The coat of the Mastiff is fawn, apricot, silver, or brindle.
A black facial mask is always present.
This dog is one of the heaviest breeds with the males weighing up to 230 pounds and the females up to 200 pounds.
The dog stands 30 or more inches at the shoulder and the bitch at 27 to 28 inches.
The ears are small and triangular in shape and match the mask in color.
The Mastiff is also known as the Old English Mastiff or English Mastiff.
These dogs can live from 10 to 12 years.
History: The Mastiff is an ancient breed, it was depicted in Egyptian art over 5000 years ago.
The Britons, while fighting against Caesar's legions in 55BC were assisted by their Mastiffs.
Impressed by the dog's courage and strength, Caesar brought some back to Rome for use in the arena.
They were used to fight bulls, bears, lions, and gladiators.
Later, Mastiffs were used by English countryfolk to protect homes and farms from wolves and bandits.
The first Mastiff in America may well have arrived on the Mayflower.
Temperament: The old ferocity has been bred out of the Mastiff, leaving an even-tempered, gentle dog.
This is a calm and patient dog that behaves in an exemplary way towards its human family.
The Mastiff is well known for its kindness and forbearance towards children.
This dog does not bark much, but will defend its family without hesitation.
An interesting side of this dog's guarding behavior is that if an intruder is caught in the house, the Mastiff will seldom launch a biting attack.
Rather, the Mastiff will hold the intruder against a wall, or even lie on the person to keep them from mischief.
This is not an aggressive dog and will get along with other household pets.
Health Issues: The Mastiff faces two very significant health problems - hip dysplasia and stomach torsion, or bloat.
Hip dysplasia causes the ball and socket of the hip joint to separate, causing pain and mobility problems.
The more serious problem is bloat.
This occurs when the stomach twists and causes a blockage of the digestive system.
This is a life threatening situation and must be immediately handled by a veterinarian.
Several small meals a day, rather than one large one can help to prevent this.
Grooming: The short coat of the Mastiff is easy to groom.
Because the Mastiff tends to shed quite a lot, it is a good idea to brush this dog every day.
A dry shampooing is probably more appropriate to this large dog.
The Mastiff's ears should be checked daily and cleaned if needed.
Take care to remove any mucus from the eyes.
Living Conditions: Despite its large size, the Mastiff is actually a house dog.
As it tends to a calm disposition, it generally poses no problems indoors because of its size.
Especially important, though, is that the Mastiff bonds extremely closely with its human family and wants to be as close to them as possible at all times.
These dogs do not need an excessive amount of exercise, but should get a good walk daily.