The mastiff is first and foremost a large, powerful working dog. They are one of the oldest breeds and you will find many modern dogs that have mastiff in their ancestry. Depending on which account you find, mastiff type dogs date back to around 2,500 B.C. Phoenician traders were believed to have introduced mastiff type dogs to ancient Britain. The conquering Romans found them there and took them home to fight in the arenas. Kubla Kahn was purported to have had a kennel of some 5,000 mastiffs used as war dogs and for hunting. Wherever the breed started and however far it ranged, the dog we know today as the mastiff was developed by the British.
Mastiffs have always been guardians and over time have been used as dogs of war, hunting dogs, fighting dogs, draft dogs that pulled carts, and as companions.
World War I and II saw serious declines in number as few could afford to feed a dog that ate as much as these dogs require when they could barely feed their families. Thankfully, the breed endured and today we have this noble breed as protectors and companions.
Today’s mastiff is the heaviest purebred dog, although not the tallest. They are a strong, powerful, heavy-muscled and heavy-boned dog. Though generally a good-natured dog that makes an excellent family companion, they do need to know that their human is the boss.
The mastiff comes in three colors, fawn, apricot and brindle, all with black mask and ears.
Mastiffs adapt well to all climates and although they often prefer to be couch potatoes, we personally believe a young, growing mastiffs needs lots of outdoor exercise, fresh air and sunshine. And just as an aside, we don’t believe they belong on the couch, or our beds!
They shed. They drool (although not 24 hours a day). They snore worse than your dad.
We highly recommend you read the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the MCOA website before adding a mastiff to your family.