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North American Mastiff – A Gentle Giant Overview

North American Mastiff – A Gentle Giant Overview

Giant dog lovers have many dog breeds to choose from. Everyone has heard of the Great Danes, Pitbulls, and Rottweilers – but what if you’re looking for a less-known breed?

If you are, then the North American Mastiff (NAM) might be the dog to spark your interest!

This is a gentle giant that is a fairly new breed, which is why not many people have heard about it.

As you’re here, chances are you’d like to learn more about these powerful dogs. Well, you’re in the right place! We’ll explain all there is to know about North American Mastiff, so you can decide whether you want to provide a forever home to this doggie.

Here’s everything you need to know:

What Is A North American Mastiff?

north american mastiff dog

Photo from: @_branded_for_life_

The North American Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds in the entire world. As its name suggests, this is a Mastiff-type dog, and these breeds are known for their massiveness.

This is a fairly new breed designed to be an improved version of the English Mastiff, the original Mastiff dog.

These are massive dogs with heavy bones, wide and flat heads and somewhat short noses. Their floppy ears are set high and are usually cropped short, to give these dogs a more intimidating appearance.

North American Mastiffs can come in a few coat colors – the kennel clubs that recognize this breed also recognizes these colors:

• Black

• Fawn

• Brown

• Blue

• Chocolate

• Red

• Buckskin

• Apricot

All have white markings, but patterns such as brindle, a black mask, pied, and merle are also common. This makes them rather colorful dogs, especially among the Molosser dog breeds.

Their eyes are triangular, but their wrinkles can give them an almond appearance. While the usual color is dark brown, lighter colors are also possible – especially in dogs with merle coats, in which blue eyes and even heterochromia are a common sight.

North American Mastiff History

black north american mastiff

Photo from: @adventuresofvera_nam

While North American Mastiffs have only been recognized by some kennel clubs in 2000, this is a breed with ancient origins.

Mastiffs are among the oldest types of dogs you can find. They were used as war dogs centuries ago. In the time of peace, they were used as hunt dogs and guard dogs.

Some Mastiff breeds, such as the English Mastiff, were brought to the U.S.A. during World War II. Other breeds, including the Italian Mastiff or the Cane Corso, weren’t introduced to the states until the late 1990s.

As for the North American Mastiff, the creator of this breed was Fredericka Wagner from Piketon, Ohio. This breeder wanted to create an improved version of the English Mastiff. To do so, she crossbred this Mastiff breed with Anatolian Shepherds and Kangals.

As such, the first records of the North American Mastiffs are in the 1980s, when the results of Wagner’s crossbreeding have finally been fruitful. In 2002, she formed her famous American Mastiff Breeders Council.

Wagner became the first North American Mastiff breeder, and she used the dogs she created for further reproduction. However, the AKC hasn’t recognized the North American Mastiff as an independent breed as of 2022.

Compared to their ancestor, the English Mastiff, they are a slimmer, more elegant breed that is more suitable for people with dog allergies thanks to its drier mouth, which means less drooling.

North American Mastiff Size

The first time anyone hears about the existence of North American Mastiff dogs, the main question that is asked is: “How big are these dogs?”

This is easily one of the largest dog breeds. It can reach the height of 36 inches while weighing up to 200 lbs. This is heavier than many humans weigh!

Compared to them, the tallest dog breed recognized by the AKC, the Irish Wolfhound, has a height of ‘only’ 32 inches.

To anyone familiar with Mastiff-type dogs, this height isn’t a surprise. These are very giant breeds! Some of the Mastiff breeds are Cane Corsos, Boxers, Bullmastiffs, and the Tibetan Mastiff.

North American Mastiff Temperament

cute north american mastiff

Photo from: @wemeetatlas

North American Mastiffs are intimidating dogs that will make most people fear or at least respect them. As these large dogs were bred to be guard dogs and working dogs, you probably think that they are unfriendly, maybe even with an aggressive streak.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The North American Mastiff is a calm and quiet dog. These pups are extremely loyal toward their owners – to the point of being clingy. Despite their size, they’ll think they’re lap dogs and will love nothing more than to sit next to you on the couch and watch TV.

This dog breed loves humans and doesn’t do well when left alone. In fact, some of these pups can even get separation anxiety if you spend too much time away from them.

However, these big dogs can be very shy. As such, they might not be too fond of strangers, at least in the beginning. Once they get used to a person, they’ll love them with all their hearts and will want to spend every possible moment with them.

As they are alert and protective, they make amazing guard dogs. No one can walk past them unnoticed!

Is The North American Mastiff Breed Trainable?

North American Mastiffs will love nothing more than to make their owners happy and proud.

With that being said, they are not the easiest dogs to train. They are rather independent and stubborn, and they’ll prefer to try and do things their own way rather than listen to you.

As dog training and socialization are very important, especially for such huge dogs, you mustn’t skip training sessions.

Arm yourself with patience and start teaching your North American Mastiff dog to behave!

The first thing you need to understand is that these are sensitive dogs. They won’t respond well to yelling, so talk to them calmly even when they don’t do things the way they want you to.

In fact, if you lose your temper and yell at your American Mastiff, you’ll probably make things worse. These gentle pups will shut down if you yell, and they’ll be finished with the training sessions for the day.

If you’re unsure about how you can train such a huge dog on your own, a tactic that never fails is to incorporate fun and playtime into learning.

Dog training conducted in such a manner can be fun for both your dog and yourself. Use as few repetitions as you possibly can, as your pooch will get bored very easily.

Use interactive toys and treats to encourage your pup to do a specific thing. Using treats is also important to let your dog know you’re rewarding him.

In short, these are working dogs. They require lots of mental stimulation to keep them from getting bored, and they might not be too fond of official dog training.

If you manage to train your North American Mastiff, you’ll get an amazing family companion that will protect your entire family.

Are North American Mastiffs Aggressive?

Despite their large size and historical background, North American Mastiffs are not an aggressive breed. Quite the opposite – there likely isn’t a single streak of aggressive behavior in them.

Still, as they are shy around strangers, they require extensive socialization. Otherwise, they might not deal that well with any changes in the environment.

These are not Retrievers or German Shepherds. These pups will decide who is their friend, compared to running to everyone for their share of belly rubs.

At the same time, their stubbornness can make them somewhat challenging to predict. These behaviors can make people unfamiliar with this large breed think that the North American Mastiff is aggressive, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

North American Mastiff Health

north american mastiff

Photo from: @wemeetatlas

All dog breeds are prone to some health issues. Purebred dogs especially are known for suffering from many health conditions, while mixed breed dogs are much healthier.

In fact, compared to their ancestor, the English American Mastiff, the north American Mastiffs are fairly healthy dogs. Many of the health problems that have existed with the breed are now gone.

Actually, one of the reasons why this breed was made was to eliminate many health issues the English Mastiff had. However, this doesn’t mean that they are immune to most health problems.

The proof of this can be noticed in the North American Mastiff’s lifespan: The average North American Mastiff dog can live anywhere between 6 and 12 years. This is a gap of six years – half of that dog’s life.

This is because there are many health conditions that we all carry, but we’ve never been checked out by a proper doctor.

Here are some of the problems these pups have:

• Hip dysplasia.

• Elbow dysplasia.

• Heart problems, such as mitral valve prolapse.

• Eye problems, like a cherry eye.

• Obesity.

Gastric torsion volvulus (bloat).

In fact, it’s easy to argue that obesity is the main underlying issue. If you’re feeding your pup the best quality dog food, you can reduce the chance of many health problems.

North American Mastiff For Sale

brindle north american mastiff

Photo from: @zeldanorthamericanmastiff

Finding a North American Mastiff puppy for sale can be a challenge. This is a rare dog breed and the few breeders that have it usually have their litters sold out even before they were born!

However, these pups exist, although the breeding practices can vary. This is the same for any purebred dog not recognized by the AKC.

Next to buying these puppies, you might be thinking about adopting them. Not only is this the cheaper option, but it’s also the more ethical one.

Many purebred dogs end up abandoned in shelters. As such, you might find a North American Mastiff placed for adoption – in theory.

In reality, North American Mastiffs are so rare that you might not be able to find them for sale, let alone at a local shelter.

North American Mastiff Price

The price of a dog depends on many factors, such as:

• The breeder’s reputation.

• Bloodlines.

• Paperwork.

• Litter size.

• Health guarantees.

• Season and living area.

In general, North American Mastiffs are not expensive dogs. This is because they are not yet recognized by the AKC, so many of the club’s registration rules don’t apply to NAM breeders.

​As such, the American Mastiff should cost $1,000 to $1,500.

North American Mastiff Breeders

When buying a North American Mastiff, you need to be very careful about the breeders you’re choosing. Not all breeders are the same.

One of the best things you can do, for both you and your new family friend, is to buy from a reputable breeder and completely ignore Craigslist or other suspicious listings.

A reputable breeder will conduct various health tests so you can get the healthiest dog possible. They’ll also conduct some early-age training and socialization, so you’ll have fewer expenses down the line.

As the North American Mastiff isn’t recognized by the AKC, you cannot find its breeders on the AKC website. Instead, you might want to contact the Continental Kennel Club (CKC) or the American Mastiff Breeders Council to check the breeder’s verification.

For example, one of the most prominent breeders certainly is Monsterpiece, but there are many more if you do your research.

Are North American Mastiffs Good Family Dogs?

north american mastiff puppy

Photo from: @jax_the_north_american_mastiff

Gentle giants and other large dog breeds never go out of style. These large dogs with their cute personalities make everyone fall in love with them instantly. If you’re among people who adore big dogs such as Cane Corsos or Bulldogs, you need to add North American Mastiffs to your list.

Still, these large dogs have the strength to cause significant harm, especially to children. Can you leave them alone with your little ones or do they make terrible pets?

Fortunately for everyone, North American Mastiffs make amazing family pets. They’ll love to be in human company, and although not as active as some other dogs, they’ll love to have their little playtime with kids!

However, you should never leave your dog with your children unattended. Accidents can always happen, especially when you have such a large dog that can hurt a child by accident.

If you choose to buy a North American Mastiff, some of the things you’ll have to get used to include snoring, flatulence and slobbering.

This, combined with their moderate shedding amount, makes them a rather bad choice for people with dog allergies.

Yes, while they have fairly short hair, these pups are everything but hypoallergenic. They can make sensitive people sneeze, wheeze, and have them express many other allergy symptoms.

As such, you need to be rather careful if some of your family members struggle with allergies or hypersensitivities.

Also, North American Mastiffs are not good apartment dogs due to their huge size. Instead, you’d want to keep them in a house with a backyard, as they’ll need to have their free space all the time.

Other than this, North American Mastiffs make amazing pets. They eliminate many flaws of the English Mastiff breed, making them some of the most perfect Mastiff dogs you can get.

If you don’t trust us – find a North American Mastiff pup and see for yourself!

The North American Mastiff – A Detailed Look Into This Gentle Giant