A weighty breed, the Mastiff, also known as the Old English Mastiff, is a
pet for the experienced dog owner, as caring for a dog of this size can be
quite a challenge. This strong, burly breed has a boxy head, short muzzle,
and a dark mask over the nose and the eyes. It has small, dark eyes, short
ears, an undershot bite, and a narrowing tail positioned high on its back.
Some Quick Facts:
10 to 12 years
Calm & Patient
Moderate to cool climates.
Daily 20 minute walk and a game of fetch.
27 to 30 inches
150 to 160 pounds
Standard Hair Colors:
Silver, apricot, golden and light fawn, tiger, and brindle colors.
National breed club:
Mastiff Club of America
Ancestors of the mastiff were used as battle dogs and arena gladiators, then as guardians, and hunters. Despite the abilities it was known for in the past, this breed has gained popularity as a housedog. Nevertheless, it is still valued as a watchdog and guardian, as it is able to assist in police and military work, search and rescue operations, and show its talent in weight pulling.
Despite its domineering appearance, the mastiff is calm and patient. It is attentive, confident, and smart. It is a loyal pet that is protective of its home and people, and it behaves well around children, though not an advisable companion to little kids for its size. This breed must be treated kindly and dealt with tolerantly in training for it to respond nicely. Early socialization with other dogs is vital for decreasing its aggression towards them. Interaction with humans is also important, as the mastiff is very eager to please.
Moderate daily walks would suffice for this breed, though a little game of fetch can keep it motivated from time to time. The mastiff can be quite lazy, and it will need a little push from its owner for it to stay active and healthy.
The mastiff may be amenable to apartment life as long as it has moderate physical activity. It is more suited to live in moderate to cool climates, and must live indoors with its owners to remain a dedicated defender of the home. Having access to even a small yard is also beneficial to this breed.
The mastiff’s coat is easy to maintain, as it needs minimal brushing and polishing with towel cloth to keep it glossy. Give baths or use dry shampoo on it as needed.
This breed has a tendency of bloating and even becoming obese, so it’s ideal to feed it three small meals stretched throughout the day, instead of just one large meal. It must also be exercised regularly to keep it from gaining too much weight. The mastiff is also susceptible to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, ectropion, hyperplasia, and cardiomyopathy.
If you liked this dog…
...a similarly tough look but loving companion can also be found in the Boxer breed in a more manageable size.