English Mastiffs are often mentioned as the dog with the largest weight in the world, along with the third tallest height in the world.
Let’s explore the origin, characteristics, and how to care for English Mastiffs through this article on DailyPets.net.
Origin and History of English Mastiffs
When it comes to the ancestors of English Mastiffs, there are many theories and historical stories about this breed. Two theories are most commonly mentioned and widely supported.
The first theory, which is also the most widely recognized, suggests that the English Mastiff has its origins in the Molosser dog, an ancient breed that has long been extinct. Molossers were described as large as a donkey and had a growl like a mature lion. In Europe, they were carefully trained and held an important position in the military. They were also known for their performance in dog races.
The second theory suggests that English Mastiffs have their ancestors in the Alaunt group of dogs, another ancient breed that has long been extinct. They first appeared in the Central Asian region and later became popular in England.
There are many historical stories about the Alaunt group. In a fierce battle between England and France in late 1415, General Sir Piers Legh was seriously wounded. At that moment, a descendant of the Alaunt group, out of loyalty to its master, fearlessly rushed to protect its owner.
Shortly thereafter, when the owner passed away in England, this dog continued to be bred and reproduced at Lyme Hall, Cheshire, England. It has always been referred to as the “cradle of Mastiff dogs.” The Legh family – the family of Sir Piers Legh – continued to breed this breed until the 20th century.
Physical Characteristics of English Mastiffs
In general, the characteristics of Mastiff dogs include a tall and, in some cases, extremely large body. For English Mastiffs, the most recognizable feature is their long legs, along with their “gigantic” weight.
The English Mastiff’s body is large and robust, with a broad chest and a strong, healthy bone structure. Their coat is short and thick, with shades of brown, yellow, fawn, or brindle.
The height of English Mastiffs ranges from 75-77 cm in males and 68-70 cm in females. In terms of weight, adult males weigh around 72-73 kg, while females weigh between 67-68 kg, making them the heaviest in the world of companion dogs.
Like other Mastiff breeds, English Mastiffs have a square, wrinkled face with a distinct mark between their eyes. Their nose is large and short, roughly the size of half a skull.
Mastiffs have large, long eyes that are widely set apart, surrounded by dark circles. They also have long, V-shaped ears that are proportionate to their heads.
Notably, their unique teeth have been maintained from their ancestors. Their teeth are extremely sharp and resemble the arrangement of scissors. Their tails are long and tapering, standing high on their backs and curving gracefully down the back of their legs.
With such distinctive features, these tall Mastiffs always appear with a stern and somewhat intimidating demeanor.
Personality Traits of English Mastiffs
The ancestors of English Mastiffs played a crucial role in protection and combat. Therefore, their ancestors had a fierce, fearsome, and somewhat “cold-blooded” personality. However, modern English Mastiffs are different. They tend to be calm, dislike fuss, and always have a “cool” attitude.
Due to their protective lineage, English Mastiffs are raised to guard homes. With proper training, owners can fully trust these dogs.
In addition to their protective abilities, they are also considered intelligent. They can handle well in various situations, always exuding confidence and decisiveness, which astonishes people.
Caring for English Mastiffs
For English Mastiff puppies
When Mastiff puppies are young, they may startle and wake up easily when they sleep. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a quiet environment while they’re sleeping. In their daily activities, it’s essential to treat them gently and with love, avoiding raising your voice or frightening them since English Mastiff puppies are quite sensitive.
Furthermore, one of the characteristics of this breed is that they can’t be left alone for extended periods. So, if you want your dog to be independent at home, you should train them gradually by leaving them outside for a few minutes and then increasing the time until they adapt. However, you shouldn’t leave an English Mastiff alone at home for more than 10 hours.
The English Mastiff’s natural habitat is in temperate regions, so a tropical environment like Vietnam might make them less adaptable to the local temperatures. However, it’s still possible to raise English Mastiffs in Vietnam, and you can pay attention to the following:
Avoid taking them outside on hot, sunny days. Mastiffs can suffer from heatstroke or even die due to extreme heat.
You don’t necessarily have to keep them indoors all day during the summer. You can take them for a walk in the early morning or evening.
Don’t let them engage in excessive physical activities, as it could lead to bone problems.
English Mastiffs are relatively easy to feed. Just be mindful of foods that may be difficult for them to digest. It’s important to divide their meals appropriately based on their age. Feed them 3-4 times a day when they are under two months old and then transition to 8 meals a day for adult dogs.
Grooming and Dental Care
The short coat of English Mastiffs requires minimal grooming. Regular grooming is sufficient, and during the shedding seasons in spring and autumn, you may need to groom and clean them more thoroughly. Keep their facial wrinkles clean.
Regularly brush their teeth to maintain good dental hygiene.
Common Health Issues in English Mastiffs
English Mastiffs are a large breed and are prone to several health issues. Some of the most common health problems are:
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a condition where the hip joint does not develop normally, causing pain and lameness. English Mastiffs are prone to hip dysplasia, so it’s important to check their condition.
- Bloat: This is a serious condition that can be life-threatening when the stomach becomes filled with gas and twists. They are one of the breeds at the highest risk of bloat, so special attention is required.
- Elbow Dysplasia: This is a condition where the elbow joint does not develop normally, causing pain and lameness.
- Heart Issues: Mastiffs can be prone to various heart problems, including dilated cardiomyopathy and aortic stenosis.
- Eye Issues: Mastiffs can suffer from various eye problems, such as cataracts.
- Skin Issues: Mastiffs can experience skin problems like allergies, rashes, and infections.
English Mastiff Price
The price of an English Mastiff can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the dog’s pedigree, lineage, age, and the breeder’s reputation. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for a pet-quality English Mastiff puppy from a reputable breeder. Dogs with superior pedigrees show potential or breeding rights can command higher prices, ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 or more.
To buy a purebred and high-quality English Mastiff, it’s advisable to consult experienced dog breeders with expertise in breeding pedigree dogs. If you want to be more certain about the dog’s origins and quality, consider reputable pet centers nationwide.