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For other uses, see Mastiff (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Massif.
Statue of a Persian Mastiff, found at Persepolis, ca. 550 BC

Mastiff type means a large molosser dog. The term "mastiff type" has been used synonymously with the term "molosser". For example, the bulldog breeds, the Great Dane, the mountain dogs, the pit bulls and even smaller dogs such as the Boston terrier, may be considered "mastiff types" in this broad sense. The descriptive term, mastiff type, should not be confused with the breed, the Mastiff. All breeds are individual and should be referred to by their breed name to ensure correct identification.

List of Mastiff breeds[edit]

Genetic 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 "Mastiffs", molosser breeds such as the Dogo Argentino and Dogo Canario may also be considered "Mastiffs". However, these terms may refer not only to breeds called "Mastiffs" 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]