With his imposing size, sleek coat, and distinctive
black-masked face, the Mastiff -- sometimes called the American Mastiff or
English Mastiff -- is probably not the dog you think he is. Certainly he's the
largest of the dog breeds, not the tallest but the heaviest, routinely weighing
in at more than 200 pounds.
Mastiffs are known as "gentle giants," big dogs
whose main weapons are their size, reputation, and instinctive understanding of
what is and isn't a threat. A well-bred, well-socialized Mastiff will protect
his human family as part of his nature, without any special training beyond
simply making him a well-behaved member of the family.