The Truth About English Mastiffs

If you see an advertisement for an AKC non-drooling English Mastiff, PLEASE reconsider. Somewhere along the line, something else has been bred in.  "True" English Mastiffs drool!

There is a great deal of confusion about the Mastiff breed and unfortunately the media, with the "Mastiff Attacks" headlines, has done little to help this.  They don't understand that just saying "Mastiff" usually refers to the English Mastiff, which is the true “Gentle Giant”.  It is the largest AND most gentle Mastiff, although it is certainly protective.  The attacks that have recently been publicized did NOT involve English Mastiffs. 

Some other breeds are:  Bullmastiff, Belgian Mastiff, Brazilian Mastiff (fila brasiliero), French Mastiff (dogue de bordeaux), Italian Mastiff (cane corso), Neapolitan Mastiff, Nebolish Mastiff, Pyrenean Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff, South African Boerboel, and the Tibetan Mastiff.  Not all of these breeds are recognized by the AKC. Each of these breeds has its own personality traits and several are extremely aggressive and not recommended for homes with other pets, or for homes where the owner is not extremely experienced in dominant breeds. 

To add to the confusion are those few, unscrupulous breeders who would advertise their dogs as non-drooling, dry-mouthed "Mastiffs",  confusing many people who are in search of a gentle, but protective pet.  In reality, these are mixed breeds that are not recognized by the AKC, in spite of how much money these breeders ask for them. 

These dry-mouthed mastiffs come from one of two entirely separate, mixed lines.  In one line, an English Mastiff is bred with an Anatolian Shepherd (a very protective/aggressive breed).  The other line (initially created by the drug lords of Detroit) has its origins in mixing Pitt Bull Terriers with Rottweilers.  That line evolved into mixing Pittbulls and Bullmastiffs or Neapolitan Mastiffs. The actual mix depends on the breeder.  Regardless, these mixes are NOT what you think of in terms of "Gentle Giant".  Often, though not always, these dogs are called "American Mastiffs" or "Bandogges".  Depending on the breeder, there may be other names as well. 


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