7 Facts About Mastiffs You Probably Didn’t Know

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on May 18, 2023

The Mastiff, a breed recognized for its immense size and noble bearing, is one that has captivated dog enthusiasts for centuries. Although they are popularly known for their size and power, there are several surprising and lesser-known aspects to this breed. Here are seven unexpected facts about Mastiffs.

  1. Ancient Warriors

Mastiffs are one of the oldest breeds with a history that extends back to ancient times. They were depicted in Egyptian art dating back to 3000 B.C. In ancient Rome, Mastiffs were used in battle and in gladiatorial contests. They were also utilized as war dogs by the Celts.

  1. Gentle Giants

Despite their powerful build and intimidating presence, Mastiffs are known for their gentle and calm demeanor. They are incredibly loyal and protective, making them excellent family pets. Contrary to their warrior past, modern Mastiffs are more likely to welcome guests than scare them away.

  1. World Record Holders

Mastiffs hold several world records due to their impressive size. A Mastiff named Zorba set a record for the heaviest dog in 1989, weighing in at 343 pounds. Another Mastiff named Aicama Zorba of La-Susa holds the record for the longest dog, measuring an incredible 8 feet 3 inches from nose to tail.

  1. Lesser-Known Talent

Mastiffs are surprisingly agile for their size. They have a quick, powerful gallop and can turn both quickly and smoothly. Although they are often seen as slow and lumbering, they are capable of impressive bursts of speed when motivated.

  1. Minimal Barking

Unlike some breeds, Mastiffs are not known for excessive barking. They are generally quiet and reserved, only barking when they perceive a threat or need to alert their family. This trait ties back to their historic role as estate guards, where they were valued for their ability to silently watch and only act when necessary.

  1. Excessive Drooling

One not-so-charming fact about Mastiffs is their tendency to drool. Due to their large jowls, they are prone to drooling, especially after drinking water or when they are nervous. Mastiff owners often keep “slobber cloths” handy and are no strangers to cleaning up after their big, lovable pets.

  1. Impressive Lifespans for Their Size

Considering their enormous size, Mastiffs have a surprisingly long lifespan. On average, Mastiffs live between 6 to 10 years. While this may not seem long compared to smaller breeds, it’s notably longer than the average lifespan of many other giant breeds.

In conclusion, the Mastiff, characterized by its imposing size, historic pedigree, and gentle nature, holds a wealth of fascinating and lesser-known facts. From their origins as war dogs and their agility to their quiet nature and impressive lifespans, these facets provide a richer understanding of this remarkable breed. While the drooling might seem less appealing, it’s a small trade-off for the companionship of these magnificent and loyal creatures. Whether you’re a seasoned Mastiff owner or an admirer of the breed, these lesser-known facets of Mastiffs undoubtedly make them even more endearing.

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