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Mastiff Breed Summary

Gentle, Affectionate, Devoted, Alert and Friendly

These giant dogs are just gentle beings at heart. They are very intelligent and calm in nature and thrive within the home environment, loving to be involved in every aspect of family life! Mastiffs adore their humans and often form very strong bonds with their families and ideally need to have at least one person around for most of the day.

They need plenty of mental and physical stimulation in order to remain fit and healthy. They are also prone to putting on weight, so they need to be carefully monitored and exercised.

Fun Fact: It's thought that Hannibal had Mastiffs with him when he crossed over the Alps!

Kennel Club Group Working
Lifespan 10 - 12 years
Height (at the withers) Males 76cm - 91cm, Females 70cm - 91cm
Weight Males 68kg - 113kg, Females 54kg - 82kg
Coat Coats are Close-Lying, Short and Hairs are Coarser over the Shoulders and Necks
Colour Apricot fawn, Brindle, Fawn
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Progressive retinal atrophy, Pyometra, Wobbler syndrome, Bone cancer, Kidney stones, Allergies, Canine acne, Cranial cruciate ligament injury, Canine cystinuria, Obesity, Bloat
Other Names English Mastiff, Old English Mastiff

Although they may look fairly terrifying, Mastiffs are actually very gentle and loving. They form very strong bonds with their families and are fairly good around strangers as well! However, if they feel like they or their families are being threatened, they are quick to defend themselves against the threat, making them fantastic watchdogs. They are not the best breed for first-time owners, and would better suit owners who have had experience with similar breeds. Additionally, they need plenty of training and socialisation to mature into well-rounded and happy dogs. If you put the slobber and fairly expensive food bills aside, they make lovely family pets.

Mastiffs are thought to be one of the most ancient breeds in the world, although they didn't look like they do nowadays and potentially used to be a lot larger. Records of these giant dogs date back to the 15th century, where they were originally used to guard and protect Babylonian Sculptures. Although it's thought that they could be well over 2,000 years old! It's considered that they may have originated from Asia and that it was actually Phoenician traders who introduced them into other parts of the world. In addition to this, when Romans arrived on British shores, they became very impressed with the dogs and they took them back with them to Rome. The Romans then used them as guard and hunting dogs, although they actually proved to be too good at hunting and a law was passed during Norman Time saying that all dogs must have 3 of their toes cut off to stop them from chasing the kings' deer! They have since gone up and down in popularity, through Tudor times and the Victorian period. After WW2 the breed saw it's lowest point, with only 14 remaining in the UK! Breed enthusiasts worked hard to salvage the breed and they were even able to remove some of the hereditary health issues associated with the breed. Nowadays, they are a fairly popular breed in the UK but are little known elsewhere.