"Mastiff" stands for a massive dog from Great Britain, with a wide mouth and wrinkled forehead. It is also known as "Old English Mastiff" and is one of the largest dogs in the world. He impresses with his size and powerful build alone. But behind the fearsome black mask hides a very peaceful contemporary. An attentive observer, the Mastiff was originally kept as a guard dog. Today, thanks to its calm and friendly nature, it is a popular family dog. Towards children and elderly people, the gentle giants always behave correctly.
Small and large Molossians are widespread throughout Europe. In its Country of origin England the Mastiff was bred out as an independent type. It stands out strongly from the other breeds due to its size and temperament. Today's Mastiff is much heavier and larger than his ancestors. Therefore, he is also often called "English Mastiff".
At times, the severe overbreeding severely limited its mobility. However, thanks to the official breed standard, the dogs are protected from further overbreeding. His calm and balanced nature however, this has not brought any harm. Therefore, the mastiff to this day belongs to the most peaceful dogs of his size class.
Unfortunately, nevertheless, it is counted among the dangerous dog breeds in some federal states of Germany. The attitude is thus possible only under special conditions. This assessment is actually not technically justified and puts the gentle giants in a false light.
When faced with a new situation, the Mastiff surprises with restraint and deliberate reactions. Strangers often interpret this as fearfulness in the dog. However, this is completely foreign to the Mastiff, along with aggressiveness. The high threshold of irritation is in the nature of this gentle breed. Of course, lovers appreciate this special charm. Characteristic is the forehead of the Mastiff. If special attention is required, the Mastiff wrinkles it.
The Mastiff can form a very strong bond with you as the owner. This makes him stand out as a faithful apartment and house dog out. Since he always seeks the proximity of his family members, a kennel attitude is not recommended. The Mastiff meets threats with absolute composure and without aggressive behavioral traits. He would confront attackers in the event of a possible threat, but would only attack them in an extreme emergency.
Especially for a household with children, the Mastiff is ideally suited. Even in the greatest hectic or stress, he convinces with his balanced nature. With other conspecifics he usually gets along as well. Due to his size, the Mastiff needs a lot of space. It would be perfect if you have a house with a large garden to play and romp.
The Mastiff is also not averse to long walks or sporting activities. In agility, for example, he shows particular interest. Also in trick dogging he masters all tasks reliably and concentrated. But you can also use the Mastiff as Watchdog hold. His unique powers of observation are particularly impressive. In addition, he always correctly assesses dicey situations.
The right food
Due to the huge size and massive physique, the Mastiff requires not only much, but also high-quality feed. Especially in the growth phase of the young animal, you should follow a precise diet plan.
Since the increased risk of gastric torsion If there is a problem with the dog's food, it is helpful to put the food bowl up high. You should also let your dog rest for at least two to three hours after feeding. This way, you can significantly reduce the risk of a twist.
The Mastiff tends to be overweight with less exercise. This has a bad effect on the bone structure. To avoid late effects, you should always pay attention to the optimal weight and proper exercise of your dog. The feeding of treats and chews should therefore always be kept within limits.
Digestive problems like Diarrhea or feed intolerances are also not uncommon. Here you should refrain from feeding the incompatible food components. An exclusion diet is the basis for this. For particularly sensitive animals, even the biologically species-appropriate raw feeding (B.A.R.F.) is recommended.
The care of the Mastiff is rather unproblematic thanks to the short coat. Weekly brushing of the coat should be sufficient for grooming. From regular bathing of the dog you should refrain, so that the natural protective function of the skin is not disturbed. Due to the overlapping of the upper and lower flews, "fleabite dermatitis" may occur in some cases. In this case a regular care of the lips required.
The strong Befolding of the body and head can also lead to chronic inflammation that requires special care. The regular Cleaning ears and eyes is of course also part of the care of your Mastiff. To avoid Tartar you should provide your dog with chews every day. The Teeth cleaning but can also be supported by brushing teeth.
Mastiffs are among the greatest dog breeds of our time. Therefore, the choice of toys and chewing items you should match the size of your dog. Small toys can be easily swallowed and pose a particular risk. In addition, the Mastiff has an extremely strong biting force, which can easily fall victim to unstable things. You should also pay attention to this aspect when buying chewing articles and co.
The Mastiff is very robust and has a dense undercoat that keeps it warm in cold and wet weather. So dressing your dog is not necessary. However, you can still protect your dog's paws from salt by greasing them daily.
Like probably every dog, the Mastiff is not averse to treats and co. Since he tends to overweight easily, pay attention to the moderate feeding and the selection of low-calorie products.
Origin & History
The original Mastiff is considered the ancestor of many different dog breeds. Among them are Bulldogs, the Great Dane or the Boxer. However, the exact origin of the Mastiff is not concretely documented. According to some sources, the Tibetan Mastiff is the progenitor. However, according to the latest findings, this is rather unlikely. It is more probable that the Macedonian Molosser is the ancestor. He found his way to England with earlier trading ships.
Earlier sources prove that dogs resembling the mastiff already existed at the time when the Romans invaded Britain. The dog breed impressed the Romans so much that they took some animals back home with them. Unfortunately, the gentle giants were abused for fighting in the arenas there.
In the late Middle Ages, the mastiff was mainly used for bear hunting. However, it was also used as a protective war dog. The first official breed standard was established in 1879. The foundation of the "Old English Mastiff Club" took place four years later.
Due to the use in both world wars, the dog breed was threatened with extinction. However, thanks to the rescue of surviving animals, the breed was fortunately saved.