Dog Breeds

English Mastiff

A huge, well-built English Mastiff with a strong bone, short-haired. Calm and phlegmatic by nature, patient with children, generally balanced, now serves as a family companion and a deterrent look defender.


The English Mastiff has a mild disposition but a strong character. It is balanced and somewhat phlegmatic, although when a threat occurs, it reacts surprisingly quickly. It requires close contact with people, it tolerates loneliness and it is difficult to adapt to new conditions, so it should not be exposed to a change of owner.

This dog is very strongly associated with the family, which is why he attaches much more importance to protecting people than the area. However, he also works well as a watchman, he is vigilant, but not noisy – the very size alone effectively repels intruders. He gets along great with children, is caring and understanding – however, his size and strength dictate to control their joint play.

English Mastiff

The undoubted advantage of this breed is the lack of unjustified aggression against other animals. This dog is aware of its strength and does not abuse it, but when attacked, it can be a formidable opponent.

Mastiffs do not need intensive training. Excessive effort is not recommended especially for puppies – avoid too much movement and walking on stairs. After walking, the dog usually takes its favorite place at home and rests.


Former mastiffs were war dogs, they were also used to fight predators in the arena and to hunt bears and wolves. They guarded both large landed estates and poor huts. In the case of the latter, usually, two families had one dog because of the cost of keeping it. The modern mastiff is mainly a companion dog, a defender and a guardian.

English Mastiff

English Mastiff. Training and education

The four-legged dog of this breed is intelligent, learns quickly, willingly carries out commands. However, training requires consistency and positive stimuli – goodies are good at the beginning of learning. Due to the huge size of the dog, you must ensure that he knows the basics of obedience early. It is not difficult to arrange, but it needs a firm, though not without a warm approach.

Who is this race for?

The mastiff willingly obeys, that’s why owners who have basic knowledge of dogs should deal with it. However, it requires a lot of attention and consistency.

English Mastiff. Advantages and disadvantages


  • expensive to maintain
  • sometimes stubborn
  • a little drooling


  • attached to the family
  • likes children
  • alert, great defender
  • intelligent and susceptible to basic training
  • easy to care for
  • I don’t need intensive training
  • does not show unreasonable aggression


The Mastiff is not a sickly dog, however, like all large breeds, it can suffer from hip dysplasia (less often elbows) as well as enlargement and torsion of the stomach. Occasionally there are also defects in the position of the eyelids (curl and curl).

The affliction of the breed is so-called calluses or growths that form around the elbows and wrists. Soft bedding and lubrication of changed places with appropriate ointments help prevent their formation.

English Mastiff


Contrary to appearances, the medium mobile mastiff does not need large amounts of food. The diet of an adult quadruped should be adapted to his lifestyle, and the daily portion should be divided into at least two meals. Puppies are quite expensive to maintain – they develop for a long time (up to about two years), but grow fastest up to a year, sometimes reaching a weight of up to 80 kg.

Therefore, in addition to high-quality food for giant breeds, they are given preparations that protect the joints; many growers also recommend regular gelatin. After eating the mastiff, you need to provide at least an hour of rest.

English Mastiff

English Mastiff. Care

It is enough to comb an adult dog once a week; more often during molting. Check your ears, remove tartar regularly if your dog has a tendency to do so, and shorten claws if they don’t rub on their own.


The English Mastiff is considered one of the oldest breeds. The first mention of powerful Mastiff – like dogs is on a clay tablet from the Sumerian period. Their images were immortalized on the carvings of the ancient Persians and Greeks, they were also described by Aristotle (384-322 BC).

Apparently, these quadrupeds come from Assyrian dogs, whose ancestor was the Tibetan dog. Initially they were used as guard dogs, and then also war dogs – they fought alongside the Celts, Persians and Alexander of Macedonia.

Dogs probably reached Europe together with the Phoenicians. They quickly aroused the interest of the Romans, who, setting off to conquer Britain, took them with them. In this way, mastiff protoplasts found their way to the British Isles. Their lovers were the kings of England Richard the Lionheart and Henry VIII. The latter was to give the Spanish King Charles V a battalion of 400 mastiffs. Queen Elizabeth I bred this breed for hunting and fighting at that time with bears and bulls.

Sir Peers of Lyme Holl founded the first kennel in the mid-15th century. The contemporary kennel was established in England around 1830. In 1860 six dogs of this breed appeared at the Birmingham exhibition, and fifteen years later at Crystal Palace more than eighty.

In 1872, the Mastiff Club was established, which, however, quickly disintegrated due to too strict regulations. In its place, in 1883, the Old English Mastiff Club was established and still exists today. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1941. During World War II, a significant portion of the English population became extinct.

In 1945, only eight breeding dogs were registered in the British Isles, so mastiffs were imported from the United States. The reconstruction of the breed took place independently in several places, which meant that the modern mastiff is not very even in type.

English mastiffs have repeatedly found their way into books, including the heroes of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Baskervill Dog” and Henryk Sienkiewicz’s “In the Desert and the Wilderness”. In 1989, Aicama Zorba of La Susa, who lived in London, was recognized as the largest dog in the world and achieved an impressive weight of 155 kg.


English Mastiff – group II FCI, section 2.1, reference number 264

  • Country of origin:  Great Britain
  • Original purpose:  guard and guard dog
  • Character:  strong, calm dog; requires close contact with the family, it is quite difficult to adapt to changing living conditions; excellent defender and guardian; willingly surrenders to the consistent owner
  • Size: the  standard does not give the exact height and weight
  • Coat:  short, close-fitting
  • Color:  peach fawn, silvery fawn, fawn, dark-streaked; muzzle, ears and nose black; black rims around the eyes, black between the eyes expands to the forehead (mask)
  • Reaching puberty:  2-3 years
  • Lifespan:  9-11 years
  • Molting:  twice a year, rich, but easy to collect
  • Activity:  medium; he doesn’t need much movement and training, he just needs quiet walks
  • Training:  indicated basics of obedience (PT)
  • Vulnerability to training:  quite high; intelligent dog, willingly cooperates with the owner; requires consistency and gentle treatment
  • Relationship to children:  the dog very friendly and caring
  • Relationship to other dogs:  tolerant; does not show unreasonable aggression, but the attacked will defend himself; due to its enormous strength, he can be a dangerous opponent
  • Weather resistance: resistant
  • Flat:  preferably a house with a garden; may live in a large apartment, but it is not advisable to go up the stairs
  • Preparation for the exhibition: the  coat does not require special preparation
  • First in Poland: the  first half of the 1990s
  • Possibility to buy a puppy:  generally, there are no problems with buying

Interesting facts

The English mastiff was the unforgettable Saba from Henryk Sienkiewicz’s novel “In the desert and in the wilderness”. Unfortunately, when the first screening of the book was made (1973), there was not a single representative of this breed in Poland, which is why Saba was played by two German dogs.

Also in the second screening (2001) Saba was played by a German dog, probably due to the fact that the hardships of filming could exceed the modern mastiff.

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