American Mastiff

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Species group:

The basics:
The American Mastiff is a new breed first developed in the 1980's by crossing the English Mastiff and one of the Turkish Molosser / Mastiff shepherd dogs, such as the Anatolian Shepherd Dog or the Kangal Dog. According to the American Mastiff Breeders Council (AMBC), "The goal was to develop a dog that had the size, temperament, disposition, and the appearance of the Mastiff, but with fewer health problems, and much dryer mouth than other mastiff breeds."

Like all Mastiffs, this breed is a large, powerful guardian that needs to be trained and socialized by an experienced dog owner. An unconfident or novice owner who doesn't know how to command respect as a leader may end up being intimidated by this dog.

Appearance / health:
The American Mastiff has a curious and alert expression. Eyes are small, wide set, and almond shaped (brown or amber color), with a classic broad head, widest at the ears. The American Mastiff has been bred without the drooling characteristic.

American Mastiffs are a true working dog with the muscular body of an athlete. They have a wide chest with well-sprung ribs and a slight tuck-up in the mid-section. Front legs are straight and heavy-boned, with very muscular hind quarters and slightly angled hocks giving the impression of instant action.

Daily brushing keeps the stray hairs under control in the shedding season. However, shedding in this breed is minimal. American Mastiffs require a good bath and rub-down once a month.

The American Mastiff does best with a yard, even if it is a small one. It is athletic, so a good walk once a day is required. It may adjust well in an apartment if sufficiently exercised.

The American Mastiff may suffer from hip dysplasia (lameness due to deformation of hip joints), bloat, and hot spots (skin infection).

Behavior / temperament:
American Mastiffs have an easygoing attitude. They are very devoted to their families. The most impressive thing about these dogs is their guarding habit. These dogs have a very strong protective instinct and will tend to watch over everything in the house, including the family cat. They know when your guests are welcome in your home, and treat them as family. However, strangers are not let in easily.

The American Mastiff is a combination of grandeur, good nature, and gentleness. It is neither shy nor vicious. It is understanding, patient, and loving with its family, especially children. This breed does not like to be left alone; living close to the family keeps it happy.

As with most intelligent dogs, the American Mastiff tends to get bored easily and may be prone to destructive behavior. They love to be around their owners. With proper socialization, they can make excellent travel companions. They are extremely fond of car drives.

Obedience training is strongly recommended to channel their protective instincts. These dogs require a firm handler. They need an owner who knows how to show strong leadership. They can be easily housebroken.

They are generally placid and not given to excessive barking.

Is a American Mastiff right for you?

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What owners are saying about American Mastiff health

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What owners are saying about American Mastiff behavior and training

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You can't not love these dogs!

Our puppy is only 4 months old, but he is already the easiest dog we've ever had. He's trained and housebroken like a dream (less than 2 weeks) and learned simple commands within the first few days of being home. He does bark and is active, but he is still just a puppy. He'...

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