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Is the English Mastiff Dog a Great Family Pet

The English Mastiff dog is often imagined as a huge and powerful animal, but his character and temperament belies this initial impression. In some regards you are right. He certainly is a large animal - the average English Mastiff stands at about 30 inches at the shoulder for males and only a little shorter for females. And he is no lightweight - a male English Mastiff can weigh in between 160 and 230 pounds, and the female around 140 and 190 pounds or more! The English Mastiff dog has traditionally been seen primarily as a large and powerful guard dog, but many centuries ago he was bred as a fighting dog. Indeed there is evidence that the Romans, when they invaded Britain, discovered that their own fighting dogs were bettered by the native English mastiff breed.

Whereupon they exported these English dogs back to Rome, to fight in the Colosseum, alongside all the other exotic wild animals from the length and breadth of the Roman Empire. The English Mastiff is supposed to have originally arrived in Britain over 2 millenia ago on the ships of adventurous Phoenician traders. Over the ensuing centuries, the English mastiff was used in many different capacities other than as a powerful guard dog. The breed was used in wild game hunting - wolves and boar being common prey - and for a period was employed in the popular spectator "sports" of dog fighting, bear baiting and bull baiting. However, following the outlawing of such shameful activities, the numbers of English Mastiff dogs declined rapidly, so that there were less than 100 in Britain by the mid 20th century. Whereas the breed was declining in Britain, it was thriving in the USA, and stock was imported to strengthen and revive the breed in the Britain.

So why would you choose such a dog? The modern English Mastiff dog is a mixture of grandeur, dignity and courage. Famously loyal, calm, affectionate and loving toward his family, he is a first-class guardian, since he can be ferocious, tenacious and fearless when the need arises. One of the endearing characteristics of this breed is that the English Mastiff instinctually positions himself between his owner and a stranger when an unknown person approaches the family's territory - he has this wonderful "protector" instinct. The UK Kennel Club Official Breed Standard for the Old English Style Mastiff describes his temperament as : Calm and affectionate to his owners, and also capable of guarding. A huge dog, with a natural guardian instinct, enormously strong yet gentle and loving to his family, the English Mastiff dog will reward the suitable owner with years of unswerving and loving care, protection, and gentle companionship.

He is incredibly gentle with children.

You will discover many more fascinating facts about this great breed by clicking on English Mastiff dog Or grab our free email course for a family-friendly introduction to the Mastiff Dog



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