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Mastiff Dog Breed:

The word “mastiff” is usually used to refer to the breed that is more accurately called “English Mastiff”.

Other breeds sometimes known as mastiffs include the German Mastiff, better known as the Great Dane, the American Mastiff, which is a cross between an English Mastiff and an Anatolian Mastiff, the South African Mastiff, better known as the Boerboel, and the Brazilian Mastiff, better known as the Fila Brasileiro. Most of these breeds are not really types of mastiff, but are Molosser dogs, with an entirely different ancestry.

The Mastiff dog breed is one of the largest, heaviest, most powerful dog breeds in the world, and is a descendent of an ancient breed in Europe called the Alaunt.

The Alaunt was developed as early as the 5th century, and was the predecessor of a number of modern breeds. The Mastiff is a large, squarish, muscular dog with a broad head. It typically weighs around 70 kilograms and is around 30 inches in height.

Male English Mastiffs can exceed 80 kilograms in weight. These dogs have a close, short coat of fur that is usually fawn or brindle, along with a black mask around the area of the muzzle and eyes.

The Mastiff temperament is not what most casual observers expect it to be. In spite of their massive size and rather intimidating appearance, these are among the most gentle, calm, and affectionate dogs in the world. Confident and dignified are two words that are often used to describe English Mastiffs. They make for excellent guard dogs, but they rarely bark, and will actually attack only in the rarest of circumstances. Usually the dog will merely scare off intruders or anyone threatening what he perceives to be his flock or pack. With his own family, a mastiff is almost always gentle and easygoing. Mastiffs are great with children too, but should be kept away from very small children, as they could inadvertently injure them due to their size and strength. For these reasons, it is also important to be firm with these dogs – this does not mean using force or being less loving. As long as you understand dog behavior and use it to establish your status as pack leader, a Mastiff will respond to you wonderfully. These are also very intelligent dogs, and will respond to training well, as long as you are patient and are able to motivate them.

Mastiffs tend to be slow moving dogs, and while they enjoy walking, they might not always be ready to begin the activity. However regular walking is essential for the dog’s health, both physical and mental.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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