It is also known as the English Mastiff or Old English Mastiff. This bulky build dog was discovered in England. It was mainly used as a guard dog particularly by peasant farmers to protect their homes and livestock from other predators. In ancient England, they fought alongside soldiers and the Romans would have them fight in arenas against gladiators and other animals such as lions. This breed was greatly affected by the World War and almost came to extinction, but the handful that remained was imported back to England from America, and they were revived.
The Mastiff is a descendant of the Molosser breed that is a group of strong and burly dogs. They weigh about 150 pounds for female and 160 for males and a height of 27inches for female and 30 inches for male. They have a generally square face with a tough jaw bone. It has a short black muzzle that takes up half the size of the head. It has a muscular body frame with a well-built chest. Its ears are dark that droop down to the neck and eyes are dark.
These huge bulky dogs are surprisingly gentle and patient with people. They are protective of their environment though they do not bark much. They are self-driven in a threatening situation as their guard instinct naturally kicks in. Moderate training with firmness will suffice for them and familiarize them to people to make them more sociable. Due to their massive size, they are not suitable dogs for apartment living, and it is important to provide regular exercise for their physical and mental well-being.
They should be trained during the early stages of their life as it gets harder to train them when they grow older. The trainer has to be firm and confident to avoid being dismissed by the dog. Expose them to other people and animals so that they do not become distant to visiting strangers. They tend to chew a lot hence will require sufficient exercise toys and training to prevent them from chewing the wrong things.
They are generally healthy though are prone to various diseases common to other breeds such as bloating stomach, hip dyslexia, kidney defect, seizures and eye diseases. They are known to have a short life expectancy of up to 10 years
The Mastiff has a healthy appetite, and it is important to control its eating habits to prevent bloating. Two high-quality nutritious meals a day will be sufficient. The amount of food depends on the size, level of activity and age of the dog.
Coat, Color and Grooming
It has both and under and outer coat that are straight and short. The coat comes in a variety of shades of brown with dark muzzle, ears and eye strips. Brush the coat weekly and clean the teeth several times a week. Trim the claws and check its ear for excess dirt.
With family and other pets
They are friendly with people of all ages, however, due to their bulky bodies and excessive strength; it is not advisable to breed them with toddlers as they may easily knock them down. They are tolerant to other pets particularly if they are familiar with them.