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Mastiff

A large, muscular, powerful dog, the Mastiff has a broad head and body, a powerful build and legs quite wide apart.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Giant dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Life Span: 6–12 years
Weight: up to 73kg
Height: 72–80cm in height when fully grown
Colours: Apricot, fawn or brindle
Size: Giant
Kennel Club group: Working

Ratings

Family-friendly:  5/5
Exercise needs:  4/5
Easy to train:  3/5
Tolerates being alone:  3/5
Likes other pets:  2/5
Energy level:  3/5
Grooming needs:  4/5
Shedding:  3/5
Mastiff standing at green grass

Personality

Despite their often violent past, the Mastiff is a calm, gentle and noble dog that is devoted and loving towards their family - often thinking of themselves as a lap dog! They are however indifferent or even suspicious of strangers - human or canine.

Mastiff laying at green grass

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

One of the ancient breed types, Mastiff-like dogs have been known in England since before Roman times having been brought to the UK by Phoenician traders. The conquering Romans were so impressed with these powerful fighting dogs that could best any of their own dogs that they adopted them and used to fight in the arenas and in the Colosseum. As they were the only tame animals to fight in the Colosseum where everything else was wild (such as lions), this is where it is said their name originated from (the Roman word ‘mansuetus’ means ‘tame’).

Over the centuries, the Mastiff was used as a powerful guard dog but also for wolf hunting, bear and bull baiting and dog fighting. When these heinous pursuits were banned in 1835, the future of the breed looked uncertain and by the end of the second World War, there were only 14 left in the UK. Thankfully enthusiasts who recognised the gentle and noble nature of the breed imported Mastiffs from the US and re-established the breed but they are still uncommon.

did you know?

Did you know?

  • The Mastiff is one of the most ancient and valued breeds (for hunting, guarding and as war dogs) - and many countries in the world have their own versions.
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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