The origins of the Mastiff can be traced back to thousands of years BC. Later on, they were used in battles and fighting competitions against gladiators, bears and lions. With the passing of time, they became recognized as loyal companions to humans and they were trained and used as guard dogs for estates and households.Here are some interesting facts about Mastiffs:
The Mastiff was portrayed in Egyptian paintings that date back to 3000BC, and the earliest mention of a Mastiff in literature was in 1121BC.
The biggest Mastiff so far on record was an old English Mastiff called Zorba. It weighed 343 pounds and measured 8 feet 3 inches from nose to tail.
Zorba is also the heaviest dog ever recorded.
The first litter of the new breed of Pyrenean Mastiffs was brought into Australia by the Victorian dog breeder, Anne Briglia.Mastiffs were originally bred as war dogs. They were used by the British army when they fought the Roman legions in 55BC. They were so fearsome and courageous that Caesar mentioned them in his account of the battle.
The beautiful red Mastiff shown on Turner and Hooch is a Bordeaux. This Bordeaux is basically a French form of the Mastiff and it is recognized as a better guard dog than the English Mastiff.
Some of the famous Mastiff owners include Hannibal, Kublai Khan, King Henry VII, Marlon Brando, George C. Scott, Bob Dylan, Kristy Alley and Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
In the year 2005, a 2 year-old Neapolitan Mastiff called Tia gave birth to the largest litter of dogs. She delivered 24 puppies through caesarean, of which 20 survived. This feat also sets the record for the most surviving Mastiff puppies.
The reason the Mastiff snores is because it has a long soft palate, which is an inherited trait.
Mastiffs are never white in color. If you see a white Mastiff for sale, it is certainly not a Mastiff.