mastiff

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mastiff

(măs`tĭf), breed of very large, powerful working dogworking dog,
classification used by breeders and kennel clubs to designate dogs raised by humans to herd cattle and sheep, as draft animals, as message dispatchers in wartime, in police and rescue work, as guardians of persons and property, or as guides (see guide dog) for the
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 developed in England more than 2,000 years ago. It stands from 27 to 33 in. (68.6–83.8 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 165 to 185 lb (74.9–83.9 kg). Its coarse, short, close-lying coat may be silver fawn, apricot, or dark fawn brindle in color, with a black muzzle, nose, and ears and black around the eyes. The mastiff was first bred as a fighting dog and guardian. As a fighter it was cited for its physical prowess and courage by Caesar in his account of the Roman invasion of Britain in 55 B.C. Indeed, it was later imported to Rome to fight in the arena. In its native country the mastiff was a popular antagonist in bullbaiting and bearbaiting contests and in organized dogfights until these blood sports were outlawed in 1835. However, throughout the entire history of the breed in England its greatest popularity has derived from its widespread use as a guardian of home and family. This centuries-old association with man is undoubtedly responsible for the mastiff's unexcelled suitability for the role of family companion and its particular devotion to and gentleness with children. The term mastiff is also applied to a general type of giant dog whose origin has been traced to Asia and of which the modern Tibetan mastiff, infrequently seen in the United States, is representative. See dogdog,
carnivorous, domesticated wolf (Canis lupus familiaris) of the family Canidae, to which the jackal and fox also belong. The family Canidae is sometimes referred to as the dog family, and its characteristics, e.g.
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.

Mastiff

 

an old English breed of dog used for hunting large animals, guarding livestock herds, and dog fights. The modern mastiff was developed in Ireland in the 19th century. It is a large breed, with male dogs standing 75-85 cm high at the shoulder. The body is broad and massive; the coat, short and reddish yellow, brown, or reddish black. There are often dark “tiger” stripes. The mastiff is used as a guard dog, largely in Ireland and Great Britain.

mastiff

an old breed of large powerful short-haired dog, usually fawn or brindle with a dark mask
References in classic literature ?
To tell you the truth, his three-headed mastiff would never let me pass the gateway; for I should be compelled to take a sheaf of sunbeams along with me, and those, you know, are forbidden things in Pluto's kingdom.
Quicksilver accordingly made the best of his way to the great gate, took a flying leap right over the three-headed mastiff, and stood at the door of the palace in an inconceivably short time.
The dog's jaw, as shown in the space between these marks, is too broad in my opinion for a terrier and not broad enough for a mastiff.
In the fifth and last place, outside the stable in which Doctor Dulcifer's blood mare lived in luxurious solitude, was a dog-kennel with a large mastiff chained to it night and day.
Second-floor back windows all open, atmosphere as sultry as ever, gardener's pruning-ladder quite safe in the tool-shed, savage mastiff in his kennel crunching his bones for supper.
Sixty or seventy of them, large and small, smooth and shaggy--deer-hound, boar-hound, blood-hound, wolf-hound, mastiff, alaun, talbot, lurcher, terrier, spaniel--snapping, yelling and whining, with score of lolling tongues and waving tails, came surging down the narrow lane which leads from the Twynham kennels to the bank of Avon.
Betteredge, the mastiff and the bloodhound have one great merit-- they are not likely to be troubled with your scruples about the sanctity of human life.
Now for that matter, old trapper," said Paul, stretching his athletic form like a mastiff conscious of his strength, "I am on the side of the captain, and am clearly for a race against the fire, though it line me into a Teton wigwam.
Nathaniel Pipkin could hear him growling away like an old mastiff with a sore throat; and whenever the unfortunate apprentice with the thin legs came into the room, so surely did old Lobbs commence swearing at him in a most Saracenic and ferocious manner, though apparently with no other end or object than that of easing his bosom by the discharge of a few superfluous oaths.
He made the rabbits' ears to lie back, an' it's nothin' but contrairiness to make 'em hing down like a mastiff dog's.
A revocation notice was sent to Michael Bretanas, owner of Sensational Shepherds and English Mastiffs at 836 Aldrich St.
An employee of a dog breeder bids farewell to two Tibetan mastiffs he had been caring for in Tongxiang city in east >China's Zhejiang province.