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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
..... Click the link for more information. 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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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.