The Misunderstood Mastiff
Unfortunately for the massive Mastiff, their sheer physical size often sends the wrong message. In technical terms the word “Mastiff” actually refers to a group of dogs and not one particular breed. When most people use the term Mastiff the breed they are actually talking about is the English Mastiff.
The English Mastiff is a very easily identifiable breed. They are solid, massive and muscular with a large, wide head, smaller V-shaped folded ears and a mask or darker hair over the muzzle and eye area. The coat is short and thick and uniform length over the body. Coat colors can range from a darker tan to a light fawn as well as a brindle, silver and apricot. The mask can be black to a brown color depending on the coat color. The eyes are dark as is the nose.
Males of the breed can easily weigh 160 plus pounds; females are slightly smaller at roughly 150 pounds when full grown, which is still more than most grown adults! Being a giant breed, they have a tendency to develop hip dysplasia and other joint conditions as well as bloat.
The Mastiff, like many of the huge breeds of dogs, is actually a very gentle pet and is great with children and other dogs, provided they are well socialized. These dogs are not prone to barking but they are natural guard dogs that will defend their property and their families if they sense a threat. Since they are so big, they need to be obedience trained at an early age, something they are naturally very good at. They strive to please their owners and are very intelligent dogs that can learn a variety of tricks and commands with ease.
The Mastiff is a born couch potato and is not well known for their interest to self-exercise. Despite their big size they require little in the way of space to run and can be a good apartment dog provided they have regular trips outside for long walks. The breed is prone to obesity because of their huge appetite and their lack of interest in getting out to exercise on their own.