Breed of the Week: Mastiff
The Mastiff, often called the English Mastiff, is a heavy boned breed that stands over 28 inches tall at the shoulder. Large and rectangular, this breed has a tight flat coat that needs minimal care and excess skin, particularly around the neck and more prominent in males. The Masitff can be fawn, apricot, or brindle in color and must have a dark mask or muzzle. This breed is known to drool heavily.
Initially bred as a guardian breed, the Mastiff should be calm and confident without being boisterous. Generally a relaxed breed, they do need extra attention to socialization due to their size and strength. Mastiffs generally do well in any environment as long as they are not subjected to extreme temperatures and have adequate space.
Like many giant breeds, the Mastiff is prone to joint disease and bloat. They can also develop heart and eye disorders such as cherry, otherwise known as ectopian. As with other large breeds, weight should be carefully managed to ensure less pressure on the hips and joints.
- The Mastiff is an ancient breed. Caesar describes the Mastiff as a powerful war dog as far back at 55 BCE and they can be found in Egyptian art as far back as 3000 BCE.
- Romans pitted Mastiffs against gladiators and large animals including lions and boars.
- Mastiffs are the heaviest dog breed and the third tallest. There are Mastiffs on record weighing over 230 lbs!