See photos of the breed » English mastiff refers to Molossoid-type dogs. Molosses are some breeds that originated from ancient Egyptian and Assyrian dogs.
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Molossa is not only a type of dog, it is a state of mind. The name itself brings back memories of distant ancestors, awakens fears and desires that have afflicted us in a distant childhood. All of us from the very childhood cherished the dream of a powerful defender with a fearless heart that would accompany us at every step and protect us from dangers. The word moloss was surprisingly in tune with our dreams. And all of us, of course, trembled with fear, when we heard a deep, dark night, no one knows who owns the breath. They were frightened when they saw in the darkness, their eyes burning like coal, noticing teeth that could reach us and from the Molossian word they started running creepy.
The nature of the English mastiff
There is something originally English in the character of English mastiffs. This is due to the very spirit of the British Isles - strict adherence to all the formalities or the music of Elgar, all so right and controlled, but with a periodic splash of deeply hidden and intimate thoughts about a particular person. This all can be attributed to the English mastiff. He has the reliability of Old England, tolerance and patience in the face of outbursts of anger, even if this tolerance results more from laziness than from life principles. But if you really get irritated, then it becomes terrible, but such outbursts of rage happen very rarely.
The standard speaks of the nature of the breed: "A combination of majesty and kindness, courage and devotion." If your knowledge of the breed is based only on the observations of the exhibition rings, then a false impression may be formed. Very few English mastiffs enjoy the process of participating in exhibitions. Some carry it better than others, but most English mastiffs do not have the showman mentality. Any dog of their size and power can not compete with clean Doberman lines or spectacular boxers. Perhaps the dogs understand their disadvantage on this background and go through all the formalities, only to make their owners happy. Since the pedigree standard establishes certain character traits, we will dwell on them in detail.
This is a surprisingly felt term. He assumes a high degree of self-esteem, pride, self-confidence, along with a huge nobility. These qualities are not quite obvious in modern English mastiffs, but if a dog of such impressive size has a proud character, it will look majestic.
What most likes English mastiff owners in their dogs is their kind disposition and a benevolent attitude, especially to family members.
A dog of mastiff-like size is poorly adapted to the content at home, unless, of course, it does not have a golden character. From personal experience I can say that English mastiffs are the most complaisant dogs, and good nature is their inalienable trait.
The English mastiff does not need to be closed in another room when guests come, because you know for sure that the worst thing he can do is stretch out before the fireplace and usurp eighty percent of his heat.
This kindness is a great advantage for modern dogs. In origin, he is a wonderful guard dog, because one glance at the huge English mastiff is enough for an intruder to repulse all the desire to enter the house. But if a dog of this size has a bad character, then you will need a lot of effort for proper maintenance and control.
If you raise this dog with children who know how to handle animals, the English mastiff will demonstrate a natural attraction to the younger members of the family and will be clearly happy with their society. Ninety-eight percent of your praises will come from the good nature of the English mastiff.
In the children's books of the Victorian era, there are many stories about mastiffov, which saved people in the most incredible situations. It is possible that this is pure fiction and the word "mastiff" was called any large dog, and not specific English mastiffy. But it becomes clear that the authors of these stories and the children sincerely believe that the mastiffs were saviors sent by the sky.
This quality is closely related to a good temper and is another great reward that the owner of English mastiff receives. And yet I'm not entirely sure whether this submissiveness is inherent in the mastiffs from the beginning, or whether they are just too lazy to make efforts not to listen to their master, and they decide that it is easier for him to obey.
It is possible that they are well aware of their enormous size and strength, they know that they can crush any obstacle.
In the difficult postwar years, the extinction of the breed seemed absolutely inevitable, because most owners of dogs the size of mastiff, who were mostly urban dwellers, would have been very difficult to maintain them if it had not been for the obedience of these dogs. Perhaps obedience saved the breed, but when the exhibitions began again after the war, only one or two English mastiffs showed activity on a common "apathetic" background.
English Mastiff Standard
Mastiff is a very large , impressive dog. In general, the mastiff should look proportionate and harmonious. From the point of view of its mesomorphic appearance, the mastiff looks somewhat heavy, since the length of its trunk exceeds its height at the withers. Observance of proportions is extremely important. It is due to the proportionality of the addition, the dog seems surprisingly harmonious.
The ideal head length should be 34% of the height at the withers. The length of the muzzle should be equal to 33% of the length of the head. The length of the trunk should be 12% higher than the height at the withers. These dimensions are not fixed by the standard, which, like all English standards, suffers from an inaccuracy. They are the result of measurements made by the world's main experts of this breed. According to the standard, the head should look standard, from which side to not look at it. The width of the skull should overlap its length.
Wool is not hard. When the dog is all - attention or when it is excited on the muzzle should clearly show folds. When you look in front, it is noticeable that the skull has a not pronounced arch. In profile, however, it seems rather flat. The transition from the nose to the forehead is more pronounced, though not too much.
The nose of the nose is black and bulky, wide, with wide nostrils. When you look at the dog in profile, the nose should not protrude over the front edge of the lips, do not be depressed inward. The front part of the jaw, upper lip and nose should be in the same plane with the second muzzle plan: from the eyebrows of the eyes to the lower corner of the lower jaw. The muzzle is short. The front surface of the muzzle is square, dense. The lateral surfaces of the head are parallel.
The back of the nose should have a straight profile. The upper lips, when viewed from the front, when unlocked, should form a wide thrown out letter V, and not narrow, like a mastino neopolitano. When you look from the side, the lips should make an impression moderately hanging down. The jaw is very wide and dense, from which a fairly large distance is formed between the back of the nose and the inner edge of the lower jaw.
When viewed in profile, the lower jaw looks curved. The lower jaw is massive, arched forward and upwards again. Thus, a quite pronounced chin is drawn which, when viewed from the front, determines the square shape of the muzzle. The teeth are well developed, the bite can be a scissors-like, tick-like and scissorike inverted. The lower jaw protruding forward is allowed, since teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed.
Eyes small, widely separated from each other. The distance provided by the standard is equal to the space on which two more eyes could be placed. Look attentive. The eyes should be very dark, diamond-shaped.
The ears are highly planted and far removed from each other. From this, the upper part of the skull looks even wider. When the dog listens, the ears rise and turn outward. When the dog is resting, they just hang along the cheeks. The neck is very muscular, with a pronounced transition to the occiput.
The withers, although not as high as the St. Bernards or Alans, are located just above the line of the back and go harmoniously into the back and neck. The back is straight, broad, muscular. Lumbar section is short, strong and very wide, slightly convex, when viewed in profile. The sacrum is long, wide, rounded and slightly inclined.
Chest unusually broad, sloping, muscular. The thorax is well developed in three directions: height, width and depth, and also along the perimeter. It descends to the elbow joint, and sometimes below.
The tail is set high, wide at the base, reaches the hock joint, and sometimes descends below. When the dog is resting, the tail is lowered. When in motion he rises to the level of the back or slightly higher. The limbs are powerful, with a splendid skeleton. The blades are angled.
The hindquarters of the hind limbs are not too flexible. The coat is thick, and softer on the head and neck. The coat is short, glossy, dense, shiny, closely fitting with the undercoat, which is clearly manifested in the cold season. The standard does not put any restrictions on the height at the withers. In practice, it turns out that the higher the dog, the better. The main thing is that the proportion and symmetry should be observed. The same can be said about weight. It is not difficult to find dogs weighing more than a centner, but only those of whom harmoniously combine are beautiful.
Mastiff moves easily and confidently. Strong skeleton and a large muscular mass create some impression of laxity of movements. However, these movements are not devoid of either smoothness or elegance. It is important to know that today there are two types of mastiffs: English and American. Since American breeders pay special attention to the movement, American dogs move with surprising ease, which is achieved by reducing the weight of the skeleton and not matching the standard parameters of the head. Over the past 15 years the breeders have succeeded in carrying out the most difficult task - combining both breeding lines. At the very beginning, this experiment met with an active rejection of purists. However, already today, as a result of it, powerful dogs appeared that possessed all the signs of the breed standard and moved easily and correctly. Perhaps the future of this breed behind such mixed breeding lines.