Mastiff's are definitely a breed all their own. As one of the largest canine breeds available it will pay well to truly read about and discover their quirks and temperament before going head long into purchasing one. Known as the English and Old English Mastiff, they are large lovable, and loyal creatures. Weighing in at an average one hundred sixty pounds a male Mastiff can easily tip the scales at two hundred pounds. The female is a "lighter" one hundred fifty pounds.
Standing at an average thirty inches at its haunches the male (females are twenty-five inches tall) Mastiff is not a canine with which you want to mess. A word of advice to anyone planning to own or who currently owns a Mastiff, never hit or behave as though you plan to hit this dog. There really needs to be no explanation to this warning. Their size and girth are enough to warrant patient and early training.
Mastiffs do well to be socialized at a very young age, especially with other dogs, as they tend to be less tolerant of strange dogs than of unfamiliar humans. A Mastiff will stand between perceived danger and it's family. The likely hood of a Mastiff attacking intruders or visitors the family has not yet welcomed is not high, they are sincere and protective not vicious or reactive. Quite the contrary a Mastiff tends to be lazy in its approach to life and must be exercised regularly in order to remain fit.
As with any large dog breed hip dysplasia is a common concern for Mastiffs. Getting enough exercise is critical for the overall health and well being of any Mastiff. Also, a proper feeding pattern insures bloating will not be a concern.
Three small meals are recommended as opposed to one large meal in a day. You may not hear of legendary heroics where a Mastiff is concerned and there may not be monuments erected in it's honor but if you are looking for a breed that is big on love and loyal protection the Mastiff has more than its fair share of both. Originally in their history Mastiffs were noted as superb fighting and guard dogs. They are today recognized as loyal family members that would stand their ground fiercely above fighting. Because of its large size Mastiffs are not recommended to be included in families where infants and toddlers are or will be around the dog.
However no one should hesitate to include a Mastiff in a family with small kids and young adults. Mastiffs are protective gentle giants and can be trusted to behave. As with any large breed of dog, it is in everyone's best interest to train a Mastiff at a very young age. Socializing the animal early in life and training him or her to understand who the person is that is in full charge is a must. Mastiffs may be a little stubborn however their eagerness to be included and involved far outweighs any bad trait.
For more information on Mastiffs and other Popular, and not-so-popular breeds of dogs, visit The Working Dog Directory