The English Mastiff is not the average, furry couch buddy. Standing at 30 inches and weighing about 200 pounds, this large dog breed can surely take over anyone’s couch. Although its size seems intimidating, it is known to many as a good-natured family companion.
People who are willing to share a huge chunk of space with a canine friend would love to have an English Mastiff. Are you one of them? Learn more about the English Mastiff in this post and see if this is the right breed for you.
Things You May Not Know About The English Mastiff
What is an English Mastiff?
The English Mastiff, also simply referred to as ‘Mastiff’, is a Molosser type dog with ancient roots, probably as far back as the 6th-century BCE. This breed is one of the world’s largest in terms of mass—it has the potential to weigh even more than 250 pounds. Aside from its massive size, the Mastiff is also recognized by it fawn, apricot, and brindle coat colors.
Where does the English Mastiff come from?
The credit is given to England for developing the modern Mastiff. But the exact origin of the breed is not very clear. It may have descended from a very old line of Molosser type dogs from Asia that later on spread to other areas. Ancient artifacts from Greece, Egypt, and Babylon depicted these molosser dogs.
For thousands of years, the Mastiff’s ancestors carried on different roles. They were mostly used as war dogs, guard dogs, and hunting dogs. These dogs were also popular in blood sports as fighting dogs and baiters for bulls, lions, and bears. In England, they had, more or less, the same function.
In 1835, the United Kingdom parliament implemented an act prohibiting the mistreatment of animals. This lead to the decline of breeding aggressive dogs for sport. The population of Mastiffs dwindled and the breed eventually became more domesticated.
The popularity of Mastiffs resurged around mid-19th century. But the breed suffered another population decline after both World Wars. Fortunately, there were dog enthusiasts who saved the breed from extinction.
What does an English Mastiff look like?
The English Mastiff is mostly recognizable by its massive and powerful build. An adult Mastiff can stand at the withers around 27.5 to 30 inches and weigh around 130 pounds to 250 pounds.
Like the other Molosser dogs, this breed has facial wrinkles, a short and broad muzzle, and pendant ears. It has these traits as well:
- Dark brown eyes
- Slightly raised brows
- Short double coat
- Fawn, apricot, or brindle coat color, with a black mask on the face
What is the English Mastiff like?
Mastiffs are generally good-natured dogs. They are sweet and affectionate companions and they are known to be especially gentle around children. They can get along with other pets and animals as well.
These gentle giants are not active dogs and they can be content to be couch potatoes. But moderate exercise is still encouraged to keep them healthy.
As they are big dogs, they would not do well in cramped spaces. They may not also be the best dogs around very small children as they may accidentally knock them down.
Are English Mastiff dogs aggressive?
English Mastiffs are typically not aggressive dogs. But they are loyal and protective of their owners. They are aloof towards strangers but would step in to protect their owners if they sense threat.
Any undesirable behavior is projected twice over because of the breed’s size. That’s why early socialization and training is very important for Mastiffs.
When does the English Mastiff stop growing?
Large dog breeds like the Mastiff don’t reach their full size as fast as a Chihuahua does. Growth rate varies depending on the dog’s breed. Other factors like the dog’s living condition and food influence growth rate as well.
A Mastiff typically takes around 18 months to 24 months to reach its full adult height or frame. It may continue to fill out in weight until it is about 36 months old.
What does an English Mastiff eat?
The quality of food can make or break your dog. Make sure you are giving your Mastiff a complete and balanced meal consisting of the essential vitamins and minerals. Consider asking an advice from experts before you choose what to feed your dog.
Food for large dog breeds varies slightly from smaller breeds. For example, Mastiff puppies need food with lower fat, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Excess in nutritional content can cause puppies to grow faster than they should. It is possible they develop a range of orthopedic diseases because of this.
Mastiffs can thrive on both commercial food and homemade food. If you’re choosing commercial food, make sure you’re buying the premium dog food with superior quality ingredients. You must also ensure you’re buying the kind of dog food specifically formulated for each stage of your dog’s life.
Many Mastiffs like eating tripe, mixed meat, and biscuits. Take note of this if you’re opting to prepare homemade dog food. Make sure you also have a list of what human food is good for your dog, including food which may be toxic.
Why is an English Mastiff limping?
The Mastiff’s large size is like its Achilles’ hill sometimes. Its massive size and weight may lead to the straining of its joints and overall structure—which is one of the reasons why you see a Mastiff limping.
Like the other fast-growing giant dogs, this breed is prone to having these health issues, which lead to limping and lameness:
- Hip dysplasia – This is a condition wherein the dog’s ball and socket joint in the hip is abnormally formed. It would eventually lead to painful arthritis and bone damage.
- Elbow dysplasia – This condition is similar to hip dysplasia. It refers to the malformation of the elbow joint, caused by the abnormal growth of the tissues and bones.
- Obesity – When Mastiffs aren’t kept lean through proper diet and exercise, they can become overweight. Obesity increases the chances of joint degeneration and other structural issues.
Good diet and correct exercise are extremely important for this breed. Puppies under two years old must not undergo extreme exercise; otherwise, their growth plates might get damaged.
How much does an English Mastiff cost?
The starting price of a Mastiff puppy is around USD $1,000. But it can cost so much more, depending on the parental history of the puppy, the health tests it has undergone, as well as the reputation of the breeder. Puppies from professional breeders can cost around $1,500 to $2,500. Some puppies may even be sold at a staggering price of $5,000—even more.