Ok chaps, and ladies, for that matter. By now you all know I’m a bloody good sport. I’m probably the most talkative English Mastiff on the planet. I dare you to rub your paws over the mouse; there you go, nice, gently, gently, there’s a good boy, click here and there with the arrows on the computer screen, to find a more sociable creature than me. I dare you to find a Mastiff that actually does all the talking around here. A dog that talks! Bloody hell. That sort of thing only happens in children’s movies. This is a sociable blog and it’s been more than we can say for just boring readers with scientific facts and such on Mastiffs.

Partly, he’s right, you know. I never intended this blog to become yet another long-winded and unoriginal wind-up of facts and figures, tips and tricks, and all that sort of thing. I have, of course, mentioned things that dog lovers should be made aware of, but to be honest, I think it’s because there were matters of fact that piqued me. Today’s post focuses on the social. Max is a sociable chap, no doubt about that, and it is fortunate for him, I suppose, that I love spending time with the old bugger. Being all alone in a yard would surely kill him.

All good and well that I may be enlightening new initiates on the importance of TLC towards the Mastiff by way of outlining some characteristic aspects of his personality, but don’t for a moment forget just how much the human handler benefits by having a loving and friendly companion at his side. Guys, as they say, like to do stuff together. Our days of romping about over the lawn are few and far between these days because Max is a rather heavy chap and my bones are starting to rattle. But if there’s one thing we look forward to each day, I would have to say, that it’s our daily walks.

Max and his close cousins are good natured and well-mannered. They are courageous and surprisingly docile. But while they are never shy, they are never violent. There have been incidents of violence among Mastiffs and other large breeds, but this has a lot more to do with the human influence of neglect and abuse. It should go without saying. Social Mastiffs tend to be wary of strangers but not in an alarming way. By instinct, they are simply protecting their masters or companions. It’s a good job I’m a single bloke.

Other than Max, there’s no one else about with which to have a row with. Not that there is any disagreements between Max and myself. But just imagine it. Me having a missus about the place. Inevitably, I suppose, arguments will come up but in the event someone could come a cropper. Because if there’s one thing that Mastiffs do not like to encounter, its humans in the throes of a heated argument. Don’t have children, and don’t dare to discipline them in a firm and angry voice either. Because, sure as anything, old Max will have something to say about it.

Like most other Mastiffs, Max is rather sensitive. Never man-handle your Mastiff. Well, that may be rather tricky to do, unless, of course you are built like an ox. As sensitive creatures, Mastiffs can be shy and filled with fear if abused. In the case of English Mastiffs, the importance of walking the dog at least twice a day cannot be emphasized enough. Owing to its sociable temperament, these dogs need exposure to more than just the old household. Take it walkies. Take it to see sights and sounds. Take it to see people and places, and other dogs too.

Regular walking exercise also helps to create a well-rounded Mastiff pet. Speaking of socializing, take the dog to pet friendly parks where it is likely to encounter other dogs. Generally-speaking, Mastiffs get on with all dog breeds. In the dog sense of the word, you could say that Mastiffs are multicultural and hold little or no prejudice for all and sundry that are different from them. I’m not a member myself, but I’m all for joining dog clubs, whether it’s going to be one tailored specifically for Mastiffs, or one that caters for all comers.

This is good for both dog and its master. If you’re a single bloke like me, you’ll get to meet like-minded mates. Who knows, you may just meet your soul mate at one of these social clubs. Apart from the young Mastiff being naturally inclined to socialize, keeping it on its toes also helps to create some balance in its life and helps prevent it from being naughty. Dogs can become ill-disciplined when they have nothing to do with themselves and thus become bored. One thing you must never do is let your dog run about on its own through the neighbourhood.

Really folks, that’s just plain daft and its asking for a lot of trouble. In most functioning urban areas around the world, about the most you can expect from this show of irresponsibility and disdain is your poor pet being removed from your ‘care’ and you being handed a hefty fine. If you are one of those who allow your dog to roam free like this, well my friend, you have no business keeping a dog. Back at the ranch, so to speak, make sure your premises are large enough for your pet to move about in. Make sure that the premises are secure and that there’s more than enough for the curious-minded Mastiff to do to keep it preoccupied.

Oh, and don’t forget to treat your large dog to a nice, warm kennel. Keep it cosy with a nice clean and warm blanket, and always keep it clean. Make sure it’s disinfected from time to time to keep those irritating pests from gnawing at the poor dog’s skin. And one last thing, talk to your dog.


Go ahead, make my day. Grrr. Cross this line and I’ll bloody well chew you to bits, bones and all. I’m the fuzz so don’t you go trying any funny business. Sigh. If only it were that simple and real. We never get burglars jumping over our wall. I think this may have something to do with the Beware of the Dog legend Bob placed at the front of our gate. Crooks and that sort are just too darn scared to try their luck with me, I suppose.

Max is a dreamer. Like many boys his age, he dreams of doing such heroic things, like catching the odd burglar or two red handed.

If it ever comes down to it, I dare say that Max will equip himself well and do a fine job guarding his territory and looking after his old master. He’s been well-trained, is quite disciplined by now, and will be acting out of natural instinct to do a rather swell job. But in this post, I am not going to let Max and all his close cousins take all the limelight. The English Mastiff will guard you right and proper. I thought I’d also tell you and Max about some other fine and classic breeds that have been well primed over the years to chase off the rogues and/or hold on to them until help arrives.

I wonder now? Is the Bullmastiff a close relation of the English Mastiff? Anyway, the Bullmastiff has some unique qualities. He is massively strong and extremely intelligent. He is reputed to be the consummate protector. He can do a great number of things, such as carting, tracking and therapeutic works. He fits in well with family structures, being brave, kind and loyal. But from a young age, he does need lots of training. Discipline could be a challenge for the impatient handler as the Bullmastiff apparently does not enjoy following the same commands over and over again.

The Doberman Pinscher is considered to be something of the supreme athlete. And, boy, can he run fast. He is described as being medium-sized, squarely built and rather muscular. I always imagined him to be slim and trim. He was built like a rocket. He was built to perform. He is athletically built and he’s coat is streamlined. I suppose his cropped ears are also conducive to very good hearing too. He’s quick-witted, also intelligent and has loads of energy. On the professional level, the Doberman is a popular choice for police and army work.

Rottweilers are the perfect help-meets, not just guard dogs. They are also born leaders. Like the above-mentioned breeds, they are intelligent as well. They can, however, be tentative, to put it mildly, around strangers, if not accordingly trained or properly introduced. Although, it must be said that the Rottweiler is not prone to putting on airs, as is the case with Dobermans. Training the Rottweiler from a young age should prove rewarding because it is known to be a quick learner. Not nearly as fast as the Doberman, it can move at a pace too.

In days gone by, ignorant folks used to make fun of schnauzers, not knowing much about it, or even what it is. Today, there is simply no excuse. Just a quick search on the internet can give you just a snippet of information as to what exactly a Schnauzer is. One thing it is not is someone’s nose. To be precise, a Giant Schnauzer is, well, huge, massively built and has a rather thick, hairy mane. It also has loads of enthusiasm and is eager to please. The Giant Schnauzer is a powerful dog and has an imposing personality. But for all its fine qualities, it still needs proper training and lots of physical and mental encouragement. As guard dogs, loyalty towards the family appears to be its best attribute.

Not to detract from the fine looks of Max and all other English Mastiffs, I rather think that the Great Dane is quite a majestic dog. Its physical feature is that it is extremely tall in the line of average dog sizes. Like Dobermans, it also runs pretty fast. As to suitability as a guard dog is concerned, know that the Great Dane is a ferocious fighter, quick to lose its temper, but quite obedient when following handlers’ commands. Danes can be trained quite easily and make for good companions for humans. In the case of Great Danes, size does matter, I suppose. It is rather imposing for would-be burglars.

In our search for the perfect guard dog, special mention must go to the German Shepherd, also known in some parts of the world as an Alsatian. Like Dobermans, this breed remains a popular choice for the line of duty in the military and police forces. The dog was originally bred to herd sheep, hence its name, I suppose. It is both loyal and protective of its owners. Apart from that, its feature that primes it for long hours of service is that it has lots of stamina. Another surprising attribute well worth mentioning is that the German Shepherd has lots of self-discipline.

Now here’s a special request from Max himself. He wants me to talk a little about Winston. Winston was a rare breed. In his day he was much admired by millions of people from around the world. At best, he was a war dog. He led an entire nation against tyranny and was quite possibly the only dog that chomped on a cigar and wore a typically British bowler on his squat head. He had the shortest of tails but he also had an unusual booming bark that could be heard far and wide. As to his breed, he was a Bulldog.

Well, there you have it. The favour has been taken care of and I’ve managed to give you a brief tour of which dogs make for fine guard dogs. Other than the English Mastiff, of course.


Drat. This is one of those posts that I won’t be able to contribute much to. Because, blast, I won’t be able to remember much of anything anyway. In fact, I very much doubt whether Bob will either. Nevertheless, he is not about to get all sentimental like, chatting about the good old days. Rather, he wants to go a bit technical with this post, talking about the ins and outs and the dos and don’ts of bringing up little blighters such as I was once. Actually, Max, when you think about it, and I am sure even you will appreciate this, I am going to do everything in my power to give our readers a ruddy good time.

I’m dishing up a few delights. We’re not just going to be chatting about the obvious as I had in mind to do originally in this post. We’re not just going to be chatting about those early, critical weeks and months of the Mastiff puppy’s life. We’re also going to be talking about love, but a special kind of love. Then there’s that tetchy subject of the dog’s itch. I’ve always wondered why dogs seem to itch more than any other domestic pet. Could this have something to do with how poorly it is treated? I wonder. Or is there a disease lurking around the corner somewhere.

Anyway, I could not help wondering about the human condition of puppy love. Where did it all start? Why, from the adoring, loving eyes of puppies, of course. No other creature, unless I am very much mistaken, will love you more. The term used to describe human affection is a casual reference, colloquial even, for feelings of infatuation mostly felt by the younger generation. I can’t tell you much about those schoolboy feelings for a right old lemon crush because it happened so very long ago. I cannot remember such occasions.

Grown men and women my age also use the term to mock and tease when someone declares one day to having fallen in love, or is showing obvious signs of physical admiration for one of the opposite sex. It also refers to a quickie, as it were. Humans and dogs have something else in common. It is well known that dogs scratch. Humans scratch too, but in my experience, mostly out of nervousness. Dogs scratch because they are bloody well itchy. I wasn’t really looking, Max doesn’t scratch nearly as much as to be concerned, but I came across a peculiar mix of natural remedies which can help curb the poor old dogs’ urges to scratch.

Just a dash of organic yogurt helps to keep infections that cause itching away. Fat free yogurt also keeps the dog’s good bacteria in its intestines. It will also boost the animal’s immune system and can also keep diarrhoea at bay. But don’t use too much, just a teaspoon of yogurt mixed with the dog’s food will be enough.

There are some folks who feed their dogs a nice cuppa every now and then. In recent years, dog nutritionists and animal health advocates have frowned upon this form of pampering. In any case, I know of no other dog that loves tea as much as Max does. But it’s the type of tea that makes all the difference. For bathing purposes, use chamomile and herbal tea soaks, just as you would for yourself. Before it is used, it gets chilled in the old fridge. And what it does is help eliminate minor skin irritations when sprayed over those sensitive itchy spots.

Chilled tea kills all yeast and bacteria in the skin and relieves skin inflammations when these occur. Good old fashioned ground oatmeal poured into a bath or shampoo mix also does the trick nicely. Apparently, the blokes who recommended this trick say that dogs will love sitting in a warm bath of oatmeal. Somehow I doubt this, but there you go. Epsom salt reduces the swelling of itchy paws while evening primrose oil contains anti-inflammatory properties which also help to alleviate itching.

Provided that you have your TLC sleeves all nicely rolled up, you’re in for a treat after selecting your first wholesomely healthy Mastiff puppy. The Mastiff puppy is unlike other little ones. They are calm and easy to handle. There are those that will want to be a lot busier, but otherwise with great patience and love, the handler will be able to get his puppy to learn house rules fairly quickly. In the line of disciplining a little one, please don’t ever yell or raise your voice. Mastiffs are extremely sensitive and don’t take well to voices laced with perceptive anger.

Give the Mastiff puppy lot’s of playing time. This will ensure that they will quickly grow tired because, boy, does it need lots of sleep. Ply the lad with its own toys from day one. This will help detract it from chewing your soft couches and cushions. You have been warned. Little Mastiffs love to chew and poke its noses where it doesn’t belong. While the dog is growing up under your roof, treat it as though it were a regular bloke. Treat it as though it were one of your own children.

Mastiffs value being an important member of the family. Be fair to the dog. Inasmuch as it will adore you to bits and pieces, you should give it all the care, love and understanding that you can muster. The Mastiff, young or old, thrives on it. I’m not a fan of leaving the poor fellow all on its own, but if it has to be done, train it well for this unfortunate and unavoidable eventuality.


Just so, in the corner of our living room, is my special nook. I have a good view of the big screen just over there, and the window is not too far off that my failing eye sight cannot see what’s going on yonder. My special nook contains my water bowl, biscuit tray, but no meaty bone. I have a nice comfy and warm blanket placed neatly and squarely in my perfectly woven basket. And just at the right height so that I can see myself perfectly well without having to raise my butt, is a nicely polished mirror.

Taking good care of your Mastiff by way of grooming only requires two basic ingredients which the very same breed of dog has by the bucket; common sense and loads of love. No one that loves their dog can deny the warm sensations they inhere when they stroke their dogs during a particularly calm or peaceful time of the day. Here you can kill two birds with one stone. You can stroke or pet your dog with a grooming glove or even use a specially prepared brush. The Mastiff loves this attention to detail, so this becomes one of your easiest chores.

Common sense and a good conscience tell you that you must see to your dog’s grooming needs. He is not precluded or even built to do so on his own. From common sense comes knowledge as you take steps and time but no trouble to learn how to look after your dog in the tender, loving and caring sense. Part of the grooming exercise is made all the more easier due to the Mastiff’s characteristically smooth and short haired coat. It also sheds hair on a regular basis. If time really is of the essence, it shouldn’t be if you love your dog, you should brush your dog’s hair at least once a week.

This is a thorough brushing with a firm, bristle-based brush. Otherwise, you should be giving your dog a quick brush, at least, and as described earlier. Bathing the dog always is challenging. While they don’t mind frolicking in the pool, they always seem to loath the bath. Fortunately, in the case of the Mastiff, you only need to bathe it when really necessary. Taking the dog to a pet grooming parlour at least once a month will also help. I do this. Max doesn’t seem to mind. It’s a commonsensical approach as well. I do not need to stock up on expensive shampoos and other bathing paraphernalia and the grooming bill is well worth the expense, seeing as how dashing Max looks afterwards.

Actually, you know, brushing your dog’s hair on a daily basis is vital. It gets rid of dead skin cells. It eliminates dirt and kicks out that typically foul dog odour. Regular brushing also takes care of skin problems. The process of brushing, as I’ve already mentioned, is quite therapeutic for the pair of us. Utilising the so-called dog glove works wonders for both of us. It was specifically designed for short-haired dogs like Max. It doesn’t happen very often, but if on those rare occasions that it does, and I heard a polite ‘ahem’ from old Max, then I know it’s time for his brush, usually in the evening after supper.

But grooming is not just a matter of a luxurious, languorous and therapeutic stroking of the dog’s coat. The dog’s ears, eyes and nails need to be seen to as well. For instance, particular breeds of Poodles and other shaggy dogs’ hair around the eyes need to be trimmed to protect them from inheriting poor eyesight and other irritants caused by dirty hair getting in the way of its eyes. I let the grooming therapists at the parlour take care of Max’s ears. This is an intricate job. It’s best to see to it that it’s done properly.

Cleaning out the ears takes care of ear mites and other possible infections. Nails is also a tough ask for me. If you’re going to attempt to do the clipping yourself, it is ideal that this grooming exercise begins at the earliest possible time in the Mastiff’s life. Clip the nails while the dog stands. Clipping them from puppy age may make the task a lot less arduous later on in the dog’s life, particularly when it is a lot heavier. Make sure that you don’t clip nails too often. You do not want to cut the dog’s nails too short. This could lead to bleeding and even cause the dog some pain.

Bathing only gets done whenever it is deemed necessary to do so. Customized (dog) waterless shampoo, I am led to believe, is effective and hygienic for both dog and its coat. With traditional washing, washing soap has to be thoroughly rinsed from the dog’s coat to avoid problems with (later) dryness and (itching) irritations. All in all, given the necessary work, and speaking from experience, I personal recommend taking the Mastiff to a professional dog groomer. It will be less trouble and also less expensive in the long term.

Do continue with your daily pampering as I’ve described above. Both you and your dog will love it, and it’s a great way to continue with your bonding for years to come.


Did I ever tell you that I am quite a healthy chap? This is thanks to my good manservant, Bob. It is he, as my closest companion, who takes good care of me. I am led to believe that taking care of the English Mastiff is a rather expensive enterprise. There are a million and one health factors to take into consideration, some of which I am not particularly fond of. Such unsavoury issues include regular trips to the vet, never receiving a really meaty and fatty mutton bone as and when I darn well please, and nitpicking me for flees even though I don’t have one stitch of them.

Now, now, Max, you know full well why you only receive a bone once or twice a year. It’s your heart, you see. Unhealthy and poorly fed Mastiffs are prone to having heart attacks. The annual (or twice annual) check with the vet, a thorough one, makes sure that the dog is cleared of all common diseases. The most common cause of death among Mastiffs is cancer. Heart disease has been mentioned already. Now, Max, pay attention to this, another common health problem for Mastiffs that could prove to be fatal, if not attended to, is bloat.

Bloat can kill a dog within hours. There are other health issues common to Mastiffs that the vet can check for. If it does occur, it can also be treated. Orthopaedic problems such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia along with cruciate ligament rupture and wobbler’s syndrome can also occur. Epilepsy is regarded as a serious problem to be looked out for very carefully. In the case of Mastiffs, this is a difficult disease to treat. Mastiffs that suffer from epilepsy usually don’t make it beyond the age of three.

Urinary infections are more common in Mastiffs than in any other breed. Eye disease is also common. Retinal atrophy is a disease that can inflict a Mastiff as early as six months. If not treated, or treatable, it can lead to complete blindness. Then there are cataracts, eyelid abnormalities and eyelash abnormalities. There’s even a disease called cherry eye. Because Mastiffs are a large breed, hypothyroidism can also occur. This is a common disease among large dog breeds. Particularly if not properly groomed, skin problems can occur.

Again Max, do pay attention to this. Colitis is another health issue for Mastiffs. This is known as inflammatory bowel disease. This can occur if the dog is not fed correctly. Now, all this does sound quite gloomy, doesn’t it. But not to worry, if you are taking your dog for regular check-ups to the vet, looking after your dog as you should, then many of these diseases can be avoided. And in the extreme cases that they do occur, some of them can be treated and eliminated altogether. As in the case of humans, there may be diseases that can’t be avoided due to genetic inheritances.

There are also those problems related to unwarranted and unacceptable breeding practices. Then there is the common human element of not looking after the Mastiff properly. Because the old bugger is always thinking of food, particularly his juicy mutton bone, I’d like to spend a little more time going over the issue of bloat. It is also known as gastric torsion. To emphasise, it is a life-threatening disease. It generally affects large, big-chested dogs. It can affect them if they are only fed one large meal a day, eat fast, like they’re in a hurry to go somewhere, and drink copious amounts of water too quickly.

In the case of Max, it is highly unlikely, but bloat can occur if the Mastiff begins to exercise apace quite soon after eating. Max’s meals are rationally apportioned. He gets two smaller meals per day and is fed a diet focused on protein and vitamin enrichment. His water intake has to be closely monitored. A small portion, once more, at different stages throughout the day, and the water bowl and its contents must be kept clean. Bloat occurs when the dog’s stomach becomes distended with gas or air and then proceeds to twist.

During this unfortunate event, the dog cannot belch or vomit to get rid of excess air in his stomach. Blood flow to his heart is also affected. The dog’s blood pressure proceeds to drop and the dog then goes into shock. And without immediate medical attention, the dog can die. The first signs of bloat can be noticed by the dog handler. His dog will be drooling continuously and retching but without actual vomiting. The dog will become depressed, tired, weak and restless, all rolled into one. His heart will be pumping at a rapid pace.

Cancer in dogs can be treated, but I’m not sure if my Max would be able to adapt to life after having a leg lopped off after being treated for osteosarcoma. Or perhaps it is just me being selfish and squeamish. Mastiffs, like most dog breeds, are hardy creatures, and with the proper care and domestic love will always be fighting to live another day. Say you are buying a Mastiff puppy. Locate a good breeder who has already taken the time and trouble to ensure that the little one already has a clean bill of health.


Ah yes, lovely title, if you don’t mind me saying so. Woof, we’re going to be chatting to you blokes about money. Grrrr, Bob’s most probably going to be telling you all how he and I made our fortunes. But alas, fellahs, I’ve been given the old muzzle, once more, figuratively speaking, of course. My old bark’s a lot worse than my very rare bite. And about the only time I’m ever likely to bite is into that very good juicy mutton bone, I’m always telling you all about. And that bite usually only ever occurs in my dreams. Yip! Sorry, boss.

And so he’s done it again. He’s stolen a few more opening lines, a little more than he was allowed to this time. I’ve grounded him a tad for endeavoring to tell you tall stories and all. I am sure it’s quite sweet, but really, folks, if you don’t mind me telling you so, it is all quite a lot of nonsense. I have to give him his dues, unlike most other dog breeds, Max can read. But he’s not as perceptive as we have been gifted to be. When I say I’m going to be chatting to you about Max’s rich history, I mean just that. Because the history of the old English Mastiff is indeed just that.

A rather long one, stretching back more than three thousand years. Here, I can only give you a brief summary thus. You know what, there has been many a famous Mastiff throughout the years, I thought I may as well attempt to name but a few of them. No such famous characters from the ancient eras were detected at the time of writing this post. So, we have to jump quite a few centuries before we come across one of the first famous Mastiffs. In fact, it was a romantic affair, as it turned out. This is a true, historic love story.

Just a few years after the British Parliament declared that no animals forthwith should be ‘baited’ by promulgating the Cruelty to Animals Act, along came Hector who met Juno. The love match came about thanks to one John Wigglesworth Thompson and a British naturalist, Charles Waterton, among others. Thompson bought a bitch named Dorah from John Crabtree, a head gamekeeper from Kirklees Hall. Thompson’s first stud dog was, indeed, Hector, who was paired with Juno. Somewhere along the line of the forced crossing of breeds, along came Tiger.

Just like their British human peers, there was quite a bit of royalty amongst Mastiffs. There was the Old Bob-Tailed Countess, originally of the Chatsworth line. She was paired to one Pluto who was from the Marquis of Hertford. Together, the royal couple produced a bitch named Yarrow. She, in turn, was mated with the upstart Chouchez, an Alpine Mastiff who also just happened to belong to the Countess’s original owner, one Bill White. And from this regal line, the Mastiffs, as we know and see them today, were born and bred.

Just as in human history, Mastiffs have their heroes too. One of the most famous of them all appears to be one aptly named Beowulf. You see, he emerged as something of a lifesaver for all surviving British Mastiffs, just as World War One was ending. He was a Canadian dog used to resurrect the Mastiff species. This led to the slow and steady resurrection of the famous dog breed with Priam of Wingfied, Parkgate Duchess, Thor of the Isles and Caractacus of Hellingly, among others, being of the most prominent ascendants.

Then during the first days of the Second World War, along came Buster and Buddy. Since Beowulf up to fourteen Mastiffs had been produced. Rumor, only apparent speculation, has it that the very first Mastiffs were seen in bas-reliefs from the sixth century BC somewhere in Assyria. The rumor goes on to say that this is where the original line of Mastiffs began, but there was no clear genetic evidence to back this up. Another legend has it that the famous English Mastiff was very much alive and well during the Romans’ conquest of Britain.

In fact, history was stretched back further to an era where the Mastiffs’ ancestors fought in those vile arenas against bears, lions and tigers. Who would have thought? There is a famous Greek saying about the legendary Mastiff well worth repeating as we begin to wind down this post. It comes from one Molossus. And it goes as follows;

“What if you choose to penetrate even among the Britons? How great your reward, how great your gain beyond any outlays! If you are not bent on looks and deceptive graces, this one defect of the British whelps, at any rate when serious work has come, when bravery must be shown, and the impetuous War god calls in the utmost hazard, then you could not admire the renowned Mollossians so much.”

Ah, Max, what a rich history you have. Indeed. We could go on for much longer, but this story for now must end just here.


Well, hello there chaps. Nice to be with you once more. We’ve been away for a while, you see. That’s why it may have seemed to be a bit gloomy and quiet over here on our blog. Unless, of course, Bob’s content manager weaved his old magic wand and filled in some of the old silence. Don’t you worry; I know all about what it feels like to have complete silence about you the whole time. It can be quite nerve-wracking. I might be an old but mighty powerful old English Mastiff and all, but I also have feelings you know.

Most of the time, I feel it in my bones. I can be quite insecure sometimes. Anyway, I’ve been given the old heave ho. I’ve been given the old command or two from my master, Bob. There’s no other way for me to say it, you see, because Bob’s a bloke and I’m a Mastiff. Here’s Master, and he’s going to be telling you all about our fabulous holiday out in the Bahamas. And while you’re reading the rest of this really wonderful post on our trips along the wild coasts of Jamaica and such, you might just want to pass me that juicy and meaty mutton bone over there. Thanks so much, now there’s a good reader. There you go. Very nice.

No, no, no, Max. How many more times must I tell you? Those bones are not for you at the moment. Max, you’ve got to watch your weight and your good health. Max, what did the good vet tell you last time we were there? Oh dear. Blast. He’s gone and done it again. Like blubbering all over the patio tiles, Max has gone and taken up some of our white space. And no folks, we did not go on a wild trip to the Bahamas. It is quite uncharacteristic of Max, English Mastiffs are not known to lie and they are the most loyal and devoted of dogs a lonely old soul like me could wish for.

Anyway, we did go away for a few days. There were some personal emergencies I had to take care of in the city. While I was busy in the day, my good old brother took care of Max. During the hours we all had together, we did have a lovely time. And Max did, after all, get to gnaw on his favourite mutton bone. Actually, I must say that Max, apart from lying through his sharp teeth, did a fabulous job with the opening lines to this post. He’s kept it all nice and cosy for us. And really, I do not want to spend too much time on the educational stuff and all.

I really want you folks to relax and enjoy yourselves with us. And today, I’m just going to pass over a few lines on the anatomy of the English Mastiff. By now, most of you folks know that Max and many of his Mastiff peers are rather large dogs in comparison to other dog breeds. The most characteristic and often talked about aspects of the English Mastiff’s anatomy are its size and colour. So that’s what we’ll be polishing this post off with. Mastiffs are generally distinguished by its large heads and a small range of colours.

Among their recognisable colours comes a black mask. The Mastiff’s skull is broad. Its head has a square appearance. In terms of its weight, the Mastiff remains the largest dog on earth. While it is not taller than some other breeds, no other dog is as robust as it. The Mastiff’s entire body is large, particularly so between its forelegs. Its entire length is greater than its height. The average-sized male, such as Max is, can weigh just over a hundred kilos, while the heaviest weight known can go up to one hundred and thirty kilograms.

Mastiff colours are mainly what they call fawn or apricot. Fawn is typified by a light silver streak. It can also be golden yellow. And in pretty much all cases, a black mask occurs.


Meet Bob. Bob is a writer. Bob works for Max most of the time. Max is an English Mastiff of note. The reason why he is looking so fabulous these days is all down to how well Bob takes care of him. While Max is a deft hand at looking after the premises they rent from an old English landowner, there is not much else he can do on his four legs and paws other than puff with pride at the front gate and show off in his usual charismatic way. He does this mostly for two reasons, peculiarly so.

First and foremost, out of duty mostly, Max is all about Bob at the best of times to show his appreciation for how well Bob takes care of him. He’s not too fond of the grooming habits but does understand quite well that this all necessary. The biscuits in his tub, he gets at least two big helpings a day, taste interestingly delicious but, secretly he’d much prefer a nice mutton bone. That he is deprived of this, he well understands, is to ensure that he stays in supremely good health and his coat shines as it should. The second reason why Max fusses about Bob more than is generally accepted as normal behaviour between a dog and his man is because he pities him.

Bob is a lonely man. He works hard all day long, just so he can make just enough to keep Max well fed and in the best shape of his life, and by the time he reaches the front gate of the house, he is much too tired to do anything else. He is also quite a decent man, so does not go in too much for the social activities that single men his age tend to indulge in these days. Max tried his best, he has even encouraged Bob to join a club where they can banter and rub shoulders with like-minded souls and breeds.

Max explains that this would have to be one of those rare English Mastiff clubs. He advises that it is pretty useful for new keepers of the famous Mastiff. They can lean on the wise counsel of seasoned breeders and keepers. They can, of course, also socialise if they want. The Mastiffs, in their own ways, will all be glad ears to do a little bit of socialising every now and then, if it happens to come down to that. But for Max, staying at home, walking amongst the pale white tulips is about as social it gets for now.

Typical for his breed, Max is a patient dog, and he does believe that someday Bob will come around. Walking along the cobbled sidewalks, necessarily leashed, Max often wonders what would become of him if Bob would suddenly fall in love with an old spinster from one of those recommended dog breeding clubs, or, heaven forbid, the old bespectacled librarian in town. Max noticed how she gazes at Bob while he peers through the biology and botany catalogues, looking for more inspiration for the home and his best friend Max, the old English Mastiff.

Max, of course, has done his best to observe these library shenanigans from outside, temporarily chained to the lamppost. While the relationship between Max the Mastiff and Bob the writer can be classified as being a unique loving relationship, as it should always be between a dog and his man, a note of caution goes out to the readers. This comes especially on the recommendation of Max. It does not matter whether you are only popping over to the shops for five or ten minutes or, indeed, spending an entire hour at the library; do not shackle this rare and fine breed.

It borders on cruelty. Inevitably, folks must go on with their lives and leave their animals behind at home. Fortunately, the brothers Mastiff can be taught from a young age how to fend for themselves whilst guarding the house during the day. When this becomes necessary, do make sure that a fresh bowl of water and biscuits is to hand and the kennel is clean and warm.


I say, old chap, fancy a cigar then hey? Oh, alright then, the least you can bloody well do is just nip over to the kitchen, now there, there’s a good chap, take down the old packet and pass me one of those titbits to nibble on so long. Hoo boy chaps, I think it’s going to be a long afternoon. It’s one of those days when Max has gone all educational like. Today, he wants to tell our readers all about what constitutes being an English Mastiff. That’s me; by the way, I’m an English Mastiff, otherwise just known to the blokes down the road as Max the Dog.

Ah yes, perhaps a lesson or two will be in order. I’m pretty proud of my long English heritage and I like to believe that I’ve pretty much done my bit in making sure that our proud history of stock English Mastiffs stays intact for as long as the years we’ve been around since ancient Egyptian times, over three thousand years ago, would you believe. I love a good boxing match every now and then, but only for sport, mind you, nothing more than a slap and tickle here and there, you know, but I do have a tendency to punch misbehaving blokes in the nose with my paws while I hold them down until Bob or other special reinforcements arrive.

Oh, hear, Bob’s here. At your service, m’lud? Yes, thank you my dear Max. Yes, indeed, I am feeling rather inspired to educate our interested readers as far as possible, although I dare say I do not yet know how long this enterprise will last. Now, Max never told me this before, it seems as though the English Mastiff has had a rather long history, stretching back thousands of years. Whether I could squeeze in as much information on English Mastiffs in this humble blog while Max and I share our thoughts with you, remains to be seen.

So, here’s what we’ll do then. We’ll keep things going for as long as we can. Rest assured that should time and space run out on us, we’ll always have something fancy or interesting to tell you about English Mastiffs in our next post. Also bear in mind that our information will be fleeting at best. But if you are truly interested in this fine species, I am quite happy to tell you that there is literature available to you running into the thousands. Thousands of words, that is. You can find your information right here on the internet or you can do what I would do for inspiration especially, and go and visit the old public library.

I’ll start as simply and charismatically as possible, just to put us all in the right frame of mind and in the right mood. Max, as you all know by now, is an English Mastiff. He’s already told you that his line’s history is extremely long, running over a period of now less than three thousand known years. What he didn’t tell you was that he’s actually quite a fairly large chap. He might be a bit rough around the edges to do with his line of work, guarding people and so forth, but he’s actually quite a happy chappy. He loves our company, and as you probably could tell already, is always up for a right old good chat.

Don’t forget, mind you, that just because he can be warm and cuddly, you don’t have to worry too much about him. Due to his size, general temperament and genetic disposition, Max the English Mastiff requires a lot of TLC. That is to say, if you’re thinking of keeping a Mastiff and if you want to do a proper job caring for it, you’ll know that it could be quite hard work. But do not worry, if you love the dogs as much as I do, it will be nothing of the sort. Make sure the dog is fed, cleaned and groomed correctly, and don’t forget that it needs its regular exercise.

More details on what is an English Mastiff will have to be held over for another post. Hope you don’t mind. Cheerio.