How big they can get: The Mastiff has a shoulder height of 70-76 cm (27-30 in) and weighs 68-91 kg (150-200 lbs). It is the largest breed by weight. In 1989, a English Mastiff named ‘Zorba’ set the Guinness World Record for heaviest dog at 143 kg (315 lbs), measuring over 8 feet from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Mastiffs have a very large head with a short, wide muzzle, and ‘V’-shaped ears. They have a flat back, high-set, low hanging tail, and large, round feet.
Coat: The Mastiff has a short-haired, fawn (light-yellow brown) coat, which ranges in color from silver to apricot to dark brindle. All Mastiffs have a black mask, ears, and nose.
Their Character: The Mastiff is confident, dignified, and very gentle-natured. Mastiffs rarely bark, but they are not fond of strangers and will defend their territory and family when necessary, making excellent guard dogs. The Mastiff tends to drool.
Their Temperament: The Mastiff is good with children, and gets along well with other dogs and household pets if properly socialized. In the words of the 1800 Cynographia Britannica ‘What the lion is to the cat, the Mastiff is to the dog. The noblest of the family, he stands alone, all others sinking before him...I have seen him down with his paw the Terrier or cur that has bit him, without offering further injury. In a family he will permit the children to play with him and will suffer all their little pranks without offence.’
The Care: The Mastiff coat requires little attention; dead and loose hairs should be removed with a rubber brush when the Mastiff is shedding. As with all very large dogs, the Mastiff needs a soft place to lie down to avoid pressure marks. The Mastiff has a lifespan of 9-11 years. One common problem is bloat, which can be prevented by placing the dog’s food dish on a raised surface and avoiding exercise immediately after meals. Obesity is also a potential issue for Mastiffs; proper exercise and nutrition are critical.
About Training: Mastiff training must be conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect, with consistency and understanding. Obedience training at a young age is recommended. Mastiffs are happy to learn, but may refuse to perform tricks they consider pointless.
Their Activity: In spite of its large size, the adult Mastiff has only an average need for exercise. It enjoys walks or play in a large fenced-in yard. Puppy Mastiffs should not be over exercised—the Mastiff requires all of its energy to grow strong bones and put on weight. Due to their large size and space requirements, Mastiffs are not recommended for crates after the age of 4 months. With the size they get this could keep their bones from growing correctly.
Jake -Taken 9-27-08
He is such a show off.
He is the true definition of what a Mastiff should be.
The Mastiff is a large, massive, symmetrical dog with a well-knit frame. The impression is one of grandeur and dignity. Dogs are more massive throughout. Bitches should not be faulted for being somewhat smaller in all dimensions while maintaining a proportionally powerful structure. A good evaluation considers positive qualities of type and soundness with equal weight.
Size-Dogs, minimum, 30 inches at the shoulder. Bitches, minimum, 27-1/2 inches at the shoulder. Fault-Dogs or bitches below the minimum standard. The farther below standard, the greater the fault.
Proportion-Rectangular, the length of the dog from forechest to rump is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. The height of the dog should come from depth of body rather than from length of leg.
Substance-Massive, heavy boned, with a powerful muscle structure. Great depth and breadth desirable. Fault-Lack of substance or slab sided.
In general outline giving a massive appearance when viewed from any angle. Breadth greatly desired.
Eyes -set wide apart, medium in size, never too prominent.
Expression- alert but kindly. Color of eyes brown, the darker the better, and showing no haw. Light eyes or a predatory expression is undesirable.
Ears- small in proportion to the skull, V-shaped, rounded at the tips. Leather moderately thin, set widely apart at the highest points on the sides of the skull continuing the outline across the summit. They should lie close to the cheeks when in repose. Ears dark in color, the blacker the better, conforming to the color of the muzzle.
Skull- broad and somewhat flattened between the ears, forehead slightly curved, showing marked wrinkles which are particularly distinctive when at attention. Brows (superciliary ridges) moderately raised. Muscles of the temples well developed, those of the cheeks extremely powerful. Arch across the skull a flattened curve with a furrow up the center of the forehead. This extends from between the eyes to halfway up the skull.
The stop- between the eyes well marked but not too abrupt.
Muzzle- should be half the length of the skull, thus dividing the head into three parts-one for the foreface and two for the skull. In other words, the distance from the tip of the nose to stop is equal to one-half the distance between the stop and the occiput. Circumference of the muzzle (measured midway between the eyes and nose) to that of the head (measured before the ears) is as 3 is to 5.
Muzzle- short, broad under the eyes and running nearly equal in width to the end of the nose. Truncated, i.e. blunt and cut off square, thus forming a right angle with the upper line of the face. Of great depth from the point of the nose to the underjaw. Underjaw broad to the end and slightly rounded. Muzzle dark in color, the blacker the better. Fault-snipiness of the muzzle.
Nose- broad and always dark in color, the blacker the better, with spread flat nostrils (not pointed or turned up) in profile.
Lips -diverging at obtuse angles with the septum and sufficiently pendulous so as to show a modified square profile.
Canine Teeth- healthy and wide apart. Jaws powerful.
Scissors bite- preferred, but a moderately undershot jaw should not be faulted providing the teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed.
Neck- powerful, very muscular, slightly arched, and of medium length. The neck gradually increases in circumference as it approaches the shoulder. Neck moderately "dry" (not showing an excess of loose skin).
Topline-In profile the topline should be straight, level, and firm, not swaybacked, roached, or dropping off sharply behind the high point of the rump.
Chest -wide, deep, rounded, and well let down between the forelegs, extending at least to the elbow. Forechest should be deep and well defined with the breastbone extending in front of the foremost point of the shoulders. Ribs well rounded. False ribs deep and well set back.
Underline-There should be a reasonable, but not exaggerated, tuck-up.
Back- muscular, powerful, and straight. When viewed from the rear, there should be a slight rounding over the rump.
Loins- wide and muscular.
Tail -set on moderately high and reaching to the hocks or a little below. Wide at the root, tapering to the end, hanging straight in repose, forming a slight curve, but never over the back when the dog is in motion.
Shoulders- moderately sloping, powerful and muscular, with no tendency to looseness. Degree of front angulation to match correct rear angulation.
Legs- straight, strong and set wide apart, heavy boned.
Elbows parallel to body.
Pasterns- strong and bent only slightly.
Feet- large, round, and compact with well arched toes. Black nails preferred.
Hindquarters- broad, wide and muscular.
Second thighs- well developed, leading to a strong hock joint.
Stifle joint- is moderately angulated matching the front.
Rear legs -are wide apart and parallel when viewed from the rear.
When the portion of the leg below the hock is correctly "set back" and stands perpendicular to the ground, a plumb line dropped from the rearmost point of the hindquarters will pass in front of the foot. This rules out straight hocks, and since stifle angulation varies with hock angulation, it also rules out insufficiently angulated stifles. Fault--Straight stifles.
Outer coat straight, coarse, and of moderately short length. Undercoat dense, short, and close lying. Coat should not be so long as to produce "fringe" on the belly, tail, or hind legs. Fault-Long or wavy coat.
Fawn, apricot, or brindle. Brindle should have fawn or apricot as a background color which should be completely covered with very dark stripes. Muzzle, ears, and nose must be dark in color, the blacker the better, with similar color tone around the eye orbits and extending upward between them. A small patch of white on the chest is permitted.
Faults-Excessive white on the chest or white on any other part of the body. Mask, ears, or nose lacking dark pigment.
The gait denotes power and strength. The rear legs should have drive, while the forelegs should track smoothly with good reach. In motion, the legs move straight forward; as the dog's speed increases from a walk to a trot, the feet move in toward the center line of the body to maintain balance.
A combination of grandeur and good nature, courage and docility. Dignity, rather than gaiety, is the Mastiff's correct demeanor. Judges should not condone shyness or viciousness. Conversely, judges should also beware of putting a premium on showiness.
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