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English Mastiff Breed Standard


Large, powerful, symmetrical and well knit frame. A combination of grandeur and good nature, courage and docility. The head is general outline giving square appearance when viewed from any point. Breadth greatly to be desired, and should be in ratio to length of the whole head and face as 2 to 3. Body massive, broad, deep, long, powerfully built on legs wide apart and squarely set. Muscles sharply defined. Size a great desideratum if combined with quality. Height and substance important if both points are proportionately combined.

HEAD and SKULL Skull broad between the ears, forehead flat, but wrinkled when attention is excited, Brows (superciliary ridges) slightly raised. Muscles of the temples and checks (tempels and masseter), well developed. Arch across the skull of a rounded, flattened curve, with a depression up the centre of the forehead from the median line between the eyes, to halfway up the sagittal suture. Face or muzzle short, broad under the eyes, and keeping nearly parallel in width to the end of the nose; truncated, i.c. blunt and cut off squarely, thus forming a right angle with the upper line of the face, of great depth from the point of the nose to the underjaw. Under jaw broad to the end. Nose broad, with widely spreading nostrils when viewed from the front, flat (not pointed or turned up) in profile. Lips diverging at obtuse angles with the septum, and slightly pendulous so as to show a square profile. Length of muzzle to whole head and face as 1to 3. Circumference of muzzle (measured midway between the eyes and nose) to that of the head (measured before the ears) as 3 to 5.

EYES Small, wide apart, divided by the space of at least two eyes. 'The stop between the eyes well marked, but not too abrupt. Colour hazel brown, the darker the better, showing no haw.

EARS Small, thin to the touch, wide apart, set on at the highest points of the sides of the skull, so as to continue the outline across the summit, and lying flat and close to the cheeks when in repose.

MOUTH Canine teeth healthy, powerful and wide apart, incisors level, or the lower projecting beyond the upper but never so much as to become visible when the mouth is closed.

Slightly arched, moderately long, very muscular and measuring in circumference about one or two inches less than the skull before the ears.

FOREQUARTERS Shoulder and arm slightly sloping, heavy and muscular. Legs straight, strong and set wide apart, bones being large. Elbows square. Pasterns upright.

Chest wide, deep and well let down between forelegs. Ribs arched and well rounded. False ribs deep, and well set back to the hips. Girth should be one third more than the height at the shoulder. Back and loins wide and muscular; flat and very wide in a bitch, slightly arched in a dog. Great depth of flanks.

Broad, wide and muscular, with well developed second thighs, hocks bent, wide apart and quite squarely set when standing, or walking.

Large and round. Toes well arched up, Nails black.

Put on high up, and reaching to the hocks or a litt1e below them. Wide at its root and tapering to the end, hanging straight in repose, but forming a curve with the end pointing upwards but not over the back, when the dog is excited.

Short and close lying, but not too fine over the shoulders, neck and back.

Apricot, silver fawn, or dark fawn brindle, In any case, muzzle, ears and nose, should be black with black round the orbits, and extending upwards between them.

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