English Mastiff vs. Irish Wolfhound

An English Mastiff is a large breed that is known for its impressive size, strength, and noble temperament. This breed has a solid body, broad skull, and a history of being used as a guard dog. Despite their size, they are known for their gentle and loving nature, making them great family pets.

The Irish Wolfhound, on the other hand, is the tallest of all dog breeds. They are known for their gentle temperament and friendly demeanor. Unlike the English Mastiff, the Irish Wolfhound was initially bred for hunting and war, which makes them more agile and fast.

When choosing between the two, it largely depends on your lifestyle, ability to train and socialize them, and their health needs. The English Mastiff is more laid-back, while the Irish Wolfhound is more active and requires more exercise.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

*. Both the Irish Wolfhound

and the English Mastiff

are record holders for canine extremes .. The Irish Wolfhound is the largest dog breed in the world. The English Mastiff is also the largest dog breed.

If you are trying to decide between these two dogs, it is safe to say that you will need lots of space ! If you don’t like cramped spaces, apartment dwellers should look elsewhere! These gentle giants require more than plenty of space. They also need companionship, exercise, parental guidance, and parents who are willing to teach them how to behave.

In this breed guide we will compare the two large breeds in every aspect .. This will help you decide which dog is best suited for you and your lifestyle. Let’s now take a look at the offerings of these gentle giants.

English Mastiff vs. Irish Wolfhound

Breed History

A dog’s history of breeding can give you a lot of information about their personality as a family pet .. It will help you decide if they are the right breed for your needs. Let’s take a closer glance to compare these guys’ histories.

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, and it is believed that he dates back to 391 A.D. Seven Wolfhounds were given to the Romans by the British Isles in response to their invasion. As their names indicate, they are Irish. Their breed purpose? A hound that is tasked to hunt the now extinct Irish elk in order to provide food for the family.

The Irish countryside was becoming overrun by wolves , so their masters assigned them to hunt them. They were then officially crowned Irish Wolfhounds. Their hunting skills were so great that they almost drove their prey to extinction. They were then no longer needed. Their numbers declined because they were too expensive to feed and had no purpose.

Thankfully, Irish breed fanciers in the 19th century took action to preserve the breed. They recovered. It is not known when they came over to America, but the Irish Wolfhound Club of America was founded in 1927. The Wolfhound is a rare breed and usually finds himself between 70th and 80th place in the American Kennel Club (AKC) registry.

English Mastiff

The English Mastiff is the older of the two breeds, as he dates back to 55 B.C. Julius Caesar wrote about his love of the wild dogs that protected the British Isles from the Roman invasion. Caesar brought them back to Rome, where they were presented extraordinary strengths in the ring against gladiators. You don’t have to worry, the Mastiffs we love and know today are smaller and more ferocious that those of their ancestors.

When cruel bloodsports became popular, the human race realized that Mastiffs could also be incredibly loving and gentle with people. He quickly found a place in the family home. He was also used as a big-game fighter and protector . centuries ago. It was expensive to keep the Mastiff. He almost died because his owners couldn’t afford to feed him after World War II.

Breed lovers rallied to save the Mastiff and he has been rediscovered as a popular breed. The Mastiff usually finds himself in the top 30 most popular dog breeds, making him a more common sight than Wolfhound. The current Mastiff Club of America was formed in 1929.


These two breeds are almost complete opposites in terms of their looks . They are massive and have four paws. They are massive in many different ways. The Great Dane holds the title of the world’s tallest dog, but the Wolfhound is the average height. Females measure a minimum of 30 inches tall, from paw to shoulder, and males measure a minimum of 32 inches. Mastiffs measure 30 inches at their very tallest.

The Wolfhound usually weighs between 105 and 120 pounds. Although he is a large breed, he is much lighter than the Mastiff .. Mastiffs usually weigh between 120 and 230 pounds. The record for the heaviest dog ever was held by a Mastiff named Zorba, who weighed an impressive 343 pounds. This is a rare occurrence, but you should be ready for one big doggy bump if you adopt a Mastiff.

Their weight alone makes them different. The Mastiff’s face is square, broad and square. The Mastiff is taller than the more graceful-looking Wolfhound ,, which often gets confused for a Scottish Deerhound. The Mastiff has larger, more pointed ears while the Wolfhound’s ears are smaller and less prominent. His handsome face is framed by his large, drop-down ears.

They also have very distinct coats . Mastiffs have a dense, short coat that is close to their bodies. The Mastiff’s Mastiff has a thicker, more wiry coat. Wolfhounds are less scruffy. His beard and eyebrows are especially wiry. For some, this is part of his hairy hound charm. Although you will rarely find a long-haired Mastiff with beautiful eyes, they are not uncommon.


The personalities of these dogs are similar but different. Both are gentle giants and make great family companions. They are both well-mannered and calm at home. This is a great trait considering their size. They are very fond of snuggling up on the couch with their family and have no idea about personal space.

Both of these giant breeds love children ,, which is why they make great family pets. It is important to mention that, despite the fact that you must supervise all dogs breeds, these two giants can accidentally squash small children due to their size.

Their size also makes them more clumsy . The Mastiff has all the legs while the Wolfhound has all the feet. Their long tails are also to be watched! Although a tail swipe can result in bruising, it’s part of the dog-owning process. Mastiffs tend to be a little more silly than other dogs, which makes them a great canine clown. The Wolfhound, on the other hand, takes himself more seriously.

Mastiffs are better watchdogs of both breeds. Even though they are a bit slower than the Wolfhound, Mastiffs have been known to be more protective of their family members. The Irish Wolfhound is less suspicious than the Mastiff and is more likely to allow strangers into your home without even blinking an eyelid. He is a great guard dog.

The Wolfhound is the more sensitive of the two dogs ,, and his family must be there for the majority of the day. If you are considering bringing a Wolfhound into your home, this should be considered. The Mastiff may miss his family but if he has a comfortable bed and his favorite breaky, he will be content to sleep in his own company.


Both breeds have similar exercise requirements. They are relatively low in energy, which is a big advantage over large breeds of dogs. They only need between 30 to 45 minutes of steady exercise every day. They should avoid vigorous exercise like jogging due to their large joints and bodies. To keep their interest alive, they should take long walks in various locations.

Wolfhounds have the ability to produce explosive bursts and energy, which is a characteristic of both breeds. He is a hound after all. He will chase down anything small or furry, especially if it is a small animal. It’s best to keep your dog on a leash whenever you go out with him. Be alert while out walking, as he may decide to follow you if you aren’t paying attention.

The Mastiff is sometimes described as a lazy breed ,. He might try to convince you that he doesn’t need exercise. He will often be found lying on his back, snoring all afternoon. Wolfhounds love adventure and will often play fetch in the park.

Despite being low-energy, both dogs need plenty of mental stimulation at home to keep them happy and healthy. You can keep them happy and safe by buying some very big dog toys .. Both can be destructive dogs if they are bored. It will also relieve some anxiety the Wolfhound has when left alone.


Both breeds have very different training methods. Both breeds are very different in terms of training. Mastiffs can be stubborn which makes them not the best choice for first-time dog owners.

To get maximum out of both these breeds, start training as soon as possible For the Mastiffs who are easily distracted, training should be fun and short. Positive reinforcement training is a good choice for both Mastiffs. Make sure you read the details. Mastiffs will be motivated by food and Wolfhouhds by toys to chase.

Both of these dog breeds must be socialized early to become polite adults. The Mastiff is the most protective of all. Mix them with other dogs and people as much as possible. Make sure you expose them to routines they will be doing, like walking on busy sidewalks and grooming their dog. This will increase their confidence.

Both breeds of dog will benefit from crate-trained .. It will also be very useful for the Irish Wolfhound, who is sensitive and doesn’t like being left alone. Shelter is something dogs naturally seek. Having a place to call his own home will help him feel secure when you aren’t there. Both of these pups will need strong, durable crates designed for XXL breeds.


Both breeds are healthy. They have a shorter life expectancy than smaller breeds. The Irish Wolfhound has an expected lifespan of 6 to 8 years, compared to the Mastiff, who enjoys 6 to 10 years. To keep your dog with you as long as possible, it’s important that they are kept up to date on their health.

Responsible Mastiff and Wolfhound breeders will perform elbow testing and hip dysplasia . screenings. All dog breeds are at risk for joint dysplasia, particularly large dogs. They are also both at risk of various eye conditions, especially progressive retinal atrophy. Cherry eye is common in the Mastiff, while iris cysts are more common in the Wolfhound. Both are at risk for cardiac problems, especially dilated cardiomyopathy, which can lead to DCM.

Wolfhounds can also be susceptible to other conditions. Pneumonia is a common problem in Wolfhounds. It is often caused by another underlying health condition, but it is life-threatening if not seen to quickly. Portosystemic shunt (also known as liver shunt) is another common condition in the Irish.


As you might expect, these two breeds eat quite a lot and have a much higher monthly food bill than the average dog. Both the Irish and the Mastiff can eat up to eight cups of food a day, but the average Mastiff eats more dog food than the average Irish. Mastiffs are more likely to gain weight. To prevent this, be aware of your calorie intake.

High-quality dog kibble is better than low-quality kibbles . It is easy to ensure your dog’s health by giving them the best nutrition possible.

Always feed them an age-appropriate kibble designed for large or giant dog breeds, especially during puppyhood. Both need optimal nutrients to support their rapid bone growth as well as their joints.

Both of these breeds are at risk of gastric torsion, which is often referred to as bloat. These are more common in large, deep-chested breeds than other breeds. This is a life-threatening ,condition and you should be aware of the symptoms. Do not feed your dog immediately after or before exercise. Instead, spread the daily food allowance over several meals.


Both breeds have different coat types , which means that their grooming regimens may differ slightly. Mastiffs will need to be brushed once per week while Irish dogs will require brushing twice per week.

Frequent brushing is necessary to prevent hair matting. Make sure you pay attention to his armpits, behind his ears and other areas. The Mastiff sheds more than the Irish and is also drier.

The Wolfhound needs bathing once every 6 to 8 weeks, compared to the Mastiff who needs bathing once every 8 to 12 weeks. A walk-in bathtub might be necessary as it can be difficult to lift them into the tub. To prevent them from developing periodontal disease, their teeth should be brushed several times per week using doggy-specific toothpaste. Because he doesn’t naturally wear his nails as long, the Mastiff will need to have his nails clipped more often than the Irish.

Puppy Prices

The price of an Irish Wolfhound puppy usually starts from $1,500, compared to the English Mastiff, who usually starts from $1,000. It could vary depending on where you live or the breeder you choose to work with.

The Irish Wolfhound breed is rarer, so you’ll need to travel further in order to find a reliable breeder. You can also adopt either one of these breeds from rescue shelters. It’s slightly less expensive.

Working with a reputable breeder is very important considering the short lifespan of the Wolfhound/Mastiff. Reputable breeders make every effort to produce healthy litters.

Owning a giant dog can be amazing, but it is more expensive to care for than a normal-sized dog. Before you commit to one of these dogs, this is something you should consider. They consume more food, require XXL toys and products, and have higher insurance and medical expenses. The Mastiff is more expensive than the Wolfhound because he is bigger, eats more and lives longer.

Final Thoughts

The English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound are both amazing dogs that make great family pets. These gentle giants share more similarities than differences. They are also different, which makes it easier to choose between them now that you have read our breed comparison guide.

The Mastiff is larger than the other breeds and requires more space. He is a better guard dog than the Wolfhound because he has a protective streak. Irish Wolfhounds are sensitive dogs who require constant companionship.

They are easier to train , making them a better choice for first-time owners . He’s slightly more energetic. Regardless of whether you are English or Irish, you will find an incredible best friend in both breeds.

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