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Mastiff Breed InformationSelect a Breed
Quick Facts
Life Span:10-12 years
Litter Size:2-5 puppies
Group:
Recognized By:CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Color:fawn, apricot, or brindle
Hair Length:Short
Size:Extra Large
Shedding:Heavy Shed
Male Height:28-30 inches
Male Weight:175-200 pounds
Female Height:26-28 inches
Female Weight:175-200 pounds
Living Area:The Mastiff does need a minimal amount of exercise. A small fenced yard is sufficient. They are relatively inactive indoors and therefore a small living space is fine. However, they are large animals and the comfort of both the dog and the family should be taken into consideration. A larger living space may be more comfortable for both. It is really preference for the owner. If there is no yard for the animal, they should be exercised daily. Another thing to consider with the Mastiff is that they do slobber excessively after eating and drinking and also just throughout the day. They will shake their heads and the slobber will go flying. This can make for an untidy living space where furniture, walls, and clothing are constantly being covered in drool. This dog can live outdoors in temperate climate, but does prefer to be indoors with the family. They do not do well in warm, hot, or humid climates. They prefer cooler weather. This makes them excellent dogs for locations that temperatures do not fluctuate much and remain moderately cool to warm.

Description

The Mastiff is a large breed of dog. He has a dignified stance and is longer in his body than he is tall. He has a very deep body and has large bones. He is very muscular throughout his body. He has a long arched neck, and strong, sloped shoulders. His front legs should be straight and his back legs should be broad. He has wide set eyes and small ears for the size of his head. His head is broad and flat and he has characteristic wrinkles on his forehead.

Coat Description

The Mastiff has short, straight and course hairs in his main coat. His undercoat is made up of dense short hairs. His coat should not be long or wavy, and he should not have any fringe.

The only three colors that Mastiffs come in are apricot, fawn, and brindle. The brindle version has dark stripes. The dog's nose, mouth, and ears are all dark, and there can be white on the dog's chest.

History

The Mastiff is a descendent of the Pugnaces Britanniae, the Molosser, and the Alaunt. He was brought to the United Kingdom in the sixth century BCE. Originally, his purpose was as a participant in blood sports like dog fights, bull fights, lion fights, and bear fights. The word "mastiff" comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "powerful". His first appearance in the United States is debated, but the first documented Mastiff in the US was in the nineteenth century.

Temperament

The Mastiff is often called the "gentle giant" because he is a docile dog. He is intelligent and protective of his family. He is a very calm animal and is not aggressive. He doesn't bark very often, but he does drool a lot and some mastiffs snore. The Mastiff is a very good dog for a family with children, though the dogs can be a little large to have around young children. They really like children, though, and are very gentle with them. He needs a lot of socialization a puppy to prevent shyness. He will protect his family against strangers by blocking the stranger from the family members until he knows it is safe. He will not attack strangers.

Health Problems

Like many large breed dogs, the Mastiff can develop a large number of physical health problems. He can have hip dysplasia which is a joint disorder much like arthritis. He can have gastric torsion, which is a serious stomach problem caused by excessive exercise after eating. This can be prevented by giving the dog smaller meals. The dog will need surgery if he develops gastric torsion. Since the Mastiff is a lazy dog, he can also have serious weight problems. He also can develop cancer, particularly Osteosarcoma, which is cancer in the knee.

Grooming

Grooming should be started when the Mastiff is a puppy. This will get him used to the grooming process and eventually, when he is an adult, he will not mind being brushed, trimmed, and bathed. Because he has so much hair, the Mastiff really needs to be brushed frequently – at least once a day. You can wipe him down with a wet cloth to clean him off between baths. As for bathing, he doesn't really need frequent bathing, and this is a good thing because his size makes it difficult for most people to bathe the Mastiff on their own. If he is too big for one person to handle, he should be professionally groomed and bathed. He needs special shampoo made for sensitive skin; he can have irritation to human shampoos. Maintenance of the dog's ears, eyes, and claws is very important with the Mastiff.

Exercise

The Mastiff, like any other breed of dog, is healthier when he has regular exercise. However, he is a very lazy dog and will not want to exercise a lot. This is a good thing because he can actually over exert himself and cause major damage to his joints and even to his ligaments. It is best to keep the Mastiff on a leash when you are walking him in the neighborhood or in the park. These walks every day are enough daily exercise for the Mastiff. Remember that even though your Mastiff does not like to exercise, he can develop severe weight problems without adequate exercise.

Training

Because of his intelligence and his stubborn streak, the Mastiff is fairly difficult to train. The owner of the dog needs to be very patient with him, and must be consistent in the training methods. Mastiffs do not respond positively to violent or harsh punishments during training so do not use these methods. The dog is quite dominant, especially around other dogs and other animals that are the same sex. This can be helped with socialization as a puppy. The Mastiff can eventually be trained for good obedience, but he is not capable of problem solving.

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