Ultimate Mastiff

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Ultimate Mastiff
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With a name like the Ultimate Mastiff, it is clear that its breeders have high expectations for this crossbreed. They are a combination of the loyal Dogue de Bordeaux and the fiercely protective Neapolitan Mastiff. One would argue that they have been designed to be a guard dog as well as a pet, given both parent breeds’ reputation for being highly alert and protective of their owners.

As with both parent breeds, the Ultimate Mastiff is well-muscled and built for strength. They have a colossal head with deeply wrinkled skin and large jowls. Their physical appearance is variable from individual to individual as they are available in a wide range of fur, nose and eye colours; a fact that many breeders capitalise on, charging more for ‘rarer’ combinations.

About & History

The Ultimate Mastiff is also called the Neodeau Mastif and it was likely originally developed during the last two to three decades. To get a better idea of their history, we should take a look at the past of each of their parents.

The Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiffs are Italian dogs known for their immense size and protective nature. They originate from ancient Molosser dogs who would have been used by ancient Romans, fighting valiantly alongside them in times of war. It is widely believed that the English Mastiff was one of the main breeds used in their creation. Further refined in Naples, Italy, the Neapolitan Mastiff was confined to northern Italy until the middle of the 20th century, when they became better recognised around the world.

The Kennel Club have placed them within their Working Group and they were most recently popularised through their use in the highly successful Harry Potter movies. In the last few years, breeders have been working to reduce the extreme wrinkling of this breed’s skin as it is known to be associated with certain health issues.

The Dogue de Bordeaux

Once known as the French Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux has similar roots to the Neapolitan Mastiff and is also an offshoot of the Molosser type dog that was once so widely spread throughout Europe. However, this breed originated in France; in the region of Bordeaux to be more exact.

As well as being used as fighting dogs and hunters, they were widely kept as guard dogs by the upper classes. However, this fact almost led to their demise, when, during the renaissance, they were killed by the public. It is thought that the Bullmastiff was bred in during the latter half of the 1800s.


The formidable Ultimate Mastiff is a true beast who is visibly impressive. They have a sizeable skull with a large, square muzzle and well-developed jowls which are often dripping in drool. Their small eyes are well-spaced and can be blue, brown, amber or green. Their wrinkling is most prominent on their face, particularly their forehead and stop. They have a thick neck and large, stocky bodies with long and straight limbs. Their paws are thick and big and they have a medium-sized tail which is quite thick and heavy.

The Ultimate Mastiff is not as big as their Neapolitan Mastiff parent but they are an imposing size none the less. Fully grown, they reach heights of 60cm to 70cm and weights of 50kg to 70kg. The Ultimate Mastiff has short, straight fur that may be grey, red, black, fawn or brindle. White patches are not uncommon and are typically seen on the chest.

Character & Temperament

The most important characteristic of the Ultimate Mastiff is the unending devotion it has for its owner. They should put their family above all else; even their own wellbeing. They are ever alert for any potential threat and always ready to intervene and protect those that are most precious to them. This is a breed that is not ‘all bark and no bite’ and one that won’t hesitate to become aggressive if it feels it is necessary.

While the Ultimate Mastiff will become attached to their family, they cannot be trusted with children as one misunderstanding could lead to a serious bite. Similarly, they must be constantly monitored when around other pets as they are powerful enough to cause serious harm if a fight breaks out and they can be territorial.

Some Ultimate Mastiffs like to be the dominant ones in the relationship and owners need to work hard to prevent ‘rebellion’, especially in young adults. A solid relationship should consist of mutual respect and plenty of training and praise. Typically stubborn, once bad habits have developed they can be difficult to reverse.


Lifelong training is not just recommended but is essential when you own an Ultimate Mastiff. This enables owners to control them when on a lead, have guests over to the home and bring them to places such as dog kennels and vet clinics. Failing to adequately train them when younger can result in a disobedient dog that can easily overpower most humans.

Socialising your Ultimate Mastiff should begin from an early an age as possible and even before they have had their first vaccines they should mingle with dogs who have been vaccinated and are clinically well. Similarly, they should be introduced to a wide range of people and should be encouraged to have lots of positive interactions, to reinforce the idea that people are friends rather than foe.


A very large breed, the Ultimate Mastiff is prone to a number of specific health conditions:

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

DCM tends to occur in larger dogs and affects the muscle of the heart. The heart becomes unable to pump efficiently eventually resulting in heart failure. Initial symptoms include weakness, collapsing and coughing. Certain medications, such as ACE inhibitors, can help to delay the progression of the condition but there is no cure and affected animals will get progressively worse with time.

Hip Dysplasia

More often than not it is the largest breeds that are affected with hip dysplasia and even a mild orthopaedic issue can dramatically affect their quality of life as it becomes hard for them to get around due to their large size and the pressure that is put on their joints.

A multimodal approach is generally taken when it comes to the treatment of hip dysplasia, so dogs will be started on medication and may also be taken to hydrotherapy and physiotherapy. Owners should make an effort to keep them warm in the winter and it can be a good idea to purchase an orthopaedic bed.

Cherry Eye

‘Cherry eye’ is the informal term for a prolapsed nictitans membrane. It is bright red and shiny, resembling the cherry fruit. The function of this gland is to produce tears, so rather than cutting it away when it prolapses, it should be tacked back in place surgically. Once it has occurred on one side there is a much greater chance that it will occur on the other.

Entropion & Ectropion

When an eyelid curls in and touches the eyeball, this is called ‘entropion’. The opposite to this is ectropion, whereby the eyelid folds out and does not support the eyeball adequately. Both conditions lead to infections and ulcers and should be addressed surgically before the eyes are adversely impacted.


GDV (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) is a life-threatening expansion and rotation of the stomach, cutting off local blood supply. Symptoms include coughing, retching, pacing and a visibly enlarged abdomen.

An X-ray will reveal a ‘double bubble’ of gas in the location of the stomach. To stabilise a patient before surgery, the vet may release the air from the stomach and start them on intravenous fluids to combat any shock.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The Ultimate Mastiff needs plenty of exercise, not only to prevent obesity but also to keep their mind engaged and ward off problematic behaviours. Ideally, an owner will have a large garden for them that is securely fenced.

As well as off lead exercise in the garden, these dogs need about an hour of walking and jogging in the great outdoors. They appreciate the opportunity to explore a variety of landscapes so owners should avoid walking the same route every time.


The short coat of the Ultimate Mastiff should be brushed every few days. They are known to drool quite a lot and they will shed considerably during warmer weather.

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