English Mastiff vs Rottweiler: A Side by Side Comparison

Are extra-large dogs your Achilles’ heel? Consider the English Mastiff and the Rottweiler to be in your options! They may look quite different, but these dogs are related to each other.

Choosing the next dog to introduce to your family is not easy. There are various breeds to choose from and they all are beautiful with amazing personalities. However, we are going to focus on the two unique canines who are nowadays, the preferred buddies of many American homes.

Breed Origins

English Mastiff

Judging by how immensely large the English Mastiff is, you can right away conclude that his ancestor is the Molosser. He was originally bred to guard fields and ensure the safety of all flocks since the past times were uncertain. Various predators roam freely throughout the land and the Mastiff’s job was to drive them away.

Presently, the English Mastiff displays a calm demeanor which shows a huge difference compared to how he was in the old time. When people saw his potential to fight, he became a common sight in wars and battles. Different notable people like Kublai Khan acknowledged his fighting skills and thus, created a large kennel of 5,000 Mastiffs.

Later on, the good old English Mastiff arrived in the arena of ancient Rome. He was pitted against wild animals such as bears, lions, and even human gladiators. This was a common sort of entertainment. Eventually, such a breed arrived in England where he got further developed. Various events happened such as his near extinction, but this was prevented thanks to two English Mastiffs imported from Canada.


Although most people have commonly accepted Germany to be the Rottweiler’s place of origin, records suggest that he comes from Rome. His ancestors traveled to Germany with the Romans and mated with several native dogs in the areas they’ve passed through. This event, later on, served as a foundation for several new breeds. 

For hundreds of years, the Rottweiler became a popular demand as a working dog. His purpose mainly included driving the cattle to town to be butchered. To prevent thieves from stealing the day’s profit, cattlemen place the money on pouches around the Rottie’s neck. This dog also worked as a puller of carts loaded with meat.

When trains became a thing, the Rottweiler breed started to become extinct. The action was made in 1901 by the Rottweiler and Leonberger Club and the breed standard was then written. The height of this breed’s popularity spiked after World War II and it continues to make American households fun with his presence. 

Size, Appearance, & Coloring

English Mastiff

Photo from: lokibear4 (IG)

The English Mastiff breed is the largest when it comes to mass! Ideally, he should be 120 to 230 pounds depending on whether the canine is a male or a female. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has set the minimum height of 27.5 inches for the female and 30 inches for the male. 

To spot this magnificent breed, you can simply take note of some features. He has a large, broad head with a few visible wrinkles. A black mask around his eyes down to his mouth and even on his ears which are set moderately high exude an enigma most English Mastiff lovers admire. His body is well-built, sturdy, and balanced and this is supported by four powerful and muscular legs. His tail is medium in thickness and tapers at the tip.

Ideally, his coat is short, dense, and straight on the outside and shorter in the undercoat. He can only sport three colors which are fawn, brindle, and apricot.


At first glance, you can instantly notice that the Rottweiler breed is strong, muscular, and protective by nature. He’s got a massive head with square muzzles and from the side, his forehead is displayed more prominently. Expect him to dribble a lot due to his loose flews, but such a habit is well-manageable. 

His ears are quite small and they are flat and hanging on the sides of his face. The overall structure of his body is thick and robust and at times, his tail is docked. This is common considering he’s a working dog, but for Rotties that no longer do heavy tasks, the practice is unnecessary.

Rottweilers should only be black with two tan points on the top of his eyes and other areas. Ideally, he should be 22 to 27 inches in height and 80 to 135 pounds in weight depending on gender.


English Mastiff

The English Mastiff has lots of good qualities that make him a suitable family companion! He is dignified, kind, and courageous. He is mostly calm and quiet but he won’t mind playing around with kids. At times, he’ll show his goofy side, especially toward his favorite human and anyone who sees him being quirky and funny will love him more.

Despite how soft he is when it comes to you and your kids, he switches on a different mode toward strangers. He can either be aloof or shy toward unfamiliar people. However, the Mastiff is very observant and watches anyone with a keen eye. When he senses trouble, he’ll jump in right away to deflect the situation.

If you have other dogs, this Mastiff breed will be the happiest. He loves to have company even if your other pet is a cat! With the right socialization training, he will become the most loyal dog you’ll never regret having.


Fearless, loyal, and confident. These are just three of the many good traits the Rottweiler possesses. Oftentimes, when he’s with his family, he’s not afraid to show his clownish attitude. When it comes to kids, he’s more laid-back and non-threatening. Don’t be surprised if he ends up becoming too close to one of your family members. If it happens to be you, he’ll follow you almost anywhere!

When it comes to strangers, the Rottie becomes very territorial and can lead to becoming aggressive. He has to be supervised should you introduce new faces to him, especially if a child is about to visit your home. The same should be applied when he meets new dogs, but worries may subside if he’s socialized when he was a puppy.

Nevertheless, despite his imposing looks, the Rottweiler breed is friendly and affectionate as long as he’s got the right care and he’s in the right hands. 

Trainability & Intelligence Level

English Mastiff

Photo from: fronkythemastiff (IG)

In training the great English Mastiff, you have to set a different standard for him. Although some breeds learn things fast, this canine loves to pick up lessons slowly. This doesn’t automatically mean that the Mastiff is not intelligent. Simply put, he’s so smart that he’s only driven to obey if the drills are physically and mentally stimulating!

If his tasks are not that tough to undertake, he will show signs of stubbornness and reluctance to continue with the training. This is why he would need a trainer who is firm and authoritative- someone who’s worthy of his respect! 


Photo from: skatergirldog (IG)

The Rottie is the 9th smartest canine in Stanley Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs” so you’re in for a treat if you go for this breed! He has the instinct to guard and protect his loved ones without being told to do so. Moreover, his history as a working dog is still strongly evident in his bloodline. He has an eager-to-please attitude, therefore, giving him tasks will be done immediately by this dog.

Although it is better to always train your dog as a puppy, a Rottweiler of any age will be happy to learn new drills with you. Just as long as you use positive reinforcements and the right methods of training, his willful personality will not show.

Exercise Needs

English Mastiff

Owning an English Mastiff is not that overwhelming, more so when it comes to his exercise requirements. One thing to know about this breed is that his joints are delicate, so resorting to just an hour of daily exercise will keep him happy and healthy. 

You can divide this time in the morning and the afternoon either by accompanying him for peaceful walks in the neighborhood or by letting him roam around in a secure area. It’s also a great advantage if you have other medium-large dogs with whom he can play. Keep him moving so he won’t accumulate too many fats which are detrimental to his health.


To keep your Rottie healthy, give him at least 2 hours of exercise each day. This includes playing around with other dogs, walking, running in the yard, or letting him play rigorous games. Playing fetch or letting him swim in the pool will keep him energized and away from showing undesirable behaviors. 

Additionally, this breed is prone to obesity, so make sure you don’t compromise with your dog when it comes to steaming off.

Coat Maintenance

English Mastiff

Grooming is not a big task when you deal with the English Mastiff, especially when you compare him with long-haired breeds. A simple brush done weekly is enough to maintain the vibrancy and health of his coat and skin. The frequency of running the canine brush all over his body depends on what works for you and him.

As for baths, the English Mastiff would need it only when necessary. If he likes to stay clean, he can be washed once every 6 to 8 weeks. However, you still need to regularly check his vulnerable areas such as his nails, teeth, and ears.


Lifestyle is a great factor when it comes to how often a Rottie should be bathed or brushed. Ideally, this must take place every 2 to eight weeks and brushing must be done as often as needed. This is because the Rottweiler has a dense coat and brushing him will remove loose hairs and minimize his shedding. Not only that, his oils will get evenly distributed, thus moisturizing his skin.

Health Problems

English Mastiff

The English Mastiff is a healthy breed. Yet, this large canine remains to enjoy a short life span of 6 to 10 years only. With the right nutrition and lifestyle, he can surpass the mark and live a ripe old age beyond our expectations as well as avoid getting the following medical conditions such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Atopy
  • Osteochondrosis


Photo from: rottweilerlife (IG)

Rottweilers are prone to various medical problems despite being deemed a healthy breed. Some infections can be prevented through vaccination, but some may still show at one point in their lives which may include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Parvo
  • Eye issues

Breed Popularity

The Rottweiler’s loyal and loving nature is what attracted numerous dog lovers in the United States which put him 8th out of 200 recognized dog breeds by the AKC. Similarly, the English Mastiff is popular as he consistently gets 29th place. 

Entertaining Facts

English Mastiff

  1. The English Mastiff breed tends to be gassy, so leave the room when he releases air!
  2. His jowls get saggy as he matures and slobbering will eventually become his habit.
  3. English Mastiffs can be pricey as it ranges from $1,000-$3,500 due to health tests they need to undergo.


  1. After the 9/11 attack, several Rottweilers were used as rescue dogs.
  2. A Rottweiler’s undercoat is waterproof!
  3. In Germany, the breed is pronounced as “rott-vile-er”.

Which Dog Is Right for You?

If you are a more laid-back person, the English Mastiff will resonate more with you. He needs minimum exercise daily, but he would have to consume pounds of food each day. He’s even-tempered, caring, and loving despite his intimidating size. Meanwhile, if you prefer a more active dog with a set impression as a guard dog, the Rottweiler might be the best choice. He’s loyal to the core and will ensure that your family is well-loved and protected.