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Sparky

Chihuahua Adult Male

Budster

none Young Male

Doodad

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Mastiff

Tags: working, Large-sized, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian, Challenging for first-time owners, Calm temperament

A gentle giant today, we were bred to be fighting dogs, hunters of large game, and guard dogs. The term Mastiff generally refers to the English Mastiff. Although many other countries have their own, we're among the most massive of them -- typically weighing in at 200 pounds and standing 30 inches at the shoulder. The (English) Mastiff was accepted to the AKC's Working Group in 1885.

Rave review

  • Affectionate, loyal family friend
  • Aloof and proud
  • Always alert
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Calm as a clam
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Loves kids and vice versa

Report card

  • Even-tempered, good-natured
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Novice owners might be challenged with this breed
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Perfect protector
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to country, tolerates town
  • Socialization, training should start early
  • Steadfast and strong
  • Sweet disposition
  • Takes to training
  • Willing watchdog

What to expect

Before you bring home a Mastiff, please make sure you know what you're in for: you know we hate to be left alone too long without something to occupy our active minds and jaws, right? And that we grow and grow and grow (the world's record Mastiff was 343 pounds) so you need to monitor the food bowl. And don't let me over-exercise during my growth spurts. Still with me? That's good, because Mastiffs don't mature emotionally until age 3 or 4. By then I will have mastered two possibly irritating habits -- snoring (loudly) and drooling (when I'm eating, when I'm drinking, when I'm hot, and when I'm not). If you can live with that, I'll try not to drool when I'm snoring.

Watch for

Possible hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, heart problems, von Willebrand's disease, bloat, and cancer.

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