english mastiff

GENERAL APPEARANCE : The head, in its general outline, gives a square appearance when viewed from any angle. A good width is highly desired and the whole head to face length ratio is 2:3. Massive body, wide, deep, long, powerfully built, on well-set and squarely placed legs. Clearly defined muscles. Large size is desired, but only if combined with quality and if absolute balance is maintained. Height and substance are two important points when proportionately combined. Big, powerful, a well-fitting set.

Personality:  Calm and affectionate.

Power Level : Active.

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life Expectancy : 10-12  years old.

Bark level:  Bark when necessary.


The Mastiff, perhaps not quite as we know it today, has been with us for many hundreds of years, and has played its part in history since well before the Battle of Agincourt in the early 15th century. Even then the Mastiff was known for its courage and guarding instinct. There are records that when the Romans invaded Britain they encountered a Mastiff-type dog as early as this time, and were so impressed that they took some back to fight in the arenas of Rome. When the Normans arrived in Britain, the Mastiff type was so common that the French word “Dogue” found its way into the English language. The breed almost went extinct in Britain after World War II. Lines were then imported, and since that time the numerical composition and quality of the breed has grown tremendously. Combining grandeur with good nature, he is an extremely large dog in height and girth, broad and deep in body, full of substance, with big strong bones.

Country of Origin: Great Britain.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  A combination of greatness and courage. Calm, affectionate with owners, but capable of guarding. Usually indifferent to strangers; shyness is unacceptable.



Skull: Broad between the ears, forehead smooth, but wrinkled when at attention. The eyebrows (superciliary arches) are slightly prominent. The profile of the skull is gently arched, with an upper central depression starting at the midline between the eyes and extending to the middle of the sagittal suture.




Truffle: Black. Broad, with nostrils wide open when viewed from the front; flat (neither pointed nor upturned), in profile.


Muzzle: Short, broad below the eyes, maintaining practically the same width to the tip of the nose; truncated, that is, abrupt and cut square, forming a right angle to the upper line of the face; of great depth from the tip of the nose to the mandible. The length of the muzzle is equal to 1:3 of the total size of the head. The circumference of the muzzle (measured midway from the eyes to the nose) is equal to 3:5 of the circumference of the skull (measured before the ears). When at rest, any exaggeration of wrinkles or excess skin is unacceptable in mature dogs.


Lips: Diverge, forming an obtuse angle with the upper line of the muzzle, being slightly pendulous, so as to present a square profile.


Jaws and Teeth: Jaw wide to the end. Healthy, powerful and well separated canine teeth. Level incisors (pincer or pincer bite, point to point) or slight undershot (inverted scissors), but never so much as to make them visible when the mouth is closed.


Cheeks: Temple and cheek muscles (temporal and masseteric) well developed.


Eyes: Moderate size, set wide apart. Hazelnut brown in color, the darker the better. They must not show the third eyelid. Loose eyelids are highly undesirable. Free from obvious eye problems.


Ears: Small; thin to the touch, well separated, set on the highest part of the sides of the skull, so as to suggest a continuous line from ear to ear, passing through the top of the skull; when at rest, carried bent and lying close to the cheeks.


NECK: Slightly arched, moderately long, well muscled and measuring 2.5 to 5 cm in circumference less than the measurement of the skull taken before the ears.  




Top row: Level.


Back: Broad and muscular.


Loin: Broad and muscular; flat and very wide in females; slightly arched in males.

Chest: Broad, deep and well let down between the forequarters. Arched and well rounded ribs. False ribs deep and well set towards the hip.


Underline and belly: Great depth of flanks.


TAIL : Set on high, reaching to the hocks or a little below; wide at the root and tapering to the tip; straight pendant at rest, but forming a curve with the end pointing upwards, but not over the back when the dog is in action.




PREVIOUS:  Balanced and in harmony with the hindquarters.


Shoulders: Slightly sloping, heavy and muscular. Arms: Slightly sloping, heavy and muscular.


Elbows: Straight.


Forearms: Legs straight, strong and well apart, with great bone.


Pasterns: Hocks vertical.


Feet: Large, round and tight. Fingers well arched. Black nails.


HINDQUARTERS: Broad, broad and muscular. Strength in the hindquarters is of paramount importance; cow hocks in mature adults are unacceptable.  


Legs: Well developed.


Metatarsals: Hocks angled, well apart and quite upright both when standing and in motion.


Feet: Large, round and tight. Fingers well arched. Black nails.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Powerful, within easy reach, driven by hindquarters, fluent, balanced, gait with good ground cover. Topline kept level when moving. Tendency towards camel step is undesirable. Absolute solidity is essential.


  • COAT


Hair: Short and flat, but coarse over neck and shoulders.


COLOR: Apricot, fawn or brindle. In any of these cases, the muzzle, ears and nose must be black, with black eyelids, and extending upwards between them. Excessive white on the trunk, chest or feet is unacceptable.

  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.