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Breeds 101

Mastiff

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Throughout its long history, the Mastiff has contribute to the development of a variety of dog breeds, including the Bullmastiff.

Evidence of ancient Mastiffs is peppered with uncertainty, but traces of the giant breed are found in Egyptian monuments and in images of Roman gladiators.

The Mastiff existed in Great Britain 2000 years ago, and was exported to Rome as a military and fighting dog. Later, the English prized them watchdogs against wolves and thieves.

It may have arrived from Asia via Mediterranean and Phoenician traders, or with other across the Urals and northern Europe.

The name probably evolved from the Anglo-Saxon word masty, meaning powerful.

The Mastiff is now a rare sight.

One of the largest dogs in the world, it is exceptionally powerful and requires ample space to live in a plenty of food.

It is generally easygoing, but can be very protective of its owners and must be handled sensibly.

Size:
Giant; females 271⁄2 inches, 120 to 165 pounds; males 30 inches, 165 to 225 pounds (pets often 10 to 40 pounds smaller).

Color:
Fawn, apricot, or brindle.

Temperament:
Devoted and courageous guardian, but good natured, docile, and surprisingly gentle; well mannered as a house pet and not overly excitable.

Low energy level.

Best owner:
Owner in a roomy suburban or rural home; resources for vet care, food, and a large automobile.

Needs: Daily moderate exercise (walks or games), socialization and companionship; room to stretch and lounge.

Life expectancy: 8 to 10 years.