Is An English Mastiff The Right Dog For You?

English Mastiffs are big dogs, often with big personalities to match! They’re the largest breed of dog in existence when it comes to body mass (although Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds can be taller). There are some special things that you should consider before you decide to add one to your family.

1.) They drool, snore, fart, have selective hearing, and get lonely easily.

Mastiffs of any variety are independent thinkers. Because they’re descended from war-dogs used by the Romans, an independent mind was a valuable trait. That independent streak, however, can translate to stubbornness. If you want a dog that is excited about obeying your every command, English Mastiff’s probably aren’t for you.

They also aren’t good for a household that can’t tolerate a certain amount of mess. Those stately jowls that give them such a distinctive face also create a lot of drool and cause snoring that can be heard from several rooms away. They’re also known to suffer from digestive issues which lead to gas that’s noxious

Their gastrointestinal problems can actually be very dangerous. Bloat, a type of gastric distress caused by an accumulation of gas in the stomach, is the second most common cause of death for Mastiffs. To avoid bloat, mastiff owners are advised to feed their dogs small meals, at least twice a day, rather than one large meal like you can many other breeds. If you suspect bloat, you need to get your mastiff to a veterinarian immediately. Death from bloat can occur within mere hours.

They’re also not good dogs if you mind having a sleepy, 200 lb. lap dog. They don’t really demand much of your attention, but they do demand your presence. English Mastiffs will follow you around, lean up against you, lay on your feet, and climb into your lap (if you let them). They won’t respond well to being left alone all the time. That loneliness can make them destructive and a dog that size can destroy a lot, very quickly.

2. They’re gentle, loving, protective, and easy to live with.

English Mastiffs are generally considered gentle giants. Despite being descended from war-dogs, they dislike conflict and will even step between family members who are arguing to try to stop the problem. They are instinctive guard dogs, but they don’t tend to go on the attack. They’re more likely to corner a would-be thief using their impressive bark and formidable bulk, rather than bite.

Their great size tends to make them somewhat lazy, which is actually okay. Another common health problem among for the breed is hip dysplasia, which can be very painful. English Mastiff puppies should actually be discouraged from jumping and running up and down steps so that they don’t injure themselves during periods of rapid growth. You also have to watch their weight, so that they don’t gain too much weight, too fast. Work closely with your veterinarian to monitor your puppy’s weight and growth and to watch for early signs of hip problems.

Because they’re happiest just being in your presence and don’t require a lot of individual attention, they can be very easy dogs to live with, especially if you want a constant companion who is happy to just hang out without making many demands. If you dislike walking and playing fetch with your dog, the English Mastiff is okay with that. Your biggest problem might be trying to keep them out of the bed with you at night.

English Mastiffs aren’t for everyone, and they’re not without significant health risks. However, for those that find their slobber and snoring endearing, they can be a wonderful addition to the family.