Also known as the Old English mastiff. When it comes to the Mastiff, one thing is for certain — this is definitely not a dog you can carry around in your purse. In fact, the Mastiff is one of the largest breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. Mastiffs have been labeled “gentle giants” for good reason. They’re sweet. However, while they’re not generally aggressive, Mastiffs may not always know their own size or strength. Training is required and new dog owners may want to start with another breed.
Mastiffs tend to be lazy dogs and will happily lie on your sofa all day. Despite their couch-potato ways, this breed needs some sort of daily exercise to stay trim and healthy. Typically, a walk around the neighborhood will be sufficient exercise for the Mastiff. Since these giant animals aren’t known to be playful, you can leave the ball and Frisbee at home.
Note: During the puppy stage, the Mastiff will require more exercise to help keep its weight down. Be careful not to over-exert a puppy though, since this can lead to joint and ligament problems.
Although the Mastiff has short hair, the breed still ranks as an average shedder because of its thick double coat. Drooling is another matter entirely. The Mastiff is renowned for its endless supply of saliva. You may want to start collecting drool rags.
Barking and Volume:
Mastiffs rarely bark, but when they do…be prepared to cover your ears.
Due to their size, it’s important to train and socialize a Mastiff as early as possible. After all, who wants an unruly 200-pound dog running through their house? This breed responds well to positive reinforcement and firm-yet-gentle handling. Since the Mastiff can be difficult to train, first-time dog parents may want to consider a different breed. Classes are recommended.
Health Factors: Because medicine dosages are often based on weight, a sick Mastiff will rack up a higher vet bill than an under-the-weather Toy Poodle. Also, keep in mind that not every veterinary office can treat such large dogs. You’ll need to do your research before settling on a vet. Mastiffs can prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as bloat and cardiomyopathy. * A responsible breeder can help minimize the risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming: Mastiffs require minimal grooming.
Training: A puppy class is sufficient, but additional classes may be needed since Mastiffs are headstrong dogs.
Other: A single Mastiff can chow down 40-80 lbs. of dog food per month. It will take a big chunk of change just to keep these dogs fed.
With his short coat, the Mastiff is a breeze to groom. The breed requires weekly brushing and an occasional bath. You should pay close attention to the Mastiff’s ears and eyes. These areas need to be cleaned regularly to prevent infection.
Often called a “gentle giant,” the Mastiff can become a loyal and loving companion to your children. This breed’s patient nature means he won’t get ruffled when a child pulls his tail or tugs on his ears. Yet, a family with young kids may want to think twice about getting a Mastiff. Because of their size, the dog may unwittingly knock over a toddler.
Friendliness Towards Animals:
The Mastiff can get along with other pets, but only if the animals are raised together. The breed has a tendency to assert themselves with other animals, especially dogs of the same sex. Early socialization can help.
Friendliness Towards People:
Originally bred as watch dogs, the Mastiff is loyal to his family but wary of outsiders. Socialization can help the Mastiff become less suspicious of strangers, but they are naturally aloof towards people outside of their pack. The Mastiff is an affectionate dog who loves to spend time with his parents. These dogs need lots of human interaction and they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. BE PREPARED FOR: A drooly dog the size of your sofa with LOTS of love to give.