Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Mastiff breed, also known as the English Mastiff or Old English Mastiff, is quite a large dog. Historically bred as guard dogs, Mastiffs tend to be protective.
The Mastiff's Behavior
Recommended for: pet, working dog
The Mastiff (also called the English Mastiff or Old English Mastiff) dog breed is a large dog breed related to St. Bernards and other large breeds in the mastiff family. Mastiffs have historically been used as guard dogs, not just for people, but especially for sheep. As a result, mastiffs tend to be quite protective and have deep voices for barking upon the approach of strangers.
Remember that breed only provides a general clue as to any individual dog's actual behavior. Make sure to get to know dogs well before bringing them into your home.
The Mastiff's Physical Characteristics
Here are some of the characteristics of the Mastiff breed as determined by the American Kennel Club's published breed standard.
* Size: Males: 30+ inches; Females: 27½ inches
* Coat: straight, coarse, overcoat over dense, short, close-lying undercoat
* Color: fawn, apricot, brindle
* Eyes: set wide apart, medium-sized, brown
* Ears: small, V-shaped, with rounded tips
* Muzzle: half the length of the skull, dark
* Nose: broad, dark, flat nostrils
* Tail: high-set, wide at the base and tapered
The Mastiff's Origins and History
Country/Region of Origin: modern breed: England; original origins uncertain
Original purpose: herding, guard dog
Name: Also called the English Mastiff or Old English Mastiff. The name Mastiff also refers to a large family of large dog breeds. Another name for Mastiff in the general sense is molosser.
Historical notes: the origins of the Mastiff are not certain, though carvings depicting the animals have been found in Assyrian Ninevah dating back to around 640 BC.