English Mastiff Breed Information
The Mastiff, or English Mastiff, is one of the largest dogs, standing as tall as 32 inches at the shoulder and weighing up to 175 pounds. Some members of this breed grow to 36 inches tall and weigh more than 200 pounds.
Despite its size, the Mastiff can be a well-mannered and calm pet, easy to be around and devoted to family members. Some credit the name as coming from an old English word “masty” meaning powerful.
The Mastiff is one of the oldest of dog breeds and may have arrived in the British Isles more than 1,500 years ago. This breed was used in the blood sports such as bear baiting, bull baiting, and in dogfights. However, the numbers of the breed declined rapidly in England by the 1940s, but have since rebounded.
The American dogs helped to keep the breed alive. Today, families find the Mastiff to be a great pet, if the dog is provided with sufficient room to move around and exercise.
English Mastiff Temperament
The gigantic size of the Mastiff belies its usually easygoing, gentle nature. This dog moves with a certain dignity due to its size yet it is remarkably well mannered and extremely loyal to family members, especially the principal owner. This protective nature may be a problem at times because of the size and strength of the dog, so owners must be careful to keep their pet under control at all times.
This breed is also a watchful and patient dog that does not bark often. However, it is usually ready to protect owners and territory. The Mastiff is also excellent with children but, like other large dogs, is not recommended for small children or toddlers because of the chance of injury to the child from the large body size, not aggression.
The Mastiff is also sometimes wary of other dogs, with its protective nature showing when other dogs are around. The key is early socialization, specifically with a dog of this size and power.
English Mastiff Size and Color
The Mastiff is a huge animal, sometimes reaching three feet tall at the shoulder and weighing more than 200 pounds. The female of the breed, though slightly smaller, can reach 150 pounds. Additionally, this breed has a large head and very strong bone structure. Colors range from silver and apricot to fawn and brindle.
Fortunately, the coat is close and easy to groom. Additionally, Mastiffs have a black masking no matter what the overall color of the coat. It is common for Mastiffs to have great width between the forelegs as the body is very square and massive.
English Mastiff Feeding and Grooming Requirements
This large dog tends to be a bit lazy, though it does enjoy regular walks and exercise if there is sufficient room. Because of the breed’s nature, a proper diet is absolutely, necessary to prevent an overweight and unhealthy pet. Some experienced owners and breeders emphasize that this large dog actually eats less than many other dogs, pound for pound.
Generally, you should feed your Mastiff a balanced diet of high-quality food if you choose commercial brands. We recommend keeping the table scraps and other treats to a minimum because of the tendency to gain weight.
The short coat is easy to care for, usually requiring only regular brushing and some minor attention. This way, the coat remains silky, while keeping the hair close to the body from matting. An occasional bath might be necessary if there is evidence of odor, but the size of the animal can make this an adventure.
English Mastiff Exercise Needs
Mastiffs do need to be exercised occasionally, sometimes with a little urging, because some individual dogs tend to be lazy. Experienced breeders will tell you not to over-exercise your Mastiff when it is under two years old because the large skeleton is still developing and too much activity can cause physical problems.
A Mastiff usually exercises and moves about when it is necessary and rests when it becomes tired. Therefore, you can leave the dog to make its own decisions as to exercise but it is best to watch for signs of overheating, as well as other symptoms that may require rest.
Of course, be sure you provide your pet with lots of water when outside, especially on hot, summer days.
Read More About English Mastiff
- English Mastiff : 10 Most Common Questions
- English Mastiff Training Guide
- English Mastiff Health Guide
- Owning a English Mastiff : Breeder Recommendations