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Mastiff

 

Mastiffs are some of the largest dogs on earth. Experts describe them as mighty, mammoth, massive and... mellow? You might not expect a dog this GINORMOUS to have such a sweet disposition, but they do.

This ancient breed is also dignified and powerful. Originally bred for military service and guardian duties, Mastiffs remain among the favorite breeds for protection work to this day. But it's their calm, gentle natures that make us love these dogs.

Originally from England, this large-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 175-190 pounds and lives an average of 9-11 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeGuardian
OriginEngland
Breed groupWorking
Average lifespan9-11 years
SizeExtra large
Bark factorModerate
AKC Ranking33
FamilyLivestock dog
Date of originAncient times
Original function Guardian
Today's functionGuardian
Average size of maleHeight: 30 Weight: 175-190
Average size of femaleHeight: 30 Weight: 175-190

 

Other nameNone
Energy level Low energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Not very playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersShy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Very protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A MASTIFF'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

You might consider a Mastiff the “Hagrid” of dogs: giant, loyal, affectionate, and sensitive. It's in their nature to be protective, particularly toward any children they view as “theirs.” Because they're so large, it's important to supervise them when they're playing with little ones and to socialize them early and often.

WHAT IS MASTIFF BEHAVIOR LIKE?

This is a somewhat active breed. They won't need to run for miles every day, but plan for rigorous romps and long walks.

We might have already mentioned that Mastiffs are very protective. Their thunderous bark will always let you know if someone is at the door. But if they've had enough exercise and they're not on the job, Mastiffs typically make polite and tranquil housedogs.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A MASTIFF?

Training a Mastiff is a bit challenging—they have a stubborn streak, and have youtried talking a 190-pound dog out of anything?—but absolutely essential. The good news is that they're fast learners. This breed can be destructive; it's important to set limits early and often. There's no bullying this big gal (and they're so sweet — how could you stand to?), so plan to use lots of positive reinforcement and be consistent while training.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO MASTIFFS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

A Mastiff's short, coarse coat definitely sheds, but doesn't need much in the way of grooming. Plan for weekly brushing and bathe your pup as needed.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO MASTIFFS HAVE?

As a breed, Mastiffs are generally healthy. Some are prone to hip and joint problems, which is to be expected in such a large dog. Others suffer from cancer, eye disease, or kidney stones. Be sure to keep their head wrinkles dry and clean to discourage irritation and infection.

Feeding your baby Mastiff a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature which may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia. Some adult Mastiffs also tend toward tubbiness, so be mindful about meals and snacks.

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