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Mastiff: Breed Personality, Fitness & Care (English Mastiff)

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About Mastiff

Country of Origin, History of Mastiffs

Found in Britain at the time of the Roman invasion, the Old English Mastiff may have been taken to England by Phoenician traders in the 6th century BC. When Ceasar invaded Britain in 55 BC, they fought beside their masters with courage and power. The Mastiff has been used as an arena gladiator by the Romans to combat bulls, bears, and other dogs. Other uses of the Mastiff have included sheep guardian, bodyguard, protector, and companion.

One story says that a Mastiff was on the Mayflower. Today Mastiffs are used for watchdogging, guarding, police work, military work, search and rescue, and weight pulling.

Mastiff Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Mastiff the right breed for you?

Is the Mastiff the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your Mastiff's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Mastiff's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper training methods.

Is your Mastiff dominating over you?

Does your Mastiff bark unnecessarily? Does your Mastiff come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Mastiff and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your Mastiff?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Mastiff? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

Mastiff Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Mastiff needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Mastiff Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

“As a lion is to a cat, so is a mastiff compared to a dog.” Mastiffs are true gentle little giants. The English Mastiff is one of the heaviest breeds and is extremely heavy for his short stature. Mastiffs can exceed 200 pounds!

The Mastiff is short, stocky, and muscular. It is a rectangular-looking dog with a large, square head with jowls and a short muzzle. Its skin fits tightly over its body and its tail hangs down to about the knee. Massive but with an impression of nobility or grandeur is the best description of the Mastiff.

Coat Color

The Mastiff coat color is fawn, apricot, or brindle. The brindle should have fawn or apricot as a background color so that it appears striped. A small patch of white may appear on the chest.

Coat Type

The Mastiff has a double coat. The outer coat is straight, coarse and moderately short. The undercoat is dense, short, and lies close to the body. There should be no fringe on the belly, tail or legs.

Height

Male: at least 30”
Female: at least 27”

Weight

Males: 160 lbs and up
Females: 150 lbs and up

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Mastiff Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Dog


The Mastiff is self-confident and good-natured toward his family and those he knows well. He is intelligent and dignified. He can be calm and steady. If well socialized and trained, he will be a hard-worker.

The English Mastiff rarely barks, except to defend its territory or family. They love to please and want lots of companionship.

The degree of dominance varies greatly. Some Mastiffs are aloof with strangers while others are fairly friendly.

If properly raised and well socialized, Mastiffs will not be aggressive. Just remember that they are very loyal and very protective. If raised around children, Mastiffs will do fine with them. However, because of their mass, they are not safe around small children.

Mastiffs do not need to be taught to defend. Never hit a Mastiff; you will be sorry as he will probably attack you and he will come out of the fight alive. Mastiffs can hold an intruder at bay or attack him. He will be combative with dogs he is not raised with.
Mastiffs drool, wheeze, and snore.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

The Mastiff should be allowed to stay in the house, especially when the weather is cold or hot and humid. He likes to be near his owner.

They need a very securely fenced yard for running and playing.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

If properly raised and well socialized, Mastiffs will not be aggressive. Just remember that they are very loyal and very protective. If raised around children, Mastiffs will do fine with them. However, because of their mass, they are not safe around small children.

Mastiff Activity Level

How Active is the Breed?

This is not a terrifically active breed. They are so heavy and have some breathing issues with their weight and broad, deep chest and short muzzle.

They need a very securely fenced yard for running and playing. They like an occasional walk but cannot take long or brisk walks.

How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?

The Mastiff can live in an apartment, but must have some walks – just not long walks or brisk walks. They are fairly quiet indoors. They like spending time outside so a small, securely fenced yard is sufficient.

Grooming

The Old English Mastiff’s 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 slick, shiny finish. Bathe or dry shampoo when necessary. This breed is an average shedder. Trim his toenails monthly.

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Free Course on Mastiff Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

Some problems include cancer, epilepsy, cruciate ligament rupture and cystinnuria.B oth hip and elbow dysplasia are common. There are a number of eye problems that are seen in this breed: cataracts, distichiasis, both ectropion and entropion, macroblepharon, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and retinal dysplasia.

Genetic Problems

Hip dysplasia causes problems to this heavy breed. They are also prone to bloat (gastric torsion), so feed them two to three times per day. They are also prone to CHD, ectropion, PPM, vaginal hyperplasia, elbow dysplasia, and PRA. Some cardiomyopathy is seen.

Breeding the Dog and any Cautions

These dogs can have trouble breeding and whelping because of their mass.

Life Span: The average life of a Mastiff is 10-12 years.

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs

British – Mastiff Association – www.mastiffassociation.com
Old English Mastiff Club – www.mastiffclub.com
US – Mastiff Club of America - www.mastiff.org

Other Recognition: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR

Rescue Link: http://mastiff.org/exhibit-hall/rescue/

Group: Working Group.

AKC Ranking: 29

Also Known As: English Mastiff, Old English Mastiff

Train Your Mastiff To Listen To You

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You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

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  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

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  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Mastiffs have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

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Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Mastiff information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Mastiffs have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Mastiff training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

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