Today we are going to get to know the Mastiff Lab mix. What you can expect their temperament and appearance to be, and the best ways to train and care for them. We will help you to decide if the Mastiff Lab mix is the right pet for you, and if so how to pick a healthy puppy and raise them to be a friendly dog.
The Mastiff Lab mix is also known as a Mastador. This cross combines a purebred Labrador Retriever with a Mastiff. Usually, the Bullmastiff breed is used, but some breeders use the English Mastiff in this mix. The Mastador mix will be loyal, large, and relaxed, as long as puppies are socialized well.
People Often Ask…
- Are Mastiff Lab mixes good family dogs?
- How big do Mastiff Lab mixes get?
- Are Mastadors dangerous?
- Are Mastadors easy to train?
What’s In This Guide
- Mastador Dog At A Glance
- In-depth Breed Review
- Mastiff Lab Mix Training And Care
- Pros And Cons Of Getting A Mastador Dog
Mastiff and Lab Mix: Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: Currently low but rising
- Purpose: Family pet
- Weight: 55 – 130 pounds
- Temperament: Gentle, loyal, affectionate
Mastiff Lab Mix Breed Review: Contents
- History and original purpose of the Mastador dog
- Mastiff Lab mix appearance
- Mastiff Lab mix temperament
- Training and exercising your Mastador
- Mastiff Lab mix health and care
- Do Mastadors make good family pets?
- Rescuing a Mastador
- Finding and raising a Mastiff Lab mix puppy
It must be said, those large, doleful eyes and floppy jowls are hard to resist. For these reasons and more, the Mastador has become a popular family pet.
Origin of the Mastiff Lab Mix
Like most designer breeds of dogs, the exact origin of the Mastador is not well known.
It is also not known if these two breeds of dog were brought together intentionally or if the first Mastiff Lab mix was a happy accident.
Either way, many people think this mixed breed had its beginnings in America.
To learn more about what type of dog a bullmastiff and lab mix is likely to be, let’s have a closer look at the history of each of these breeds in isolation.
The Labrador had its origins around the fishing ports of Newfoundland. These dogs helped the local fishermen, pulling in nets and carts laden with fish.
These dogs were smaller than the Labradors we have come to know today. Around the same time there was an even smaller type of dog in the area known as the St John’s dog.
It is thought that these two types of dog bred with larger hunting dogs brought to Newfoundland by Englishmen.
The resulting dogs were the beginnings of the modern Labrador.
They soon gained popularity in England for their hunting ability. The Earl of Malmsbury gave these dogs the name ‘Labrador’, and in 1916 the first Labrador club was started in England.
The Labrador was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917. These days, Labradors are consistently one of the most popular dog breeds.
The Bullmastiff was originally developed in England, around the year 1860.
The breed is the result of a cross between the Bulldog and the old English Mastiff. Originally this cross was 60% mastiff and 40% bulldog.
The purpose of this cross was to produce a breed that would act as a guard dog for gamekeepers against poachers.
The impressive size and courage displayed by this cross breed made them perfect for their role as guard dogs.
Originally brindle colored dogs were preferred by gamekeepers, as they camouflaged well into the night.
The Bullmastiff was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934.
The Mastador mix will often use a Bullmastiff parent. But, you may also find an English Mastiff Lab mix, or English Mastador.
What to Expect From a Mastiff Lab Mix
Like human kids, it’s hard to say exactly what a Mastiff Lab puppy will look like, or which parent they will take after in temperament.
But by having a closer look at the parents, we get an idea of what mastiff lab puppies may be like.
Make sure you’re happy with any combination of their traits, as your puppy could inherit any of them.
Mastiff Lab Mix Appearance
A Bull Mastiff will typically weigh anywhere between 90 and 130 pounds, depending on gender.
They can be anywhere between 24 and 27 inches at the shoulder in height. They are also a heavy set dog.
A Labrador is a somewhat smaller dog than the bullmastiff and will typically be around 22 inches at the withers. They usually weigh somewhere between 55 and 90 pounds.
Whichever side of the family your Lab Mastiff pup takes after, the fact remains that both parents are large dogs.
A Bull Mastiff Labrador mix is going to be a big dog. Females are often smaller than males, but either way it’s likely that your full grown Mastador dog will weigh over 100 pounds as an adult.
Bullmastiffs also have a distinctive droopy face and floppy jowls. Which unfortunately aren’t the most structurally healthy of features. Some Mastadors will inherit this trait.
Colors and Coat Type
Bullmastiffs have six colors and one marking recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The colors are:
- And red/fawn/brindle.
The recognized marking is a dark face mask.
Black Lab Mastiff Mix
If you are after certain characteristics in a puppy, such as a yellow Lab Mastiff mix, a black Lab Mastiff mix, or a chocolate Lab Mastiff mix, it will be a good idea to meet the parents of your puppy!
Some breeders may breed for specific colors, which can help increase your likelihood of getting the exact appearance you want.
But, make sure you only choose a reputable breeder, one that still prioritises health over appearance.
It’s still likely that you’ll be able to find a black Lab Mastiff mix with the coloring you want, but good health is the most important.
Some Mastadors look decidedly like a Bullmastiff, and others like a Labrador with slightly looser jowls.
Mastiff Lab Mix Temperament
Bullmastiffs are not overly active dogs, so spending time lazing around inside is not a big issue for them. But, like all dogs, they still need regular exercise.
Don’t let them lay around all day! They are also known to be loyal dogs, protective of their family.
The Labrador is known for its friendly, outgoing personality and laid back personality.
But, a Labrador’s even temperament should not be confused with laziness. They are very active dogs and will thrive if they get lots of opportunities to play.
A Bullmastiff Lab mix could take after either side of the family or fall somewhere in between.
Whichever parent your lab mastiff cross takes after, they are likely to have a relaxed and friendly temperament. As long as they are socialized well.
Are Mastadors Aggressive?
All dogs are prone to aggression if they aren’t raised right. Mastiff breeds and Labs are known for their friendly and relaxed natures.
But, the Bullmastiff is a natural guard dog and is an independent thinker.
As such, they need thorough socialization from a young age.
You must meet the Mastiff parent and feel confident that their guarding nature is not to the detriment of their friendliness around strangers.
Mastiff Lab Mix Socialization
Make sure your Mastador feels comfortable around other dogs, small animals like cats, young and older children, elderly people, and strangers.
Even when bringing home a Mastiff Lab mix, socialization is still essential. You don’t know which parent they will take after, so you need to be proactive.
Make sure you have visitors to the home every day from 8 to 14 weeks old, then regularly from that point.
Take them somewhere new and busy every day, where they will meet lots of friendly faces of various ages.
These are very big dogs, so they can easily hurt someone without meaning to. Especially elderly people or very young children.
You must be prepared to properly socialize and train a Mastador dog to avoid this.
Training and Exercising your Mastiff Lab Mix
Training, leadership and regular time spent playing with your Mastiff cross Labrador puppy will mean it grows up to be a happy and well-adjusted companion.
Keep in mind that despite their size, Bullmastiffs are quite sensitive deep down.
Positive reinforcement training is essential with potentially aggressive breeds, and those prone to stubbornness.
It makes training motivating, rewarding, and an enjoyable experience for you both.
On the other hand, Labradors are sociable, outgoing dogs that are eager to please. They have high energy levels and love to be kept busy.
Whether your lab mastiff puppy takes after the bullmastiff or the Labrador, training and strong leadership is going to be highly beneficial for your puppy. Particularly given the size this dog will grow to be.
While Bullmastiffs are known to be happy spending time indoors relaxing, Labradors crave a little more action.
After you bring your lab mastiff puppy home, it will take some time before you know which side of the family he or she will take after.
It is important that you have somewhere outside you can take your Lab Mastiff cross for some playtime.
But, be wary of overexercising this breed, or exercising them strenuously whilst they are young. This can lead to joint damage.
Mastiff Lab Mix Health and Care
Just because Mastiff Lab mix pups are a cross breed, this does not mean they are immune to the health issues that the parent dogs may experience.
It is still vitally important to check that the parents of your Labrador x Mastiff puppy enjoyed good health.
The main health concerns reported among Labradors are:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Eye diseases (in particular progressive retinal atrophy)
- And exercise induced collapse
Given that elbow and hip dysplasia is a common problem in Labradors, and tends to occur more frequently in large dogs, it is important that you check that this has not been a problem for your puppies’ parents.
Other conditions to watch out for in the Labrador parent and Lab mix puppies include:
- Centronuclear myopathy
- Copper Associatic Chronic Hepatitis
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture
- Osteochondritis Dessicans of the Stifle
- Patellar Luxation
- Shoulder Osteochondrosis
- Tricuspid Valve Malformation.
Bullmastiffs are a brachycephalic dog. In everyday terms, it means they have a short, flat head.
English Mastiffs also suffer with this conformational issue. So, even an English Mastiff Lab mix can inherit a flatter head.
Dogs with this head shape are more prone to breathing problems and skin problems.
This is due to the structure of their nose, and the deep folds of skin around the face, which can become irritated.
A study done in 1993 also indicated that Bullmastiffs are at risk of suffering a heart condition called valvular pulmonic stenosis.
Large Breed Health Issues
Large breed dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than smaller breeds. Sadly, there are a number of health issues more common in larger dogs.
If you have a Mastador, you should watch out for the following common large dog issues:
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (bloat)
Mastiff Lab Mix Health
Despite being cross bred, both of your puppy’s parents should be fully health tested.
The Labrador parent should have a recent clear eye test, good hip and elbow scores and be PRA clear.
The Mastiff parent should have no history of eye problems, skin fold infections and a recent heart check from the vet. Ideally they should also be hip tested.
Make sure you meet the Mastiff parent and see that they are not overly structurally unsound. They should have a long muzzle, limited skin folds and jowls. And wide open nostrils.
Mastador Life Expectancy
As a relatively new mixed breed, there are no studies into the average lifespan of the Mastiff Lab mix.
But, we can get general stats from the purebred parent breeds.
Labradors live an average of 12 years.
So, you may be able to extend your mix’s lifespan by choosing a Bullmastiff Lab mix.
Obviously some may live longer than these averages. But, you will need to give your puppy the best care possible, and choose a reputable breeder to maximise their potential lifespan.
The Bullmastiff has a short coat and does not require heavy grooming.
Labradors have a double coat, so they will shed. They need regular grooming and baths to keep them looking their best.
It’s likely that you mix will fall somewhere in between the two.
But, as such a large breed, even a small amount of shedding can result in a lot of loose fur around your home.
Grooming is the best way to control that shedding fur.
Mastiff Lab Mix Grooming
Neither of these parent breeds have a very long coat. But, the Mastador mix is a very large dog, so grooming can be quite time consuming.
And, if your puppy takes after the Labrador parent, you may need to spend a little time keeping their coat groomed.
Particularly in the case of black Lab Mastiff, the short, shiny mastiff coat teamed with the jet black color of the Labrador makes for an impressive shiny black coat.
Keep an eye on the nails of your dog and trim them when necessary. Labrador nails grow quickly, so they could become excessively long if not kept in check.
Both the Labrador and the Bullmastiff have floppy ears, so regularly check your dog’s ears for excessive wax buildup.
Do Mastadors Make Good Family Pets?
This mix is often family friendly in temperament, provided they are thoroughly socialized as a puppy and bred from friendly parents.
But the large size of these dogs should be taken into consideration, especially if you have small children in your household.
That being said, because Mastadors tend to be at least moderately active dogs, they may well be a good match for a household with kids who are old enough to run around and play safely with a dog of this size.
And make sure you take a moment to consider if your budget can accommodate a rather large doggie mouth to feed!
Neither the Labrador nor the Bullmastiff is keen on being left alone for long periods, so a home environment where someone will be around a fair bit is ideal.
If you love the Mastiff Lab mix, you should also consider the following breeds on your search for a new family member.
Rescuing a Mastiff Lab Mix
As the Mastador grows in popularity, it may become easier to find individual dogs available for rescue in rescue centers.
Adopting a dog is often much cheaper than buying a puppy, but you may know less about their background, including early socialization, health, and training.
Most dogs that are up for adoption have some basic training, but they may also have some behavioral issues.
Work closely with adoption centers to ensure you’re getting the best possible match for your family.
And bear in mind that an older Mastiff Lab mix in a shelter may not be with you for all that long. Although, they will always appreciate the new opportunity for a loving home.
Mastador Breed Rescues
If you’re on the hunt for a Mastiff Lab mix to rescue, take a look at rescue centers dedicated to the parent breeds.
Here are some links to get you started.
Finding a Mastador Puppy
Mastadors are not an official “breed” of dog, but you will still be able to find Mastiff Lab mix enthusiasts online. You may be able to find mastiff lab mix puppies this way.
Otherwise, keep an eye out on other sites online and in newspapers, and remember good old-fashioned word of mouth.
As the popularity of this mix increases, it’s likely that finding a reputable breeder will be easier.
But, make sure you avoid puppy mills and pet stores at all costs. These places tend to jump on breeding trends, like designer dogs.
But, their puppies are often bred for profit alone, with no regard for health.
There are a lot of potential issues that can affect the Mastador mix, so choosing a reputable, health-focused breeder is always best.
When looking for a mixed breed puppy, pay close attention to the conditions they have been raised in.
It is essential that you physically attend the premises where the puppies are housed.
Check if the other puppies in the litter are healthy and ask to see the parents. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.
Ask for physical proof of health tests, and meet the Mastiff parent to ensure that they are not stranger friendly.
Reputable breeders will be more than happy to answer all your questions and show you any health tests. They will also likely ask you lots too, to ensure their puppies are going to a good home.
Mastiff Lab Mix Products and Accessories
If you’re going to be bringing home one of these dogs soon, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared.
Here are some guides that will help you choose the best products for your new puppy.
Is a Mastiff Lab Mix Right For Me?
To summarise, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of getting a Mastador.
- Cannot be left alone for long periods
- May have guarding instincts
- All traits are unpredictable
- Prone to a lot of health issues
- Grooming will be very time consuming
- Usually has a friendly, loving temperament
- Great with all people when well socialized
- Moderate exercise needs
- Will love spending time with you
- Usually takes well to training
Your Mastiff Lab Mix
Do you have a Mastador? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below.
References And Resources
- Gough, A. (et al) ‘Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats’, Wiley Blackwell (2018)
- O’Neill (et al) ‘Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England’, The Veterinary Journal (2013)
- Adams, V. J. (et al) ‘Results of a Survey of UK Purebred Dogs’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (2010)
- Schalamon (et al) ‘Analysis of Dog Bites In Children Who Are Younger Than 17 Years’, Pediatrics (2006)
- Duffy, D. (et al) ‘Breed Differences in Canine Aggression’, Applied Animal Behavior Science (2008)
- Packer, R. (et al), ‘Impact of Facial Conformation on Canine Health: Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome’, PLOS one (2015)
- Smith, G. K. (et al), ‘Evaluation of Risk Factors for Degenerative Joint Disease Associated with Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Rottweilers’, JAVMA (2001)
- Clark, R. D. ‘Medical, Genetic and Behavioral Risk Factors of Bull Mastiffs’, Xlibris, (2014)
- Bellumori, T. P. (et al) ‘Prevalence of Inherited Disorders Among Mixed-Breed and Purebred Dogs: 27,254 cases (1995–2010)’, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2013)
- Wooliams, J. A. (et al) ‘Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia in UK Labrador Retrievers’, The Veterinary Journal (2011)
- Danourdis, A. (et al) ‘Canine Elbow Dysplasia Aetiopathogenesis, Diagnosis and Current Treatment Recommendations Hellenic’, Journal of Companion Animal Medicine (2015)
- Patterson, E. (et al) ‘A Canine DNM1 Mutation is Highly Associated with the Syndrome of Exercise-Induced Collapse’, Nature Genetics (2008)
- Malik, R. (et al) ‘Valvular Pulmonic Stenosis in Bullmastiffs’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (1993)
- Farrell, L. (et al), ‘The Challenges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease’, Canine Medicine and Genetics (2015)
- Adams, V. (et al), ‘Methods and Mortality Results of a Health Survey of Purebred Dogs in the UK’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (2010)
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
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