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Mastiff

 

dog photos - Mastiff

 

Description

Sometimes known as the Old English Mastiff, ancient artifacts confirm that dogs of this type have existed in England since Roman times. In England, the breed very nearly died out at various times, most recently during the Second World War when it was only with the assistance of a small number of mastiffs imported from Canada after the war that the breed was saved.  They had previously been bred for what they could do such as dogs of war, gladiatorial contests in Roman arenas, bear baiting, draft animals and their main use as guardians of people and property. Today they are bred almost exclusively as a superb companion animal and they are not generally regarded as a working breed. That having been said however, there are some today who compete in obedience trial work, agility and who work as therapy pets.
 

Temperament

Because they grow into such large and powerful dogs, their temperament is extremely important. Because of their size an adult which has an aggressive or nervous temperament could be extremely dangerous. They should be gentle, loving, loyal and their greatest pleasure should be to be with you.  It is therefore essential that a puppy come from a breeder who is aiming to breed them with the correct temperament. The greatest influence on the outcome of their temperament is the treatment, training and experiences it receives throughout its life but especially as it matures to adulthood.  They mature slowly and it may take up to four years for your puppy to mature into the calm adult required.  Early socialization with other dogs is very important and they are generally very compatible with other dogs and seem to be particularly patient with small dogs. It is important, however, to condition your dog to all varieties of dog so that it will not be fearful, dominant or aggressive when it sees another dog.  Not an overly confident breed, they can panic in new situations and frighten easily so don¬ít be surprised if your puppy suddenly starts to be scared of things that it has seen before. It is best to introduce your puppy to a variety of different situations at a very young age.

 

Appearance

Height:    70-76cm (27-30in)

Weight:   79-86kb  (175-190lbs)

A massive, powerfully-built dog. These very large dogs come in apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn and dark fawn-brindle and the one litter can have puppies with different colours in it. It is interesting to note that even fawn puppies are black when they are born.

 

Grooming

Predominately an easy care breed as their short coat needs only a quick brush a few times a week and bathing is required every few months to keep it looking good.  Some moult a couple of times a year while others seem to moult continuously and if you happen to have one who moults continuously, get used to the idea that you will always have fur on your clothes, furniture and floors. Regular grooming of the nails should start from an early age so they get used to it. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.

 

Life Expectancy

8 - 10 Years 

 

Health Concerns

As with any dog, there are certain diseases and health problems to which they are more prone than some other breeds of dog. The main types of hereditary diseases to which mastiffs are considered to be at risk and for which adult mastiffs can be screened are hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease and thyroid disease. Other diseases which seem to affect them more than some other breeds include cancers and bloat. Ways to decrease the risk of bloat occurring are to not exercise your mastiff for an hour before and after meals and feed an adult dog two smaller meals per day rather than one larger one.

 

Suitability

As the Mastiffs have a tendency to be lazy they will do fine living in an apartment environment, as they'll just laze around and just sleep all day.  Preferably indeed, a house with a small yard will do just fine. However, in order to keep their weight down the Mastiff should be exercised frequently ensuring that they always are leashed and in general they do not really enjoy playing with a ball and similar activities.   Make sure that there is plenty of room in your home, since the Mastiff tends to wheeze and snore quite loudly.

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Working Dogs; This group  includes more breeds than any other. These dogs were bred to do a variety of work from guarding, herding, pulling sleds and rescue for example. A few in this group include Border Collie, Boxer and Briard to mention a few.

 

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