The English Mastiff belongs to the working/ utility/ guarding group of dog breeds. They are usually known as the Mastiffs – which is an approved name by the American Kennel Club. It is found that the English Mastiffs were first depicted in the portraits in Assyria belonging to the 6th century B.C. However, the actual origin of the English Mastiffs remains unclear.
The word “masty” means powerful in Anglo- Saxon dictionary. Hence, these dogs are known for their powerfulness and their ability to hypnotize their enemies. Their popularity had steadily declined since 1890. However, they got the recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1910.
English Mastiff – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you get familiarized with your English Bull dog: –
• Breed type: These are pure breed dogs and are registered and recognized by the American Kennel Club, Mastiff Club of Victoria, Inc., Molosser Club Austria, Mastiff Club Belgium, Mastiff Club of America, Redwood Empire Mastiff club and various others.
• Height: They are tall sized dogs and the males have an average height of 2 ft. 2 inches to 2ft. 8 inches whereas the females have an average height of 2 ft. to 2 ft. 6 inches.
• Weight: The average weight of males is 150 to 200 pounds and the average weight of females is 120 to 170 pounds.
• Life Span: The mastiffs have an average life span of 7 to 10 years.
• Available coat colors: Brindle, Brown, Fawn, Beige, Apricot, Silver fawn, dark fawn brindle, cream with dark stripes.
• The coat is short, straight and dense. Occasionally, long haired mastiffs can also be seen.
• They have square shaped appearance with a massive body and a broad skull.
Temperament and Personality traits
As puppies, the Mastiffs are always curious about everything. They will love to explore the world and poke at strangers. You should provide them with crate and obedient training. As these dogs are quiet intelligent, training should not be very difficult.
These dogs are highly energetic and will just require 20 to 25 minutes’ walk daily to keep their weight under control. They can socialize and mingle with people well enough if they are given the right kind of training since puppy hood. Mastiffs that are not trained properly will show lack of obedience and can be a nuisance for the people around them.
However, Mastiffs get over heated rapidly and hence are not considered to be good jogging companions.
Feeding habits and Nutrition
These dogs are heavy eaters and hence you need to feed them at least 5 to 6 cups of high quality canine food divided into two equal parts every day. Their food (dry dog foods or raw dog food/ home cooked dog food) should contain the following sources of nutrition: –
Meat sources: – Bison, Lamb, Tuna Fish and Turkey.
Vegetable Sources: – Rice, Carrot, Chickpea, Blueberries Chickpea, potatoes, sweet potatoes and fruits like apples, pears and anti – oxidants such as Marigold and Rosemary.
Vitamins, Minerals and others food supplements: – Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and minerals such as Calcium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper and Iron.
Along with these, the English Mastiff dogs would require to drink at least 8 Litres of water every day as these dogs drool massively.
Never feed your English bull dog mix with human food, cheese, cashews, resins, apple core, chocolates, sweets and biscuits.
Health and Immunization
Most Mastiffs are healthy. However, many can be affected by various health conditions if they are not taken proper care. Some of the most common disease conditions in the Mastiffs are:- Hip and Elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Seizures, Fits, Epilepsy, trauma, Cystinuria (an inherited kidney disease in which cysteine amino acid is not filtered from the urine leading to formation of stones in the kidney), Cancer, Gastric torsion or bloating which can sometimes be life threatening in these dogs.
All English Mastiff dogs should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
These dogs have a short and dense coat and therefor they are above average shedders. They will shed heavily in the shedding seasons. Hence, you will need to brush him daily with a rubber hound glove especially during the spring and the autumn seasons to keep shedding under control. Their hair can be cropped using stripping blade or from professional groomers. Get their nails trimmed at least once a month. Either you learn to trim them yourselves or get them cut from professional trimmers to avoid reckless pain.
Brushing the coat of the Mastiffs will depend from dog to dog, as some Mastiffs shed a lot the whole year and some shed only during the shedding seasons. When you groom your’ Mastiffs, notice for any visible signs and symptoms of allergies such as redness, sores and blisters, erythema, rashes and other conditions and seek medical help if the conditions persists for a long duration. You should clean their wrinkles on a regular basis (especially the inner sides) to keep the skin resistant to infections. Use a mild anti- microbial and anti- flea shampoo to clean their delicate skin.
Also, the English Mastiffs drools heavily and hence you need to clean the area around lips from time to time. Wipe these areas using a damp cloth and clean their utensils daily as the utensils are prone to be infested by bacteria due to drooling during drinking water or eating food. Brush their teeth at least once a day to keep them off from bad odor that may develop due to excessive drooling.
You can adopt or rescue an English Mastiff according to the set guidelines from the organizations that give them the recognition (as mentioned above). Ask the breeder for a dog that will be least prone to diseases.
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