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Mastiff

An intelligent, very protective giant (other names: English Mastiff, Old English Mastiff)

Mastiff
origin:Germany
life expectancy:12-13 years
classification:Mastiff
height:69 to 76 cm
weight:68 to 72 kg
exercise: Mediumtraining: Reasonablefeeding: Demandingsize: Giant
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History [ edit ]

The Mastiff, also known as the Old English Mastiff, is a giant, short-haired, mastiff-type breed of dog, which is recognized as the oldest British breed. It descended from the ancient Alaunt and Molosser and its name certainly derives from the Anglo-Saxon word "masty", meaning "powerful". It is believed that the Mastiff was probably brought into Great Britain by the Phoenician traders during the 6th century B.C. There is plenty of evidence proving the presence of the Mastiff in the British Islands many centuries ago, being used as a sheep guardians, bodyguards, protectors and companions. They also bravely helped the British to fight against the Romans, as registered by Julius Caesar in his account of the Britain invasion in 55 B.C. They made such a great impression that they were taken to Rome to fight in the arenas. By the middle of the 20th century, Mastiffs were nearly extinct and despite the efforts to rescue the breed it is not still a common sight in its native land and abroad, which is a pity, for they have contributed to the development of a number of dog breeds. Fortunately, their calm temperament is quite appealing as well as their many talents and they are being increasingly used in police and military work, search and rescue, weight pulling and also as guard dogs and watch dogs. Despite their appearance, Mastiffs are benevolent fellows.
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General Appearance [ edit ]

The Old English Mastiff is a powerfully built, muscular and symmetrical dog,with a well-knit frame. It is one of the heaviest dog breeds and its appearance is one of magnificence and dignity.The body is massive, with great breadth and the chest is broad, deep, rounded and well let down between the forelegs The ribs are well rounded and the back is muscular, powerful, and straight, with a straight, level and firm Topline. Loins are muscular and broad. The forelegs are set straightly and firmly apart with good bone. The head stands on a powerful, muscular and slightly arched neck of medium length. It is heavy and square with a broad skull, slightly flattened between the ears, and a short muzzle with a black mask around the eyes and nose. The stop is well defined but not too abrupt. The lips are pendulous.The medium-sized eyes are set wide apart, dark or hazel in colour and with an alert, kind expression. The small, V-shaped, ears are set wide apart, are dark in colour and lie close to the cheeks when the dog is in repose. The tappering tail is set moderately high and reaches to the hocks or a little below. It is carried hanging straight when the dog is relaxed or forming a slight curve when the dog is in motion, but never over the back. The double coat has a short, straight and coarse outer coat and a dense and close-lying undercoat. It comes in various colours from apricot-fawn to dark brindle-fawn, always with black ears and a black mask.
editing: General Appearance [ close ]
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Temperament [ edit ]

The Mastiff is a generally easy-going, good-natured breed, intelligent and dignified, combining courage, grandeur and gentleness and never shy or vicious. It has a steady temperament but it is very protective of its territory and its family and should be handled sensibly and properly socialized from an early age since being exceptionally powerful, an adult dog is difficult to control. It is easily trainable, but does not tolerate harsh punishment and it should never, but never, be hit. Although not excessively demonstrative, Mastiffs love to please and need lots of human company. Generally they get along well with other dogs if well socialised as puppies, otherwise they may be combative with other dogs. This gentle giant is excellent and very protective with children, but because of their huge size, special care has to be taken with toddlers. For the same reason they should always be leashed in public. Mastiffs are outstanding watch and guard dogs: they will not attack strangers, but will keep them at bay until their masters allow them to entry the property. Once strangers are allowed into the house the dog may be aloof with them or even friendly depending on the dog and on its socialization. Generally they do not bark. Families with a house ample enough to accomodate this delightfully docile giant will find in this breed a most superb protector and companion.
editing: Temperament [ close ]
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Health [ edit ]

Mastiffs may suffer from  elbow dysplasia, obesity, CHD gastric torsion, cystinuria, osteosarcoma and Progressive retinal atrophy.
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Dog trivia [ edit ]

Due to their great strength Mastiffs  were used to turn the wheels to draw water from the wells.
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