15×22 watercolor on cold press Arches paper. Original available.
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The English Mastiff, often called simply Mastiff, is a large breed of dog of the general mastiff or Molosser type.
Appearance This breed is powerfully built, with a massive body, broad skull and head of generally square appearance. It is also the biggest dog breed. Mastiffs have a tendency to over-salivate and “drool” frequently.
Their size is very large and gives an impression of power and strength when viewed from any angle. The body is massive with great depth and breadth, especially between the forelegs, causing these to be set wide apart. While no height or weight is specified for this breed, the approximate height is 27 inches to 34 inches (70 to 80 cm) and weight is (175 to 230 lb). The short coat is close-lying and the color is apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, or dark fawn-brindle, always with black on the muzzle, ears, and nose and around the eyes.
Guinness Book of World Records recognizes a mastiff from England named Zorba as the heaviest dog in the world, at over 315lb (142.8 kg).1 Zorba stood 37 inches (94 cm) at the shoulder and was 8 feet 3 inches (251 cm) 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, and about the size of a small donkey. (there are claims of heavier St. Bernards).
Temperament The Mastiff breed is a combination of grandeur, dignity, and courage; calm and affectionate to its master, but capable of protection. This particular mastiff-type breed is an extremely capable guard. If an unfamiliar person approaches near their perceived territory or its master, the Mastiff will immediately position themselves between its master and the stranger. If the approaching person does not back down, they take immediate defensive action. It is because of this instinctive behavior that English Mastiffs have earned themselves a spot in the world’s top 10 guard dogs. The breed is innately good natured, calm, easygoing, and surprisingly gentle. It is a well-mannered house pet but needs sufficient room for exercise and activity. This is an extremely loyal breed, though not excessively demonstrative. It is exceptionally devoted to its family and good with children.
Health Mastiff puppies require a carefully watched diet due to their very rapid growth.This is a particularly large dog demanding correct diet and exercise. The expected lifespan is 9 to 11 years.
Major issues include hip dysplasia and gastric torsion. Minor problems include obesity, osteosarcoma, and cystinuria. Problems only occasionally found include cardiomyopathy, allergies, vaginal hyperplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, hypothyroidism, OCD, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and persistent pupillary membranes (PPM).
When purchasing a purebred Mastiff, experts often suggest that the dog undergo tests for hips, elbow, eyes, thyroid, and DNA for PRA. (information from Wikipedia)