Mastiff Dog Breed
Aliases: English Mastiff, Old English Mastiff
|Life Span:||between 10 and 12 years.|
|Litter Size:||between 2 and 5 puppies.|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||fawn, apricot, or brindle|
|Male Height:||30 inches|
|Male Weight:||175-200 pounds|
|Female Height:||271/2 inches|
|Female Weight:||175-200 pounds|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Mastiff does need a minimal amount of exercise. A small fenced yard is sufficient. They are relatively inactive indoors and therefore a small living space is fine. However, they are large animals and the comfort of both the dog and the family should be taken into consideration. A larger living space may be more comfortable for both. It is really preference for the owner. If there is no yard for the animal, they should be exercised daily. Another thing to consider with the Mastiff is that they do slobber excessively after eating and drinking and also just throughout the day. They will shake their heads and the slobber will go flying. This can make for an untidy living space where furniture, walls, and clothing are constantly being covered in drool.
This dog can live outdoors in temperate climate, but does prefer to be indoors with the family. They do not do well in warm, hot, or humid climates. They prefer cooler weather. This makes them excellent dogs for locations that temperatures do not fluctuate much and remain moderately cool to warm.
The Mastiff is a large, massive breed with a symmetrical well knit frame. Their stature gives off the impression of dignity and grandeur. The dog should be slightly longer in body than it stands in height and should come from depth of body and not length in leg. They are to be heavy boned with a well developed muscular structure. The slightly arched neck is extremely muscular and powerful. It should be of medium length. The well rounded chest is to be deep and wide and let down between the forelegs. The shoulders also display the strong muscular stature and should be moderately sloping. The forelegs are straight and strong and set wide apart. The hind legs are broad and muscular with well developed second thighs.
The eyes are set wide apart and are of medium size. They are never to be too prominent. The ears are small, rounded, and v-shaped at the tip. The ears are proportionally small for the head. They should be set widely apart on the highest part of the head. The skull is to be broad and somewhat flattened between the ears. The forehead is slightly curved which shows off the marked wrinkles. These wrinkles become very distinct when the Mastiff is at attention. The muscles of the temples are well developed and the muscles of the cheeks are extremely powerful.
The muzzle should be half the length of the skull dividing the head in to three parts. There is one for the foreface and two for the skull. The nose is broad and is always dark in color. The nostrils should be spread flat and never be turned up or pointed. The lips should diverge at obtuse angles.
The gait of the Mastiff is one that demonstrates extreme power and strength. The forelegs should have smooth reach while the hind legs should have drive. The legs are to move straight forward. To maintain balance as the dog increases speed from a walk to a trot, the legs will converge in towards a centre line. This allows for the maintenance of proper balance.
The outer coat of the Mastiff is course and straight and of a moderately short length. The undercoat is dense, short, and close-lying. The coat should not be long enough to create any fringe on the belly, tail, or legs. A long or wavy coat is considered to be a fault.
The acceptable colors of Mastiff are fawn, apricot, or brindle. Brindle colored Mastiffs should have fawn or apricot as a background color and should be completely covered in very dark stripes. The muzzle, ears, and nose should be very dark in color, the blacker the better. A similarly dark color should be around the eye orbits and extend between them. A white patch on the chest is permitted.
The Pugnaces Britanniae was the progenitor to the Mastiff, however it is extinct now. The Mastiff name was probably came from the Anglo-Saxon word "masty" meaning "powerful." It is recognized as the oldest English breed. It is descended from the Molosser and the Alaunt. It is said to have been brought to Britain in the 6th century B.C. It was used for the blood sports of: bear-baiting, bull-baiting, dog fighting, and lion baiting. Throughout the history of the Mastiff, it has contributed to the development of several other breeds.
There is some evidence that the Mastiff came to America on the Mayflower. However, documentation of the breed\'s existence in America was not until the late 1800\'s. However, in 1835 the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed in the United Kingdom and baiting of animals was prohibited. As a result, the Mastiff lost its popularity.
There is a story about the Mastiff that proves its character. It is said that when Sir Peers Legh was wounded in the Battle of Agincourt that his Mastiff stood over him and protected him through the many hours of the battle.
Despite its origin as a fighting dog the Mastiff that is common today is a gentle giant. This breed is highly intelligent and self confident. They are watchful and have the nature to protect and defend their families. They are highly dignified and coupled with a calm and docile personality, they make excellent family pets. The Mastiff is a breed that rarely barks. However, they do snore loudly and excessively drool. They are typically very well behaved with children, although because of their massive size, it is not recommended for them to be around toddlers. They are extremely good natured but quite large in size. They are eager to please and desire plenty of human companionship. They are not playful dogs but are quite happy just being close to the family.
They respond very well to gentle and patient training. They respond very poorly to fierce or physical punishment. It has been said that if you hit a Mastiff, you are asking for it. They can be aloof around strangers and other animals, so socialization from a young age is very important. They are highly protective of house, car, and family and they need to be shown that someone is safe before they allow them access to their family. When strangers are around, the Mastiff is known to stand between them and their family until they are shown that this person is safe. They are not known to attack strangers or intruders, but rather keep them at bay. Their level of suspiciousness can be minimized if there is proper and constant socialization during their puppyhood.
Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk
The Mastiff ranks #41 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first.
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
Hip Dysplasia: Ball and joint problem of the hip that causes arthritic like symptoms.
Gastric Torsion: Caused by exercising after excessive ingestion of food and water. Surgery is necessary. It can be helpful to feed the dog two or three smaller meals throughout the day rather than once a day. This can help prevent the bloat or gastric torsion.
Obesity: Prone to weight gain.
Osteosarcoma: Malignant bone cancer most commonly found in the knee.