Breed Group: Working
Weight: 175-190 lbs
Height: Male: 30; Female: 27.5 inches
Color(s): fawn, apricot, or brindle, all with dark muzzle, ears and nose
This ancient breed was primarily used as a guard dog. The Mastiff was favored by nobility as a hunting companion and revered by peasants as a family and livestock protector. They were also used as arena gladiators where they participated in bull, bear, and dog combat. The Mastiff was nearly extinct by the end of WWII, but was saved with imports from the United States and Canada.
A massive, muscular, and powerful dog, the Mastiff is one of the heaviest of breeds. Males are capable of exceeding 200 pounds. They have an imposing and dominant demeanor. Mastiffs are fearless, alert, and extremely courageous. Often referred to as the Gentle Giant, they are a combination of dignity and grandeur.
The Mastiff is a watchful, reliable, and intelligent breed. They are exceedingly loyal and deeply devoted to their family. This breed thrives on human companionship and affection and does not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. The Mastiff does best in a home with older considerate children. They do not do well with other household pets they have not been raised with. This breed is naturally protective and is extremely possessive of their family and home. The Mastiff is not recommended for the novice, inexperienced, or passive owner.
The Mastiff requires minimal grooming. Occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush will suffice. Bathing or dry shampooing should be done when necessary. The Mastiff is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, ectropion, PRA, cardiomyopathy, and gastric torsion. They also have a tendency to drool and snore.
The Mastiff is a double coat breed. The outer coat is short, coarse, and straight. The under coat is dense and fits closely to the body. The color of the coat comes in apricot, fawn, or brindle. The nose, muzzle, and ears are black. This breed is an average shedder.
Early socialization and obedience are crucial for this breed. The Mastiff requires a dominant handler. They do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. They are eager to please but may be difficult to train. This breed does best with firmness, fairness, patience, respect, and consistency. They excel in guarding, military and police work, weight pulling, and search and rescue.
The Mastiff is slow moving and is inclined to be rather lazy. Daily securely leashed walks or a play session in a safely fenced small yard are highly recommended to keep them happy and fit. They will do okay in an apartment or condominium dwelling provided they are given stimulation, attention, and sufficient exercise.
Help reduce the number of dogs in shelters by doing your due diligence. Many puppies are often purchased with little or no knowledge of what goes into parenting one. Uneducated decisions often leave the puppy in need of adoption and in the care of rescue groups. Bringing home a puppy into your family has many benefits but we first implore you to educate yourself. An informed decision will take into account the characteristics of the breed, your lifestyle, expected veterinary care, the demands and limitations of owning one, their activity requirements and levels of companionship required.
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