Sarabi Mastiff ( Ultimate guide with size & temperament )

Let us look at the Iranian dog known as Sarabi Mastiff.

Who is a Sarabi Mastiff? Sarabi Mastiff is a large shepherd dog originating from Sarab county of north-west Iran. These dogs are also known as Persian Mastiff or Iranian Mastiff or Iranian Shepherd Dogs.

These Iranian shepherd dogs have been bred for guarding and herding the livestock from large predators like wolves, bears, jackals, etc.

They are pretty rare and are difficult to find in the Saraby county of Iran as well.

Sarabi Mastiff

Sarabi Mastiff – At a glance

Size30 – 35 inches
Weight120 – 180 pounds
TemperamentLoyal and protective
Lifespan12 to 16 years
PurposeGuard dog


Not much is known about the origins of the Sarabi dogs though they have been bred in and around Iran for long and considered an old dog breed.

They are Molosser-type dogs. Molossus dogs belonged to the ancient kingdom of the Molossians and were revered for their size and ferocity.

It is believed that they are related to the lion killer dogs of Alexander though there is no study that has proven the same.


They are giant dogs and considered one of the most powerful dogs in the world. They have a dominating presence with a heavy-boned body. Their head is large with a broad muzzle.

Sarabi dogs have almond-shaped eyes having yellowish color. Their small ears are erect and set high. They have a long thick curvy tail.

These Iranian dogs have a short double coat and often come in three colors i.e. fawn, sable, and black. They may also have some white on their chest. They do shed and need a moderate level of grooming.

They can grow to a height of 30 to 35 inches and weigh approximately 120 to 200 pounds. Their average lifespan is around 12 to 16 years.

Sarabi Mastiffs are not recognized by any major kennel club in the world.

Persian Mastiff


Sarabi Mastiffs are highly loyal dogs who are alert and protective of the family. They are wary of strangers and make a loud bark if they sense any danger. They make excellent guard dogs.

These Iranian dogs are loving and friendly to the family. They are large dogs having a high prey drive and hence are not recommended for families having children or small pets.

Persian mastiffs are highly active dogs and require an hour-long exercise daily with enough playtime possibly in a fenced yard. They are not recommended for apartment living for their agility and giant size.

You should be an experienced dog owner if you want to pet this Persian Mastiff and should start the training and socialization since puppy age. This would ensure the dog listens to your command when he grows up.

They are intelligent dogs who have traits of being independent using their wits. You would need to be patient and consistent with them while training. Positive reinforcement training is recommended for them.


They are very healthy dogs and typically live a long life. They may be prone to a few ailments below that you should be aware of.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a common ailment prone to large dogs like Sarabi Mastiff.

This is an inheritable disease in which the thigh bone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. This can be painful for dogs and the degree of pain may differ in each dog.

This disease finally leads to arthritis in the old age. Dogs having this disease should not be bred and neutered.


This is another common ailment that large dogs having broad chest like Persian Shepherd would be prone to.

Bloating is a medical condition in which air gets trapped into the stomach that twists on its axis. The dog would not be able to vomit this extra air and gets into a shock.

This is a fatal condition and needs quick medical attention.


These Iranian shepherd dogs are prone to become obese. You should control the amount of diet fed to them.

If the dog is more active and playing/exercising, he would earn more food.

Oppression of Iranian dogs

Since Iran converted to an Islamic state in 1979, owning a dog is not considered good in the country. This is because of belief by few that Islam considers dogs as lowly creatures or ritually impure.

This caused a decline in dog ownership and many stray dogs were also killed. Currently, Iran bans dogs from riding in cars and public walks.

This is the stark opposite of Japanese who revere their dogs. Want to know about them. Read here.

Iranian Dogs

Let us have a quick look at other popular dogs from Iran.


saluki running dog

Saluki is one of the fastest dogs in the world second only to greyhounds with a top speed of 42 mph. And they beat greyhounds as well when it comes to racing long distances. They are also known as Persian greyhounds.

These Iranian dogs were originally bred in Persia for hunting and are considered a very old breed. They have a slim body that is covered with long silky hairs and have characteristic long floppy ears.

They are very loyal dogs who shy away from strangers but will not be aggressive. They are smart and independent dogs who may be difficult to train.

These Iranian dogs can grow to a height of 28 inches and weigh approximately 60 to 70 pounds. Their average lifespan is around 12 to 14 years.

Pshdar Dog or Kurdish Mastiff

Pshdar Dog or Kurdish Mastiff is also one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They are believed to have been bred by the Assyrian army and Babylonians for protecting from large predators like wolves and bears.

These Iranian dogs are laidback dogs having high endurance. They are highly loyal and devoted to their family. Being wary of strangers, they do well as guard dogs.

Kurdish Mastiffs are large dogs having a deep chest. They have small floppy ears and a long curly tail. They are known for the neck dewlap (a fold of the skin).

They have a double coat and comes in a variety of colors like a mix of black and white, grey, etc.

Pshdar Dog can grow to a height of 30 to 35 inches and weigh approximately 130 to 200 pounds. They have an average lifespan of around 9 to 12 years.

Final thoughts

If you are an experienced dog owner looking for a large guard dog, Sarabi Mastiff can be a good fit for you.

Though you should avoid him if you have children or small pets at home and remember training and socialization is a must for them from puppy age.

We hope that you have got all the information that you were looking for. Now it is our turn to ask you.

Do share your story if you own or know Sarabi Mastiff in the comments section below.


  1. Molossians
  3. 2. Pic source Instagram @ sarabi_mastiff