Korean Mastiff

Table of Contents

korean mastiff

The Korean Mastiff is an extremely rare breed of dog. Originating from South Korea and looking similar to the more common Neapolitan Mastiff, the Korean Mastiff is an imposing dog with a long history.

The Korean Dosa Mastiff is also called Mee Kyun Dosa. 

Its origin can be traced back to the 1900s when different giant guard dog breeds were crossed to produce a striking large and powerful dog. Among the Korean Mastiff’s pedigree are Dogue de Bordeaux as well as Bloodhounds.

korean mastiff walking

Appearance

These Mastiffs are very large dogs and not suitable for owners that do not have a spacious house and property. With 23-27 inches (females) and 26-30 inches (males) in height, their weight ranges from 150 lbs for small females to nearly 200 lbs for large males.

Their coat is always short and thin, and they come in a variety of solid colors – mostly shades of brown. They have long, droopy ears. 

The most prominent features of Korean Mastiffs are their pronounced wrinkles, especially on their face.

Temperament

While most Mastiffs can be docile and friendly companion dogs, it is crucial that they are properly socialized and trained. Their original breed purpose was to protect and guard, and as such many Korean Mastiffs can be suspicious and wary of strangers.

They should be exposed to a variety of people and different social situations as puppies or they can be likely to develop reactivity in their adult years. As puppies, they are outgoing and friendly and will enjoy meeting and greeting people (and licking their faces!)

The outgoing puppy temperament usually changes once the dogs are about 6-10 months old. During this time in their lives it is especially important to provide ample opportunity for socialization. Your dog should have positive experiences around other people at least 2-3 times a week. In order to keep everyone safe, always use a leash: Your Mastiff should be kept on a collar at all times.

Use of the Korean Mastiff

The Korean Mastiff originally was bred as a guard dog. His purpose was to keep his owner’s property safe and free of intruders. With his imposing stature (often paired with a tactical collar), the Korean Mastiff is perfect for this.

As an independent worker, he was expected to distinguish friend and foe and take care of any threats.

As with many working dogs, the modern day use of the Korean Mastiff is quite different. While they are not common outside of South Korea, in their home country they are used in a variety of ways.

Some owners attend dog shows with their Mastiffs, others enjoy their company on hikes and camping trips and others even use them as trick dogs.

grey mastiff lying down

Prey drive

Korean Mastiffs can have an intense prey drive and are not safe around small dogs and other animals. They are known to chase, pounce on and kill cats, chickens, rabbits and small lap dog breeds. You can never leave your Mastiff unsupervised with small animals.

If you have other animals in your family already, you will need to separate them when you are not around. A lot of accidents happen because owners trust their dogs too much, too soon. This is not a dog breed that is meant to be docile and sweet like a Cavachon. A Korean Mastiff is a powerful and driven dog who can and will go after smaller animals.

The Korean Mastiff and Kids

Like with small animals, you never want to leave a Mastiff alone with young children. This is not so much out of concern that your Mastiff could see them as prey (though this might happen in rare circumstances), but rather because these dogs are very large and could hurt children even if they are not intending to.

Kids need to be taught how to be respectful with your Korean Mastiff. This specifically means:

  • No chasing the dog
  • No teasing the dog
  • No taking away food, bones or toys from the dog
  • No cornering the dog
  • No playing of “human” games with the dog, such as dress-u

If your teach your children to treat your Mastiff respectfully, they become a great team and your dog will protect your kids with his life.

Health & Wellness

How do you keep your Mastiff in top shape? Let’s look at how you can make sure that he lives a long and healthy life.

Vet Care

Every dog needs regular vet care. Most Korean Mastiffs are rather healthy dogs. Because they have a laid-back temperament and can be couch potatoes in their adult years, it is unlikely that you have to visit a vet due to an injury or trauma. 

Their long and droopy ears can be prone to ear infections. If you see your dog shaking his head, having one part of his head lower than the other or scratching himself obsessively, take him to the vet. Chances are that he is suffering from an ear infection.

A lot of Korean Mastiffs however tend to take everything they can into their mouths, and might ingest foreign bodies – leading to bowl obstruction. If this is the case, immediate veterinary care is required.

Like all dogs, your Mastiff will need to get annual vaccinations and a microchip. You will want to spay or neuter your dog unless you are intending on breeding him as well.

Unfortunately, Mastiffs’ lifespan is only 6-12 years. Keeping your Korean Mastiff in the best shape possible will help him live a long and healthy life.

Feeding Your Korean Mastiff

Your dog will require large amounts of food in order to keep his big body nourished and healthy. Most owners opt to feed their Mastiffs a diet of kibble, which is the most affordable option. There are a variety of different dry foods available from which you can choose.

These dogs love to chew (and in fact, will as puppies often chew your furniture a lot!), so adding marrow bones to their diet will be useful. 

Should You Get A Korean Mastiff?

Before you run out and look for your own Korean Mastiff, consider this dog’s size and original breed purpose. He will get very large and will need an experienced and skilled handler. They can also be quite difficult to come by – you might do better choosing a more common, similar breed such as the Carne Corso.

If you are looking for get a first dog, this is not the right choice – check out more beginner-friendly dogs such as Shorkies or Cavachons first!