Mastiff History, Temperament and Health

History of the Mastiff

The Mastiff is among the oldest breeds of dogs and many others come from it. Dogs similar to Mastiff were much appreciated by the Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago, and has been established in Britain since the time of Julius Caesar. His nationality is from Great Britain but his origin descends from the Mastiff of Tibet introduced in Europe by the Phoenician civilization in the 6th century BC. Drawings and reliefs have been found with the characteristics of the breed dating from 2000 BC.

In the past it used to be used as a combat dog in circuses and battles. Then guardian of herds and haciendas against bears and large animals.

In 1800 the English took him to North America, where he quickly gained prestige for his strength and courage.

The history of the Mastiff has its most romantic and beautiful reference in the lineage of “Lyme Hall” born with a female belonging to Sir Pearce Leigh, who accompanied him in French lands during the battle of Agincourt, held on October 25, 1415.

Seriously injured, Sir Pearce was protected and cared for by the dog until he was transferred to Paris by his friends, where he died there. His body was sent to England along with the dog and her puppies that she had given birth.

The descendants of Sir Pearce continued to raise this line of dogs for centuries in the Lyme Hall mansion until the beginning of World War I in 1914.

The OEMC (Old English Mastiff Club), a club dedicated in Britain to the breed, was founded in 1883 establishing itself as one of the pioneers and having already reached a centenary existence.

The Mastiff as we know it today is the product of the breeding carried out during the 19th century (The Mastiff and Bullmastiff Hand Book, 1988).

It is currently used as a guard dog, self defense and family company.

Mastiff temperament

The Mastiff breed is a combination of greatness, dignity, and courage; Calm and affectionate towards its owner, but able to protect. She is a pet of good manners but needs enough field to stretch her long body. It is an extremely loyal breed and, although it does not prove it excessively, it is faithful to its family and very good with children. He can, however, be very jealous in protecting his owners and must be handled sensibly, since he is exceptionally powerful. When an unknown visitor enters the home, the Mastiff will stand between its owner and the visitor until its owner has recognized the visitor in a way that shows compassion or seems friendly.

Mastiff health

At all stages of development, the Mastiff must show the characteristics of the mass and size race, and heavy movements. The mastiff is a particularly large dog that demands a correct diet and exercise. It is not recommended to run excessively during the first two years of the dog’s life, so as not to damage the growth plates in the joints of this heavy and fast-growing dog, which in some week can increase more than 8 kg. However, regular exercise should be maintained throughout the dog’s life to discourage lazy behavior and prevent a range of health problems.

A soft surface is recommended for the dog to sleep to prevent the development of corns, arthritis and hygroma (an acute inflammatory inflammation). Due to the large size of the breed, puppies can be suffocated or crushed by the mother during breastfeeding. A delivery box, along with careful monitoring, can prevent such accidents.

The average lifespan of the Mastiff is approximately 7 years, although it is not uncommon for some to live between 10 and 11 years. The main problems may include hip dysplasia and gastric torsion. Other problems include obesity, osteosarcoma and cystinuria. Problems found only occasionally include cardiomyopathy, allergies, vaginal hyperplasia, rupture of the cruciate ligament, hypothyroidism, OCD, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and persistent pupillary membranes (PPM). When buying a purebred mastiff, experts often suggest that the dog undergo tests for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, thyroid and DNA for PRA.

A Mastiff can be kept on a floor, but care must be taken to get enough exercise. Mastiffs should be fed 2 or 3 times a day; It is believed that one large meal per day may increase the possibility of gastric torsion.