Height: Male dogs: 75 — 82 сm, Females: not less 66 cm
Weight: Male dogs: 60-100 kg, Females: 60-100 kg
The beginning of breed formation
There are different points of view as for development of the breed. The most probable foregoer of modern Mastiffs is a Tibetan Mastiff that lived in the mountains and afterwards was found in Persia, Assyria, Babylon, Egypt and later in Greece. In the archeological excavations in the city Nineveh a vase was found that dated back 612 BC; a massive shielded dog with big square head was depicted on this vase. 50 thousands Mastiff-type dogs encased in chain armour, Alexander the Great used these dogs during the war with Persians. These dogs appeared in Great Britain together with Celtic tribes that came from Asia Minor in the 4-3 th centuries BC.
"It is necessary to take a most difficult journey to devious coasts of Britain only for the one reason – in order to see the dogs of local breed that were superior in power and ferocity to all the dogs ever known to us".
Julius Caesar mentioned about giant dogs of Anglo-Saxons that fought with their owners against Roman legionaries in 55 BC. In Roman Empire it was an appointment of buyer of dogs from British Isles. In Rome the breed got the name "Mastiff" and was used for fence-plays.
In 407 AD Saxons made an incursion into the territory of Great Britain and brought their fighting dogs together with them to England. Saxon dogs were divided into several types:
costog oi emul oi anos pan funa — type of large shepherd dog that is close to mountain great Molosses;
costog kyn — King's dog, the largest and strongest animal;
costogaidd — enchained listening dog;
gafaelgi — dog for bating and hunting for large beasts.
History of English Mastiff is famous for most incredible information and throws back into antiquity.
Mastiff was too "great" in order that someone of chroniclers and authors of ancient books could turn their backs on them. Plenty of references frequently conflicting ones but sometimes absolutely fantastical are worth mentioning in a single book and at that they are capable of perplexing any research worker.
Typical example of attempt to systematize facts is "History of Mastiff" written by Wynne.
So, let us begin with origin and development of the breed. For long time the theory of import of Mastiff's progenitors by the Phoenicians was the most "fashionable" and popular. However, similar practice, taking into account then condition of water transport that was in use by the Phoenician merchants who arrived at Cornwall seems to be almost impracticable. The ships of the Phoenicians were small primitive catamarans but their trade routes were "attached" to a twisty shore line therefore a journey to Britain was most complicated months-long test. It is doubtful that the merchants carried living Mastiffs as wares on their vessels – the animals needed much food. It is not less difficult to imagine the dog that could survive in similar conditions. In the judgment of Doctor Bennett from Great Britain this experiment could be successful only if carried out by Thor Heyerdahl, but the latter was never ready to take up this business. Eventually, in the disfavor of Phoenician theory it is a well-known fact that it was the only one Phoenician by name Hemilk who managed to reach England. It is hardly possible that these tiresome journeys to wild country were taken by his compatriots for importation of some pedigreed sore of future Mastiffs.
Though English Mastiff is a constant-lover, he is a faithful friend and wonderful companion. Being a true gentleman he is sober-minded, patient and balanced.
Mastiff can be on the top of issues and be in control of situation adjusting it to himself. He is not quarrelsome, quick-witted and independent, endowed with wise glance and extrasensory skills, but he can tell the difference between the good and the bad and enemies from friends. A big estate is more suitable for him rather than a flat.
Male dogs are more massive than females. They have bigger and heavier head, they're braver. Defaults: some deviations from sexual type.
Head. Wide between the ears in the cranial part. Forehead is flat, skin flats are strongly marked and are more prominent when English Mastiff is excited. Well-developed musculature of cheek-bones and temporal bones. Frontal furrow starts between the eyes and ends at the middle of the head. Superciliary arches are well marked. Snout is wide, short, deep and forms almost a right angle with the forehead. English Mastiff has broad and deep chest. The neck is a bit hooped, muscular.
Shoulder blade and shoulder are little oblique. The legs are powerful, straight.
Hind limbs are straight, lower legs and hips are well-developed. The hocks are pronounced.
Despite the sex, English Mastiff is a housekeeper for the first instance. In fact, English Mastiff is not too fond of hunting. This dog will not run away from you if you allow him to roam in the woods. Mastiffs like water though they do not seem to be natural-born swimmers.
Many people think that Mastiffs are slow, clumsy and even look like sleepy but it is not the truth. They can have the heels of any person and if something is of interest to them they quickly awake. Though, on the other hand they are too lazy and will not do their best than it is necessary in order that to survive.
English Matiffs are too clever dogs. They desire to please their owners - this is a pledge of their obedience. English Mastiffs like eating different dainties and this more enables their training. Purpose of training is to assure the dog that you are a leader in your team and English Mastiff can't but obey you.
English Mastiff will never, deliberately or occasionally, do hurt to a child. This dog is a best friend of kids. Though these dogs are not too playful they always behave properly. They do not bark often, however they are quite slobbery and snore loudly. When they are duly socialized they amicably live together with other dogs or different pets.
English Mastiffs require attention and care from their owners. They are happy to spend time with them and always accompany them wherever they go.
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