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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

English Mastiff: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

English mastiff facts like they are massive dogs with calm nature are interesting.

The English mastiff dog breed is also known by names like the Old English Mastiff and Mastie. Several mastiff type dog breeds have been recorded in European and Asian countries, even three thousand years ago. These Mastiff type dogs were mostly guarding dogs, war dogs, and used for blood sports like bull baiting, and bear baiting. An English mastiff puppy is as agile a puppy as any other dog breed but as an adult, the mastiff’s temperament changes into a calm, dignified, and a courageous dog.

English mastiffs are often called gentle giants for their huge adult size and their dignified, good natured temperament. These dogs love their human families and are excellent companions for older children. Toddlers may be overwhelmed due to their size. The English mastiff's guard dog roots make them alert dogs.  They are protective of their territory and family but they seldom bark.

English mastiffs have a flat, short coat in various colors. Fawn or apricot are the most common, in some cases black brindle. All English mastiffs have a black mask. The fawn coat can be a shade of reddish yellow like tan coat or a light grayish brown coat. For more relatable content, check out these golden mountain dog facts and Croatian sheepdog facts for kids.

English Mastiff Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an English mastiff?

The Old English Mastiff is a giant dog breed from Britain that boasts of an ancient heritage. These massive dogs were found in the British Isles when the Romans invaded the island. Mastiffs are thought to be brought by the seafaring Phoenician traders in the sixth century BC. The Romans put the mastiffs to work as guardians for sheep, as guards in medieval castles, and as bodyguards of people.

What class of animal does an English mastiff belong to?

English Mastiffs are mammals. A female mastiff can give birth to 1-16 puppies.

English Mastiffs are most popular in England, North America, and Canada. These dogs have better cold-weather tolerance than extreme heat. Mastiffs are said to come first to America (New World) from England on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims.

How many English mastiffs are there in the world?

The exact numbers of English Mastiffs in the world are difficult to tell. These massive dogs are adorable, friendly, loyal, and are kept in homes as pets. A mastiff’s talents of guarding, and loyalty, make them good for police work, and military jobs, and search and rescue dogs.

Where does an English mastiff live?

An English mastiff lives in a house with its owner and the family.

English mastiffs are perfect for families that love a low energy level, calm dog personality. These dogs can become massive and do not adjust well in small apartments.

A mastiff puppy is extremely energetic, playful, and athletic but with age, they become extremely composed and quiet. Daily exercise is required to keep the pounds in check, but the big dogs are fine with a simple walk in the park, and any activity that does not cause too much exertion.

What is an English mastiff habitat?

English Mastiffs have high cold tolerance but don’t do well in hot or moist weather.

Present day English mastiffs are nothing like their canine ancestor breeds who hunted and guarded homes and comfortably stayed outdoors. These dogs are mostly indoor pets and love to laze around with their human family. They aren’t meant for sports or vigorous exercise.

Old English Mastiffs need roomy homes with a fenced yard. Their huge body needs stretching space to stay fit. These dogs are playful and agile as pups but as adults, avoid exhausting activities like jogging or running. Mastiffs are caring and cuddly. They do not like to stay alone. These dogs stay happy in homes where owners give them company and time.

Who do English mastiffs live with?

English Mastiffs live with their human families. This dog breed is calm, easygoing, and good-natured. There is a streak of stubbornness and bossiness among mastiffs. If trained and socialized properly, English mastiffs can coexist with other dogs and pets. They may be intolerant towards dogs of the same sex.

English Mastiffs are mostly friendly. However, they are extremely suspicious of everyone and tend to be cold or aloof with strangers. These gentle giants may not do too well with small pets like hamsters, rabbits, or cats as they might see them as prey.

How long does an English mastiff live?

The lifespan of these massive dogs is rather short compared to other canines. English Mastiffs live for 8-10 years.

How do they reproduce?

An English mastiff female should not be allowed to breed after she is one and a half years old. Once the mastiff bitch is pregnant, the gestation period is 63 days. An expecting English mastiff may have morning sickness and an increase in appetite.

The expecting mother requires a safe area outside for regular exercise and play. A breeding and nursing area should be arranged.

A mastiff bitch may give birth to a single puppy or a litter of 16. The average litter size of these giant dog breed is 6-8 pups.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status is Least Concern.

English Mastiff Fun Facts

What do English mastiff look like?

Mastiffs are giant sized dogs. They have a short, fine, coarse outer coat with an underlying dense undercoat. That makes grooming easy. The body is muscular and the head is heavy, broad, and square. These dogs have a short muzzles. There’s a black mask on the muzzle, around the eyes, and the black nose. The eyes are large with an alert expression. The small ears dark in color, flop downward.

English mastiffs have strong jaws and large teeth. The most common coat colors include fawn apricot. Brindled English mastiffs are rare and the costliest. English mastiffs have a wide, deep, and large chest. The limbs are set wide apart as the body is wide. These dogs have well developed muscles, and bones.

English mastiffs are fawn apricot or brindled.

How cute are they?

English mastiffs may look like giant dogs but they are extremely gentle, loving, and cute. All they ever want to do is spend time with their owners. They love to cuddle but due to their massive size, they may not fit on their owner’s lap. Mastiffs will keep their heads on the owner's lap when they want to be cuddled and loved.

How do they communicate?

English Mastiffs have different ways of showing their affection and dislikes. They snort, and grunt, but seldom bark. These dogs snore loudly which may be nerve wracking for some owners. Early training and socialization generally lead to a positive temperament and good nature in an English mastiff puppy. They are friendly, gentle, and good with children. They love sitting and leaning on people from their families to express affection. Mastiffs don’t like to be climbed or ridden on like a horse. If children try to do so, the dogs may show aggression.

How big is an English mastiff?

English Mastiffs were once war dogs, guard dogs, and dogs used for blood sports. They are the largest and the heaviest dog breed. A male is about 30 in (76.2 cm) long at the shoulder and a female around 27 inches to 27.5 in (69.8 cm) at the shoulder. The weight of these dogs can go up to a whopping 200 lb (90.7 kg), with the largest dog ever with a weight of more than 300 lb (136 kg).

Compared to the smallest dog breed Chihuahua standing a maximum of 8 in (20.3 cm) at the shoulder, an English mastiff is almost four times taller. An adult Chihuahua is about 33 times lighter than a mastiff with a massive weight of 200 lb (90.7 kg).

How fast can an English mastiff run?

English Mastiffs cannot run very fast due to their excessive weight. They can run at the speed of 28 mph (45 kph) but seldom do so.

How much does an English mastiff weigh?

Full-grown, healthy, English mastiffs can weigh up to 200 lb (90.7  kg). Females weigh around a 150 lb (68 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male English mastiff is called a dog and a female is called a bitch.

What would you call a baby English mastiff?

A baby English mastiff is called a pup.

What do they eat?

English mastiffs are purebred dogs that are gigantic and need good food to live a healthy life. A pure meat based diet is ideal for an English Mastiff. Mastiff puppies require more protein than adults. The pups grow rapidly and need balanced protein, fat, and other nutrients to avoid life threatening health problems like renal and hepatic failure.

Mastiff puppies like giant adults have a habit of gobbling their food as fast as they can. This can lead to bloating and gassiness. It is important to develop good eating habits in English mastiff pups. Giving mastiffs homemade food made with real meat and fresh vegetables helps avoid gassiness in these dogs. Weight management is a must for these big dogs. Obesity can lead to health conditions like orthopedic problems, heart diseases, diabetes, and even cancer.

Are they slobbery?

Old English Mastiffs are extremely slobbery, especially after meals. If they shake their heads, owners should be prepared to be bombarded with saliva.

Would they make a good pet?

English mastiffs make excellent family dogs as they are gentle, loving, and protective. Owners who do not mind their massive size can enjoy lots of cuddles from this tolerant, friendly, and adorable gentle giant.

With proper training, mastiffs can coexist with other pets but they can be territorial with dogs and have a prey drive. It is important to give an English mastiff proper training to make life easier for the dog as well as the owner. It should be taught to stay on the leash, and behave when outdoors.

Before contacting English mastiff breeders or rescue centers for bringing home a mastiff puppy, potential owners should research this dog breed. They drool a lot, snore loudly, are strong willed, chew things, and dig gardens. They don’t like to run and will be happy couch potatoes. However regular exercise is required to keep them healthy.

Weekly bathing and regular grooming help control shedding. Their short coat makes grooming a quick and simple task. Breeders charge $1000-1300 for English mastiff puppies. Brindled puppies are the costliest and may cost up to $1,500. The price of English mastiff puppies is decided by the breeders depending on the lineage, the health of the parents, and American Kennel Club registration.

Did you know...

The name mastiff has significance. Old English Mastiffs and all other mastiffs get their name from the Latin word mansuetus, That means tame or domesticated. Mastiffs are thought to be among the ancient most and the largest domesticated dog breeds.

Aicama Zorb, an Old English Mastiff male that weighed three hundred and 43 lb (19.5 kg) holds the Guinness World Records for being the heaviest dog in the world.

Bull baiting was a barbaric sport popular in the 15th century where mastiff dogs were latched to chained bulls. The two animals fought a bloody battle.

The English mastiff is in the working dog group according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) classification but is in the guardian dog group according to the UKC classification. This breed is often referred to as Mastiff by some kennel clubs.

The Mastiff Club of America is dedicated to mastiff dog breeds. American Kennel Club recognizes this canine club as the official organization as the national parent club of all mastiff dogs.

The English mastiff has a long lineage. They are thought to carry genes of the ancient Alaunt or alangu dogs of Afghanistan, Pugnaces Britanniae of the United Kingdom, and significant contribution from the extinct dog breed the Alpine Mastiff.

During World War II breeding of these massive dog breeds almost stopped due to the rationing of meat. They were rescued from extinction later by lovers of this dog breed.

What are English Mastiffs known for?

English mastiffs are known for their massive size, loving nature, and calm demeanor. They are also famous for their drooling potential and snoring. They are the largest and the heaviest dog breed.

What is the friendliest mastiff breed?

English mastiffs are considered the friendliest of all mastiff breeds. They have a gentle, easy going, and loving temperament. With a huge body and a calm nature, they have earned the name of gentle giants.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Collared Pika facts and Ganges River dolphin facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Mastiff coloring pages.

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