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Being owned by an English Mastiff can be a wonderful relationship with years of joy and happiness or it could be an overwhelming responsibility in which you may not have been prepared for. English Mastiffs are the largest of the dog breed and will range from 27 inches to 36 inches to the shoulder. They can weigh anywhere from 120 to 250 plus lbs. Weight is the one thing with English Mastiffs that is mostly exaggerated about them. When they are full grown they will eat between 6 to 8 cups of Quality Food per Day. As a puppy to can expect up to 12 to 16 cups of Quality Food per Day. You will need to use a stern voice when disciplining your English Mastiff and nothing else because they are a very sensitive and their feelings can get hurt easily so keep this in minds and don’t yell at them.
Below is a list that will help you and your family decide if you ready to be Owned by an English Mastiff! The important thing is you want to ensure the best for the English Mastiff so if you or your family can’t handle any of the below, then maybe the English Mastiff is not the best fit for you and your family.
They are not the breed for everyone, due to their size & health needs.
It is VERY, EXTREMELY important that you do NOT alter your EM until at least 24 months. The growth plates in Giant Breed dogs are regulated by hormones. So if you remove them at a young age you are asking for numerous joint, bone, and growth issues later on in their life. In BOTH males & females if you do it too early you will get a Great Dane looking English Mastiff, much taller instead of wide and thick. The hormones that tell the growth plates to stop growing upward are removed when the dog is altered, the bones just keep going up and up, butt high. Some other important health aspects related to early spay/neuter are the increased risk of obesity, spay incontinence in female dogs, increased risk of vaccine reactions and other orthopedic issues. I have seen in the last 10 years a huge increase of people contacting me about getting a English Mastiff because they lost their Giant Baby to Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). All the people I have talked to their English Mastiff was spayed or neutered before 7 months of age and they lost their Baby from then to 3 years age or after 6 years of age. Talking with my vet these are the common age ranges for bone cancer related to altering your English Mastiff BEFORE 24 months. So please think twice before you alter your Giant Baby before 24 months of age! I Highly Recommend that any pet and specifically Giant Breeds such as English Mastiffs are NOT to be altered before they are 18 months of age, females I recommend by the age of 18-24 months but NOT before their 1st Heat Cycle for theses reasons. When it comes to the lifelong health of your pet these highly increased health risks are just NOT worth taking.
There is a very good article published by the National Animal Interest Alliance titled Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs. (Laura J. Sanborn M.S. May 14, 2007)
The Mastiff is a large, massive, symmetrical dog with a well-knit frame. The impression is one of grandeur and dignity. Dogs are more massive throughout. Bitches should not be faulted for being somewhat smaller in all dimensions while maintaining a proportionally powerful structure.
Size, Proposition, Substance: Size--Dogs, minimum, 30 inches at the shoulder. Bitches, minimum, 27½ inches at the shoulder. Proportion--Rectangular, the length of the dog from forechest to rump is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. The height of the dog should come from depth of body rather than from length of leg. Substance--Massive, heavy boned, with a powerful muscle structure. Great depth and breadth desirable.
Head: In general outline giving a massive appearance when viewed from any angle. Breadth greatly desired. Eyes set wide apart, medium in size, never too prominent. Expression alert but kindly. Color of eyes brown, the darker the better, and showing no haw. Ears small in proportion to the skull, V-shaped, rounded at the tips. Leather moderately thin, set widely apart at the highest points on the sides of the skull continuing the outline across the summit. They should lie close to the cheeks when in repose. Ears dark in color, the blacker the better, conforming to the color of the muzzle. Skull broad and somewhat flattened between the ears, forehead slightly curved, showing marked wrinkles which are particularly distinctive when at attention. Brows (superciliary ridges) moderately raised. Muscles of the temples well developed, those of the cheeks extremely powerful. Arch across the skull a flattened curve with a furrow up the center of the forehead. This extends from between the eyes to halfway up the skull. Muzzle should be half the length of the skull, thus dividing the head into three parts-one for the foreface and two for the skull. Muzzle short, broad under the eyes and running nearly equal in width to the end of the nose. Muzzle dark in color, the blacker the better. Nose broad and always dark in color, the blacker the better, with spread flat nostrils in profile. Lips diverging at obtuse angles with the septum and sufficiently pendulous so as to show a modified square profile. Canine Teeth healthy and wide apart. Jaws powerful. Scissors bite preferred, but a moderately undershot jaw should not be faulted providing the teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed.
Neck: Neck powerful, very muscular, slightly arched, and of medium length. The neck gradually increases in circumference as it approaches the shoulder. Neck moderately "dry".
Topline: In profile the topline should be straight, level, and firm. Chest wide, deep, rounded, and well let down between the forelegs, extending at least to the elbow.
Forechest should be deep and well defined with the breastbone extending in front of the foremost point of the shoulders. Ribs well rounded.
Underline--There should be a reasonable, but not exaggerated, tuck-up. Back muscular, powerful, and straight. When viewed from the rear, there should be a slight rounding over the rump. Loins wide and muscular.
Tail set on moderately high and reaching to the hocks or a little below. Wide at the root, tapering to the end, hanging straight in repose, forming a slight curve, but never over the back when the dog is in motion.
Forequarters: Shoulders moderately sloping, powerful and muscular. Degree of front angulation to match correct rear angulation. Legs straight, strong and set wide apart, heavy boned. Elbows parallel to body. Pasterns strong and bent only slightly. Feet large, round, and compact with well arched toes. Black nails preferred.
Hindquarters: Hindquarters broad, wide and muscular. Second thighs well developed, leading to a strong hock joint. Stifle joint is moderately angulated matching the front. Rear legs are wide apart and parallel when viewed from the rear. When the portion of the leg below the hock is correctly "set back" and stands perpendicular to the ground, a plumb line dropped from the rearmost point of the hindquarters will pass in front of the foot.
Gait: The gait denotes power and strength. The rear legs should have drive, while the forelegs should track smoothly with good reach. In motion, the legs move straight forward; as the dog's speed increases from a walk to a trot, the feet move in toward the center line of the body to maintain balance.
Coat: Outer coat straight, coarse, and of moderately short length. Undercoat dense, short, and close lying. Coat should not be so long as to produce "fringe" on the belly, tail, or hind legs.
Color: Fawn, apricot, or brindle. Brindle should have fawn or apricot as a background color which should be completely covered with very dark stripes. Muzzle, ears, and nose must be dark in color, the blacker the better, with similar color tone around the eye orbits and extending upward between them. A small patch of white on the chest or toes is permitted.
Temperament: A combination of grandeur and good nature, courage and docility. Dignity, rather than gaiety, is the Mastiff's correct demeanor.