Have you ever been torn between getting a dog and a horse? Well good news – now you can!
Okay not really, but if you are a big dog person and you want one that gets to the size of a small pony, a Mastiff might be the right fit for you. Hey dog moms and dads!
My name is Bri, and while my dog Bruce is not quite the size of a horse, he is still a pretty big dog. He is an American Bulldog who is colored just like a cow. Let’s stop talking about farm animals and stick to the dogs.
My dad has always been a big dog person and a few years ago, he decided to bring home an English Mastiff. This dog grew faster than anything I have ever seen!
The bigger he got, the more fur he had… which also meant the more dog hair we had all over the house. This dog shed enough to make you think it was impossible for him to have any fur left.
Now we have owned multiple dogs growing up, so dog hair was nothing new to us. However, we all wish we would have been a little more prepared for just how much dog fur we would be dealing with from our Mastiff.
That’s why I decided to talk a little more about the shedding habits of Mastiffs!
I will describe the different Mastiff breeds and their shedding habits, along with some tips and tricks that my family learned to help control the shedding.
First, we will talk about the history of Mastiffs including the top three most common Mastiff breeds!
History of Mastiffs
Before we dive into the Mastiff history, I want to clarify that there are multiple breeds of Mastiffs. Honda doesn’t make just one type of car, right? Same goes for Mastiffs!
There are literally dozens of different Mastiff breeds in the world, but I want to cover the three most common. These include the English Mastiff, the Bull Mastiff, and the Neapolitan Mastiff.
English Mastiffs have a pretty hard core bloodline. Back around 50b.c. English Mastiffs were raised as battle dogs and fighting dogs for entertainment against gladiators (not cool, but let’s move on).
They were even hired as protection dogs against wild animals like bears and mountain lions. Their size and strength made them a valuable guard dog against large predators that many people would be over-powered by.
Their loyalty and fierce fighting made them incredible weapons in multiple battles. However, only 14 of them survived after World War II.
Luckily, breeders in the United States took action to breed these big babies, but they are much more docile now! They are well known as being gentle giants.
There is not a ton of information on the history of the Neapolitan Mastiff, but it seems like their origin is similar to the English Mastiff. They are still intimidating dogs, but are just as gentle as their English cousins.
Bullmastiffs, or “The Gamekeeper’s Night Dog,” had incredibly important roles in the mid-19th century. Just as their nickname states, they protected game and livestock.
Smaller and faster than their cousins mentioned before, they were able to catch poachers and thieves. They also were able to work on command making them an asset to farmers.
Later on, the breed grew in popularity for their skills in competitions and show rings. Now, they are just as popular for strutting their stuff in the ring and for taking long naps on the couch.
What is a Mastiff’s Coat Like?
Mastiff coats vary based on the breed, but specifically for these three, they are pretty similar. These pups have a soft, short coat that is relatively easy to groom.
English and Bullmastiffs tend to have brown or tan fur, but a Neapolitan Mastiff typically has a gray colored coat. I would describe their fur as velvety because of how soft it is. Especially their ears and cheeks!
Do Mastiffs Shed?
Like many other short-haired breeds, yes! Mastiffs do shed.
I have never owned a Neapolitan or Bullmastiff, but from friends who have experience with them, it sounds like they both shed just as much as their English cousins.
Short hair is relatively easy to maintain though, which we will get into later on.
How Much do Mastiffs Shed?
Mastiffs do not shed more or less than the average dog.
Their large size might make it seem like they lose a ton of fur, but aside from their typical heavier shedding periods their fur loss is pretty average.
When do Mastiffs shed the most?
There are several factors that can contribute to how much a Mastiff sheds. Some of the most common include:
Time of year
There are two specific times a year when a dog sheds the most. These times are when the weather gets warm and when the weather gets cold.
Mastiffs are no exception to this! They drop their dense winter coat towards the beginning of spring, and shed that light summer coat to allow their winter one to grow in towards the end of fall.
Stage of life
As dogs age, their bodies change. This includes their shedding habits.
Puppies do not shed nearly as much as adult dogs do. The same can be said about adult dogs vs. senior dogs. A senior will likely shed more than a healthy adult.
Diet and exercise
These are especially key in Mastiff coat health. Mastiffs are big dogs that require exercise to stay healthy, and often unhealthy dogs will show signs via excessive shedding.
A poor diet can have the same effect. Proper nutrients will help a Mastiff’s coat grow in strong and healthy, while a poor diet can cause their fur to shed more than it should.
Pests and skin conditions
A lot of dogs fall victim to pesky bug like fleas and ticks. These will cause shedding due to scratching and licking.
While this is normal, these pests can also carry diseases like mange and Lyme disease which can have more serious side effects. Excessive shedding is definitely a sign of these bugs so be sure to keep an eye out!
How to Combat Mastiffs Shedding?
There is really not any way to stop a Mastiff from shedding. It is a natural occurrence that all dogs experience and all dog parents have learned to deal with.
However, there are some things you can do to help maintain it. Grooming is essential in keeping shedding under control!
While Mastiffs do not typically need to be bathed very often, a good scrub will help get rid of any loose hair they are carrying around.
Baths should be kept to a minimum though, since too many can make their skin dry and irritated.
Mastiffs really do not require too much grooming. However, it always helps to brush them a couple times a week to get rid of that extra fur. This is especially true during those heavy shedding phases we talked about!
Lastly, having a regular cleaning schedule will definitely help you keep the shedding under control. The longer you wait to clean the dog fur off of your couch, the worse the shedding will seem to be!
Equipment Help to Combat Mastiff Shedding
These gentle giants are not going to groom themselves! However, they do stay relatively clean.
To give them an extra hand, there are a few tools you might want to invest in to help you stay on top of all their shedding needs.
I have always used the three products I am going to share because they work better than anything else I have ever tried!
The first is a good brush. If you have ever read any of my pup parenting articles, you already know what I am going to say.
GET A FURMINATOR! Seriously, this brush is magic. It gets all the dead hair out and my dogs have always loved it.
It is gentle but does a killer job of getting all the dander and hair out. Plus it is so easy to clean. Big plus for me!
The second tool is a vacuum. Once again, I have said this a million times. The Dyson cordless pet hair vacuum.
It is literally made specifically for pet hair. What more could you want? Plus it comes apart which I love because I can use it easily on my stairs.
Lastly, lint rollers are a dog parent’s best friend. However, ripping that sticky paper off and trying to get it to stop sticking to your fingers is a real pain.
For that reason and because of the harm all that waste can cause on the environment, I choose to use the Magik Brush. It is double sided… well, magic.
I use it on my clothes, furniture, and even in my car and it has never failed me! You just wipe it clean when you are done and all that fur goes from your pants to the trash.
Are Mastiffs Considered to be Hypoallergenic?
I can’t explain this clearly enough: no dog is fully hypoallergenic. It is just not possible folks! Dogs might not always shed their fur, but they still have dander.
There will never be a dog that 100% does not trigger allergies, and even on scale of being almost hypoallergenic, Mastiffs do not come anywhere close to it.
The amount of shedding these dogs do along with the normal amount of pet dander makes them one of the least hypoallergenic dogs alive.
Trust me, my dad is crazy allergic to dogs! We almost couldn’t keep our English Mastiff, but we told my dad he would have to move out before the dog did. Just kidding… kind of.
Invest in some good allergy medicine if this is what you are worried about, or just consider the fact that you might not be a good fit for a Mastiff.
Do Some Mastiffs Shed More Than Others?
While different Mastiff breeds might shed more or less than the other, the three we have talked about today are relatively similar.
The only factors that might effect this is where the dog lives, how old it is and what kind of diet or exercise it is getting.
Warmer climates will most likely cause a dog to shed more than a dog in a cooler climate.
They have to shed their fur more often to keep them cool, where a dog in a cool climate will adapt to keep their warm coats longer.
Health Reasons for Increased Shedding in Mastiffs
Aside from my earlier notes on the pests and bugs, Mastiffs can also show excessive shedding when they have deeper health complications. A good example of this is serious health conditions such as cancers or internal complications.
Shedding can be a sign that something is not right internally. Normally you should be able to tell a difference because the shedding could be uneven, like patches of fur coming out all at once.
You could also see more shedding than normal in general. This might not be as obvious, so be sure to pay special attention to how much your dog normally sheds!
Final Thoughts: Do Mastiffs Shed
If anything is going to keep you from getting a Mastiff, it should not be shedding. It should be the buckets of drool that seep out of their cheeks all day every day.
If you can handle that, you can definitely handle the shedding. These dogs really are gentle giants.
Our English Mastiff was the most loving and sweet dog with a huge personality. They love to relax and even though they can get up to and over 200 pounds, they will still think they are lap dogs.
With some patience and the tools I mentioned earlier, there is no reason you will not be able to manage the shedding of a Mastiff.
They are one of my favorite dog breeds and are well worth the short time it takes to keep their fur under control! Thank you for reading this article on do mastiffs shed, have a great day.