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Photography by Stacey Fitzgerald
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The English Mastiff


Exactly What You Need

Size: 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. 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.
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.
Temperament: The Mastiff is good with children, and gets along well with other dogs and household pets if properly socialized.
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. Common health problems for Mastiffs include hip and elbow dysplasia (malformed joints which can cause lameness or arthritis), Obesity is also a potential issue for Mastiffs; proper exercise and nutrition are critical. Mastiffs prefer life indoors and are not well suited to hot weather.
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.
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 small apartments.


Grooming your English Mastiff

I like to use a curry comb, Rancher Blade deshedding tool, and a rechargeable pet nail grinder. Shedding can be easily managed with the right tools and diet. I like to use the Rancher Blade deshedding tool for deep brushing. The curry comb works nice for light shedding and is soft around the face and legs. I use the rechargeable pet nail grinder twice a month with Holly and Ireland (Please research nail trimming). I have found most veterinarians suggest anesthesia for nail trimming. Anesthesia can be dangerous for such a large breed. English Mastiffs do drool. Keeping the chin dry with a towel, will reduce sores from forming around the chin and mouth. Overall, grooming a Mastiff is quite simple. Enjoy every moment with your Mastiff!