Sarabi Dog Breed Information

Sarabi Dog Breed Information

Most people have heard of Mastiffs, but the individual breeds can get a little mixed up. One that isn’t so well-known is the Sarabi dog breed. This dog comes from Iran and comes directly from an ancient line.

Sarabi is yet another type of Mastiff. Though it shares a lot of characteristics with other Mastiffs, such as their body and facial shape, they do have some unique characteristics all their own. This breed can easily reach 200 pounds and is about 35 inches in height, which makes it an intimidating presence to behold.

If you’ve never heard of the Sarabi before, don’t worry. This article will cover everything you need to know about them, including some frequently asked questions and fun facts.

Sarabi Dog Breed Information

Height 28-35 inches
Weight 120-200 pounds
Life Expectancy 12-15 years
Colors Black
Coat Type Thick coat with short or medium length
Affection Levels Very loving
Shedding Level Average shedding
Temperament Very loving
Very protective
Health Issues Hip dysplasia
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Trainability Average trainability
Exercise Pretty high exercise needs
Friendliness to People Poor with strangers
Friendliness to Dogs Alright with other dogs
Drooling Levels Lots of drooling
Mental Stimulation Very high mental stimulation required
Barking Level Lots of barking
Sarabi Dog Breed Information

Sarabi Appearance

Sarabis almost always have yellow eyes that are shaped similarly to an almond. Their tails are thick and long. They have a lot in common with other Mastiff-like breeds, including drooping jowls, thick chests, and wide muzzles. Unless cropped, their ears are large and fluffy.

Mixed with an impressive 120 to 200 pounds and 28 to 35 inches in height, they make an intimidating sight that not many people will want to come across. They also don’t mind throwing their weight around, which can make them much more intimidating, especially when properly trained by their owner.

Usually, they either have a short or medium coat length. Like other Mastiffs, they also have dewlaps, which is the loose skin that often occurs around the neck and face. Their dewlaps tend to be a little smaller than other Mastiffs.

These Sarabis are usually either a solid black or some sort of brown. They may be a solid shade of brown, or have a patchwork of different shades. A Sarabi having white shading on the chest is also common.

Personality and Temperament

Sarabis are very smart dogs, and intuitive. This means that even without being properly trained, they can figure out many things by themselves. This isn’t always a good thing though, especially if they learn the wrong thing, like how to get out of a fence or open their dog food container.

While they are loving and protective of their owners, they are suspicious of strangers. This means they can be quick to bark, growl, or bite at anyone that gets closer than they are comfortable with.

However, with proper training, they can be a good companion and be protective at the right times. Unfortunately, these dogs are pretty independent, which can make them hard to train.

Mastiff Dog Breed
Mastiff Dog Breed

They will need a lot of patience and a firm trainer. If you let them get away with not completing a task, they may be inclined not to listen the next time.

Like many other independent dogs, positive training is better than negative reinforcement. Give them lots of love, praise, and treats to keep your puppy motivated. Additionally, many people with this dog highly recommend crate training as a bored Sarabi is quick to get into everything they can.

At the very least, your Sarabi needs to be taught three basic commands. These are:

  • No jumping
  • Sit & stay
  • Learning how to heel while on a leash

This allows you to maintain control of your dog, so they don’t pull you everywhere or hurt people when they are excited.

Sarabi Grooming and Care

Sarabis have short or medium coats that are dense. This means that while they still need care, it’s not much more than an average dog.

To prevent shedding, you will want to bathe them at least once every two months, and brush them almost daily. If you can, training them to enjoy a dog vacuum or tough brushes will make it easier.

They also need basic care like nail trimming and occasional grooming to make sure they don’t get too hot.

Unfortunately, this is not a dog breed that commonly prefers to be groomed. Due to the size, you may be hard-pressed to find a groomer that will work for them, so be ready to spend a lot of time with treats, training them to enjoy the process a bit more.

Health Concerns

For the most part, the Sarabi is a healthy dog. Most of the problems are basic health issues that come with any large dog, such as hip dysplasia and bloat. They can also become overweight if they aren’t exercised enough.

Another somewhat common health issue with a Sarabi is Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). This is where dogs can potentially go blind over time.

Most of these health issues cannot be prevented but can be treated, or the dog can live a normal life despite their problems. However, if you notice your dog ever starting to act strange, it is best to take your Sarabi to a vet right away, as some of their health conditions can be fatal without emergency attention.

Furry Facts

  • Sarabis go by many names, including Persian Mastiff, Iranian Shepherd, and Iranian Mastiff
  • The Sarabi is considered the national dog of Iran
  • This breed comes directly from the ancient line of Molossus dog breed, which was well-known for being ferocious and large
  • Despite being used for fighting, guarding, and wars, they were originally bred for herding and livestock control
  • They were designed to be big enough to fight off local predators like bears, wolves, and jackals to keep the livestock alive

Sarabi FAQ

Is the Sarabi Strong?

Sarabis are considered the oldest and strongest of all native dogs in Iran. With their size and weight alone, they would be powerful, but they are also smart and full of muscle, which makes them intimidating dogs to come across.

Is the Sarabi a Good Guard Dog?

Sarabis were originally used for guarding, fighting, and wars. Though they are no longer used for fighting and wars, they still make excellent guard dogs.

They are very loyal to their owners and aloof to strangers, making them wary and protective. They do, however, need to be properly trained first to prevent them from getting unnecessarily aggressive.

What Is the Cost of a Sarabi?

Sarabis are often about $500 to $1000 to get in the United States. Puppies may be more expensive than older dogs.

Can You Get Sarabis in the United States?

It is possible to get a Sarabi in the United States. You just have to take the time to look for a reputable breeder, and you may have to travel a fair distance to get one, as they aren’t popular enough to be bred in every state.


You will never feel in danger again with a well-trained Sarabi at your side. They are fiercely loyal and loving to their owners, and always on guard around strangers. Even their large size is enough to intimidate most people.

For new dog owners, we wouldn’t recommend this breed, as they can be difficult to train and can easily end up leading you around, but if you are up for the challenge, this dog is one you won’t forget.