The Mastiff is one of the most ancient types of dog breeds. His ancestor, the molossus, was known 5,000 years ago.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about English Mastiff.
Today’s Mastiff descended from the ancient Alaunt and Molosser dogs. There is evidence that Mastiff-like dogs lived in the mountains of Asia, dating back almost 4,500 years to 2,500 B.C.E. The British Museum houses bas-reliefs from the Babylonian palace of Ashurbanipal that show Mastiff-type dogs, incredibly similar to modern Mastiffs, hunting lions in the desert.
The heavy-boned Mastiff gives an impression of grandeur and dignity. The breed standard doesn’t provide a maximum height, but gives a minimum height at the top of the shoulder of 30 inches for males and 27.5 inches for females. In fact, these massive dogs can range up to 36 inches tall. There is no weight given in the standard, and they can weigh anywhere from 160-230 pound for males and 120-170 pounds for females.
3) Art Work
Because the mastiff has been around for so many hundreds of years and it’s been a dog that’s been held in such high regard in so many places across the world, it’s been portrayed in a lot of fine art work. Some of the most famous artists in the world both past and present have been able to depict the English Mastiff in their work to create art that’s just lovely and on point.
Training and socialization are essential with a dog that will be so large when fully grown. Mastiffs are intelligent and want to please their people, but they can also be quite stubborn. If they are scared, confused, or their sensitive feelings are hurt, even by harsh words, it can be impossible to get them to do anything. Keep your training sessions short, frequent, and fun, so your dog sees it as a game, and you will find success.
5) Puppy Phase
The puppy phase is much longer in Mastiffs than in most other breeds. Although teenage Mastiffs are quite large, they don’t reach their final physical and mental maturity until they are three years old. While they are still growing, Mastiff puppies are susceptible to joint injury, so caution is needed to be sure they don’t overdo it. They can play naturally, but exercise such as long walks, jumping over hurdles, or other stressful activities should be avoided until about 18-to-24 months of age.
6) Largest Dog
Zorba, the Mastiff, once held the record for the world’s largest dog. He set the record in November 1989, when he was eight years old. He was 37 inches high at the shoulder, 8 feet 3 inches long from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, and he weighed 343 pounds.
Despite their size, Mastiffs do fairly well with a sedentary lifestyle, but will be at their best physical condition with a moderate exercise regime. They are wonderful at simply being a member of the family, but also make good watchdogs and therapy dogs. If you train them and keep them in proper physical condition, they can also succeed at carting, tracking, conformation, obedience, and search and rescue.
8) Modern Mastiffs
The development of the mastiff as we know it started in 1835, the year when England outlawed bear and bull baiting, and dog fighting. Before 1835, mastiffs were bred largely (though not exclusively) to participate in these cruel and brutal "sports," and so they were intended to be tough and vicious. After 1835, viciousness was gradually bred out of mastiffs, transforming them into the gentle and peaceful giants we enjoy today.
Kennel clubs accept three Mastiff coat colors. You get to choose between fawn (light yellowish tan), apricot (light reddish brown) or brindle (fawn or apricot mottled with black). If you see a dog of any other color advertised as a mastiff, it's not pure mastiff.
10) Almost Extinct
As you can probably imagine, mastiffs eat a ton of food, which makes them expensive to keep as pets. Mastiffs dwindled in popularity in the early 20th century because World War I caused food shortages that made these dogs unaffordable. There was a point at which zero mastiffs were registered in America, and only a few left in the U.K. A concerted breeding effort revived mastiffs, although the cycle repeated during and following World War II.