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The Gentle Giant – The Mastiff

Portrait of a mastiff done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.


Sydenham Edwards, wrote in 1800 in the Cynographia Britannica:
“What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race…”

A Mastiff‘s heart is bigger than his body and saying this for a Mastiff means something!

Portrait of the English Mastiff

Portrait of the English Mastiff done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Illustrations, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in back and white.

Portrait: English Mastiff | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

The Mastiff’s Breed History:
The Mastiff breed is one of the oldest on the planet – they boast of a 2000-year old history. They descended from the Molosser breed of dogs that are now extinct but they lent their name to a whole family of big dogs (Newfoundland included.) The mastiff’s ancestors were characterized by a heavy jaw, a strong body and a broad skull, and the mastiff of today, which is called the English Mastiff as it was bred in England, has inherited these traits. Mastiff’s have been constantly cross-bred to create other dogs with striking personalities – one such dog is the Bull Mastiff.

The Mastiff’s Temperament:
Mastiffs are exceedingly sensitive and gentle. They have a calm disposition and they are totally devoted to their families. Oddly, they were bred for fighting and guarding. Those first breeders would turn in their graves if they knew that the Mastiff hates to be a guard dog and likes to stay inside with the family.

Should you get a Mastiff?
If you live in an apartment, you obviously don’t want to get a Mastiff for a pet. They must have a big house with a lot of space. Mastiffs are family dogs and do not like to be left alone for longer periods. A 200-pound mastiff would also require a lot more food and water than a Chihuahua, so if you get a Mastiff, be prepared to foot large bills, and yet, you must control their food as they can gain weight rather quickly.

If you are the prim-and-propah kind, the Mastiff may not be your type; Everything that this gentle giant does is gigantic – be it drool, snore, or break wind. (You get my wind?)

Mastiffs usually have a sedentary lifestyle and are loath to exercise, so it isn’t surprising that they look like CEOs of big corporations. However, they must be persuaded to exercise regularly. Short walks in morning and evenings are enough for them to remain ship-shape.

So, it’s all very simple. Get a big house, a big salary, and, more importantly, a big heart. Then get a Mastiff.

Training a Mastiff:
A Mastiff’s stubbornness is exceeded only by his gentleness. It’s a good idea to start training them when they are pups and when you can still tower over them. It’s important to be careful while training them or their bones may be impacted. It’s also important not to let a full-grown mastiff give you pat on the back for training him well. Shorter and more frequent training sessions will be better for both the trainee and the trainer.

The Mastiff’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height: 25-30 in (that’s about two-feet-and-a-half!)
  • Weight: 170-200 lb
  • Coat: Color can be Apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, dark fawn-brindle. They have short coat which needs to be brushed on weekly basis. Their coat is very low maintenance.
  • Life Span:  9-10 years
  • Alternate Names: English Mastiff

Now some interesting Mastiff facts, stories and videos 🙂

Zorba, the world’s heaviest Dog – Guiness Book Record Holder

Zorba has been the heaviest dog ever. He became a Guinness Record holder in 1989 with titles of World’s Heaviest Dog and World’s Longest Dog. When he was measured in 1989 he weighed 343 pounds and at shoulder his height was 37 inches. When he stood up he was 8 feet and 3 inches tall! Read more about Zorba and another Guinness Record holder English Mastiff called Cloe here..

Tank breaks into the trash can: The video goes viral!

Here is the story of Tank, the English mastiff who broke into the garbage can.

Do not forget to view the YouTube video where Tank seems to be apologizing for what he did. With 3.5 million views, poor Tank has apologized to his human that many number of times! That’s a lot of apologizing.

Maggie the English Mastiff plays with Dude the Chihuahua

You know who’s a Mastiff’s best friend? A Chihuahua, of course. What did you think?

This video shows the love between a mastiff and a chihuahua. This K9 duo have won the hearts of millions. Watch Maggie and Dude in this YouTube video. Believe it or not, Dude is the Chihuahua.

What happens when a burglar decides to break into a home with a mastiff?

What happens?
Does the thief escape or is does Cromwell the Mastiff invite him in?
Read about it here.

AKC Page for Mastiffs:

Visit this link to seek more information on Mastiffs on American Kennel Club Website.


One comment on “The Gentle Giant – The Mastiff

  1. […] with other dogs, regardless of the difference in size. The Mastiff-Chihuahua video shared in the post the artist did about the Mastiff, is a case in […]

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