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English Mastiff Breed

The English Mastiff is recognized as the oldest British breed of dog

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The English Mastiff Breed

Sun, 02 Mar 2008 00:17:00 +0000

A large dog, the average English Mastiff stands around 30 inches at the shoulder for males and a little shorter – 27.5 inches – for females. The 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 is prized as a guard dog, since he can be ferocious, tenacious and fearless when the need arises. His very appearance is usually sufficient deterrent for anyone intending to trespass on his or his master's territory.

The breed has a particularly colorful history. It is supposed to have originally arrived in Britain over 2 millenia ago on the ships of Phoenician traders.

It is believed that the Romans, when they invaded Britain, discovered that their own fighting dogs were beaten by the native English mastiff breed, so they exported these English dogs back to Rome to fight in the Colosseum.

In Britain , 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.

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