A Mastiff is the largest breed of canine in the world. They are noted for their large size, enormous head, short coat, and distinctive black “mask-like” face coloring.
- An average male mastiff will be about 30″ tall and weigh between 150-250 pounds.
- Their large and broad frames are another distinctive characteristic, giving an overall larger appearance than taller breeds like the Great Dane.
Mastiffs in History
- There is evidence of the Mastiff’s existence in Mesopotamian art from the 2nd millennia B.C.
- The first occurrence of the name Mastiff in English was from a list of dog breeds in The Book Of Saint Albans, published in 1465.
- The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.
- Very few mastiffs existed outside of England until after World War I.
- The breed came close to extinction in the early 20th century, with records showing as few as a dozen of the dogs existed for a time.
- Today the breed is prevalent around the world and is listed as the 28th most popular breed in the United States.
- The offspring of these dogs were likely crossbred with other large breeds like Bullmastiffs or Saint Bernards, creating the modern English Mastiff.
- Mastiffs are brave and good-tempered dogs. The American Kennel Club considers them docile, powerful, and loyal.