The Old English Mastiff is a massive dog. The Mastiff has a large, heavy, square head with a well-marked stop between the eyes. The muzzle should be half the length of the skull. The medium-sized brown to dark hazel eyes are set wide apart with a black mask around them. The nose is dark in color. The small, V-shaped ears are in proportion with the skull and are dark in color. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite but a slightly undershot bite is also acceptable in the show ring providing the teeth do not show when the mouth is closed. The tail is high-set with a wide base, tapering to a point and reaching the hocks. Coat colors include golden fawn, light fawn, apricot, silver, tiger or brindle.
The Mastiff is a very massive, powerful, muscular dog. Dominance levels vary, even within the same litter, but it is often called a gentle giant. A born guard dog, the Mastiff rarely barks, but it is in its nature to defend its territory and family, and is more a silent guard rather than a barker. When an intruder is caught the dog is more likely to hold them at bay, either by trapping them in a corner or lying on top of them rather than an all-out attack. You do not need to train your Mastiff to guard. No matter how friendly it is, if it senses danger it will naturally guard on its own unless the owners are there to tell it otherwise. Self-confident and watchful, these dogs are patient and considered excellent with children. Intelligent, calm, even-tempered and docile, this breed is very large and heavy. They respond well to firm, but gentle, patient training. They love to please and need a lot of human leadership. Socialize them well to prevent them from becoming aloof with strangers. Owners need to be firm, calm, consistent, confident with an air of natural authority to communicate to the Mastiff that dominance is unwanted. If socialized with proper leadership it will get along well with other dogs. The Mastiff tends to drool, wheeze and snore loudly. It can be somewhat difficult to train. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success.
Height: Males from 30 inches (76 cm) Females from 27 inches (69 cm)
Weight: Males about 160 pounds (72 kg) Females about 150 pounds (68 kg)
One of the heaviest breeds, a male Mastiff can exceed 200 pounds.
Mastiffs are inclined to be lazy but they will keep fitter and happier if given regular exercise. Like all dogs, the American Mastiff should be taken on daily regular walks to help release its mental and physical energy. It’s in a dog’s nature to walk. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog’s mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. They should always be leashed in public.