Originally valued for their abilities as a fierce guard and fighting dog, today’s Mastiff is a gentle giant. Intelligent and dignified, they rarely bark, but it is in their nature to defend their territory and family.
The Mastiff is actually one of the oldest types of dog breeds. Their ancestor, the molossus, dates back almost 5,000 years. The molossus was a war dog, but today’s Mastiffs are quite benevolent and gentle. Despite its size (the Mastiff can weight up to 220 pounds or more), they are generally good-natured and docile. They are a self-confident, watchful, and patient dog that are gentle-natured towards his family.
As a puppy, the Mastiff can be rambunctious but will mature into a quiet, calm adult dog. Although they love children, their size can be a problem as they can unintentionally knock children over just by bumping into them.
In general, the Mastiff is not an outdoor dog. While they do need adequate exercise, they prefer to be inside the home with their family. If left alone for too long, the Mastiff will become bored and destructive. One of their signature traits is their drool-filled head shake. They are also known to snore.
If socialized early on, Mastiffs are great with other dogs and people. If not socialized, the Mastiff can become aggressive simply because they don’t know how to interact with them.
Major Health Concerns: As with most large breeds, the Mastiff is prone to elbow and hip dysplasia. They may develop Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). The Mastiff Breed is subject to several other health conditions, not all of which are hereditary.
Interesting Fact: Following a period of sharp decline, the Mastiff has recently increased its worldwide popularity.
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