The English Mastiff
An English Mastiff
The English Mastiff was probably brought to Britain before the time of Christ. It was used by the Romans as a gladiator dog and pitted against the bear, the bull and other dogs. Its history as a domestic dog has been as a companion, bodyguard and sheep guardian.
By the end of the Second World War the breed was virtually extinct in England but it was reintroduced by bringing in Canadian stock and it is thriving today.
The English mastiff is one of the heaviest of the British dog breed and it may be over 200lbs (90kg). It does not matter from what angle this dog is observed it exudes power from its muscular body. It has a heavy square head. They are shorthaired dogs in a variety of colors including silver, fawn brindle, golden fawn, and apricot.
Despite their massive size the English Mastiff is a dignified dog with a calm manner. They are good natured and defend their family, but they have a tendency to stop an intruder and detain them, basically by standing over them and drooling over them, which will frighten a lot of people half to death without any additional "threat". In general the English Mastiff is more laid back than other "protection" dogs and it is certainly more lethargic.
The grooming needs are minimal except when they are shedding and then they benefit from a daily brush.
They need a long walk daily.
They need gentle but consistent training. They may be difficult to train but they must receive some training if only to contain aggressiveness. They need socializing as the sheer size and power of them is intimidating, and a bored willful mastiff is not a sight you even want to imagine, never mind experience.
One crucial factor a mastiff owner needs to be aware of there is time and there is mastiff time, and any prospective owner of a mastiff has to be aware of certain facts, and one of those is that the mastiff is not an obedient dog. It is a matter of temperament and they are strong willed which means they tend to do their own thing. This means that it can be difficult to prove to a mastiff that you can make it do something. This is how mastiffs are, it is their temperament and nature, and that is not to say do not have a mastiff, but it is a very clear message do not get on the wrong side of a mastiff. They are definitely not the dog for the inexperienced dog handler, they need firm consistent controlling, but they will not tolerate you mistreating them.
The American Mastiff
The American Mastiff looks exactly like the English Mastiff and its temperament and disposition is identical, the only difference is that it was interbred with the Anatolian mastiff or an Anatolian shepherd. This means that the American mastiff does not have the drooling slobbering mouth that is common to all of the other mastiffs. Selective breeding means that the whole line have a firmer jaw and lip line.
Ideal weight: 150-160 pounds/ 67-72 kg
Average height: 27-30 inches / 69-76 cm
Life expectancy: 10-12 years