Personality:Courageous and dignified, but good-natured and docile
Coat & Grooming:The short, smooth coat needs occasional brushing; head wrinkles must be kept clean and dry
Energy Level:Somewhat Active; An adult Mastiff is content with long walks and a good romp
Meet the Mastiff
For the uninitiated, a face-to-face encounter with these black-masked giants can be startling. Standing as high as 30 inches at the shoulder and outweighing many a full-grown man, Mastiffs make an immediate and lasting impression. The rectangular body is deep and thickly muscled, covered by a short double coat of fawn, apricot, or brindle-stripe. The head is massive (a word that comes up often with this breed), and a wrinkled forehead accentuates an alert, kindly expression.
What's Their Story?
Giant, fearless war dogs generally classified as mastiffs are a running motif in the ancient history of Egypt, Asia, and Europe. Julius Caesar wrote that his legions fought against some form of the breed during the Roman invasion of Britain in 55 b.c. Mastiffs as we know them were developed in medieval England. In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer calls them Alaunts (a French breed name) and says they were “as great as any steer/To hunt at the lion or the deer.”
It’s been a long time since Mastiffs have been employed as warriors or hunters. Modern Mastiffs are steady, sweet-tempered, patient family companions and guardians who take best to gentle training. Eternally loyal, Mastiffs are protective of their loved ones, and their natural wariness of strangers makes it essential that they be trained and socialized in early puppyhood. They are droolers and hearty eaters, and acquiring a dog of such colossal size and strength is a weighty commitment.