English Mastiffs are frequently referred to as the “Gentle Giants” because of their laid-back approach to life. They are family oriented and want nothing more than to spend time with the members of their “pack”- be it their owner(s), the children, or the other pets in the home. In fact, if given half a chance, they are world-class couch potatoes, getting worked up only to greet you when you get home or to follow you or one of the other pack members around the house or yard. This makes them wonderful pets for both young families and for the retired.
Guarding the Couch
English Mastiffs are quite senstive when it comes to their "pack". They want to be with you and to please you. They do not want to be kept outside or locked up, ever! Even a harsh tone when they're caught doing something that maybe they shouldn't have been doing hurts their feelings. They never mean to be naughty, but as pups (and dogs) they can get into trouble if you aren't watching (if you have time, please see Clyde's landscaping redesigns under the puppies page for a few pictures of this!)
Billie "Unstacking" the Woodpile
English Mastiffs are not naturally aggressive, although their size is certainly intimidating to those who don’t know your pet is generally pretty laid-back. If you are seeking a dog for reasons of protection, there are many breeds that will better fulfill that role, just by their nature. Our Rottweiler is a huge lover inside the home, but when a stranger approaches the yard, his nature is to aggressively protect. Our Mastiffs, on the other hand, approach most strangers with a wagging tail, although they may initially be somewhat wary. In their minds, almost everyone is as friendly as they are.
Voltaire & Rogue Guarding the Polebarn
This is not to imply that English Mastiffs aren’t protective. They are known to protect their pack by inserting their body between a pack member and any perceived danger. Stories have been told about English Mastiffs subduing a burglar not by viciously attacking, but by laying on them until the master gets home. And if you have children, PLEASE read the section on Mastiffs & Children. Mastiffs are so devoted that if allowed or encouraged, they can begin to think the children as theirs; a mistake not to be allowed since EACH family member, regardless of their age, should be perceived higher up in the pack order than the Mastiff.
Sadie & Billie Guarding the Bridge