Male Height (typical): 76 cm. (30 inches)
Female Height (typical): 70 cm. (27.5 inches)
Male Weight (typical): 80-91 kg. (175-200 pounds)
Female Weight (typical): 80-91 kg. (175-200 pounds)
Country of Origin: England
Exercise Required: Daily long walks.
Expected Life Span: 9 – 12 Years
Best suited as: Working Dog, Family Pet
Other names: Old English Mastiff, English Mastiff
Description – The Mastiff is a breed with a long and proud history that is massive and powerful in its appearance. It was originally bred as a working and fighting dog and has a long lineage of doing both throughout the ages. There are several lines of this breed that differ slightly in their appearance depending on where they originated. The traditional English Mastiff is the most common and this breed originated in England as part of the Molosser group. The American Mastiff is a newer breed of this dog and was started in America. The Spanish Mastiff is a very old branch of this breed that originated in Span. There is also a breed of Mastiff that was started in Italy about the same time as the Spanish Mastiff and is known as the Neapolitan Mastiff. Finally there is another breed called the Tibetan Mastiff that was bred in Tibet. All of these dogs share very similar features and only vary slightly from each other in size and coloring. In general the Mastiff is one of the largest dogs that have been domesticated and holds the world record at 315 pounds for a dog of any breed.
Origin & History – The Mastiff is a very old breed and originated from stock that dates back to the 6th century BC. In fact they are the oldest recognized breed in England and also one of the largest. The early history of this dog is brutal as they were mostly bred to be fighters as dog fighting was the sport of the day for most of their early history. This has changed dramatically in recent years as this type of contest has been banned in most of the world. Once these dogfights were banned the Mastiff fell in popularity and was wiped out in England. Fortunately there was a strong breeding effort under way in the United States that kept the breed alive and most of the modern breed of Mastiff originated from this stock. The Mastiff is also noteworthy as it has been crossbred with other breeds to create many new types of dogs.
Temperament – This breed is the perfect mix of loyal family companion and guard dog. While this dog is gentle to those it bonds with it will defend the home and property from intruders with a vengeance. Because of its size it can intimidate anyone it comes on contact with and will act quickly when it feels threatened. Even though it is an aggressor when needed it is also great around children and makes a wonderful family pet.
Exercise & Grooming – This is a large dog that needs sufficient exercise to stay healthy. It is also a lazy dog if allowed to lounge and may need to be coaxed into running. The dog is very loyal to its family and will gladly go for a run if leashed. Backyard play is also fine but the dog really craves the attention of humans and prefers to walk as a companion for the interaction it gets.
Health Concerns – Larger dogs like the Mastiff are prone to hip dysplasia and this should be checked as they age. A veterinarian will normally do this during their regular visit and can advise you if treatment is needed. The only other health concern is with the dog getting overweight from too little exercise. As long as it’s fed a healthy diet and is exercised regularly it should live a long and comfortable life.