American Bandogge Mastiff

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black, black & white, brown & white, light brown, golden, merle, spotted, brindle, speckled, white, cream
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Pros Cons

  • outstanding guardian

  • needs very basic grooming

  • dominant and independent

  • unfriendly with houseguests

  • requires lots of vigorous physical activity

  • vast socialisation and proper obedience training is a must


The American Bandogge Mastiff is a stocky and powerful guard breed, which was developed over 50 years ago in America. If you are looking for an unfailing personal and property four-legged guardian then be sure that this dog will come up to all your expectations. Although for a novice canine owner it may become a bit of a handful because it needs vast amount of obedience training and socialisation.

Photo: © Werki Bandog Kennels; © Camorra Bandog Kennels


The American Bandogge Mastiff is the fruit of breeding work of American veterinarian, John Swinford. In the 60s of the XX century he started a breeding program, which goal was the development of an ideal protection dog. Swinford tried crosses of the American Pit Bull Terrier and English Bullterrier with the Neapolitan Mastiff and English Mastiff. The ultimate results of his efforts became known as the Swinford Bandog.

Today it’s universally believed that the gene pool of this dog consisted of 50% American Pit Bull Terrier male and 50% Neapolitan Mastiff bitch. Although Swinford didn’t manage to realise its objective his idea was caught up by numerous canine breeders. Joe Lucero, a preeminent breeder of American Masiff made the most significant contribution into the creation of the modern-day American Bandogge Mastiff.

The middle part of the breed’s name originates from the Saxon word «banda», which is translated as «chain». In medieval England the Bandog was used as an excellent property protector that was safely chained during the daylight and released at night-time to defend the domain against unwelcomed guests. The American Bandogge Mastiff certainly shares strong protective instinct and ferociousness of the above-mentioned ancient variety and it has already earned quite a few loyal fans in the role of a guard dog.

Nowadays the American Bandogge Mastiff is primarily produced by crossing a pure-bred male specimen of the American Pit Bull Terrier with a massive and powerful Neapolitan Mastiff female. It’s also admissible to create the Bandogge by crossing the English Mastiff with an American Pit Bull Terrier. The American Canine Hybrid Club also registers the crosses between the American Bulldog and the Mastiff as the American Bandogge. Since the common standard for this breed hasn’t been drawn up yet it doesn’t have recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC). So it’s is usually attributed to Unrecognized and Rare Breeds.


The American Bandogge Mastiff is a dominant and independent dog that can become a great family pet in the hands of a proper person. Its master must exercise strong leadership in the communication with this canine otherwise it can easily bound out of control and begin behaving itself as a head of its human family. It is genetically predisposed to aggressive issues so it’s crucial to show your pet that such aggressive reactions is totally unacceptable as early as possible. The correctly socialised breed member is usually fine with familiar kids and exhibits lots of patience to their harsh games.

The American Bandogge Mastiff is highly distrustful of strange people, sometimes to the point of hostility. It’s highly important to train this dog to make a distinction between an intruder and a welcomed houseguest. It fully justifies its repute of an ultimate protection dog and performs its guarding duties with flying colours. Surprisingly enough but this dog won’t make a good watcher since it usually uses its voice very selectively and rather rarely.

Strange canines are usually perceived by the American Bandogge Mastiff as potential claimants to its status of a pack leader. The intrusion of other dogs into its territory can also become the reason of canine aggressiveness. On the whole this dog lives in harmony only with those its counterparts with which it has been brought up together since its puppyhood. The last condition is also true as far as it concerns other types of pets, including a household cat. Remember that the American Bandogge Mastiff is fairly unpredictable around stray animals so always keep your pet securely leashed in public places.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· hip dysplasia;

· elbow dysplasia;

· osteosarcoma;

· cardiomyopathy.


The maintenance of the American Bandogge Mastiff is a breeze. This massive dog has a short coat that needs just weekly brushing to keep its natural shine intact. The owner will have to use a rubber brush to get rid of dead hair and a firm bristled brush to spread the essential skin oils.

The rest comprises of such usual care practices as monthly nail trimming, weekly teeth brushing and regular ears cleaning. This breed is attributed to an average shedder and requires very rare bathing.


The smart and confident American Bandogge Mastiff is marked by average trainability. It has strong natural makings of a leader and will never obey the handler who displays the signs of indecisiveness or incompetence during lessons. Basic obedience training is a must for this breed so it’s highly advisable to relegate this task to a professional.

Any variant of negative reinforcement is totally ineffective in the work with the American Bandogge Mastiff as it will make this dog totally unruly and often aggressive. Moderate amount of delicious treats and lots of verbal encouragements are the best ways to motivate this breed to listen up to your commands.


The American Bandogge Mastiff has fairly sizeable exercise requirements and at the very least it must be taken on a long and vigorous walk every single day. It’s quite possible to keep it in an apartment as it tends to be relatively calm indoors for the dog of its size. The master should also offer his pet a periodic opportunity to run and play in a securely fenced territory.

Be mindful that this breed can become very destructive and vocal if left alone for a long interval of time. The same behavioural issues usually results from the lack of essential physical outlets. On the whole, the American Bandogge Mastiff makes a good city dog if provided with enough stimulation for its mind and body.