From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Mastiff (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Massif.

A Mastiff is a large molosser dog known for size and strength.

The terms "Mastiff" and "molosser"[edit]

The terms "the Mastiff group" and "the Mastiff" has been used synonymous with the term "molosser". As such, any molosser, including bulldogs, Great Danes, mountain dogs, pit bulls, and even small dogs such as the Boston terriers may be considered "Mastiff" in this broad sense.

However, the term is most commonly reserved for Dog breeds with the word "Mastiff" in their name including many of the largest of all dogs.

List of Mastiff breeds[edit]

Nature and History[edit]

Genetic research into the dog genome has thus far confirmed the common belief that the Mastiffs share a common ancestor and form a coherent branch on the dog evolutionary tree within the molossers.[1] Historians trace the group to the Molossus, a dog bred by the Ancient Greeks.

Semantic overlap with other terms[edit]

As to the extent that Latinate words such as "Dogo" or "Dogge" may be translated as "Mastiff", molosser breeds such as the Dogo Argentino and Dogo Canario may also be considered "Mastiff". However, these terms may refer not only to breeds called "Mastiff" in English, but also to Bulldogs and pit bulls. In addition, historical records of the development of these breeds shows that they have not only Mastiff and other molosser ancestry, but also dogs from several other branches, including sighthounds, terriers, and scenthounds.[citation needed]