He’s massive. He’s noble. He’s been depicted on Egyptian monuments and Julius Caesar wrote about him. He can also slobber all over your new sweater, eat his food like the bowl is on fire, and he's surprised when you don’t realize he’s a lap dog. He's the Mastiff.
So is this colossal canine your kind of dog? Let’s find out.
How do you feel about “slingers”?
You know, those ropes of saliva that get flung around the room (including the ceiling) when your Mastiff shakes his giant head while drooling. If your answer is, “What’s the big deal? I’ll grab the dish towel,” then you may be a Mastiff Person.
Do you need your personal space on the sofa and prefer "alone time"?
Courtesy AKC Family Dog Photo Contest
If you answered yes, you can stop reading here. You're not a Mastiff Person. Heaven for a Mastiff is the place right next to you. They crave company more than other breeds. And by “company” the Mastiff means “Hey, I see a few inches of space on that club chair. Move over, I’m comin’ up!”
All kidding aside, the Mastiff Club of America cautions, “Mastiffs seem to have an instinctive need and desire to be as close as possible to their human family, to the point that their emotional development can be stunted if they are deprived of that closeness.”
How do we ask this next one delicately? Are you offended by an occasional “gas explosion”?
Mastiff people know that feeding a good diet, to a dog with a healthy digestive system, will minimize the gas issue, but the Mastiff Club cuts to the chase, saying simply: “If a Mastiff should get gas in spite of your best efforts, watch out. It is overpowering.”
Is your idea of the perfect weekend running a 10K, followed by three sets of tennis?
You might still be a Mastiff Person, but this is not a breed that needs, or enjoys, high-intensity exercise. A moderate amount of physical activity, such as daily walks or leisurely hikes, is healthy, but with Mastiffs (as with all large breeds), extra care must be taken to avoid overheating or exhaustion.
Last question (and we admit it’s not an objective one): Are you drawn to giant, lumbering dogs who are loyal, kind, protective, even-tempered, courageous, mushy, gentle, and loving?
Yes? Congratulations. You’re a Mastiff person.
Learn more about the Mastiff, a breed described as courageous, dignified, and good natured: