Breed Organization Mastiff Club of America Website:
http://www.mastiff.org Native Country Great Britain Other Names Old English Mastiff, English Mastiff Life Expectancy Approximately 10-12 Years Litter Size Average 2-5 Puppies Breed Group AKC Working
Breed Appearance This breed is powerfully built, with a massive
body, broad skull and head of generally square appearance. It is
also the biggest dog breed. Mastiffs have a tendency to
over-salivate and "drool" frequently.
Their size is very
large and gives an impression of power and strength when viewed from
any angle. The body is massive with great depth and breadth,
especially between the forelegs, causing these to be set wide apart.
While no height or weight is specified for this breed, the
approximate height is 27 inches to 30 inches (70 to 76.2 cm) and
weight is (140 to 200 lb). The short coat is close-lying and the
color is apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, or dark fawn-brindle,
always with black on the muzzle, ears, and nose and around the eyes.
Breed Description Head: Square. Broad skull. Flat forehead
with distinct wrinkles when at attention. Pronounced stop. Short,
blunt muzzle (suqarish). Slightly pendulous flews. Ears: Small, thin, wide set and set on high. hang flat against
the cheeks. Eyes: Small, set wide apart. Hazel color, the darker the
better. Body: Massive, broad and tall. Slightly arched, very muscular
neck. Ribs well sprung. Broad muscular back and loin. Deep flanks.
Broad, well let down chest. Tail: Set high. Broad at the root and tapering towards the tip.
Carried straight down at rest and hanging to the hock joint. Hair: Short, lying very close to the body. Not too fine on the
shoulders, neck and back. Coat: Fawn, apricot, silvery fawn or fawn-brindle. All have
black mask, ear and nose. Eyes surrounded by black. Size: Dog: 75 to 82 cm; bitch: at least 66 cm. Weight: 70 to 90 kilos.
History The mastiff, which is of British origin, is
descended from Assyrian Mastiffs (descended from the Tibetan
Mastiffs imported to Europe by the Phoenicians), through the Roman
Molossus. Originally bred as fighting dog, the Mastiff later was
used as a guard dog for English Seigneurs' herds and estates and as
a hunting dog for large game. This breed was given the name Mastiff
towards the end of the 14th century. The first Mastiff
standard was published in 1883. During World War II, this mighty
breed almosty disappeared, but was saved and restored from a few
remaining Mastiffs imported into the United States.
Behavior This peaceable, gentle dog is affectionnate
with his owner and children. Courageous and not easily swayed, he is
a guard dog through and through. This breed requires rigorous
training because he can represent a danger to strangers.
Health This is a particularly large dog demanding
correct diet and exercise. Major issues include hip dysplasia and
gastric torsion. Minor problems include obesity, osteosarcoma, and
cystinuria. Problems only occasionally found include cardiomyopathy,
allergies, vaginal hyperplasia, cruciate ligament rupture,
hypothyroidism, OCD, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA),
and persistent pupillary membranes (PPM). When purchasing a purebred
Mastiff, experts often suggest that the dog undergo tests for hips,
elbow, eyes, thyroid, and DNA for PRA.
Advice The Mastiff needs a lot of space and exercise.
Regular brushing is required.
Function The Mastiff breed is a combination of grandeur,
dignity, and courage; calm and affectionate to its master, but
capable of protection. This particular mastiff-type breed is an
extremely capable guard. If an unfamiliar person approaches near
their perceived territory or its master, the Mastiff will
immediately position themselves between its master and the stranger.
If the approaching person does not back down, they take immediate
defensive action. It is because of this instinctive behavior that
English Mastiffs have earned themselves a spot in the world's top 10
guard dogs. The breed is innately good natured, calm, easygoing, and
surprisingly gentle. It is a well-mannered house pet but needs
sufficient room for exercise and activity. This is an extremely
loyal breed, though not excessively demonstrative. It is
exceptionally devoted to its family and good with children.