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Wolf vs Mastiff: Things You Need to Know

All dogs are descended from wolves. Specifically, the domesticated dogs today came from the gray wolf, whose scientific name is Canis lupus.

There are many wolves in the world, and there are also many breeds of dogs. One of the biggest dogs is the mastiff, and it is a descendant of an old breed called the Molossus, which existed 5,000 years ago.

Wolf vs Mastiff

Wolf vs Mastiff Comparison Chart

1. Scientific NameCanis lupusCanis lupus familiaris
2. Size33 inches35 inches
3. ColorsBlack, white, gray, and tan. Some are bluish.Varies
4. RangeAlaska and CanadaDomesticated; worldwide
5. Hunting BehaviorAggressive hunterDomesticated
6. Liter SizeFour to sixOne to 16 litters
7. Pet BehaviorCannot be a petMakes a great pet
8. AggressionHighly aggressiveCan be trained
9. Life Expectancy6 to 8 years10 to 12 years
10. DietCarnivoreCarnivore

Wolf Overview

The wolf is a big canine that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. There are more than 30 subspecies of the wolf, and they have the largest population of living animals that belong to the order Canidae.

The wolf, as an animal, has an evolutionary connection with other canids like the coyote and the golden jackal.

Wolves are difficult to domesticate. Their instincts are not reliable, and they are equally dangerous as other wild animals. Nevertheless, there are some humans who keep wolves as exotic pets or even as working animals.

Related Article: 10 Wolf Adaptations

Mastiff Overview

A mastiff is a huge breed of dog that has a short coat. It is an excellent pet, and even novice dog owners will find mastiffs easy to manage.

Mastiffs have been around since ancient Greece. According to history, they were bred to serve as guards in the army.

There are records of mastiffs as old as 3,000 years old. All throughout history, mastiffs accompanied humans in hunting and war. Mastiffs were also common in blood sports where two mastiffs are pitted against each other or against other animals.

Wolf vs Mastiff


Wolves have long and busy tails, and most of the time, the end of these tails are black. Wolves have long bodies, and they closely resemble the body of a German Shepherd.

As far as size is concerned, the average wolf is between three to five feet long. This is a long animal. A wolf can easily knock over an adult human being.

Females are generally smaller and also lighter. Female wolves typically weigh between 60 and 100pounds, but males can reach 145 pounds.


Wolves are highly adapted to different environments. Many of these are in cold areas in the north, but then there are also wolves in hot countries like Mexico and even Mumbai.

There are also wolves in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia and Egypt. However, their numbers are small. Some of these are already endangered.

Wolves can survive in tundra, rainforests, and even snowy places like Alaska. In movies, most of them are shown in the snow, as they are excellent predators in the snowy wilderness.

Mastiffs, on the other hand, are not found in the wild. A mastiff is a domesticated dog that has a long ancestral lineage.

The mastiff is found in all parts of the world, and there have been several breeds of them. Some examples are the English mastiff, Tibetan mastiff, Bullmastiff, and the Spanish mastiff.


Wolves are aggressive pack hunters. In the wild, wolves protect their territories. It is not unusual for wolves to kill other wolves because of territorial disputes.

Wolves are also dangerous to domestic dogs and humans. However, their aggression against humans is far less threatening than the aggression of bears. 

Mastiffs, on the other hand, are excellent pets. They can be aggressive only if they are protecting their master. A mastiff is generally protective instead of aggressive.


Both animals are carnivores. In the wild, wolves hunt large animals like bison, deer, and even elk. Sometimes, they may also hunt small mammals like the beaver.

Mastiffs, on the other hand, are mainly fed with dog food. As a dog, a mastiff left in the wild will eat anything. However, it will have difficulties hunting, as this instinct may have already departed the dogs of today.

A mastiff is not an obligate carnivore. Dogs can eat plant matter. Some say that dogs can survive on a vegetable diet.

Dogs being made vegetarians is a contentious issue. Scientifically, dogs belong to the order Carnivora. There is a movement today to convert dogs to a vegan diet. While science has nothing against it, the fear of many is that when dog owners do this, a vegan diet will certainly have an impact on the species.

Can a Wolf and a Mastiff Mate

Yes, a wolf and a mastiff can mate. They can do this because they belong to the same genus, lupus. The best part is that their offspring can also reproduce.

Like that offspring of a horse and a donkey, most hybrids produce infertile offspring. The same goes with a lion and tiger hybrid, which is called a liger. The offspring of these animals do not have viable sex cells.

Which is stronger: Wolf vs Mastiff?

A mastiff is definitely stronger. As far as wolves are concerned, the Northwestern wolf is the biggest canine in the world. It goes by other names like the Alaskan timber wolf, Mackenzie Valley wolf,or Canadian timber wolf.

On average, the Northwester wolf weighs 137 pounds.However, the Mastiff can reach 240 pounds. A mastiff is also taller at 35 inches, while the Mackenzie valley wolf can reach up to 33 inches only.


Although a mastiff is a descendant of the wolf, they no longer belong to the same species. They do not even look similar. A German Shepherd looks much closer to a wolf than a mastiff.

A mastiff is a huge and heavy dog that works best as a guard. It is a highly trainable animal. On the other hand, wolves are wild. Although there are people who keep wolves as pets, it is inadvisable and dangerous.

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