What the Lion is to the Cat
the Mastiff is to the Dog,
the noblest of the family; he stands alone,
and all others sink before him.
Cynographia Britannica – 1800
(click any photo to enlarge)
My best friend John owns two English Mastiffs. The large Brindle Mastiff in this photo is Bosco. Perhaps the spelling of his name should end with the letter “e”. I can’t remember.
Sitting on Bosco’s back is Senator Charles “Moose” Bosworth. His friends just call him “Moose”, or occasionally “the Senator”. Senator Bosworth is the newest addition to my family.
Moose turned 6 weeks old yesterday, and has been eating on his own for a long enough period of time that he was ready to move into my house. Last night was his first night away from his mother, 4 brothers, and 4 sisters. I figured he’d whine and cry all night long, keeping me awake for the next few days. I was pleasantly surprised! The Senator slept until 6:20am, was taken outside where he did his business instantly, and came back in to play for 5 minutes before falling back asleep until 8:30am.
I hope I don’t jinx anything by talking about how good he was!
Mastiff’s are notoriously lazy dogs. This seems to be the case even with Mastiff Puppies. Senator Bosworth is worn out quickly, after only 5-10 minutes of play time. Then he’ll sleep a half hour or so, wake up, be taken outside to potty, brought back in to play for another few minutes, and the cycle continues.
So far he has whined every time he needs something. Whine: water. Whine: need to go potty. A little puppy bark lets me know that he wants me to watch him play. How dare I turn my head to look at my computer screen! 🙂
A few things I learned about Mastiffs from the Internet:
Common Names: English Mastiff, Old English Mastiff, Mastiff
Description: As one of the largest dogs in the world, the Old English Mastiff have a massive head with a broad, square muzzle. Their brown eyes of medium size should never be protruding. The ears are black, set apart and small in comparison to the dog’s size. The English Mastiff is very muscular. It has a rounded chest, well rounded toes with black nails, long legs set firmly apart, and a wide, tapered tail.
English Mastiffs come in three AKC recognized colors. Puppies acquire their coat colors at about 1.5 months of age. At a younger age, English Mastiff puppies can be black or grayish colored. There are slight shade differences within each color category such as Silver-Fawn , light Apricot or dark Apricot, Fawn Brindle or Apricot Brindle.
Fawn – A light tan or khaki, the most common color of English Mastiffs (this is the color of the Senator’s mother)
Apricot – A red / brown or chestnut color
Brindle – A marble effect of Fawn or Apricot & Black (this is the color of the Senator’s father)
Size: For males, the average height range is 30 inches at the shoulder and 27.5 inches for females. Weight varies among the dogs from 175-200 pounds. Females normally weighing less than males. Some males weigh as much as 225 lbs.
Origin: The name Mastiff most likely originated from the Anglo-Saxon word masty which means powerful. It originally descended from the Tibetan Mastiff which was brought to Europe by the Phoenicians. The breed existed in Great Britain 2,000 years ago and was brought to Rome where it was used as a military fighting dog. The first Mastiff Club of America was created in 1920 and the present Club was founded in 1929.
Diet: During hot months mastiffs will not consume as much food as in the winter. It is important to remember that cheap dog food is not better! As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for”.
General Care: Drool and debris from this breed’s massive muzzle make frequent water changes a must! In most cases at a minimum of twice a day. They tend to drool during & after drinking or eating!
Compatibility: English Mastiffs are known as quiet, sometimes phlegmatic dogs. They enjoy both lying on the couch, and accompanying their owners in various activities. The breed is generally very devoted and agreeable. The English Mastiff can be compared to a nanny when dealing with children.
Housing: Due to their large size English Mastiffs do not tolerate extreme heat well. Nor do they tolerate extreme cold due to their short coat. Despite their size these dogs are excellent candidates as inside dogs. Lazy and relaxed, they love to be the couch potato of the house and will if you let them.
Bark: English Mastiffs like to bark as puppies. However, once mature their barking is not excessive. In most cases only barking at a stranger, strange noise or another dog in his/her territory.