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Mastiff Picture Gallery

Mastiff Breeders

Mastiff Clubs/Associations

The Full Mastiff Description

The Mastiff is a gentle friend to man by nature, always serving as man's watchdog and loyal companion. This is a dog who likes being around people. He needs their company and bonds close with his family. Because of his size, he needs room to move. He is best suited for life in the country.

Did you know?

The breed is descended from the Tibetan mastiff, which was introduced into Europe by the Phoenicians.
In English speaking countries the "Mastiff" is more properly described as the Old English Mastiff.
In the past the Mastiff was mainly used for dog fighting, bullbaiting, and bearbaiting.

So you want to own a Mastiff?

The Mastiff needs lots of exercise and should be kept in firm shape. But you should be careful not to over exercise, especially in his first year.
The Mastiff is a sensitive, tender, laid back companion.

Indicative Breed Standard

General Appearance

Head, in general outline, giving a square appearance when viewed from any point. Breadth greatly desired; in ratio to length of whole head and face as 2 : 3. Body massive, broad, deep, long, powerfully built, on legs wide apart and squarely set. Muscles sharply defined. Size a great desideratum, if combined with quality. Height and substance important if both points are proportionately combined.


Large, massive, powerful, symmetrical, well knit frame. A combination of grandeur and courage.


Calm, affectionate to owners, but capable of guarding.

Head and Skull

Skull broad between ears, forehead flat, but wrinkled when attention is excited. Brows (superciliary ridges) slightly raised. Muscles of temples and cheeks
(temporal and masseter) well developed. Arch across skull of a rounded, flattened curve, with depression up centre of forehead from median line between eyes, to halfway up sagittal suture. Face or muzzle short, broad under eyes, and keeping nearly parallel in width to end of nose; truncated, i.e. blunt and cut off squarely, thus forming a right angle with upper line of face, of great depth from point of nose to under-jaw. Under-jaw broad to end. Nose broad, with widely spreading nostrils when viewed from front, flat (not pointed or turned up) in profile. Lips diverging at obtuse angles with septum,  and slightly pendulous so as to show a square profile. Length of muzzle to whole head and face as 1 : 3. Circumference of muzzle (measured mid-way between eyes and nose) to that of head (measured before the ears) as 3 : 5.


Small, wide apart, divided by at least space of two eyes. Stop between eyes well marked but not too abrupt. Colour hazel brown, darker the better, showing no haw.


Small, thin to touch, wide apart, set on at highest points of sides of skull, so as to continue outline across summit, and lying flat and close to cheeks when in repose.


Canine teeth healthy; powerful and wide apart; incisors level, or lower projecting beyond upper but never so much as to become visible when mouth is


Slightly arched, moderately long, very muscular, and measuring in circumference about 2.5-5 cms (1-2 ins) less than skull before ears.


Shoulder and arm slightly sloping, heavy and muscular. Legs straight, strong and set wide apart; bones being large. Elbows square. Pasterns upright.


Chest wide, deep and well let down between forelegs. Ribs arched and well rounded. False ribs deep and well set back to hips. Girth one-third more than
height at shoulder. Back and loins wide and muscular; flat and very wide in bitch, slightly arched in dog. Great depth of flanks.


Broad, wide and muscular, with well developed second thighs, hocks bent, wide apart, and quite squarely set when standing or walking.


Large and round. Toes well arched. Nails black.


Set on high, and reaching to hocks, or a little below them, wide at its root and tapering to end, hanging straight in repose, but forming a curve with end pointing upwards, but not over back, when dog is excited.


Powerful, easy extension.


Short and close-lying, but not too fine over shoulders, neck and back.


Apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, or dark fawn-brindle. In any case, muzzle, ears and nose should be black with black around orbits, and extending upwards between them.

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