Belgian Mastiff

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Is the Belgian Mastiff right for you?

Species group:

The basics:
The original Belgian Mastiffs were rugged butcher's dogs used to pull carts for the poor who couldn't afford to own horses. The Belgian army also used them for transporting heavy equipment, guarding, tracking, and for search and rescue work. With the invention of the automobile, the dogs were no longer needed for hauling and thus came close to extinction. Despite their rarity-- the Belgian Kennel Club has said the original line may be extinct-- at least one Belgian Mastiff was involved in a 2010 dog mauling case that resulted in a London's woman death.

Like other powerful mastiffs, the Belgian Mastiff can't be recommended to irresponsible, inexperienced, or unconfident owners. You must know how to socialize and manage a powerful dog with strong guardian instincts. Always check with your insurer and your local laws to make sure you are allowed to own this breed in your area.

Appearance / health:
The Belgian Mastiff is a huge dog with an athletic build and imposing muscular strength. The forehead is wide with a good, developed skull. The ears are fairly big and hanging. It has a black nose. The back of the dog is higher then the front to facilitate the pulling of carts.

The Belgian Mastiff requires very little grooming thanks to the smooth coat.

This breed requires a good amount of exercise. With their strong protective drive, it is best if Belgian Mastiffs have some work to vent their energy into.

Belgian Mastiffs are generally a healthy breed. However, they may be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia (deformation leading to lameness), as well as bloat, heart problems, and other intestinal problems.

Behavior / temperament:
Belgian Mastiffs, though not too friendly, tend to be loving, loyal, and protective towards their family. They are not generally aggressive, though they may sometimes be vicious with strangers.

They are intelligent dogs that respond to early and consistent training.

This is a calm breed that rarely barks without reason.

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