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The Mastiff (sometimes called the Old English
Mastiff or simply English Mastiff) is descended
from the large, mastiff-type dogs brought
to Britain as early as the 6th century BC,
by Phoenician traders. The dogs were crossed
with local fighting dogs and were used for
hunting, and as fighters against bears,
lions, bulls, and eventually dogs. However
Mastiffs were most prized as a family guardian,
courageous, yet devoted to their family;
they maintained this popularity for over
2000 years in Britain, only to be reduced
in numbers close to extinction after World
War II and a breed census confirmed that
there were only 8 dogs of breeding age left.
With the help of a Canadian breeder who
sent over puppies, the Mastiff was restored,
and has again attained a high level of popularity.
The height of a Mastiff is 30"
(76.2cm) for dogs and 27.5" (69.8cm)
The Mastiff weighs 175 - 190 lbs
(78.1 - 84.8 kg).
The Mastiff has a short dense undercoat
with a moderately coarse outer coat. The
Mastiff does not require much grooming.
basic description of the color of the Mastiff's
coat is 'fawn, apricot, or brindle' - according
to the AKC Standard.
The Mastiff is a courageous and intelligent
dog, yet gentle and biddable. It makes a
wonderful companion in a setting with a
good deal of space. As with all dogs that
are giants at maturity, training should
begin early during puppy hood.
Because of its deep chest cavity, the Mastiff
is at risk for gastric torsion (bloat).
Epilepsy is highly suspected to have a genetic
component in this breed. As with many large
breeds, hip dysplasia may be a problem,
and the life expectancy is short. They also
tend to salivate and snore.
The Mastiff is listed in the Guinness
Book of Records as being the heaviest
breed in general (tied with the Saint Bernard).
AKC: Group 3 - Working Dogs
ANKC: Group 6 - Utility
CKC: Group 3 - Working Dogs
FCI: Group 2 Section 2 Molossoid breeds
KC: Non-Sporting - Working Group
UKC: Guardian Dog