21 May, 2016
Massive is the word that comes to mind when you first see this dog. Other breeds might match or come close to his height, but the Mastiff outweighs them all. He’s considered the largest breed in the world and can weigh 220 pounds or more. A Mastiff named Zorba, listed in the 1989 Guinness Book of Records, weighed in at 323 pounds.
Although the Mastiff’s size makes him appear fierce, his temperament is one of good-natured docility. But let danger threaten his family and he will step up to protect them.
Mastiffs, sometimes referred to as Old English Mastiffs, take their name from the Latin word mansuetus, meaning “tame” or “domesticated.” The Latin word was eventually transformed via Old French and Middle English into the word mastiff, which was first recorded in Middle English in a work written before 1387.
The breed has come a long way since the days when he fought in battle or was pitted against lions and other wild animals. Kind, dignified, and courageous, he has the same wild puppyhood as any other breed, but matures into a calm and quiet dog who loves being with his people. He loves children, although he can unintentionally bowl them over simply by bumping into them.
Given adequate exercise, he can make himself at home in any environment, from a city condo to a country estate. If you’re thinking that the Mastiff is an outdoor dog, think again. He prefers the comforts of home and the presence of his family and will do his best to be a lap dog — or at least a cushy footstool. Left to his own devices, he’ll pine away or become destructive, with neither being a desirable result.
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