The english mastiff, what you need to know
English mastiffs, sometimes just called mastiffs, are a large, heavy set type of dog. They’re known for their hefty bodies, wide heads, and squarish build. The English mastiff is also the biggest type of dog, weighing as much as two hundred thirty pounds. Females are a bit lighter, but often weigh nearly two hundred pounds. Mastiffs are often thirty inches tall at the shoulders, but the largest mastiff ever was over three feet at the shoulder, and weight over three hundred pounds. He was as big as a small donkey!
English mastiffs are known for their guarding ability, loyalty, and sometimes their territoriality. They’ve often been called one of the world’s top ten guard dogs, and are usually calm and easy going. For their size, they’re startlingly gentle, and make excellent house pets, being good with children. However, it should be noted that English mastiffs need a lot of space to roam, and require regular exercise. They also need to have plenty of attention from their owners, since they become lonely easily. A mastiff left by himself in the house is likely to howl until his master gets home. That makes boarding mastiffs a special problem for many owners.
English mastiffs usually live between nine and eleven years. They need a good diet and a lot of exercise, and may need to be encouraged to be active, to prevent their becoming couch potatoes. However, like many purebred dogs, they have a few problems that should be paid attention to. English mastiffs are prone to hip dysplasia, as well as bloating. Obesity is common, but can be prevented by regular exercise. Some mastiffs may also develop a type of bone cancer, or suffer from kidney stones.
Historically, English mastiffs were used for combat, guarding, as well as blood sport like bear, bull, and lion baiting. Mastiffs were also one of the most common types of dogs in dog fight pits. They have a long record of loyalty, and are featured in legend. They may have come to America on the Mayflower. Because of the Second World War, combined with the outlawing of animal baiting in England, the numbers of English mastiffs greatly declined in the mid twentieth century. However, by that time, there were enough mastiffs in the United States that the breed could late be revived in its native country.
If you’re thinking about getting a mastiff, it’s important for you to have enough time and resources to devote to your dog. An English mastiff, whether puppy or adult, will demand a lot of exercise and quality food. They may also need vet care on a routine basis as they grow older. However, if you treat a mastiff well, you’ll be rewarded with a loving, dedicated pet who will do anything for you. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into when you adopt a mastiff.