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rec.pets.dogs: Mastiffs Breed-FAQ
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 02 Sep 1997
There are nearly 100 FAQ's available for this group. For a complete
listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article
is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp
to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via
the Web at http://www.zmall.com/pet_talk/dog-fa.../faq-list.html, or
via email by sending your message to with
in the body of the message.
This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below.
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s).
This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other
documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.
MASTIFF F. A. Q.
Frequently Asked Questions about
also commonly referred to as
the English or Old English Mastiff (OEM)
"Dedicated to the Ones who wait for us
at the end of the Rainbow Bridge."
* Release 1.00, January 20, 1997 (Pre-USENET Release)
* Release 1.01, February 1, 1997
* Release 1.02, March 14, 1997
* Release 1.03, March 31, 1997 (USENET Release)
* Release 1.04, August 12, 1997
+ Combined the two separate parts into one document
+ Updated the largest dog in the world's weight
+ Added 1998 Specialty information
+ Appendix D - Rescue - revised to reflect new structure
+ Appendix E - Added a number of Mastiff books, sites
+ Appendix I - Updated MCOA contact list
+ Appendix J - New or changed sites for Bullmastiffs, Dogues,
Filas, Saints, Tibetans
+ ... and a number of minor changes through-out
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION AND LEGAL STUFF
II. QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED ABOUT THE MASTIFF
1. What is a Mastiff?
2. What is the Mastiff Club Of America (MCOA)?
3. Where do Mastiffs come from?
4. What are Mastiffs good for?
5. Are all Mastiffs the same?
6. Are Mastiffs:
b. Easy to train?
d. Good guard dogs?
7. What are Mastiffs like in the house?
8. How much does a Mastiff:
9. Do Mastiffs:
a. Bark much?
e. Make good obedience dogs?
f. Need a lot of exercise?
g. Pass gas?
m. Live indoors or outdoors?
10. How are Mastiffs with:
a. Burglars, muggers and other miscreants?
b. Other dogs?
c. Other animals?
e. Young children?
11. How long does a Mastiff live?
12. Can I get a white Mastiff? What colors can I get?
13. Male vs. female, which is friendlier? more protective? Easier
14. Is there anything special I should know about raising a
Mastiff puppy - isn't it the same as any other breed?
15. How much training does a Mastiff need?
16. Do Mastiffs have any genetic health problems?
17. What are the common non-genetic health problems in Mastiffs?
18. What other problems do Mastiffs have?
19. What kind of a temperament does a Mastiff have?
20. What does a Mastiff eat?
21. What kind of living quarters does a Mastiff require? How
about crating? Where do they sleep?
22. Does owning a Mastiff:
a. Cost a lot?
b. Require a lot of work?
23. Are you trying to talk me out of getting a Mastiff?
24. Where should I get a Mastiff?
25. Where can I get more information about Mastiffs?
26. How do I pick a Mastiff puppy?
27. What questions should I ask the breeder (and what answers
should I get)
28. What kind of toys and other paraphernalia do I need for my
29. Is that a Mastiff in:
30. What's the difference between a Mastiff and a Bullmastiff?
A. History of the Mastiff
B. MCOA / AKC Mastiff Conformation Standard
C. MCOA Code of Ethics
D. MCOA Rescue Service
1. What is the MCOA Rescue Service?
2. MCOA Rescue Service Contacts
E. Mastiff References and Resources
3. Video / Audio
4. Computer Programs & Databases
5. Mastiffs on the Internet
F. Health Tests / Certifications every Mastiff SHOULD have
G. Questions To Ask a Mastiff Breeder
H. Special Aspects of Raising a Mastiff Puppy
I. Mastiff Clubs & Contacts
1. Mastiff Club of America
2. US Regional Mastiff Clubs
3. Mastiff Clubs in Other Countries
J. Mastiff Varieties and Internet References
I. INTRODUCTION AND LEGAL STUFF
Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of the Mastiff! In our
not so humble opinion, the Mastiff is THE best breed of dog to be
owned by, bar none. BUT, the Mastiff is NOT a breed for everyone.
We've tried to gear this F. A. Q. towards the breed browser and
the first time Mastiff wanna-be owner. Here we've tried to show
both the upside and the downside of the Mastiff / human
relationship. Not that we're trying to chase you away (we wish
everyone could enjoy the love and companionship of one of these
great beasties), but we'd much rather have you know about the
possible trials and tribulations BEFORE your new Mastiff pup walks
through the front door, not AFTER. As the breed's popularity and
exposure increases, more and more people are getting a Mastiff
without any idea what-so-ever of what they're getting into. Way
too often this ends up in severe disappoint for the human and
tragedy for the Mastiff. So please, please, study this F. A. Q.
Ask questions. Look before you leap! We hope that this F. A. Q. in
some way helps you in making your decision and / or preparing for
your life with a Mastiff. Good luck and doG Bless!
This FAQ is a publication of, and Copyright (c) 1995, 1996, 1997
by, the Mastiff Club Of America, Incorporated (MCOA). All rights
are reserved. The Mastiff AKC Conformation Standard (Appendix B)
is included with the permission of the American Kennel Club, Inc.
The MCOA hereby gives permission to freely distribute this
document in its entirety for non-profit, non-commercial, personal
use and for traditional Internet archiving, provided that the
document is distributed in its entirety and that no changes are
made. Permission is also given to freely distribute excerpts and
quotes provided that attribution is given to the Mastiff Club Of
America, Inc. This FAQ may NOT be included in any commercial
collections or compilations. If you find it in one, please notify
the FAQ maintainer so appropriate action can be taken.
This FAQ is provided as is without any express or implied
warranties or guarantees as to the content's accuracy,
completeness or applicability to a specific animal. While every
effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information
contained in this article, the MCOA, the contributors and the
maintainer assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or
for damages resulting from the use of the information contained
+ Laurie Adams
+ Donna Dick
+ Deb Jones
+ Sharon Krauss
+ Kirsten Ludwig
+ Mike McBee
+ Linda Monroe
Please send any comments, corrections or criticisms about the FAQ
to the FAQ maintainer, Mike McBee, at .
II. QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED ABOUT THE MASTIFF
1. _What is a Mastiff?_
A Mastiff is a giant breed of dog, descended from the ancient
Alaunt and Molosser. Today, mastiff is used to describe many
different breeds around the world, all descended from the same
root stock. In the US and other English speaking countries,
Mastiff is used to refer to the Old English Mastiff (OEM),
developed in England and nearly extinct after WW II. With that in
mind, Mastiffs (OEMs) are generally very large dogs; fawn, apricot
or brindle in color; all with a black mask and ears; possessing a
medium to short coat with very little white (which, if it appears,
should be confined to the chest but often appears on the toes as
well). There is no upper height limit and no weight range in the
Mastiff Standard. In height they generally range from the
Standard's minimum of 27 1/2 inches up to 36 inches for the
exceptionally tall ones. They can weigh anywhere from 110 pounds
to the 343 pounds of Zorba, the world's largest dog, although most
Mastiff males weigh around 160-230 pounds and females around
120-170 pounds. This breed is supposed to be very broad with a
huge head, wide chest and large bone, and is longer in body than
in height (see Appendix B, the Mastiff Conformation Standard).
Mastiffs are not supposed to resemble Great Danes except possibly
in height, nor Saint Bernards, except for the bone, width, chest
and large head. They should not be as wrinkled as a Neapolitan nor
as dome headed as a Dogue de Bordeaux, nor 'houndy' like a Fila
Brasileiro. Mastiffs possess characteristics unique to the breed,
especially the head with a broad, deep muzzle with flews hanging
over the bottom lip, giving the head a square appearance. A
Mastiff should possess a calm, self assured temperament and be
devoted to its family and friends. Mastiffs should not be
aggressive to humans or other animals, including other dogs,
although, unfortunately, some of them are. Mastiffs should be
steady, gentle, eager for affection, good with children, calm and
self assured, and used primarily as a family companion.
2. _What is the Mastiff Club Of America (MCOA)?_
The Mastiff Club Of America was incorporated in 1929 to protect
and promote the Mastiff. It is the Mastiff parent breed club
member of the American Kennel Club. Membership is open to persons
18 years or older, in good standing with the American Kennel Club,
who subscribe to the purposes of the Club, and who agree to abide
and uphold the Club's Code of Ethics (Appendix C), Constitution
and By-Laws. Applicants must be sponsored by two MCOA members who
have been members in good standing for at least three years.
Applicants will be an associate member (without voting or office
holding privileges) for a period of one year. The MCOA is a
non-profit organization. For membership information and
application forms, contact the MCOA Membership Chairman (see
Appendix I.1 for contact information).
The objectives of the Club a
+ to encourage and promote the selective breeding of quality
purebred Mastiffs and to do all possible to bring their
natural qualities to fit the standard
+ to encourage the organization of independent local Mastiff
Specialty Clubs in those localities where there are
sufficient fanciers of the breed to meet the requirements of
the American Kennel Club
+ to urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the
breed as approved by the American Kennel Club as the only
standard of excellence by which Mastiffs shall be judged
+ to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests
of the breed and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at
dog shows and obedience trials
+ to provide for the welfare of the breed through a program of
Mastiff Rescue and continuing education
+ to conduct sanctioned matches, obedience trials, and
specialty shows under the rules of the American Kennel Club.
The MCOA conducts a roving Independent National Specialty in the
spring of each year; in 1996 the Specialty was held in St. Louis,
Mo. and in Sacramento, Ca., in 1997. The 1998 MCOA National
Specialty and Obedience Trial will held May 5-9, at the Embers Inn
and Convention Center, Carlisle, PA. See
http://www.idsonline.com/business/djones/spec98.htm for more
The Club publishes a quarterly Journal available by subscription
(see Appendix I.1 for Subscription Editor's address) and a
quarterly Bulletin for its members.
The MCOA offers a Genetic Data Collection Service to individuals
and breeders who are interested in researching the genetic
background of their dogs (see Appendix F for more information).
3. _Where do Mastiffs come from?_
See Appendix A for a brief history.
4. _What are Mastiffs good for?_
Mastiffs excel as companions, family members, therapy workers and
as watch dogs. Mastiffs have also done well, when properly trained
and conditioned, at carting, tracking, obedience, conformation
showing, search and rescue (SAR), and weight pulling. They are
also great foot warmers and couch potatoes. :-)
5. _Are all Mastiffs the same?_
No. Like humans, Mastiffs are individuals. Each has its own
genetic and environmental history that effects its attitude,
temperament, health and responses to stimuli. These questions are
answered with the general breed characteristics in mind, no
individual Mastiff will match the answers in every respect.
Oh, that's not what you meant. While it is correct that the breed
of mastiff dog developed in England has pre-empted the official
name of 'Mastiff', according to the AKC's 'The Complete Dog Book',
18th Edition, "The breed commonly called "Mastiff" in English
speaking countries is more properly described as the 'Old English'
Mastiff." From the same source: "The term 'mastiff' describes a
group of giant varieties of dogs rather than a single breed."
If this is what you meant, then No, not all Mastiffs are the same.
See Appendix J for a list of some of the different Mastiff
6. _Are Mastiffs:_
Aggression is unnecessary force or dominance in any
situation. Aggression should not be confused with protection
where a dog uses force or dominance to protect its people or
territory when threatened.
The typical Mastiff's temperament, by nature, is one of
gentle demeanor. However, as with any breed, a Mastiff can
become aggressive for varying reasons.
Typically, aggressive behavior is established due to
environment as a "learned response" and/or results from a
lack of proper socialization during the dog's developmental
A certain percentage of dogs may be genetically unstable and
inherit aggressive tendencies. For this reason, before you
purchase a puppy, it is best to ask the breeders about the
temperament of the sire and the dam and try to see both if at
Some dogs may have a predisposition for certain
characteristics which may be the basis for aggressive
behavior: a dominant dog may exhibit Dominant Aggression, an
unsocialized dog may develop Fear Motivated Aggression, or a
dog unsocialized with other dogs may develop Species
Aggression. Most aggression can be prevented by proper
rearing and socialization, beginning as a puppy.
If you are experiencing a problem, consult your Mastiff's
breeder, your veterinarian, and/or a trained animal
behaviorist BEFORE the problem becomes serious.
b. Easy to train?
Both easy and difficult. Mastiffs are smart, and live to
please. However, they go through phases where they are also
stubborn, and these phases can last anywhere from a few weeks
a couple of times in puppyhood to (in some cases) the
lifetime of the dog!
Keep training sessions short (10-15 minutes) and frequent
(several times a day). In addition to their stubbornness,
Mastiffs have very sensitive feelings, and if they are
frightened, hurt, or confused, they cannot be budged. Make
training like a game. Use a happy, excited voice. You have to
be consistent and firm to train effectively. Once a dog is
well trained, it needs practice on a regular basis. Dogs LIKE
to be trained because they WANT to know how to please their
beloved owners. Once trained, a Mastiff seldom needs stronger
correction than a stern voice.
Except for formal obedience training, you can use food treats
for motivation. But the best reward for any Mastiff is lavish
hugs and plenty of praise.
Mastiffs, with their gentle natures, do not have the
instincts that dogfighters are looking for. Their protective
instincts make them actually the opposite to the aggressive
fighting personality. However, they will, at times, fight
among themselves, or with other dogs, for the typical canine
reasons such as pack dominance and sexual competition. Two
190 pound adult male Mastiffs in combat for pack leadership
can be next to impossible, as well as exceedingly dangerous,
d. Good guard dogs?
Mastiffs are excellent guard dogs. They go to the door and
bark, their hackles stand up, and they look formidable, but
Mastiffs, as a breed, are not trigger-happy. They have a
gentle, rather than an aggressive, nature.
Mastiffs need the company of their human family much more
than some other breeds of dogs do. A Mastiff left alone, tied
out, or kept in a fenced yard with too little human company,
will either pine away or develop destructive behaviors out of
loneliness and anxiety. Denied the needed time with its
family, a Mastiff may be much LESS protective because it
isn't sure it belongs to that family.
A normal, well adjusted Mastiff will protect it's family, but
only if the need arises. You don't want an aggressive Mastiff
that protects you from friends and family. The ideal
temperament is one where you never know that you are being
protected unless a true situation arises where a Mastiff's
services are needed.
Mastiffs ARE protective. However, many people do not
understand the difference between protection and aggression.
If a dog growls when there is no danger, that is aggression,
NOT protection. A protective dog has the judgment to see when
there is a real risk of danger, and therefore, if you have a
TRULY protective dog, you may never know it till you ARE in
The protective instinct is shown in subtle ways, such as the
Mastiff tending to stand between their person and a stranger.
Many people who have kids discover that they can't spank a
kid in front of the Mastiff -- it looks worried and gets in
between the parent and child! Couples who sometimes
play-wrestle together have reported their Mastiff trying to
stop them for fear it is a fight.
Because of their great sensitivity, Mastiffs who are not
THOROUGHLY socialized when young can very easily become shy
of strange people, places, and animals. Shyness can be both
inherited and/or the result of inadequate socialization. This
is why puppy kindergarten, obedience classes over an extended
period of time, and visits to parks are EXTREMELY important
to the development of your Mastiff. If you do not have the
time to do these things with and for your Mastiff, you need
to think over whether you are in a position to do right by a
dog, at least at this point in your life.
A shy dog is an uneasy, unhappy dog. If your dog is more shy
than the average, then it is more important than ever to get
the right amount of gentle, gradual socialization with lots
of positive reinforcement for all its friendly, confident,
7. _What are Mastiffs like in the house?_
Clean, quiet, and undemanding. Heaven to a Mastiff is a rug beside
his owner's chair. Mastiffs are naturally clean (except for
slobber), and quick to housebreak. Most adult Mastiffs don't chew
what they shouldn't, and they don't get on the furniture (unless
you let them _;-)_).
If you do let your young Mastiff on the sofa, just remember that
they grow FAST, and it is unfair and quite unreasonable to let the
dog learn to enjoy something, and then decide the dog is too big
to get up there any more. Mastiffs have long memories, and are
much easier to train correctly the first time than to retrain to
get rid of bad habits.
8. _How much does a Mastiff:_
Puppy prices usually run $800-1500 and up, depending on a
number of variables such as pedigree, show potential,
geographic location, and breeder costs. A higher price does
NOT necessarily mean a better dog! Read this FAQ thoroughly
to learn about testing and other evidences of health and
soundness, as well as show wins, as the basis for selecting
the pup most likely to be healthy, happy, and just what you
Probably not as much as you think. Pound for pound, the
larger the dog the less food it needs for each pound of body
weight. Exactly how much food your dog needs depends on many
factors including its size, age and activity level. Feed your
Mastiff a good quality, balanced diet - low on table scraps -
and don't let him get too fat.
Adult males generally run about 160-230 pounds, females are
normally between 120-170 pounds. Males over 200 pounds are
not too uncommon and a few females reach these weights.
According to the Guinness Book of Records the record holder
for the world's largest dog is Zorba, a Mastiff, at 343
pounds. He stood 37 inches at the shoulder and was 8 foot 3
inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. Zorba
set this record in November, 1989, when he was 8 years old.
9. _Do Mastiffs:_
a. Bark much?
Puppies are puppies in most breeds. Young pups tend to bark
more than adults because of the excitement of play. Adults
rarely bark except when you first arrive home, or they hear a
sound they want you to investigate, like a doorbell. Most
Mastiffs will howl if they hear a siren close by, since it
sounds like a howl such as wild dogs would respond to.
Any dog bites if hurt, frightened, or threatened, but a
Mastiff that is properly trained and socialized will
typically not bite except as a very last resort. Do NOT let a
pup (of any age) bite anyone or anything (except its litter
mates) in play, since they NEED to know that biting is not
allowed. They will still bite if there is an absolute
necessity, but will not try it any other times.
As for chewing, puppies of any breed need to be given durable
toys that they know it is OK to chew. Any time you catch your
puppy chewing on anything except its own chew toys, take the
forbidden item away from it, and give it a chew toy, and
encourage the dog to chew on its own toy. Praise it when it
DOES chew on its own toy. Repeat as necessary (remember, we
told you these dogs are stubborn!)
Engineers on the Panama Canal project considered bringing in
a myriad of Mastiffs to do the job, but ultimately rejected
the idea when they figured out the manpower they'd have tied
up in pooper scoopering.
Seriously, though, many Mastiffs do like to dig. You'll have
to ask them why.
e. Make good obedience dogs?
By nature, Mastiffs are eager to please. This makes them good
Obedience dogs. But like any other breed, temperaments vary
between individuals, so some Mastiffs are better candidates
for the Obedience ring than others.
Some Mastiffs are more laid back, aloof, and lethargic; while
others are more outgoing, inquisitive, and athletic. Though
both types of temperaments are trainable, the latter of these
two temperaments would be better suited for competition in
the Obedience ring.
f. Need a lot of exercise?
About as much as you do. Most Mastiffs are like most humans;
they can manage a sedentary life reasonably well - but, also
like most humans, they reach a physical peak with a moderate
degree of exercise. It is important that you NOT over
exercise any Mastiff under 2 years of age. Up until this age
(and sometimes later) their skeleton is still developing.
Since Mastiffs tend to be stoic, and also will do just about
anything to be with and please their people, they can easily
end up with an inflamed joint or other problems like those
that beset humans who run for exercise.
When you do begin to exercise your Mastiff, begin GRADUALLY.
Build up SLOWLY. Make sure you know and watch for the signs
of your dog getting tired or overheated. Take ice and water
with you in case the dog overheats. The extra weight will add
more effect to your workout! This is not to say that Mastiffs
should not have any exercise at all as pups. On the contrary,
Mastiff puppies are still puppies and need to do puppy things
like running and playing. If left to their own schedule, they
will rest themselves when they get tired. Crating a pup for
most of its puppyhood is more detrimental than letting it
play and exercise in moderation in the house and yard. If you
go for long walks and your pup gets tired, be prepared to
carry it home! Once a Mastiff is fully grown and its growth
plates have closed, it can usually keep up with the best of
g. Pass gas?
Yep. Especially on a diet of beer, hard-boiled eggs and
beans. Actually, like humans, it depends on how the Mastiff
reacts to the food it eats, so using a good dog food should
minimize the problem. If a dog can digest its food properly,
it shouldn't have gas. Different dogs do best on different
foods. See Question 20. 'What does a Mastiff eat?' for more
If a Mastiff should get gas in spite of your best efforts,
watch out. It is overpowering.
Not usually. A Mastiff of either sex tends to be stay-at-home
dog. Learning to stay within property boundaries comes
naturally. Some individuals, however, would put Houdini to
shame. Nevertheless, when your Mastiff is outdoors without
supervision, as with all breeds, it's a good idea to have him
in a secure, fenced enclosure.
Yes, like most breeds they shed approximately twice a year.
But, the short, sleek Mastiff coat is less objectionable,
when it sheds, than the coats of many long-haired breeds. A
daily brushing will prevent accumulation of hair around the
Most Mastiffs only drool when 1) they have just had a drink
of water or just ate, or 2) they are extremely agitated and
fearful, or 3) you are eating anything that smells better
than dogfood, and you have been foolish enough to feed the
dog some of your food at any time in the past.
Mastiffs with tighter lips tend to drool less. Experienced
Mastiff folks keep hand towels all around, to wipe faces
after every drink and meal, and other times as needed. If you
wipe the drool off immediately, it is a lot less likely to
get slung onto the dog's face or body, your furniture, you,
or the walls. If it makes you feel any better, 1) you get
used to it, and 2) St. Bernard breeders say their dogs can
hit the ceiling with their slingers, while Mastiffs tend to
only hit about waist height on a human.
Actually, if you are a habitual face-wiper it won't be bad at
all, but to be realistic, "spit happens".
Well, Mastiffs aren't bred for tracking, so they don't all
have the best scent discrimination. Oh, you mean smell as in
Mastiffs need occasional bathing, but since they have a short
coat, they dry fairly fast. If a Mastiff has a bad odor
despite regular bathing with a good dog shampoo approved by
your breeder or vet, it may have a medical problem such as
fungus in the ears or between the toes, or a digestive or
dental problem, which can cause bad breath. Hypothyroid dogs
tend to have B.O., and infected anal glands can cause a
serious stench. Time to go to the vet to check it out.
Yes. Ohhhh, yes. You'd better believe it!
Actually, snoring is genetic. The reason a dog snores is due
to a long soft palate (the back of the upper palate). This
characteristic, like any other, is inherited. This does NOT
mean that the dog has to have a long 'muzzle' to be a snorer!
It just means that the upper palate has a longer soft palate.
So you may see certain bloodlines which do not have as many
problems with snoring and some which are horrendous snorers.
m. Live indoors or outdoors?
Indoors, of course. What's the sense of having a Mastiff if
you don't have it close to you? It certainly can't protect
you from the boogie man if it's tied out in the yard. And
it's useless as a footstool if you keep it fastened in a
kennel or locked in the garage.
Seriously, Mastiffs seem to have an instinctive need and
desire to be as close as possible to their human family, to
the point that their emotional development can be stunted if
they are deprived of that closeness. Many breeders will
refuse to sell a Mastiff unless the new owner guarantees that
it will be kept as a house dog.
10. _How are Mastiffs with:_
a. Burglars, muggers and other miscreants?
Mastiffs tend to react in predictable ways when faced with a
threatening person. If their owner is present and a tense
situation arises between the owner and a stranger, the dog
will usually get between the stranger and their owner, as a
sort of giant protective barrier that no sane mugger would
reach over. If the stranger does anything to escalate the
tension, the dog will probably growl or snarl at the person.
This may occur even within a family, if, for example, the
owners fight. This may upset the Mastiff greatly and inspire
him to protect the party who is on the receiving end of the
If a stranger breaks into a house where there is a Mastiff,
the Mastiff's tendency is to corner the person and not let
them get away, holding them until their owner gets home to
deal with the intruder. The dog may snarl or bark or even
snap at the intruder if he tries to get away, but usually
will not actually hurt him unless the intruder has tried to
hurt the dog or has succeeded in hurting him.
Dogs are creatures of habit, and it is this characteristic
that makes them good guards. If, while your Mastiff is a
puppy, you allow strangers like repairmen to come into your
house when you are away, the dog will see that as normal for
your household, and will not realize it is not "OK" for other
strange people to come in and do things.
Many Mastiffs, when mature, can recognize something about
people who have unpleasant motives, and are watchful or will
get in between you and that person. If your dog gets between
you and a stranger in a questionable situation, trust your
Mastiff! The dog may have sensed something you couldn't
recognize in that person.
Because of the intrinsic protective nature of the Mastiff,
training as an attack or guard dog is not necessary and to do
so may actually be detrimental to the temperament of the
Mastiff. Mastiffs are not suitable for attack training or dog
fighting and, if raised in kindness and socialized properly,
will be a strong, loving companion who will defend his home
and family if necessary.
b. Other dogs?
By nature a typical Mastiff is friendly and aloof toward
other dogs. But, as with any breed, they must be properly
socialized around other dogs from early puppyhood.
Most cases of Dog Aggression in the Mastiff, or in any breed,
are due to this lack of early introduction and stimuli with
other dogs. This type of behavioral disorder is usually
classified as Species Aggression.
Another type of Canine Aggression is Dominance Aggression. A
dog with dominant tendencies may seek to change its position
in the pecking order by being aggressive toward another dog.
This can really be a problem when there is more than one
Dominant Aggressive dog in a multiple dog household. For this
reason, it is best not place a dominant Mastiff in the same
household with another dominant dog, especially of the same
sex. While everything may seem fine while the puppy is young,
as it matures it will seek to move up in the pack hierarchy
and will compete for dominance with the other dog resulting
in family turmoil.
In most cases, proper socialization and adequate stimuli is
the best way to head off most aggressive behavioral disorders
before they have a chance to develop.
If your Mastiff is aggressive, first, consult a canine
behaviorist or professional trainer to determine if the dog
can overcome some or all of this behavioral problem through
retraining. ALSO have your veterinarian check for physical
problems that can effect behavior, especially hormone
problems such as hypothyroidism. Often spaying or neutering a
dog aggressive dog will limit some of its tendencies to fight
or dominate another dog, as well as cool some of the
instinctive fighting among males and females in heat. If you
are feeding a food that is in high in protein, try a food
that is around 18% protein, some dogs are sensitive to excess
levels of protein.
If your Mastiffs do get into a fight, do NOT get between
them. If someone else, known to the dogs, is there, each of
you should grab a dog by the rear legs and drag them away
from each other and separate them so that they cannot see or
get to each other.
c. Other animals?
The earliest socialization, at the breeder's, and while a
puppy is very young, influences how a particular Mastiff will
behave with other animals. You want him to learn what YOU
want him to accept while he is still small (this means it has
to be done *very* young!) since a larger dog is much harder
to control, and bad habits are harder to break than good
habits. Some Mastiffs are born with a high prey drive and
these dogs will need special training if a multi-pet
household is to maintain harmony.
A Mastiff who hasn't been exposed to cats or chickens or farm
animals or whatever while young may treat them as prey or
furniture, depending on the temperament of the individual
dog. Some Mastiffs live well with cats, and recognize that
the cats have to feel they are the bosses. Others chase cats
without mercy even if they are wonderful dogs in every other
way. Some dogs that were not raised around horses may sniff
once, then ignore them, others may be afraid of them, others
interested, etc. The point is, *you* need to plan what to
socialize your dog to, so it will know how to behave around
the animals that are or will be part of your household. Then
it is not up to the highly individual reactions of a half- or
fully-grown dog, but your choice.
A properly socialized Mastiff (which SHOULD be the only kind
there is) will stand or sit beside you politely when a
stranger is around. The world is full of people who are
strangers to you and your dog, but who are nice, normal,
decent folks who pose no threat. A Mastiff that is properly
socialized (and free of severe shyness) should be polite,
possibly aloof, but eventually friendly, after the dog sees
your positive reaction to someone.
e. Young children?
They are gentle and protective, providing they have been
raised with children and are accustomed to them. Small
children should not be allowed to play roughly with a puppy;
Mastiffs are a sensitive breed that can be permanently
traumatized by rough handling.
11. _How long does a Mastiff live?_
Books on the breed describe the average Mastiff life span as 6-10
years. A few have lived to be 13 or 14; a tiny handful have lived
to be 16-17. Assuming no accidents, an individual dog's life span
will depend on its bloodlines, weight, and freedom from
significant problems such as blindness, heart disease, hip or
elbow dysplasia, spondylosis, immune disorders, etc. (see
Questions 16, 17 and Appendix F for more information on health
problems). Sadly, there has been an increase in the death of
middle aged and younger Mastiffs in the past 10 years or so,
although this is not specific to Mastiffs but applies to most
The increase in hereditary problems in all breeds has had the
effect of shortening the lives of a number of animals in each
breed, thus bringing down the averages. This is why we emphasize
testing for health problems and breeding animals ONLY after they
have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary
diseases. Choosing your breeder carefully, for awareness of
problems and for evidence of specific actions taken consistently
over a period of time to prevent these problems, will greatly
increase your chances of getting a healthy dog with the potential
to live to a ripe old age.
12. _Can I get a white Mastiff? What colors can I get?_
No, Mastiffs come in Apricot, Brindle, and various shades of Fawn.
Since one of the faults listed in the breed standard is "excessive
white on the chest or white on any other part of the body", then a
Mastiff with much white on it at all is *not* correctly marked
according to the breed standard. There are breeds for which white
is a correct, acceptable color, but the Mastiff is not one of
13. _Male vs. female, which is friendlier? more protective? easier to
These are all traits that tend to vary more between individual
animals than between the sexes. A healthy, alert, intelligent dog
who did well on the Puppy Aptitude test and has been well
socialized and trained from Puppy Kindergarten onward is your best
chance at getting all the above characteristics. Socializing a dog
who started out with a good temperament gives you the friendliest
dog. A dog is protective when it has bonded well with you
(training your dog is an outstanding way to bond with it) and has
at least begun to mature. If you start training very young the dog
learns how to *learn* and will enjoy it more and perform better.
14. _Is there anything special I should know about raising a Mastiff
puppy - isn't it the same as any other breed?_
Due to their rapid growth and their eventual giant size and
weight, there are special precautions that should be taken with
growing Mastiff puppies. See Appendix H for details.
15. _How much training does a Mastiff need?_
Because they are destined to be VERY large dogs, basic obedience
training should be a part of every Mastiff's upbringing.
Adequate socialization is an extremely important part of a puppy's
training. An unsocialized dog, of any breed, can become either
fearful or aggressive. A well socialized Mastiff is a stable
Most Mastiffs are easy to train because they are so eager to
please, but they are generally more easily trained when young. A
puppy's brain develops very rapidly. New information is absorbed
at an astonishing rate as they learn from their environment. You
want to make certain that WHAT they learn is desirable; therefore,
you must guide them in their learning process. Also, just as inany
other breed, some individuals are stubborn, dominant, etc., and in
such cases the behavior pattern should be identified early and the
training adjusted appropriately to compensate for it.
Unless you plan to compete in conformation or obedience, basic
obedience is all your puppy really needs to become a valued family
companion. Basic obedience consists of: sit, down, stay, come,
walk on lead and proper socialization.
To find Obedience and Socialization classes, contact your local
Kennel Clubs and veterinarians. If you cannot locate classes, take
your puppy out often to places where it can meet people and other
dogs in a friendly atmosphere.
A Mastiff does not need protection training. A well socialized
Mastiff has, in essence, been taught what a normal situation is
and will be able to sense when something is wrong. Even the
gentlest Mastiff will protect its family if it is well socialized
and bonded to them.
16. _Do Mastiffs have any genetic health problems?_
Mastiffs are probably about average when it comes to the number of
hereditary health problems that they are prone to. Being a large
breed they are very prone to joint problems. For more information
on genetic problems, please refer to Appendix F.
+ Potentially life threatening or serious:
(*these conditions may be inherited or in some cases
o Joint: hip dysplasia; elbow dysplasia (ununited anconeal
process, fragmented coronoid process, degenerative joint
disease); osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the
shoulders, knees, elbows or hocks.
o Eye problems that cause blindness: cataracts*, retinal
dysplasia with detachment, glaucoma., progressive
retinal atrophy (PRA)
o Other inherited eye problems: geographic retinal
dysplasia, PPM, entropion.
o Hypothyroidism*, immune deficiencies.
o Wobblers syndrome.
o Skin: demodectic mange, deep pyoderma.
o Nervous system: myasthenia gravis*, muscular dystrophy*,
o Other: cardiomyopathy*, leukemia.
+ Less serious and/or less common:
(*these conditions may be inherited or in some cases
o Eye problems: ectropion, iris cysts, macroblapharon
(haw), corneal dystrophy*, distichiasis, cherry eye, dry
eye, retinal folds.
o Skin: allergies
o Joint problems: HOD (hypertrophic Osteo Dystrophy),
degenerative joint disease*, arthritis*, spondylosis of
o Reproductive: cryptorchid, monorchid, vaginal
o Heart: murmurs*, pulmonic stenosis.
o Other: hernias, von Willebrands Disease (vWD).
17. _What are the common non-genetic health problems in Mastiffs?_
Mastiffs are subject to the same common diseases and afflictions
as every other breed of dog. Some of the more prevalent a
+ Joint and bone: cruciate ligament rupture, panosteitis, elbow
+ Urinary tract: kidney and bladder infections, bladder stones.
+ Ear infections, hot spots, cysts and tumors.
+ Reproductive: uterine inertia, pyometra, other uterine
infections, mastitis, breast cancer.
+ Cancer (bone, bowel, brain, spine, etc. Some forms of cancer
are inherited, most aren't).
+ Other: gastric torsion (bloat), pica (eating rocks, socks,
18. _What other problems do Mastiffs have?_
o Fearful (inherited or lack of socialization).
+ Structural faults:
o Limbs: weak pasterns, cow-hocks, straight shoulders,
stifles and/or hocks, elbows in or out instead of
o Bite: very undershot, overshot, crooked teeth, wry
o Tail: abnormally short, kinked, bob tail
o Feet: flat (hare foot), loose toes, turned toes or feet
o Coat: long hair, no under coat, excessive white markings
o Movement: paddling, crossing, sidewinding, overreaching,
lack of drive.
+ Problems caused by their size:
o Expensive and difficult to take on an airplane once
o Navigating steep stairs
o Getting into small cars
o Happy Tail (Crate Tail) syndrome - prone to abrasions
(often accompanied by considerable blood splattering)
from wagging against things.
19. _What kind of a temperament does a Mastiff have?_
Mastiffs are called gentle giants because of their benign and
benevolent character. A Mastiff's temperament is so much a part of
how it needs to be raised and cared for that many of the questions
in this FAQ have incorporated one aspect or another of the Mastiff
temperament in their answers.
A dog this big has no NEED to growl or make menacing noises or
faces to impress a would-be burglar or mugger. Instead, it can and
does simply relax, but keeps an eye on situations where its human
family could possibly be in danger of any kind.
Mastiffs have a somewhat contradictory nature, they are very
sensitive to the reactions of their people, most Mastiffs can be
absolutely crushed by harsh words. Yet Mastiffs can also be among
the most stubborn of dogs, so stubborn that you may find it to be
an immense challenge to get them to do the same thing over and
over for an obedience class (the Mastiff probably would rather do
it once and then take a nap or do something different).
Mastiffs, like people, are highly individual. Some are placid,
some are high energy animals who need to be kept busy. A lot of
any Mastiff's behavior depends on how well it was socialized while
20. _What does a Mastiff eat?_
A Mastiff will eat anything that is not nailed down! Mastiffs,
being a giant breed, have the capability of chewing on things that
most small breeds can't even get in their mouths.
Oh, you meant food, huh? OK, Mastiffs do best on a food that is in
the medium range for protein (20-25%), mid range for fat (12-18%)
and is well balanced for calcium and phosphorus and high in iodine
(3-5%). Feeding your Mastiff puppy foods high in protein, calories
and fat will push the growth rate and possibly cause joint,
ligament and tendon problems. It is best to grow your puppy at a
slow, steady rate and not try to make him big too soon. Remember,
the Mastiff will grow to what he was genetically programmed to be
no matter how fast or slow that you get him there. It is best to
take your time and grow them out slowly so as to minimize joint
and bone problems and thus have a sound, healthy dog. If the dog
food you intend to use is balanced for nutrition do not add
supplemental calcium to the diet. Too much calcium causes more
problems than too little!
The amount of food is a judgment call, depending on the type of
food you are feeding, the age of the Mastiff, and the body
condition such as too fat, too thin or just right. Feed a good
quality premium food, following the recommendations on the bag and
adjusting the amount according to body condition. Do not let your
Mastiff puppy or young adult get fat and make sure that you can
feel the ribs or at least see the last two ribs when the dog is
moving. Fat dogs have many problems with bones and joints, heart,
liver, kidney, etc. Generally Mastiff puppies eat a lot of food
while growing, until at least the age of two. An adult Mastiff
generally has a slow metabolism and does not eat an exceptional
amount of food, normally about the same as a German Shepherd or
dog of similar or even smaller size.
21. _What kind of living quarters does a Mastiff require? How about
crating? Where do they sleep?_
The standard answer to this question: Anywhere they want to!
Mastiffs consider themselves to be part of your family, and will
be most content if they are able to share your home with you. Many
Mastiff breeders feel so strongly about the Mastiff's need tobe
with their human family that they will only sell a puppy to people
who guarantee that it will live in the house with them.
Within your home, Mastiffs need a place of their own where they
will feel comfortable and secure, just like any other dog. Crates
are a practical solution, especially for puppy house training and
safety. Wire crates are best so that the pup can see out and
because they are harder to chew or destroy. Purchase the largest
one you can afford so your Mastiff can grow into it. A pallet by
your bed is also a good idea since Mastiffs want to be with their
families and it is generally not a good idea to let them sleep on
the bed with you. Sleeping with you puts them on the same level as
you, so you may wind up with a dominance problem; and jumping off
of a bed is not good for the joints when they are young. Most
Mastiffs will wind up forgoing any wonderful bed you make for them
and will want to sleep on the tile or linoleum floor because it is
cooler. Caution is advised here because Mastiffs tend to clunk
down on their elbows when lying down and many develop elbow
hygromas from the constant banging on the elbows.
The best beds are soft pads with blankets over them or even a baby
bed mattress with a cover. Don't be surprised if your youngster
shreds his bed as this seems to be great fun to most puppies - be
sure to remove any pieces because they can be dangerous if
22. _Does owning a Mastiff:_
a. Cost a lot?
A Mastiff costs more to maintain than smaller breeds due to
its large size and weight. Larger crates cost more. More and
larger consumables are needed - food, toys and the like. Many
medicines, such as antibiotics, heartworm preventative and
anesthesia are prescribed based on weight, so these cost
more. A Mastiff on a 'chewing binge' can cause much more
damage in a shorter time than smaller breeds.
b. Require a lot of work?
Compared to what? Mastiffs, due to their tendency to be inert
(like couch potatoes), and their short hair, do not require
as much work as a breed that needs to run a lot for exercise,
or needs daily brushing to keep a fluffy coat from getting
A Mastiff with a correct coat only needs a bath when it
begins to smell "doggy" or if it has gotten into something
that needs to be washed off. Bathing a Mastiff is sort of
like washing a hairy Volkswagen except that the VW won't
shake and drench you in shampoo or rinse water.
Mastiffs need MODERATE exercise (if this much is too much for
you, consider an older Rescue dog), a quality food with
moderate protein and fat content, and the normal maintenance
activities that any breed requires: clipping toenails,
keeping teeth clean, ear cleaning, and regular vet checkups
The size of a Mastiff means that those toenails will be big
and thick, harder to cut than those on a smaller dog. And
they will eat a lot more food than your neighbor's poodle.
Mastiffs tend to shed twice a year like most breeds, but when
a huge dog sheds lightly, it can still add up to a lot of
hair to vacuum.
If you are grossed out by slingers and goobers, please be
advised that if you own a Mastiff you might spend the rest of
the dog's life wiping the walls and complaining about the
mess. If you CAN handle it, you will learn tricks like wiping
the dog's face as soon as it has finished drinking (to catch
the slingers before they are slung).
23. _Are you trying to talk me out of getting a Mastiff?_
No and yes. No, because it would be wonderful if everyone could
experience the joy and satisfaction of being owned by one of these
gentle giants. Yes, because, as great and wonderful as they are,
they have idiosyncrasies and problems particular to the breed. It
would be much, much, much better if you found out that a Mastiff
wasn't the breed for you NOW instead of after you've already
Mastiffs are not the right breed for everyone. Mastiffs are giants
and take up a lot of space on the couch and in the house and car.
They have powerful tails that can clean off a coffee table in one
fell swoop or knock a small child down with one wag. And the smack
of a tail is like being tortured with a rubber hose! Most
Mastiff's drool and slobber, especially after eating and drinking.
Many leave water trails all over the house after a drink and
prefer to wipe their faces on their owners. Mastiffs like to be
close to their family and will sit on your feet, lean against you,
often put their paw on you and lay their heavy head in your lap.
Occasionally people can be unintentionally injured by an exuberant
Mastiff. Mastiffs like to follow you where ever you go and be part
of whatever you do. They can block doorways with their huge
bodies, stand in front of the TV and block your view, and take up
large amounts of space with their crates and toys. If you can't
handle any of the above, then a Mastiff is not the dog for you!
Not recommended for:
+ Old, elderly, infirm - Mastiffs can accidentally knock down
someone who is not steady on their feet; can aggravate back
and other injuries; and, since they have the strength of a
Rhino, can do unintended harm unless properly trained. If you
just have to have one, an older, already trained Mastiff is
recommended. See Appendix D for information about Mastiff
Rescue, the best place to start looking for an older, trained
+ Small children - Children under about 6 can be knocked down
by an exuberant puppy or adult. Mastiffs are, however,
generally gentle with children of any age, but, you MUST
supervise them when they are together so that neither the
child nor the dog is injured.
+ Small habitats - Mastiffs are not recommended for small
apartments or tiny houses since they tend to grow so large.
Too many Mastiffs end up in shelters or with Rescue because
their owners didn't take their eventual size into
consideration. The ideal environment is one with a
comfortable house, access to a fenced yard for potty breaks,
where the owner knows exactly what they are getting in
+ Guard dog - Mastiffs possess the natural ability to defend
their family should the need arise. They should know the
difference between friend and foe and pick up on the emotions
of their owners. Mastiffs are not recommended as a guard dog
for businesses or junkyards because of their instinctual need
to bond with people and because they are so strong that they
may overdo the guarding and hurt the wrong person. The
Mastiff temperament is not suited for formal "guard dog"
training due to their sensitive nature and because to do so
may permanently ruin their temperament.
+ Neat Freaks - Do not get a Mastiff if you are a person who
must have a clean house at all times, can't stand dog hair on
everything, or does not like the furniture being rearranged
when a Mastiff decides that he wants to sleep behind the
couch or under the table. Try to match your decor to the
color of the dog hair and slobber.
+ Workaholics - If you work long hours and someone isn't home
often, you may want to rethink getting a Mastiff. Mastiffs
like people and do not like being left alone all day in a
crate or back yard. They bore easily and will find ways to
entertain themselves while you are away. A bored, lonesome
Mastiff may destroy things or turn their boredom on
themselves causing such things as having to replace furniture
(or walls), or requiring treatment for lick granulomas. If
your home is frequently empty except for your dog, please
reconsider getting a Mastiff and may we suggest a toy breed
where you could have two to keep each other company or
perhaps a cat, bird or reptile.
+ Those on a tight budget - Mastiffs are giants and therefore
the cost of upkeep is high. Everything you need to maintain
one is expensive from the bedding, the collars, the food
bowls, the food, to the vet bills. If you are on a tight
budget or do not enjoy spending money on your dog, please
reconsider getting this breed. The initial purchase price of
the pup will be the least expensive part of owning a Mastiff.
24. _Where should I get a Mastiff?_
+ Middleman who buys puppies from breeders and resells them?
+ Pet Shop?
+ Backyard breeder?
+ Reputable breeder?
The best way to get a healthy, happy, quality Mastiff puppy,
is to buy directly from a breeder. Reputable breeders put the
welfare of their dogs and the improvement of the breed above
their desire for financial gain. Reputable breeders will take
back or replace a puppy who is found to have a congenital
defect. Breeders who are members of the Mastiff Club Of
America have agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics (see
Appendix C). A Breeder Referral list is available from the
MCOA, see Appendix I.1 for details.
+ Mastiff Rescue?
Unfortunately, usually through no fault of their own, a
number of Mastiffs end up homeless every year. The MCOA's
Rescue Service is charged with helping these distressed
Mastiff's find new homes. See Appendix D for more
25. _Where can I get more information about Mastiffs?_
See Appendix E for Mastiff information sources and Appendix I for
Mastiff Clubs and contacts.
26. _How do I pick a Mastiff puppy?_
After you have chosen your breeder and your puppy's sire and dam,
you're ready to choose your Mastiff puppy. But which one? The most
important aspect of this choice is temperament. Puppies'
temperament's vary even within the same litter.
Many people will choose the first puppy that runs up to them and
pulls at their pant leg because they think this must be a more
outgoing puppy. Not every Mastiff is for every family and this
puppy may not necessarily be THE puppy for your family. So how DO
you choose a puppy?. You should choose a Mastiff puppy that has a
temperament that compliments your family's.
Ideally your puppy's breeder will use Puppy Aptitude Testing and
family profiles to match puppies with their new owners. Puppy
Aptitude Testing evaluates the individual temperament of each
puppy. A family profile consists of a series of questions which
allows the breeder to assess your family's situation and
disposition. The breeder may even ask to choose a puppy for you.
If the breeder is skilled in Puppy Aptitude Testing, they can
generally choose the best puppy for your family. If the breeder
does not perform these tests, you will need to know how to choose
the right puppy yourself.
First, look at your family's situation: Do you have small
children? Do you have elderly in your household? Is your family
quiet or of gentle nature? Do you already have another dog? Do you
feel guilty when disciplining your children or current dog?
If you have answered "yes" to any of these questions you may
prefer a puppy with a more subordinate temperament. A dog with
dominant tendencies would not fit into this particular family
situation. Dogs are pack animals and they will try to establish a
pecking order within their pack, and your family will be their new
Subordinate (submissive) does not mean shy or timid. A puppy with
a subordinate temperament will simply be closer to the bottom of
the dominance ladder (pecking order). A subordinate puppy will not
try to dominate the small children within your household, nor will
it be as apt to challenge your authority or to compete with
another dog for dominance. Note: Timidity (shyness) is a genetic
fault in Mastiffs.
If you already have a dog: Is it submissive or dominant? What is
its size? Is it male or female? With another dog already in the
family, especially a dominant one, consider a Mastiff puppy with a
more submissive temperament and/or one of the opposite sex. A
submissive puppy will be less likely to challenge your existing
dog for pecking order. Males seldom compete with females for
leadership position. Smaller dogs can be easily injured if they
are involved in disputes with a Mastiff.
Are you experienced with large breeds? Do you NOT have small
children nor elderly within your home? Are you comfortable
offering constructive criticism? Have you had any dog training
experience of any kind? Is your current dog a larger breed of
submissive nature? Do you have the time and are you planning to
train this puppy in either Obedience, Conformation, or for Canine
Good Citizenship? Is your family active and outgoing?
If you have answered "yes" to all of these questions you may wish
to consider a puppy with more dominant tendencies. Dominant does
not mean aggressive. A Mastiff with dominant tendencies is one
which would compete for its place higher up on the dominance
ladder. It will be more apt to challenge a child or another dog.
There is a difference between a dog with dominant tendencies and a
true Alpha dog. An Alpha dog, of any breed, may even try to
challenge YOUR authority. It is never a good idea to place a
dominant puppy into a home with another dominant dog, especially
of the same sex. Properly reared dogs with dominant tendencies can
be wonderful, loving family companions.
27. _What questions should I ask the breeder (and what answers should
Before talking to a breeder, before you even start looking for a
puppy, DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST! Read this FAQ. Check out the books
and Internet resources listed in the Appendices. Read the FAQs on
'Selecting a Dog', 'Getting a Dog', 'Your New Puppy', 'Your New
Dog', 'Health Care Issues' and other subjects (these can be found
at http://www.zmall.com/pet_talk/dog-faqs/. Go to the library.
Read, read, read. Ask veterinarians what they see frequently and
what to be aware of. Go to some dog shows and talk to the
exhibitors. It is vital to have knowledge BEFORE you get or even
start looking for a puppy. Forewarned is forearmed.
This may seem like a lot of research, but you are undertaking a
long term commitment that may last 8, 10 or even more years -
longer than a new car, often longer than a house, or even, these
days, longer than a spouse! A Mastiff will quickly become a major
factor in your day to day existence, with significant influence on
your lifestyle. It is up to you to do everything you can ahead of
time to ensure that this influence will be a positive one.
A hastily or poorly chosen Mastiff can make your life miserable,
and, if subject to health problems, can cause a significant drain
on your financial resources.
Appendix G contains a list of questions that you should ask the
breeder of a Mastiff puppy that you are contemplating acquiring.
The 'Getting a Dog FAQ' at
http://www.zmall.com/pet_talk/dog-faqs/also contains more general
questions to ask a breeder.
28. _What kind of toys and other paraphernalia do I need for my
Mastiffs are big, strong puppies and even bigger, stronger
adults, with a biting capacity of estimated at over 300 psi.
Keeping that in mind, most toys and chewies for your Mastiff
will have to be durable and able to withstand major abuse.
Many toys are suitable for youngsters but not for adults and
you will have to add to the toy box as your Mastiff grows
older and stronger. When first introducing a new toy it is a
good idea to supervise your Mastiff to see how they handle
it. If they rip the toy to shreds and start swallowing lots
of it - take it away and try a different toy. Each dog is an
individual and what is good for one is not necessarily good
Some good toys to start out with a
Puppies - Nylabones, Kongs, Vermont Chews (stuffed),
compressed rawhide bones (not shredded and pressed together,
but whole pieces rolled up and compressed under thousands of
pounds of steam), carefully selected children's stuffed
animals, plastic soda bottles with the cap and cap ring
removed (discard if the pup starts to tear apart), knotted
rope bones (discard when shredded), large rope rings, soccer
and basketballs, various dental chews, hard plastic or pvc
balls, safe squeaky toys (human children's are the safest and
least toxic), raw or sterilized beef bones, raw fruit and
vegetables (No onion!), empty cardboard boxes (remove all
staples, loose packing and labels), empty toilet paper and
paper towel tubes (pups will empty them for you!) and cow
ears. Puppies also enjoy shredding newspaper but it is messy
and they can get black ink on themselves. It's not toxic
though and it won't hurt them, unless they eat to much!
Adult (over 6 months) - Same as above but delete the squeaky
toys and plastic balls. Add old lawn mower tires, large
knotted rope bones, huge nylabones and dental chews, big beef
bones (knuckle, femur, etc.), larger fruit and vegetables
(edible, biodegradable toys!), giant Kongs, large cardboard
boxes (messy, but so much fun).
There isn't a toy made that a Mastiff cannot destroy so
please be careful in your selection and keep an eye on them.
If any of the toys you have selected become badly chewed,
shredded or have chunks missing, discard them and get
something else. Each Mastiff is a little different in how it
deals with each object. Some will lay down and eat a whole
bone whereas others will occasionally gnaw on it and have it
last a long time. Some will ignore toys that others covet.
Try various things and see what your dog likes. Remember,
anything can be dangerous if not used properly and can cause
problems for your Mastiff. The best advice is to know your
dog and watch it with new toys until you are certain that the
toys won't be eaten (except for fruit & veggies) or destroyed
in one sitting! Have fun and be creative!
+ FOOD and WATER DISHES
Stainless steel is suggested for several reasons. It is
basically indestructible and is easy to sterilize and
dishwasher safe. Buy the largest one you can find for a water
bowl and at least a 5 qt. size for the food.
+ COLLARS and LEASHES
Up until about 6 months old, most collars will work just fine
including the adjustable ones with a plastic snap. After 6
months it is best to use a buckle type collar made of either
wide nylon or leather. A six foot lead is recommended for
training and a shorter leash for going on walks. You can use
either nylon or leather, just be sure it has a strong snap!
For formal training, like at an obedience class, you will
need a "choke" chain, usually made with metal links. Your
instructor will advise you of the correct size and how to put
it on the pup and how to use it properly. Remember: NEVER
leave a dog, puppy or adult, unattended with a choke collar
on as they can easily get it caught on something, even in a
crate, and strangle themselves!
One company that publishes a catalog specifically for big dog
items is Big Dog Basics & Pyraphernalia at
http://www.gcnet.com/bigdogs/ (316) 276-8665
The 'Resources FAQ' at http://www.zmall.com/pet_talk/dog-faqs/has
an extensive list of dog supply catalogs, magazines, and
organizations. In it you can find listing for things such as
weight pulling harnesses, backpacking necessities and everything
else imaginable for your Mastiff.
29. _Is that a Mastiff in:_
+ Beethoven? No, a St. Bernard.
+ Cybil? Yes.
+ Howard Huge? No, a St. Bernard(?).
+ Marmaduke? No, a Great Dane.
+ Sandlot? Yes.
+ The Secret Garden? Yes.
+ That's My Dog? Yes.
+ The Truth About Dogs? No, a ???.
+ Turner and Hooch? No, a Dogue de Borduex (French Mastiff).
+ Meet Wally Sparks? Yes.
30. _What's the difference between a Mastiff and a Bullmastiff?_
The Mastiff is an ancient British breed and its history can be
traced back over 2,000 years. The Bullmastiff is a relatively
recent breed developed from crossing Mastiff (60%) and Bulldog
(40%) stock. The Bullmastiff's shorter, more compact, more
muscular look; shorter muzzle; higher energy level and greater
stubbornness are derived from the Bulldog part of the
The most noticeable differences are temperament, the conformation
of the heads and overall size of the dogs.
Mastiffs have a mellower, more relaxed temperament, compared to
the pushier, more active temperament of the typical Bullmastiff.
The Mastiff's forehead should be slightly curved and the stop
(indentation between the eyes) well marked but not too abrupt
while the Bullmastiff's forehead should be flat and the stop
Mastiff males should be at least 30" at the shoulder and females
27 1/2" at the shoulder, with no upper limit for height.
Bullmastiff males should be between 25-27" at the shoulder and
females 24-26" at the shoulder.
Weight ranges differ significantly between the breeds, with the
Bullmastiff being smaller as well as more compact. The Bullmastiff
Standard lists 110-130 pounds for males, 100-120 pounds for
females. While the Mastiff Standard specifies no weight ranges,
males weights usually run 160 pounds and up, females 120 pounds
A. _History of the Mastiff_
There is evidence of Mastiff-like giant dogs dating back as far as
2500 BC in the mountains of Asia. Bas-reliefs from the Babylonian
palace of Ashurbanipal (now on display in the British Museum)
depict Mastiff-type dogs hunting lions in the desert near the
Tigris River. Their coloration, of course, cannot be told, but
other than being taller and leaner than current-day Mastiffs (as
ours would be if raised in a desert and fed lightly), they are
remarkably like our modern Mastiffs, despite the passing of nearly
After this clear visual evidence, we must rely on folklore and
oral history. Phoenician traders are believed to have introduced
the Mastiff to ancient Britain, where the Romans found them and
brought them back to fight in the arena.
Marco Polo wrote of Kubla Khan, who kept a kennel of 5,000
Mastiffs used for hunting and war.
When Hannibal, the great Roman leader, crossed the Alps, he took
with him several battalions of trained war mastiffs, who, during
their long travels, "fraternized" with local breeds to produce
what became the St. Bernard, once called the Alpine Mastiff, as
well as other giant breeds.
All of the massive mountain dogs of Spain, France, Turkey, and the
Balkans can trace their size back to Mastiff blood in their
ancestry. Even the Chow Chow carries Mastiff blood, as does the
Pug, which was originally a form of dwarf Mastiff.
Theories advanced by various authors have focused on one or more
of the above to try to identify the *origin* of the breed. What
should matter the most to us is what the breed is like now, and
how it came to be that way. Despite the differences of opinion on
where the Mastiff originated, most agree that the British are the
creators of the breed as we know it today.
Of all the countries who used the Mastiff, it was the British who
kept him in his purest form, and it is to them that we owe the
Mastiff of today. They kept Mastiffs to guard their castles and
estates, releasing them at night to ward off intruders. Henry VIII
is said to have presented Charles V of Spain a gift of 400
Mastiffs to be used in battle.
The Legh family of Lyme Hall, Cheshire, who were given their
estate by Richard II (1377-1399), kept and bred Mastiffs for many
generations. Stowe's Annual, a reference book, shows that King
James I (1603-1625) sent a gift of two Lyme Hall mastiffs to
Phillip II of Spain. These, or their immediate descendants, are
certainly the Mastiff-type dogs shown in famous portraits of the
Spanish royal children.
Other sources indicate that Mastiffs were used as war dogs by the
ancient Celts, and accompanied their masters into battle. When the
Romans invaded Britain, they took the dogs back to Italy and used
them to guard property and prisoners, as well as using them to
fight in the arena.
The Mastiff was one of the few breeds mentioned by name in The
Forest Laws of King Canute, the first written laws of England.
There, Mastiffs were required to be checked by the tax collector,
who would make sure the middle toes of each front foot were
removed so the dog could not run fast enough to catch the deer
(which traditionally belonged to royalty). Tax collectors have not
evolved much over the centuries; the penalties for failing to meet
their requirements were extreme. In the Forest Laws, Mastiffs were
mentioned specifically as being kept for protection.
In the Elizabethan Era, the Mastiff was used to fight wild animals
(e.g., bears, tigers, etc.), usually for the entertainment of the
Queen. After the cessation of this cruel sport, Mastiffs continued
to be bred by the Dukes of Devonshire and Sutherland, the Earl of
Harrington, and other nobles.
According to the scanty records of the Pilgrim Fathers, two dogs,
a Mastiff and a spaniel, accompanied the Plymouth colonists aboard
the Mayflower on their journey to the new world.
In England, dog showing became popular in the mid-1800s. Wealthy
people kept and bred Mastiffs and started the first recorded
pedigrees. These were registered with what was then the only
kennel club in the world, The Kennel Club in England.
During the World Wars, Mastiffs were used to pull munitions carts
on the fronts. In America, they were frequently found on
plantations as property guards.
The size of the Mastiff and its need to eat about as much food per
day as an adult human made a Mastiff too costly for most common
folk to keep, except perhaps for butchers. In England they were
sometimes called "the Butcher's Dog" because a butcher had enough
meat scraps to feed a Mastiff well, and could therefore afford to
keep one, even though he was not wealthy.
Mastiffs began to decline in popularity until the late 1800's,
when interest revived briefly, and Mastiffs started to be imported
into America. World War I saw their decline again in England, and
by the 1920's they were almost extinct in that country in their
pure form. It was considered unpatriotic to keep dogs alive who
ate as much in a day as a soldier; entire huge kennels were put
down as a result.
World War II all but finished the breed in England. At the end of
the war, fresh blood was imported from Canada and the United
States to revive the breed. Now, fortunately, Mastiffs are well
established again, the United States having perhaps the greatest
Breeders today have bred the Mastiff for gentleness and have
created an excellent companion, large enough to deter intruders
and yet gentle enough to be dependable around children.
B. _MCOA / AKC Mastiff Conformation Standard_
_OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE MASTIFF_
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. A good evaluation considers
positive qualities of type and soundness with equal weight.
_Size, Proportion, Substance_
_Size_ - Dogs, minimum, 30 inches at the shoulder. Bitches,
minimum, 27-1/2 inches at the shoulder. _Fault_-Dogs or bitches
below the minimum standard. The farther below standard, the
greater the fault.
_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. _Fault_-Lack of
substance or slab sided.
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. Light eyes or a predatory expression
_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
_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. The stop between
the eyes well marked but not too abrupt. 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. In other words, the
distance from the tip of the nose to stop is equal to one-half the
distance between the stop and the occiput. Circumference of the
muzzle (measured midway between the eyes and nose) to that of the
head (measured before the ears) is as 3 is to 5.
_Muzzle_ - short, broad under the eyes and running nearly equal in
width to the end of the nose. Truncated, i.e. blunt and cut off
square, thus forming a right angle with the upper line of the
face. Of great depth from the point of the nose to the underjaw.
Underjaw broad to the end and slightly rounded. Muzzle dark in
color, the blacker the better. _Fault_-snipiness of the muzzle.
_Nose_ - broad and always dark in color, the blacker the better,
with spread flat nostrils (not pointed or turned up) 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
_Neck, Topline, Body_
_Neck_ - powerful, very muscular, slightly arched, and of medium
length. The neck gradually increases in circumference as it
approaches the shoulder. Neck moderately "dry" (not showing an
excess of loose skin).
_Topline_ -In profile the topline should be straight, level, and
firm, not swaybacked, roached, or dropping off sharply behind the
high point of the rump.
_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. False ribs
deep and well set back.
_Underline_ - There should be a reasonable, but not exaggerated,
_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.
_Shoulders_ - moderately sloping, powerful and muscular, with no
tendency to looseness. Degree of front angulation to match correct
_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
_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. This rules out straight hocks, and since stifle
angulation varies with hock angulation, it also rules out
insufficiently angulated stifles. _Fault_-Straight stifles.
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.
_Fault_-Long or wavy coat.
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 is permitted. _Faults_-Excessive white on the chest or white
on any other part of the body. Mask, ears, or nose lacking dark
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.
A combination of grandeur and good nature, courage and docility.
Dignity, rather than gaiety, is the Mastiff's correct demeanor.
Judges should not condone shyness or viciousness. Conversely,
judges should also beware of putting a premium on showiness.
Approved November 12, 1991
Effective December 31, 1991
C. _MCOA Code of Ethics _
_MASTIFF CLUB OF AMERICA_
_REVISED CODE OF ETHICS
The Mastiff Club of America requires its members to adhere to the
following guidelines which constitute its Code of Ethics. The Club
also requires that members, breeders and stud dog owners not aid
or abet the violation of these guidelines by anyone else. This
Code details certain practices necessary to implement the
objectives of the Club as outlined in Article I, Section 2 of its
1. I will consider only the betterment of the breed when
breeding a bitch or allowing a breeding with my stud dog,
being conscientious of controlling and eliminating inherited
problems. A breeder and stud dog owner shall plan each
breeding with the paramount intention of protecting the
breed,, and only when the parties involved agree the breeder
is in a position and has the knowledge to give proper care to
both the bitch and offspring.
2. I will not allow a bitch to be bred prior to her reaching
twenty- two (22) months of age, nor shall any bitch be bred
after her seventh (7) birthday. A bitch will not be bred more
than once (1) a year unless she does not whelp a litter, the
litter is stillborn, consists of a single (I) pup, or as part
of a veterinarian's recommendation for treatment of pyometra.
Any other reason for a bitch to be bred more than once (I) a
year would need to be stated in writing, along with a
licensed veterinarian's certification of good health, to be
received by the Recording Secretary at least forty-five (45)
days prior to the breeding for the Board's approval.
3. I will sell a Mastiff only to a buyer whom I believe to be
interested in the protection of the breed and who would agree
in writing to provide the highest quality of care for said
Mastiff, including quality food, water, proper shelter from
heat or cold; active companionship, appropriate exercise,
socialization and professional veterinary care whenever
4. An MCOA member will sell each Mastiff puppy/adult on a
written contract signed by all parties. Said contract shall
contain, but is not limited to the following provisions:
a. Complete care/feeding instructions.
b. A record of innoculations and worming with a recommended
c. Provide the buyer with a five (5) generation pedigree on
d. Furnish a signed AKC registration or transfer form,
unless written agreement is made with the buyer that
such papers are withheld or are to follow.
e. A provision that ensures that the breeder is contacted
whenever an owner can no longer keep a dog at anytime in
the dog's life.
f. Stipulate that the buyer have a veterinary check-up
within five (5) working days of the sale, (or whatever
is applicable in your state of residence), to determine
that the Mastiff is healthy. If the veterinarian
determines that the Mastiff is not in good health, the
breeder will, upon the Mastiffs return, refund the
purchase price or replace the Mastiff.
5. I will not knowingly sell or provide a Mastiff for resale,
gift or prize or to a broker/agent for resale. I will not
engage in the brokering of puppies, (selling or buying),
EXCEPT in a case that would prevent a potential rescue
situation. ALL SUCH CASES MUST be documented by letter to the
MCOA Recording Secretary.
6. I will not sell a puppy/adult who is sick, nor will I ship or
deliver to the buyer a puppy less than eight (8) weeks of
7. I will show good sportsmanship at all times and in all
matters relating to Mastiffs. I will maintain the highest
degree of honesty and integrity. I will not knowingly make a
misstatement of fact in any serious discussion or
advertisement of my Mastiffs or the Mastiffs of any other
Mastiff owner, that I might have with persons not qualified
to judge the facts for themselves.
8. If I should find myself unable to physically take back a
Mastiff, bred/sold by me, who has been displaced, I will
assist MCOA Rescue or a regional club rescue program in the
placement of said Mastiff.
9. I will require the neutering/spaying of any puppy/adult I
place or sell as pet quality as soon as the dog reaches the
10. I will not sell a Mastiff for the purpose of attack training,
fighting, or any other sport detrimental to the breed and its
11. I will not produce more than eight (8) litters, owned or co-
owned, in a twenty-four (24) month period. As a stud dog
owner I will not knowingly allow my stud dog to be used in a
program which has already produced more than eight (8)
litters in a twenty-four (24) month period.
_MCOA BY-LAWS; ARTICLE VI - DISCIPLINE; SECTION 2 - CHARGES_
Any member or non-member may prefer charges against a member for
alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the breed
or Club. Written charges with specifications must be filed in
duplicate with the Recording Secretary together with a refundable
fee of fifty (50) dollars, if charges are heard. ...
D. _MCOA Rescue Service_
1. What is the MCOA Rescue Service?
The Mastiff Club of America sponsors a national Rescue
Service for Mastiffs in need. Dogs that are available for
adoption come from a variety of circumstances, including
shelters. Usually they range from two to six years old.
When a Mastiff is released to the Club, it is taken to a
veterinarian for a medical checkup and necessary
vaccinations. The dog's temperament is evaluated and the
Rescue Service attempts to locate any past history of the
dog. These dogs are neutered or spayed before being released
to their new homes.
The Rescue Service requests a donation for an adopted Mastiff
based on the age and general health of the dog. In order to
be considered as an adoptive home, a Family Profile Form must
To obtain more information about adopting a rescued Mastiff,
send a SASE to:
MCOA Rescue Service
6360 Conley Rd.
Concord, OH 44077
2. MCOA Rescue Service Contacts
To report a Mastiff in need, contact the nearest Rescue
Coordinator listed below.
Gloria Cuthbert (OH)
phone: (216) 639-1160
o _Assistant to the Director - Western US_
Paula Lange (AZ)
phone: (520) 476-2351
o _Assistant to the Director - Eastern US_
Alma Bowman (GA)
phone: (706) 965-4219
o _NORTH-WESTERN REGION_ - AK, HI, ID, OR, WA
Pacific Northwest Mastiff Club
Paul & Misty Shearon (WA)
phone: (360) 832-7245
o _WESTERN REGION_ - AZ, CA, CO, KS, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV,
SD, UT, WY
Karen Flocker (AZ)
phone: (520) 779-0473
o _MID-WESTERN REGION_ - IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, OH,
Debbie Greiner (IL)
phone: (773) 763-7793
o _MID-SOUTHERN REGION_ - AR, LA, OK, TX
Janet Powell (TX)
phone: (214) 342-3763
o _NORTH-EASTERN REGION_ - CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY,
PA, RI, VA, VT, WV
Gina Anelli (CT)
phone: (860) 283-6278
o _SOUTH-EASTERN REGION_ - AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN
Deborah Martin (NC)
phone: (919) 556-0206
Mastiff Rescue - Southern California -
MCOA Rescue -
E. _Mastiff References and Resources_
Unless indicated otherwise, the in-print books can be ordered
from most major bookstores and are also usually available
from the following, who may also have some of the
out-of-print items occasionally:
o 4-M Enterprises
- or -
o Amazon.com Books
- or -
o Direct Book Service
- or -
o Dog Lover's Bookshop
phone: (212) 594-3601
_Books in-print / available:_
# _The Complete Mastiff_ by Betty Baxter and David
Blaxter (1993) pub. by Howell Book House
# _The Mastiff_ by Marie Moore (1978) pub. by
# _The Mastiff And Bullmastiff Handbook_ by Douglas
B. Oliff (1988) pub. by Howell Book House
# _The Mastiff Club Of America Yearbook_ pub.
annually by the MCOA in conjunction with the
@ 1991 - Tampa, FL
@ 1992 - White Plains, NY
@ 1993/1994 - F. Worth, TX / Portland, OR
@ 1995 - Nashville, TN
For availability and current pricing, contact:
7010 Valrie Lane
Riverview, FL 33569
phone: (813) 677-7991
# _Mastiff Stud Dog Registry_ by Debora Jones -
updated biannually, to order send $17.50 check
payable to MCOA Rescue to:
D. L. Jones
De Vine Farm
5951 Huntingtown Rd
Huntingtown, MD 20639
# _Henry and Mudge_ (youth) by Cynthia Rylant
(1987-19xx) series of 14 (plus more on the way) (pb
& hc) pub. by Bradbury Press
# _The Toby Man_ by Dick King-Smith (1991) pub. by
_Books out-of-print / sometimes available (usually used):_
# _Champions, A View of the Mastiff in America_ by
Joan Hahn & Judy Powers (1983) pub. by The Mastiff
Club of America, Inc.
# _Grandeur and Good Nature - The Character of the
Mastiff_ by Joan Hahn (1992) pub. by Joan Hahn
# _The History and Management Of The Mastiff_ by E.
Baxter & P. Hoffman (198?) pub. by Scan House
# _History of The Mastiff_ by M. B. Wynn (1886) pub.
by Wm. Loxley and Melton Mowbray
limited edition reprint (1988) pub. by Peregrine
Press (500 copies)
# _Making Of The Modern Mastiff_ by Norman Howard
Carp-Gordon (1978) pub. by North & East Mastiff
# _Alphonse and Archibald_ by Ruth M. Collins (1953)
pub. by Dodd, Mead & Co.
# _Dog that wanted to whistle_ by Harry Levy (1940)
pub. by Lothrop, Lee and Shepard
# _Lion, the Mastiff_ by A. G. Savigny (1896) pub. by
# _Pilgrim and Pluck, Dogs of the Mayflower_ by
Arthur C. Bartlett (1936) pub. by W. A. Wilde Co.
# _Rab and His Friends_ by Dr. John Brown, MD (1892,
1902, 1909, 1927, 1970) pub. by various
o _MCOA Journal_ - quarterly magazine - $28.00 a year,
outside US extra, back issues $10, for subscription
871 Craigville Road
Chester, NY 10918
o _The Mastiff Reporter_ - bi-monthly newsletter, $10.00 a
year, to subscribe send $10.00 check payable to Sharon
4910 E. Emile Zola Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
o Many of the Mastiff clubs listed in Appendix I also have
their own newsletters. Contact the individual clubs for
3. Video / Audio
o _Mass of Love, Joy and Pride_ - Mastiff song, cassette,
available from 4-M Enterprises
o _The Mastiff_ - the Official AKC video, available from
Direct Book Service or 4-M Enterprises
o _See Jane Train Spot_ - one hour video featuring
Mastiffs in training, to order contact:
See Jane Videos
Eaton, IN 47448
4. Computer Programs & Databases
o _Devine Farm Pedigree Program & Mastiff Database_ -
Contains information on over 17,000 Mastiffs, performs
inbreeding coefficients, relationship coefficients, can
print up to 9 generation pedigrees, can display and
visually analyze 5 generation pedigrees, allows queries
against the entire database, lists descendants up to 9
generations, lists siblings, full-siblings and can query
against any of these lists. Runs under DOS with a
mouse/keyboard interface, will also run under Win 3.1
and Win95. To order, send $30 check payable to Mastiff
D. L. Jones
De Vine Farm
5951 Huntingtown Rd
Huntingtown, MD 20639
5. Mastiffs on the Internet
a. MCOA WWW Home Page
No, not yet, but we're working on it. You can, however,
find this FAQ at our temporary page:
# Mastiff Club of America -
And there should also always be a permanent link to
this FAQ (under BREEDS) at:
# rec.pets.dogs FAQ Homepage -
b. MCOA Member Home Pages
# Avalon Mastiffs -
# Castlemist Old English Mastiffs -
# Comstock Mastiffs -
# De Vine Farm -
# Fantasy Mastiffs - http://intergrafix.com/fantasy/
# Grand Traverse Mastiffs -
# Greiner Hall Mastiffs -
# Kinmor Kennels -
# Lamars Old English Mastiffs -
# Lawraleigh's Mastiffs -
# Nittany Mastiffs -
# Millennium Mastiffs -
# Povrlrd Kennels - http://www.why.net/users/parker/
# Willow Run Mastiffs -
# Windfall Mastiffs -
c. Other Mastiff WWW Pages
# Club Espanol de Molosos de Arena -
# Club Francais du Bullmastiff et du Mastiff -
# Home Page for The Mastiff -
# Mastiff Club Of Victoria -
# Mastiff Mailing List Archives -
# Mastiff Mailing List Member Profiles -
# Mastiff Picture Page -
# Mastiff Rescue - Southern California -
# Mastiff Stud Dog Register and Articles -
# MCOA Journal Subscription Information and Back
# MCOA Rescue -
# "SHE WOULD NOT BE WHIPPED, SHE WOULD RATHER DIE" -
d. Mastiff Mailing list
Matthew Kleinmann at Cornell University runs a mailing
list for OEM's and related breeds. Although not
affiliated with the MCOA, many of its members can be
found among the lists 300+ subscribers. To subscribe to
the list, send email to
in the body (leave off the quotes).
F. _Health Tests / Certifications every Mastiff SHOULD have_
Mastiffs, like all breeds, have problems that are genetic - i.e.,
passed from the parents to the offspring through their genes.
These problems range in severity from minor to major and/or life
In order to do something about these problems, breeders must first
be aware that the problems exist, then they must learn as much as
they can about the problems, including how they are inherited. A
number of excellent tools are available to help accomplish the
task of reducing genetic disease in our dogs - health testing with
registered or certified results published by various
Standardized tests are the only objective and practical way to be
sure of the health status of any dog. Keep in mind that dogs are
not always as they appear; for example, they can be dysplastic
without exhibiting any clinical symptoms. Dogs can also "carry"
the genes of their relatives, not just the genes that they express
themselves. Thus, the more relatives of a dog that are tested, the
easier it is to evaluate the chances that that dog "carries" the
gene(s) for a particular trait. For example, if a dog's
full-sibling has PRA and it and its sire and dam do not, then the
dog has a 66% chance of carrying the gene for PRA.
Testing ALL dogs for genetic disease provides the means for
reducing the risk of, and eventually eliminating, most genetic
diseases. For Mastiffs, testing should be performed for hip
dysplasia (x-ray), elbow dysplasia (x-ray), patellar luxation
(examination), eye disease (examination), thyroid disease (blood
draw), heart disease (examination) and von Willebrands Disease
(vWD) (blood draw).
While Mastiff breeders, no matter how much they test, cannot
guarantee that their puppies will not experience these problems,
their use of genetic testing and the breeding of only tested clear
dogs will reduce that risk. Breeders that test all of their dogs
and require that all puppy buyers do likewise are making a sincere
effort to reduce the incidence of genetic disease.
The WWW site 'Mastiff Stud Dog Register and Articles' at
http://www.dclink.com/mastiff/index.htm contains a considerable
body of information regarding Mastiffs and these tests.
Additional genetic disease and testing information:
+ Eliminating Genetic Diseases in Dogs: A Buyer's Perspective
FAQ - http://www.zmall.com/pet_talk/dog-faqs/medical-info/
+ The Dog Genome Project - http://mendel.berkeley.edu/dog.html
TESTING / REGISTRATION / CERTIFICATION FACILITIES AND LABS
+ MCOA GDCS (Genetic Data Collection Service)
PO Box 531533Grand Prairie, TX 75053-1533
phone: (972) 660-5113fax: (972)660-5201
The MCOA offers this service to individuals and breeders who
are interested in researching the genetic background of their
dogs. Inclusion on the list for the various genetic tests is
free to all Mastiff owners regardless of their membership
status with MCOA. Updates are published quarterly in the MCOA
Journal and a complete listing (1972 to the present) is
available for a fee ($15 with OFA list, $10 without OFA list)
Send request and check (payable to MCOA) to the above to
The MCOA GDCS currently includes OFA Preliminary Hips, OFA
Preliminary Elbows, OFA Hips, OFA Elbows, von Willebrands
Disease, Thyroid and CERF. Passing OFA Hips, OFA Elbows, OFA
Patellar and CERF registration are automatically included for
all Mastiffs, contact the above for specific requirements for
listing other results.
+ MCOA PRA Project (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
o West Coast Coordinator
3228 Mehrhoff Place
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
phone: (520) 779-0473fax: (520) 779-2169
o East Coast Coordinator
De Vine Farm
5951 Huntingtown RdHuntingtown, MD 20639
phone: (301) 855-6711
PRA Research -
James A. Baker Institute For Animal Health -
The MCOA is backing a project by the James A. Baker Institute
For Animal Health at Cornell University to develop a DNA test
for PRA in Mastiffs. PRA is a recessive, genetic,
degenerative eye disease that leads to blindness. PRA
typically cannot be detected in Mastiffs until the dog is 1
year old, and sometimes not until the dog is over 3 years.
The DNA test is needed to detect carriers and those afflicted
prior to breeding, so that breeders can guarantee that their
pups will not have PRA and PRA can be eliminated from the
gene pool. At present the penetration of PRA into the Mastiff
gene pool is unknown due to the lack of adequate testing
tools and insufficient awareness of the need for, and use of,
those tools that are available. The MCOA is administering a
fund and soliciting donations to aid in the development of
this test. Contact the above for more details.
+ OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Inc.)
2300 E. Nifong Blvd.
Columbia, MO 65201-3856
phone: (314) 442-0418
fax: (314) 875-5073
Reviews x-rays for hip and elbow dysplasia (will consult on
other orthopedic conditions via x-ray), certifies patellas,
hearts and thyroid. Publishes passing results. Dogs must be
at least 24 months for hip and elbow certification and 12
months for patella, thyroid and heart certification.
Preliminary x-rays of hips and elbows can be performed on an
evaluation basis as early as six months. Fees are required
for submission of x-rays for certification/evaluation and
patella/thyroid/heart for certification in addition to vet
fees for performing of x-rays and various examinations.
OFA requires that the examination for heart certification be
performed by a board certified cardiologist, a vet who is
board certified in another specialty or a vet with experience
in diagnosing heart murmurs. If at all possible try to find a
OFA has specific requirements for certification of thyroid
testing and specific labs that have qualified to perform
these specific test requirements. Thyroid certification
through OFA is a preferred option, although not necessary,
since a full thyroid panel will provide the necessary genetic
+ CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation)
1248 Lynn Hall
W. Lafayette, IN 47907
phone: (317) 494-8179
Certifies eyes based on examination by an ACVO (American
College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist) diplomat (member).
Publishes passing results. Dogs can be examined/certified at
any age (recommend as early as possible - 8 weeks) and CERF
recommends re-examination annually. Submission fee required
in addition to vet fee for examination.
+ GDC (Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals)
P. O. Box 222
Davis, CA 95617
phone: (916) 756-6773
fax: (916) 756-6773
Reviews x-rays for hip and elbow dysplasia (will also review
x-rays for dysplasia of shoulders and hocks as well as
osteochondrosis and arthrosis for all sites). Certifies eyes
based on examination by ACVO diplomat. Certification at 12
months of age for hips, elbows, shoulders and hocks.
Certification of eyes same as for CERF. Reports are available
for a fee for use by breeders, owners, prospective owners,
breed clubs and researchers under certain rules. Reports
include KinReport(TM) - Progeny & Sibling/half-sibling
printout from the registries on subject dog; and Phenotype
report on subject dog. ALL (bold, italics) results (passing
and failing) are listed -- THIS IS AN OPEN REGISTRY. Fee for
x-ray evaluation/certification and eye certification in
addition to vet fees for performing x-rays or examinations.
+ MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory
P. O. Box 30076
Lansing, MI 48909
phone: (517) 353-1683
One of major labs performing full panel for thyroid function
(T3, T4, TT3, TT4, FT3, FT4). Recommend doing a baseline
thyroid at 12-18 months and retest annually (see NOTE below).
+ ANTEC (formerly PAL - Professional Animal Laboratory)
17672-A Cowan Ave.
Irvine, CA 92714
fax: (714) 752-4935
(800) 542-1151 (CA)
(800) 745-4725 (outside CA)
One of major labs performing full panel thyroid function test
and von Willebrand test. Same as above on thyroid timing. Von
Willebrand is a one time test which can be performed at any
age (see NOTE below).
+ CORNELL UNIVERSITY
College of Veterinary Medicine
P. O. Box 5786,
Ithaca, NY 14852-5786
phone: (607) 253-3900
One of major labs performing full panel thyroid function test
and von Willebrand test. Same as above on thyroid and von
Willebrand timing (see NOTE below).
_NOTE:_ When having blood drawn for thyroid and/or von Willebrand
testing, be sure that your dog is healthy, has not been vaccinated
within the past two-four weeks, is not on any medication, is not
in season (within 6-12 weeks) and has not been flea dipped or
stressed such as from breeding. A number of things, such as those
mentioned above, can affect the test outcome and the need for
retesting is not unusual.
G. _Questions To Ask a Mastiff Breeder_
The following are offered as possible questions you should ask the
breeder of a Mastiff puppy you are considering acquiring. The FAQ
'Getting a Dog' contains additional, more general questions you
may also wish to ask.
1. Are the parents proven to be clear of the genetic problems
discussed in Appendix F? Have the suggested tests been
performed on the parents? What is the breadth of the testing
- just the parents? older siblings? grandparents? aunts &
uncles? The breeder should be willing and able to produce
copies of all test results, at least for the parents - if not
offered - ask for them!
If the breeder doesn't test, ask why. Do NOT accept the
answer that they don't test because they've never had a
problem with something - how can they know they don't have a
problem if they don't test? Do not accept their vet's opinion
on hip dysplasia x-rays - a regular vet is not a trained
radiologist - OFA uses three board certified radiologists to
examine all x-rays.
2. How old is the dam? How many times has she been bred? How far
apart were the breedings? A Mastiff bitch should not be bred
before 22 months of age nor after her 7th birthday; nor
should her breedings, other than in exceptional cases, be
closer together than 12 months.
3. Why did they choose the stud dog they used? What traits were
they looking for? What was the purpose of this breeding? What
improvements were they after? Are the breeders planning on
keeping a puppy from this litter? If not, why not? If yes,
how did they pick which one? A reputable Mastiff breeder will
have a good reason for every breeding, either to improve
their line or solidify and continue traits they already have.
A reputable breeder will NOT be breeding just to have puppies
4. What faults do the dam and sire have? EVERY Mastiff has some
faults. How has this breeding served to correct these faults?
What are their good points?
5. What breed clubs do the breeders belong to? At a minimum,
they should belong to the MCOA and/or one of regional Mastiff
clubs, thus exhibiting an interest in supporting the future
and direction of the breed, as well as being willing to place
themselves under the oversight of their peers through the
mechanism of the clubs' Code of Ethics.
6. Have the dam and sire been shown? Conformation showing is
intended to identify the dogs that best fit the Mastiff
standard; if the dogs haven't been shown, how do the breeders
know, objectively, how well they are doing?
7. What are the living conditions of the breeder's dogs? Do they
have adequate living space and room to exercise? Are the
quarters clean and well kept? Is fresh water available?
8. What steps have the breeders taken to socialize the pups? Are
they used to children? Other dogs? Other animals? Public
places with lots of people? Early socialization is extremely
important for a Mastiff; the lack of adequate socialization
can cause serious problems later on.
9. What are the pups being fed? Are they being given
supplements? If so, why? Mastiff pups will eventually grow to
their genetically programmed size, it is much better for
their health if they do so slowly. Good, quality food is
usually all they need.
10. What are the terms of their contract? What guarantees do they
offer? What conditions do they impose on your treatment and
care of the dog? What penalties are imposed if you violate
the terms of the contract? See Appendix C, section 4 of the
MCOA Code of Ethics for a list of the minimum terms an MCOA
breeder must include in their contract as well as other
material they are required to supply to a puppy buyer.
H. _Special Aspects of Raising a Mastiff Puppy_
Even a small Mastiff is destined to be a large dog. This is
something that must be taken into consideration when rearing it.
As a puppy, your Mastiff should not be allowed to do anything that
you would not wish your full grown Mastiff to do, such as laying
on the couch. And because your puppy is going to be such a large
dog, it is also a very, very good idea that it receive, at a
minimum, basic obedience training. You DO NOT want a 200 pound dog
that won't listen to you; this can lead to obvious problems.
Mastiffs grow at such an astonishing rate that it is best not to
force their growth with artificial vitamins and calcium
supplements. A good quality dog food is all that they require. A
Mastiff is going to get as large as it is going to be,
genetically, anyway; allowing them to grow at their own pace will
give them a more stable foundation once they get there. Many
breeders recommend NOT feeding a 'puppy chow' beyond the first few
months due to the high protein content.
During growth periods your Mastiff puppy is subject to joint
injury. You will need to be especially careful during these times
to control excessive exercise. A puppy may play at its own rate
but should not be encouraged to take long walks, jump obstacles,
or any other exercise that will stress the joints. This is not to
say the puppy has to be confined. Just use caution and do not
allow it to over exert itself. After about 18 months the growth
rate has decreased and the puppy has just about reached its full
A Mastiff remains a puppy much longer than most breeds. Even
though a Mastiff is already quite large by the time it is 6 months
old, it is still growing and maturing rapidly. A Mastiff does not
reach its full physical or mental maturity until around 3 years of
You will be surprised at how much a Mastiff puppy will drink.
Fresh water should be kept available at all times. Drool will
accumulate in the bottom of the pup's water dish. Since the pup
will not drink its own drool, the dish should be rinsed out at
All puppies love to chew. Mastiffs have very powerful jaws, even
as a puppy. Some chew toys that are fine for other breeds may not
be suitable for your Mastiff. Caution should be used when choosing
toys or chew bones because the pup could bite off pieces and
swallow them, resulting in intestinal blockage. Mastiff puppies
also have a tendency to chew, or swallow, rocks and sticks. They
should be watched closely and discouraged from doing so.
I. _Mastiff Clubs & Contacts_
1. MCOA Officers and Contacts
o President - Joe Margraf
o Vice President - Bob Silvaggi
o Treasurer - Tina Copas
o Corresponding Secretary
Rt 7, Box 520
Fairmont, WV 26554
o Recording Secretary
40510 76th Ave E
o MCOA AKC Delegate - Dr. William Newman
o MCOA AKC Gazette Columnist - Joan Hahn
o MCOA AKC Public Education Coordinator
phone: (203) 966-4253
fax: (203) 972-0234
o MCOA Genetic Data Collection Service Coordinator
PO Box 531533
Grand Prairie, TX 75053-1533
phone: (214) 660-5113
o MCOA Journal Editor
18174 Wheeler Rd.
Springdale, AR 72762
phone: (501) 361-2980
o MCOA Journal Subscription Editor
871 Craigville Road
Chester, NY 10918
o MCOA Membership Chairperson (for membership information
and application forms)
11401 W. Winslow Ave. Rt. 2
Tolleson, Az. 85353
phone: (602) 936-8488
fax: (602) 936-8467
o MCOA Rescue National Director - Gloria Cuthbert - (see
o MCOA Rescue Secretary/Treasurer
4620 Durham Rd
Raleigh, NC 27614
o Mastiff Information Packet includes:
Breeder Referral List
Rescue Adoption Information Packet
(enclose $4 check payable to MCOA to cover
BRL - East
391 Old Northfield Rd.
Thomaston, CT 06787
- or -
BRL - West
3434 W. Greenway #26-329
Phoenix, AZ 85023-3877
2. US Regional Mastiff Clubs (alphabetical by club name)
The following contacts are constantly changing. If you find
an error or know of one that's changed, please let the FAQ
o Chesapeake Mastiff Club
Diane Spalding, Secretary
609 Fountain Rd.
Salisbury, MD 21801
phone: (410) 749-4912
fax: (410) 860-5013
o Midwest Mastiff Fanciers
Melissa Prete, Secretary
4311 West Parker
Chicago, IL 60639
phone: (312) 252-2769
email: (Tim Plezbert)
o Mid Atlantic Mastiff Alliance
3841 Turkeyfoot Rd.
Westminister, MD 21158
phone: (410) 346-6127
o North & East Mastiff Fanciers
Jennifer Modica, Corresponding Secretary
175 Stagecoach Rd.
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
phone: (609) 463-0534
o Pacific Northwest Mastiff Club
Judy Ropes, Secretary
7434 Byron St. NE
Olympia, WA 98506-9724
phone: (206) 943-6718
o Pacific Southwest Mastiff Club
Betsy Harvey, Secretary
1018 Amber Drive
Santa Paula, CA 93060
phone: (805) 525-4980
o Redwood Empire Mastiff Club
Kim Lupi, Secretary
4480 Roop Road
Gilroy, CA 95020
phone: (408) 842-1956
o Rocky Mt. Mastiff Fanciers
Kaurie Jones, Secretary
11053 Chase Way
Broomfield, CO 80020
phone: (303) 466-9188
o Southern States Mastiff Fanciers
Anne Heyob, Secretary
290 Huskey Mtn. Road
Lacey's Spring, AL 35754
phone: (205) 498-3180
o Sunshine State Mastiff Fanciers
Vicki Hix, Secretary
331 31st West
Bradenton, FL 34205
phone: (813) 747-4342
o Three Rivers Mastiff Club
Mary Rosa, Treasurer
236 Campville Rd
Northfield, CT 06778
phone: (203) 283-0616
3. Mastiff Clubs in Other Countries (alphabetical by country)
The following contacts are constantly changing. If you find
an error, know of one that's changed, or are aware of a club
we missed, please let the FAQ maintainer know.
# Mastiff Club of Australia and New Zealand
Andy Mayne, Editor
Lord St. Nikenbah M/S 763
Pialba Qld. 4655 Australia
# Mastiff Club of New South Wales
Margaret Hextall, Secretary
5 Idriess Place
Edensor Park, NSW 2176
phone: (61) 02 9823-7248
# Mastiff Club of Victoria
Paul Simmonds, Secretary
Lot 25 Wonghee Rd.
Emerald, VIC 3782, Australia
phone: (61) 59 683383
# Canadian Mastiff Club
Deborah Caron, Secretary
22611 Gibson Rd. RR #2
Wainfleet, ON, Canada LOS 1V0
phone: (905) 899-3689
# The Danish Mastiff Club
Heinrik B. Pedersen
Gullandsgade 2. 3. th.
2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
phone: (45) 31 59 51 05
# Old English Mastiff Club
Mrs. J. Critoph
West Caistor GT Yarmouth, England NR30
# The Mastiff Association
Mr. P. J. Sargent
111 Lyttelton Rd.
Stechford Birminghamn, England B33 8BN
# Association of Finnish Bullmastiff & Mastiffs
Tuija Sorthan Kauriinrinne
13 I 29 01480 VANTAA, Finland
phone: 358 - 09 - 851 3757
# Club Francais du Bullmastiff et du Mastiff
Anne Marie Class, Presidente
35 rue des Pres Vendome
78450 VILLEPREUX, France
phone: 33 01 34 62 46 53
fax: 33 01 30 56 07 80
# Club fuer Molosser e.v.
82544 Egling, Germany
phone: (49) 8170 7824
fax: (49) 8170 9133
# The German Mastiff Club
Monika Reinhard, Secretary
Hirzenhain-Bahnhof, Habichstrasse 29
35713 Eschenburg, Germany
phone: 0 27 70/26 20
# Old English Mastiff Club Deutchland e.v.
Frau Ingid Rau
6601 Riegelsberg, Germany
phone: (49 ) 6806 46069
# Old English Mastiff Club Nederland
Van Lierswijk 7
9421 TH Bovensmilde, The Netherlands
phone: (31) 592-412337
o NEW ZEALAND (see also AUSTRALIA)
# All Breeds Mastiff Club
Joanne Franklin, President
125 Viponds Road
Hibiscus Bay, New Zealand
# Norsk Engelsk Mastiff Klubb
Kare Konradsen, President
phone: (47) 64 97 71 62
# Associacao Portuguesa Dos Caes de Tip Molossoide
o SOUTH AFRICA
# Bullmastiff Club of South Africa
(All Mastiff breeds)
P.O. Box 4885
Randburg 2125, South Africa
# Club Espanol de Molosos de Arena
P.O. Box 175
28400 Collado Villaba
phone: (34) 1 8511406
# Bullmastiff-och Mastiffvannera
Kristina Vakkala, President
P1 1086 A
635 09 Eskilstuna, Sweden
phone: (46) 016-35 35 98
J. _Mastiff Varieties and Internet References_
o American Bullmastiff Association -
o Bullmastiff Fanciers Of Canada -
o Dansk Bullmastiff Klub - http://www.kyed.com/dbk/
o Bullmastiff Breed FAQ -
+ Cane Corso (Sicilian Mastiff)
+ Dogo Argentino (Argentine Mastiff)
+ Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff)
o Dogue de Bordeaux Society -
o United States Bordeaux Corporation -
+ Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian Mastiff)
o Fila Brasileiro Club of America -
o FILANET - http://dt.fee.unicamp.br/~amaury/filanet.html
+ Mastin Del Pirineo (Pyrenean Mastiff)
o Pyrenean Mastiff Club of America -
o Razas Espanolas -
+ Mastin Espanol (Spanish Mastiff)
o Razas Espanolas -
+ Neapolitan Mastiff (Italian Mastiff)
o American Neapolitan Mastiff Association -
o National Board of Italian Cynophiles -
o United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club -
o Neapolitan Breed FAQ -
+ Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Island Dog)
o Razas Espanolas -
+ St. Bernard
o Saint Bernard Club of America -
o Saint Bernard Breed FAQ -
+ Tibetan Mastiff
o Tibetan Mastiff Association of America -
+ Tosa Inu (Japanese Mastiff)
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