The most noticeable quality about the English Mastiff is his sheer size. It is the largest dog breed available today. This extremely large dog is believed to descend from the ancient Molossus, which originated in England over 5,000 years ago. Its ancestors were used as war dogs or were pitted against wild animals.
An English Mastiff can weigh 220 pounds or more. The biggest Mastiff ever on record was listed in the 1989 Guinness Book of Records and weighed 323 pounds. Mastiffs are tan in color, with a black mask covering his face.
Personality and Care
Although many are intimidated by his size, he has a good-natured temperament and is very tame. With that being said, if danger threatens his family, he will protect them. The English Mastiff can find his home in any environment, providing that he gets enough exercise. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can get bored and become destructive. However, be aware that the Mastiff can overheat fairly easily.
The English Mastiff has been known to throw his drool around. Be prepared to have to wipe yourself down from time to time when this happens. Just because the Mastiff is so big, some assume that he is an outside dog. However, this is not the case. He prefers the comforts of home, being around his family and wishing he could be a lap dog.
- Mastiffs are a clean dog, but are prone to being gassy.
- Take care with small children or the elderly, as the Mastiff may easily knock them down.
- If a Mastiff has not been properly socialized, his protective instincts may kick in and he may be prone to bite.
- A Mastiff’s coat is easy to care for, but they are known to shed excessively.
- Mastiffs have a tendency to snore, snort and grunt quite loudly.