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Is the Mastiff right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): English Mastiff; Old English Mastiff

The basics:
The Old English Mastiff is an ancient breed that projects an aura of polite dignity. This dog appears large and powerful, making it a good deterrent to intruders, but the core personality of a well-socialized dog is calm, good-natured, and gentle. An improperly socialized dog could even be timid, and all Mastiffs crave companionship. Although you needn't go jogging with this breed, you should spend plenty of time side-by-side with them to keep your pet happy and social.

The ancient Mastiffs go back at least to the days of Babylon, where these dogs appear in bas-relief. The Mastiff Club of America has collected thousands of years of lore about these this noble breed, which is believed to have been brought by the ancient Phoenician traders to England, where the Roman invaders found them.

Appearance / health:
The Mastiff is a large, massive dog with a well-knit frame. Dogs are more massive, while bitches have somewhat smaller dimensions.
Mastiffs are average shedders and do not need extensive grooming.

The Mastiff requires a good amount of exercise. Brisk walking and time spent running off the leash help to keep this breed in good form. They should not be over-exercised until they are about a year old.

Mastiffs commonly suffer from bloat (torsion of the distended stomach that can be fatal). They also suffer from dysplasia (a crippling malformation of the joints leading to lameness) of the hip and elbow.

Mastiffs are also prone to developing elbow and knee bursas (rough pads around the joints) because of their great body weight. Sebaceous cysts and allergies are commonly seen in the breed. Hereditary eye problems, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and cataracts also affect Mastiffs.

Behavior / temperament:
The Mastiff is naturally protective and makes an effective watchdog. Mastiffs respond to gentle, patient training. They are eager for affection and willing to please.

Mastiffs are not noisy barkers.


Gentle Giants, wonderful dogs, great guarddogs, loving couch potatoes, Big Lovable dog


bloat, normal life span, drooling, dysplasia, expensive breed, hip problems


utility meter readers, worst selective hearing, oldest breeds, lower energy level, future breed bans

From shelters/rescues




Greenwich, CT





Yonkers, NY


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