The english mastiff breed
If a “top ten” list existed for guard dogs, the English Mastiff dog would definitely rank right up there in the top two or three. His appearance alone guarantees that anyone who stumbles across this dog thinks twice about coming near him.
The English Mastiff is a powerfully built canine with a body that can only be described as “massive.” He enjoys the distinction as being “the heaviest dog in the world.” In fact the Mastiff probably gets his Lynn Deall from the Anglo-Saxon word for powerful – “masty.” The English Mastiff is descended from both the ancient breeds, the Alaunt as well as the Molosser and he is recognized as the oldest British breed of dog (and sometimes he acts as if he knows this!)
Not surprisingly this huge dog was used – as early as the sixth century BC – for various “fighting” purposes. He was indispensible in many of the blood sports that have become legendary, including bear-baiting, bull-baiting, lion-baiting (believe it or not!) as well as dog fighting.
The English Mastiff breed is an incredible intermingling of grandeur, dignity and courage. He is perhaps to those who don’t fully understand the breed, the ultimate paradox of dogs. Loyal, calm, affectionate and loving toward his family, he is a first-class guardian as well, ferocious, tenacious and fearless when the need arises. As stunning evidence of this, an English Mastiff instinctually positions himself between his owner and a stranger when an unknown person approaches the family’s “territory.”
Should the approaching stranger not give the dog his due, the Mastiff may take swift, immediate defensive action. And now you see why, he could be ranked up there with the top ten guard dogs of all time!
For all his fierceness, the English Mastiff is incredibly gentle with children.
The English Mastiff is indeed an imposing figure of a canine. The average Mastiff stands at about 30 inches at the shoulder for males and only a little shorter – 27.5 inches – for females. A male English Mastiff can tip the scale between 160 and 230 pounds. The female is not far behind, though, weighing in between 140 and 190 pounds or more!
As with any breed of dog, the English Mastiff has its share of health issues. These include hip dysplasia and bloating. The breed is also prone to obesity. You can manage both the bloating and the weight by feeding your dog two or three small meals a day. As loved as this dog is, there are still plenty of english Mastiff rescues.
The English Mastiff also possesses a higher incidence of bone cancer than some other breeds of dog. They are also one of the breeds that may be prone to developing kidney stones.
A healthy English Mastiff lives to be between nine and 11 years old. He demands a good diet as well as plenty of exercise – as you can well imagine. But you may have to coax him to exercise. Just like his human owner, he’s prone to enjoying “the good life.” You may find that he’s quite comfortably lounging in the living room rather than running the track outside or walking through the park with you.
Don’t forget to brush your English Mastiff daily. Dust, dead hair as well as other “things” tend to “hide” in his coat until you remove them. And while you might not be able to see them, after they’ve been on him a while, the accumulation – believe it or not – actually begins to smell. Another advantage to daily brushing involves skin problems. The chances of developing any concerns dealing with the Mastiff’s skin are far less if you make it a habit to brush him regularly.
Instead of using a regular brush on the Mastiff, though, consider using a “dog-glove.” This incredible device was developed expressly for short hair dogs like the Mastiff. Both you and he will find this enjoyable – and it’ll be a great “bonding” experience for the two of you as well.
Your Mastiff not only has a huge body – but he has a heart to match. And he’s more than willing to give it to you – for a lifetime.