origin: Great Britain
Strong and powerful dog, with very well
built bones. The body is
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. 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 saggital
suture. Face or muzzle short, broad under eyes, and keeping nearly parallel in
width to end of nose. The eyes are 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.
The ears must be 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. The
neck is slightly arched, moderately long, very muscular, and measuring in
circumference about one or two inches less than skull before ears. The chest
must be wide, deep and well let down between forelegs. Ribs arched and well
rounded. False ribs deep and well set back to hips. The tail is 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. The feet are large and round. Toes well
arched. Nails black. The hair is short and close-lying, but not too fine over
shoulders, neck and back. The colours must be apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn,
or dark fawn-brindle. In any case, muzzle, ears and nose should be black round
orbits, and extending upwards between them.
The Mastiff has a mild temper, but he is
very good as a guardian. Noble, brave and loyal, but a little shy with the
people he does not know. He is a very balanced temper, and this makes him fit to
live inside a family, with children and other animals. He must not be left
always by himself in a wide garden, this would make him sad. In many countries you can register the
title of Champion only after passing the charcter test, organized by the Breed
Club during the Club Meetings.
The great balance
the mastiff is endowed with allows him to live with all kinds of people, even
very different from each other. Without any doubt, the owner will have to
appreciate, and above all understand, his extraordinary sensibility. The mastiff
can be the right dog both for elderly and for children. His owner must be able
to give him a lot of love, respect and education.
Feeding is very
important for the Mastiff correct growing up. As he is a big-sized dog, it is
very important for him to grow as slowly as possible, because a too fast growing
could seriously compromise his future life, and cause problems to his
articulations. For this reason, it
is necessary for the dog, since he is a puppy, to have a balanced diet
consisting in dry food. A different diet may be valid, but it will never be
balanced and will never have the same quantity of vitamins, minerals, calcium,
phosphorus as a diet based on dry food. Moreover, it is easy to find on sale
different kinds of foods, from several brands, right for dogs of any age or size.
It is advisable not to let our Mastiff drink too much before his meals or after,
because too much water could cause the stomach dilation or even a torsion.
The Mastiff is in
himself a rough dog, he perfectly fits to life in the open air, of course he
needs to have his own place and a big kennel where to find shelter in case of
rain, wind or cold weather. His coat does not need any particular care, you only
have to brush him twice a week, only when he loses his hair in spring and autumn
he needs more attention. His ears must always
be cleaned with a small piece of cotton and a right lotion. His eyes instead
need a lot of attention, especially if they are exposed to the wind or cold.
If a correct feeding
is extremely important, a good education is no less. An adult mastiff can
weigh more than 100 Kg., for this reason it is very important to give him the
right education, starting when he is a puppy.
So he must learn to walk correctly when he is at the lead, and he must learn
very soon the basic position, such as "sit", "lay down" and "don't move". Then,
when he is about 8/10 months old, his owner can decide if to attend a basic
course with a good trainer.
You will never have to expect too much too soon, otherwise you Mastiff will get
bored and will no more work with enthusiasm.
Free handling presentation
A very sore key. Dog hows.
Those who are convinced that the mastiff, because of its large size, is not fit
to dog shows, is making a big mistake. Of course, the weight of a dog does not
help, in fact thinking to "move" with a hand only one leg trying at the same
time to keep the head up is difficult and hard. Yes, ...very hard, especially if
you do it in the wrong way.
Unfortunately, my beloved English Mastiff, especially at shows, does not receive
the importance it deserves. Very often is the owner/breeder himself that
consider too difficult to grant him a perfect presentation. WRONG!
Mixed stacking/free presentation
Of course as all dogs he needs receiving a training to ring, starting when he is
very young but without insisting. Then slowly you can try to get something more.
As far as I am concerned, I periodically attend handling courses with
professional handlers, so that I can improve more and more the way I present my
dogs, and this does not only mean to emphasize the dog's qualities, but above
all to hide his faults.
I am able to present all my dogs in hand staking, in a correct way, without
mistakes, and with some of them I also can use free handling, something that has
never been made in Italy for this breed. 90% of the times I join stacking and
free at the same time, vary fast, especially when changing hands. And that's the
one I prefer.
My secret? If I can say so, I talk to my mastiff, play with it, I reward it, all
of this during ita training. But... to get a good show dog, you need sacrifice,
passion, humility and a lot of work. Also physic work to make its muscles tonic,
and obtain a good movement and a thrust. Your mastiff must not only be a nice
statue that stands by only for a little food in your hands.
It must be alive, ready for everything, available and above all he must enjoy
My mastiffs have a good time and I do it too...
A last advice, but extremely important,... if you lose at a show, and then more
shows never surrender but try to improve, and above all never blame your dog....
remember that it is not he who did something wrong!