Wednesday, July 13, 2011

English Mastiff

If you have never seen a breed like the English Mastiff, you're probably thinking by looking at this picture- That's a huge dog! The English Mastiff is actually a massive dog that takes up lots of space. Though it isn't tallest, the English Mastiff may perhaps be the heaviest dog on the planet. In fact, they typically weigh as much as an average human, but one weighed about 340 pounds. That's a lot of dog!

Other than being big, this breed has many other traits. According to the AKC breed standard, the Mastiff comes in only three different coat patterns- fawn, apricot, and brindle. The Mastiff also has a short and coarse coat, a huge head and body, and a powerful muscle structure.

The English Mastiff, AKA, the Old English Mastiff, obviously originated in England. The English Mastiff used to guard castles and other places, and were also used as war dogs when the Romans invaded Britain. Some were brought down to Italy, where they guarded prisoners. They also fought in arenas as well. And in England, during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, the Mastiff was used to take down large game like bears and tigers, proving how powerful they are. By the late 19th century, Mastiffs were also imported in America, where, at the time, were used to guard plantations. Meanwhile, back in England, the Mastiff was used to pull munitions carts during World War I, but by the year 1920, this breed almost went extinct in England because of the huge amounts of food it consumed. Some owners were left with no choice but to put them asleep. But after World War II, British fanciers imported stock from the USA and Canada to revive the breed. However, there are still more Mastiffs in the US today then there are in modern-day England.

Although they used to take down large game and guarded properties and prisoners, today they are very friendly dogs that are great with most families, but be aware that the Mastiff may accidentally push down young children, so supervision is required. The breed takes up a lot of space, so be aware to have a large house or a yard or field where he can exercise. This dog's short coat easy to groom, but remember to have a towel near you. They drool a lot and you may not want that to be around the house, if you know what I mean. The dog's average lifespan is 6-11 years or so. He is prone to eye problems and cancer, hip dysplasia, bloats, cancer, hypothyroidism, aortic stenosis, and epilepsy.

Overall, this is a dog that will enlighten and overjoy you for ears to come and will make you always happy.

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