10 Interesting Mastiff Fun Facts

10 Interesting Mastiff Fun Facts

Author WDF Staff


The Mastiff is a massive, muscular breed with an impressive and bloody history despite its calm and sensitive temperament. In addition to being a great security dog, these canines are excellent couch potatoes and foot warmers. Here are our 10 favorite Mastiff fun facts.

1. War dogs of Rome

With their legendary legions and war dogs, ancient Romans made a mark on the world, and one way they did it was by breeding these giants. Scientists and geneticists proved these dogs are closely linked to ancient Roman war dogs. There are statues of large dogs dating back to ancient Rome. A common ancestor of most mastiff-type dogs, according to experts, is the Molossus, Rome's original war dog. There are many reasons why mastiff breeds are so popular today, including the fact that these dogs were utilized in wars and protected people and properties.

2. Dog fighting

English Mastiffs have a dangerous reputation in part because they were developed for dog fighting due to their size. The English Mastiff was the breed of choice for dog owners who sought four-footed gladiators for various reasons, including bear and bull-baiting and one-on-one arena bouts, among dogs. In England, however, these heinous activities were made illegal in 1835. protectors. It was a favorite of the nobility who wanted to keep their properties safe.

3. The Mayflower

Essentials are usually all you pack for an ocean voyage, which might last for months and require you to bring your own food along. Even if most people don't consider a 200-pound dog an essential, John Goodman did. The 25-year-old pilgrim traveled to the US with his giant dogs on the legendary Mayflower. Despite Goodman's death, the community adopted and cared for his dogs.


4. Hannibal's armies crossed the Alps with them

St. Bernard, originally known as the Alpine Mastiff, was born because of the crossbreeding of Mastiff dogs with local breeds they encountered on the lengthy voyage. Hannibal, the famous Carthaginian general, took many Mastiffs with him and his armies on his famous mountain crossing. All of the huge mountain dogs of Southeast Europe, France, Turkey, and Spain are descended from Mastiffs Hannibal took over the famous European Alps.

5. World records

Zorba, an eight-year-old Mastiff, set the record that will most likely not be beaten in November 1989. He measured over 8 feet in length from snout to tail and was 37 inches tall. He weighed a record-breaking 343 pounds.

6. World War II nearly ended them

A number of civilians were encouraged to put their pets down when food rationing became a significant problem in Britain during the Second World War. There were two choices to make: feed the people or feed your dog. However, the population of English Mastiffs plummeted to almost zero as a result. Despite how bleak it sounds, the breed has rebounded from the brink of extinction and is now in high demand around the globe.

7. Huge litters

English Mastiffs have among of the largest litters of all dog breeds because of their absolutely massive size. Having 10 -14 pups is expected for a litter of English Mastiff puppies. The largest litter ever recorded was 24 puppies. Twenty of the mother's 24 puppies made it past the first 7 days. To date, no one has managed to beat this breeding mark or world record.

8. Pop culture

The Mastiff might not be as popular of choice for movie screens as well-known breeds like the German Shepherd or the Labrador Retriever, but they still made a few notable appearances on television and in films. One of the only dogs in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, Fang, an English Mastiff owned by Hagrid, the half-giant groundskeeper. In one of Sherlock Holmes's most well-known cases, The Hound of the Baskervilles, an English Mastiff plays a crucial role. This breed has appeared in several films, and the movie life seems to be a positive experience for them. When it comes to filming, English Mastiffs are described as bright, hard-working, and easy to teach and work with.

9. New look was coined in 1835

Dog fighting was abolished in 1835 in England, and it had two consequences on the Mastiff. They could no longer be forced into these horrible "sports" since it was outlawed. On the other hand, owners and breeders started to compete differently. Their biggest, meanest, roughest dog didn't do them any good, so they decided to focus on breeding the best-looking Mastiffs instead. The main reason modern-day Mastiffs have such a distinct appearance is because of the features early breeders decided on.

10. Prolonged puppyhood

At three years old, Mastiffs acquire full physical and mental development, despite their great size as adolescents. The joints of Mastiff puppies are vulnerable while they are developing. That means their owners need to take proper care to ensure their dogs don't overdo it and injure themselves. They should be allowed to play freely, but a strenuous activities like lengthy walks or jumping over hurdles should be avoided until they are 18 to 24 months old. They keep their playful nature a lot longer than other large dog breeds.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo