Panja, which has lines of Pitbull and Rottweiler.

Characteristics of the American Mastiff

American Mastiffs are generally calm and quiet dogs and are wonderful with children. They are loyal and loving dogs who are not usually aggressive unless they need to protect their people.

Though they probably wouldn't choose to exercise daily, a steady routine will keep them more fit and happier. It is good for their mental and physical health to be out and walking regularly. Their grooming is easy due to their short-haired and smooth coat. They can easily be shampooed and shined by drying them after bathing, then brushing their coat with a brush with firm bristles. Though they do shed, they shed no more than the average dog.


American Mastiff dog comes in three colors including fawn, apricot and brindle. Puppies are born dark in color and tend to lighten as they get older. American Mastiffs attain their true color by the time they turn one year old. In this breed of Mastiff dog, white markings on their chin, nose, chest and feet are acceptable. All American Mastiffs must exhibit a black mask in order to meet the breed standard.

The head should be wide, heavy and rectangular in shape with high-set rounded ears. A medium-sized muzzle should be well-proportioned to the rest of the head. The neck should be powerful with a slight arch, leading to a straight and muscular back. The chest should be deep, broad and well-rounded. Forelegs should be strong, straight and set well apart, while the hind legs should be wide and parallel. The dog should be 32 to 36 inches at the shoulder with females standing at 28 to 34. American Mastiff puppies are usually dark in color; however, as they mature their color tends to lighten. Common American Mastiff colors are fawn, apricot and brindle. The dog should have a temperament that is loving and devoted to its family, especially children. A loyal and calm dog, the American Mastiff should be non-aggressive except when its family is threatened. In those instances, they become fierce and courageous guard dogs.

Height, Weight

Height: Females 28-34 inches. Males 32-36 inches. Weight: Females 140-180+ pounds. Males 160-200+ pounds.

Living Conditions

Contrary to some other large breeds, this breed of Mastiff dog will get along perfectly well in an apartment as long as they are exercised daily. This can be a daily walk or short run. Usually even a small fenced yard will do just fine, as they tend to be a little on the lazy side as they get older. They are relatively inactive indoors ("couch potatoes").


Mastiffs are inclined to be lazy but they will keep fitter and happier if given regular exercise. Like all dogs, the American Mastiff should be taken on daily regular walks to help release its mental and physical energy. As with any breed, it is best if they are leashed in public. The American Mastiff can do acceptably well in a small household or apartment if he is sufficiently exercised. They are comparatively inactive indoors, so their ideal living conditions would consist of at least a small yard or daily walks.

American Mastiff Pictures

American Mastiff - Classifieds