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The English Mastiff



The Gentle Giant



Updated: 2008-05-13T22:10:24Z

 



WordPress.comThe Gentle Giant

2008-05-13T22:10:24Z

The English Mastiff is a dog with not only a huge body, but a giant heart. Mastiffs are gentle and protective, especially if they have been raised with children and are used to them. You wanr to check that your children do not play roughly with a puppy – Mastiffs are a sensitive breed and […](image)

The English Mastiff is a dog with not only a huge body, but a giant heart. Mastiffs are gentle and protective, especially if they have been raised with children and are used to them. You wanr to check that your children do not play roughly with a puppy – Mastiffs are a sensitive breed and can be permanently traumatized by rough handling.

Remember that a Mastiff is a large and powerful dog, and can unintentionally injure a child or even an infirm adult, especially if it gets excited and begins wagging its tail exuberantly. If your children are still infants, you might consider waiting until they are older and stronger before introducing a Mastiff into your family.

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.

When these activities were banned in the middle nineteenth century England, the numbers of English Mastiff dogs declined rapidly, so that by the end of the 1940s, there were only a handful surviving. The breed was rather more popular and successful in the United States, and some of these were imported into Britain to regenerate the meagre English stock.

Famously loyal, calm, affectionate and loving toward his family, he is a first-class guardian, since he can also be ferocious, tenacious and fearless when the need arises.

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