At first glance, you may shrink away from your neighbor’s American Bull Mastiff because of his imposing and aggressive appearance. He looks like he could eat your first born alive. You may fear the breed if you’re not familiar with their tendencies and general personality traits. To spread the word about what amazing family pets these dogs can be here are 10 things you didn’t know about the American Bull Mastiff.
1. American Bull Mastiffs were bred to be working dogs
The original intention behind the breeding of American Bull Mastiffs was to be a guard dog. They have a natural tendency to protect their homes from intruders. This makes them an asset for any business owner or family. They easily take to training for patrolling the grounds and for taking down would be thieves. In fact, the stereotype of the Mastiff guarding a junkyard if pretty close to being accurate. They’re dependable when properly trained and they make excellent working dogs. When an American Bull Mastiff knows what’s required of him, he won’t let you down.
2. They’re amazing family dogs
This breed may look rough, tough and mean, but at the very core of their being, they’re really warm and loving dogs. They protect their family, but the dogs in this breed have a tendency to be tender and affectionate with those that they love and trust. Of course, they must be properly trained and have good socialization from the time that they are puppies. They’ve been known to protect young children from angry parents, so don’t be surprised if your American Bull Mastiff places his body in between you and a child that you’re scolding.
3. A well-trained Mastiff won’t bite or bark
Even though this dog looks as though he’s the bully of the block when he’s properly trained for guard duties, he won’t bark and he won’t bite except for unusual circumstances. The breed was trained to apprehend thieves in the 1800s when poachers and rustlers were an issue in England, the county of the original Bull Mastiff’s origin. The landowners did not want the intruders harmed nor frightened away. Instead, they wanted them apprehended so they could be dealt with legally. This was so deeply ingrained in the dogs that apprehension is still a natural instinct that comes out with a little training. Who’s going to fight back against such a menacing looking dog?
4. American Mastiffs don’t need a lot of exercise
One look at the bulging and strong muscles of this dog would make you think that he works out on a regular basis. The truth of the matter is that this dog can get by on one or two short walks daily, or the equivalent of about 40 minutes of exercise a day. Blame it on genetics if you will, but they’re naturally buff unless you overfeed them.
5. They were brought to the US by the Rockefellers
The Mastiff hasn’t been in America for that long. It wasn’t until the 1920s that it made its first appearance. John D. Rockefeller, the rich oil tycoon was the one who first brought this breed to the U.S. for the purpose of guarding his large estate in New York. He was impressed with the discipline and reliability of this hard-working guard dog. It wasn’t long before others saw the value in these dogs and now they’re practically everywhere.
6. Mastiffs are suspicious dogs
American Mastiffs have a natural instinct to be suspicious of strangers. This is why it is so important to socialize and train them from an early age. They won’t tolerate strangers poking around the property. They’re fearless and will walk up to a stranger and give them the stare that serves as a warning that they had better watch their step. This is one of the inborn traits that makes them such wonderful guard dogs.
7. They’re big-time droolers
Mastiffs all drool. There’s no way to stop this, so if this is something that you can’t deal with, it may not be the best dog breed for you. Mastiff lovers know this going into it, but they’re okay with the issue. You could get a bib or keep a towel handy.
8. Be prepared because Mastiffs snore
If you’re the owner of an American Mastiff, then it’s not news to hear that they can practically bring down a house with their snoring. Most of these dogs snore when they’re in a deep sleep. Once you get used to the sound it isn’t a big deal, and it can even be entertaining. When it happens to new owners in the middle of the night, though, it can be quite frightening.
9. They’re a popular choice for celebrities
In addition to John D. Rockefeller choosing this breed to guard his estate, other famous personalities prefer them as beloved pets. Sylvester Stallone is among them. The list goes on to include Bob Dylan, Michael Bay, Christina Aguilera, Jon Bon Jovi, and Marlin Brando.
10. American Mastiffs have a tendency to dig holes
These dogs love to dig. It’s a natural instinct for them, but you can try to train them to do it. Some owners have had success in breaking them of it, but others just throw up their hands and fence the garden. Since these dogs do not tolerate extreme heat well, they’ll dig a hole to lie in when it’s hot out because the ground beneath is cooler for them.