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English Mastiff

Country of origin:
Great Britain

Domestic, guard dog

Apricot, yellow-brown or mottled. Small patches of white are allowed on the chest

Cool, calm, kind-hearted, brave, guarding

68-78 cm

74-100 kg

10-11 years

Other names:
English Mastiff, Mastiff


Litter size:
2-5 puppies

English Mastiff – a very large and massive dog. The world’s largest dog is considered to be an individual of this breed – Hercules, who entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2001. This English Mastiff had a neck circumference of 96.5 cm and a weight of 128 kilograms! These impressive-looking dogs are good-natured and obedient. The English Mastiff appreciates the company of people and gets on well with all members of the family, including children. Of course, a dog’s character always depends on how the pet is brought up, but some potential character traits are innate.

History of the breed

The ancestors of the English Mastiff are thought to be the Molossian dogs, which were famous as companions of Roman soldiers. The armoured dogs fought even more fiercely than the soldiers in battles, which made them easier to defeat enemies. These dogs were also used for entertainment – in the amphitheatres, where large crowds of spectators gathered, they wrestled with various beasts. Caesar, who invaded Britain in ’55, also had to endure mastiffs fighting their masters. Later, Caesar brought these dogs back to Rome, where Mastiffs fought other dogs, including bears, tigers and gladiators. Eventually, Mastiffs became popular in England and the USA. When fighting against beasts was banned, mastiffs were bred to protect property and owners. Due to the decline in popularity of the breed, in 1872, an effort was made to preserve the breed in England, and the Old English Mastiff Club was founded. In the early twentieth century, the appearance of these dogs changed slightly, but they were still different from the English Mastiff of today. After the Second World War, the breed was practically extinct (some criminologists say that the breed had disappeared completely). The 1930s is considered to be the period of revival of the breed.

English Mastiff: appearance

Minimum height at withers for males – 76 cm, for females – 68 cm. Females weigh 54-77 kg, males 73-100 kg. The head of the English Mastiff is massive and broad, the eyes are medium sized, dark and spaced apart. The ears are triangular, drooping, with rounded tips. The jaws are very strong and the bite is scissor-like. Neck muscular and strong, of medium length. The back is muscular, the thorax broad and rounded. Ribs curved, abdomen retracted. Legs strong and straight, spaced apart. Feet large, rounded, black nails. Tail medium-long, usually reaching the ankles (may be even longer), tapering towards the rear. The fur is of medium length, straight and coarse. The foreskin is short and dense. The colour of the fur may be apricot, yellow-brown or mottled. Ears, jaws and nose must be dark in colour. Small patches of white on the chest are allowed.

English Mastiff: character

Inside this giant is an affectionate and good-natured dog who needs constant contact with people. English Mastiffs get on well with both adults and children. English Mastiffs can be belligerent with other dogs, so early socialisation and training are essential. It is recommended to start taking training classes quite early – even before the dog is half a year old. English Mastiffs are very perceptive dogs and quickly learn what their owners expect from them. The breed is not averse to strangers and can therefore make excellent watchdogs. Joke with the English Mastiff

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