The Mastiff is affectionate, friendly and calm. Despite the large size of the Mastiff they are caring and gentle companions. It is in this breeds nature to defend it's territory and family and these dogs can be terrifying if provoked to attack. Mastiffs rarely bark and are good-natured with children and household pets. They will refuse strangers access to the home unless they are accepted by their handler. These soft-natured, loyal dogs are lovely household pets and effective watch dogs.
Click here on how to stop your Mastiff's behavior problems
Grooming is undemanding and simple with Mastiffs - use a rubber brush to remove the dead hairs during moulting.
Mastiffs need an average amount of exercise and generally are not fond of playing with a ball or similar activities. They need a reasonable amount of space to roam and explore freely. Young Mastiffs should not be over-exercised while growing, as it can have an adverse effect on the development of their bones, joints and muscles.
These giant dogs do eat a lot and can be expensive to rear.
The Mastiff existed as early as 400 BC in Greece where they were valued as guard dogs against wolves and predators. They made their way to Italy from Greece and were used as fighting dogs and for bull and bear baiting in Roman circuses. It is presumed that they travelled with the Phoenician traders and became well established in Britain before the Roman invasion in the 1st century AD. They continued to be valued in Europe for many centuries for their guarding, hunting and fighting abilities. In England they were sometimes known as 'tiedogs' in that they were tied up by day and let loose at night.
General Appearance: Massive, courageous and powerful.
Color: Fawn and brindle/fawn. The ears, muzzle and nose are black.
Coat: Dense, short, close lying and thicker on the neck and shoulders.
Tail: Set high, tapering and carried out with an upward curve when in action.
Ears: Set high, widely spaced and small.
Body: The body is broad with a deep, wide chest. The shoulders are slightly oblique, heavy and muscular. The flanks are deep and the ribs are arched.
- Mastiffs are giant dogs and therefore grow extremely fast in a short period of time. They need careful nutrition and exercise to ensure a healthy development and optimum growth.
- Mastiffs tend to have a high pain threshold and illnesses or injuries can be overlooked for some time or until they become serious.
- Mastiffs need a soft bed or place to lie on, to prevent pressure marks from appearing, due to their heavy weight.