The English Mastiff was founded in Britain. A very old breed, it was depicted in Egyptian monuments as early as 3000 BC. The breed fought alongside the British soldiers in 55 BC. Caesar brought a pack of Mastiffs to Rome where the dogs were put on display as an arena gladiator and forced to be in fights with human gladiators, lions, bull baiting, bear baiting and in dog to dog combat. They later became popular with the peasants in England where it was used as a bodyguard, protector of wolves and other dangerous predators and as a companion dog. In the eighteenth century the Mastiff was described: "As a lion is to a cat, so is a mastiff compared to a dog". Like most breeds by the end of World War ll the breed was almost extinct in England. Some of the Mastiff's talents include: watchdog, guarding, police work, military work, search & rescue, and weight pulling.
The Old English Mastiff is a massive dog. The Mastiff has a large, heavy square head with a well marked stop between the eyes. The muzzle should be half the length of the skull. The medium-sized brown to dark hazel eyes are set wide apart with a black mask around them. The nose is dark in color. The small ears are V-shaped and in proportion with the skull and are dark in color. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite but a slightly undershot bite is also acceptable in the show ring providing the teeth do not show when the mouth is closed. The tail is high-set with a wide base, tapering to a point reaching the hocks.
|Colour||Coat colours include golden fawn, light fawn, apricot, silver, tiger or brindle.
|Weight/Height Range||The standard height of dogs from 76cm and bitches from 69cm and weigh about 72kg foe dogs and bitches about 68kg
|Ailments||Beware of hip dysplasia. As these dogs are prone to bloat, feed two or three small meals a day, instead of one large one. Also prone to CHD, gastric torsion, ectropion, PPM, vaginal hyperplasia, elbow dysplasia and PRA. Occasionally seen is cardiomyopathy.
Feeding & Ownership
On average they cost about $13 per week to feed adequately. This is a breed that is susceptible to bloat so care must be taken with feeding, two smaller meals are ideal.
|Food Cost||$10 to $15|
The Mastiff is a very massive, powerful, muscular dog, they are often called the a gentle giant. They rarely bark, but it is in its nature to defend their territory and family, and is more a silent guard rather than a barker. With their intelligent, calm, even-tempered and docile nature they are considered good with children. The Mastiff tends to drool, wheeze and snore loudly. Socialisation os critical for Mastiff Puppies and obedience training is very important.
|Intelligence||This breed is very large and heavy, they can be somewhat difficult to train. They respond well to firm, but gentle, patient training. They love to please and need a lot of human leadership. |
|Suitability for Children||Medium
|Tendency to Bark||Low|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||Mastiffs are inclined to be lazy but they will keep fitter and happier if given regular exercise. |
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||High|
|Ease of Transportation||Low|
|Level of Aggression||Medium
|Other Animal Compatibility||Low
The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Brush with a firm bristle brush and wipe over with a piece of toweling or chamois for a gleaming finish.
|Grooming Requirements||Once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Moderate|
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