The English Mastiff, A Gentle Giant?

Published: 23rd May 2008
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If someone were to compile a top 10 list of guard dogs, the English Mastiff would without a shadow of doubt be, in the top three The look of this dog alone guarantees that anyone who stumbled across him would certainly think twice about getting too close

It comes as no surprise then that this big dog was used ' as early as the sixth century BC ' for many "fighting" purposes. He was indispensible in a lot of the blood sports that have become legendary, including bear-baiting, bull-baiting, lion-baiting (believe it or not!) as well as dog fighting.

The English Mastiff breed is an incredible intermingling of grandeur, dignity and courage. He is perhaps to those who don't fully understand the breed, the ultimate paradox of dogs. Loyal, calm, affectionate and loving toward his family, he is a first-class guardian as well, ferocious, tenacious and fearless when the need arises. As stunning evidence of this, an English Mastiff instinctually positions himself between his owner and a stranger when an unknown person approaches the family's "territory."

Should the approaching stranger not give the dog his due, the Mastiff may take swift, immediate defensive action. But for all his fierceness, the English Mastiff is incredibly gentle with children.

The English Mastiff is certainly an imposing animal by any standards. The average Mastiff stands at about 30 inches at the shoulder for males and only a little shorter ' 27.5 inches ' for females. A male English Mastiff can tip the scale between 160 and 230 pounds. All breeds of dog have their health concerns and in this respect the English Mastiff is no different. These include hip dysplasia and bloating. The breed is also prone to obesity. Sadly even with the huge amount of affection there is for these dogs, there are still plenty of English Mastiff rescues.

Bone cancer is higher in incidence with the English Mastiff than a lot of other breeds.A healthy English Mastiff lives to be between nine and 11 years old. He thrives on lots of exercise and a good healthy diet ' as you can well imagine. Just like his human owner, he's prone to enjoying "the good life." Don't forget to brush your English Mastiff daily. The chances of developing any concerns dealing with the Mastiff's skin are far less if you make it a habit to brush him regularly.

Ultimately, enjoy your time with your English Mastiff, you will have picked a wonderful breed of dog.

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