This is a very old dog breed believed to have been in existence as far back as 3000 BC. The English Mastiff is a large breed that originated in Britain. There are several theories about where the name came from – some claim that it was from the Anglo-saxon word “masty” which means powerful; the Oxford English dictionary says that it was derived from the Old French word “mastin” which means “tame.”
The Mastiff is one of the heaviest breeds; it can weigh from 150 pounds to about 160 pounds, with some exceeding even 200 pounds. Height standard ranges from 27 to 30 inches. It has a large, square and heavy head with a well marked stop. Its eyes are set wide apart with a black mask around them. The V-shaped ears are small and are dark in colour. It has a high-set tail with a wide base and tapers to point until it reaches to the hocks. Its coat is short and lies close to the body. Typical colours are apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, dark fawn-brindle, golden fawn and always with black on the muzzle, ears and nose as well as around the eyes.
This working breed can perform a range of tasks such as guarding, police and military work, watch dog, search & rescue, weight pulling as well as an excellent companion dog. A gentle giant, it is patient with children whilst being even-tempered and docile indoors. It loves to please its owner and the family but they can be a bit difficult to train. As this is a large and heavy dog, it is prone to bloat and hip dysplasia. They can live from 10 to 12 years.