In the article I will be telling you about my experiences with our English Mastiff named Xeenah ( yes after the warrior princess). Xeenah was 3 months old when my father brought her home, she was fawn in color and very adorable.
So let’s start with discussing a little about the breed, the English Mastiff is also popularly called the Mastiff and has been said to have descended from the Alpine Mastiff in the 19th century. Since the time of their origin, they have increasingly gained popularity.
Now let’s talk about their appearance, when you look at your Mastiff from the front, you will see a humongous built, a huge square head, black nose, dark brown eyes, a broad square chest, a black snout, a black face and a wrinkled forehead. The naturally huge built makes the English Mastiff the largest breed in terms of mass.
The English Mastiff’s coat color ranges from apricot-fawn, to fawn, to silver-fawn and dark fawn-brindle. The Mastiff is blessed with a very smooth and shiny coat, but it is not very short and needs constant care.
One needs to take extra care of their Mastiff. Since they are big dogs, they need to be kept in a cool place. We kept xeenah in an air conditioned room which was exclusively her’s. Maintaining a Mastiff is a little difficult as they have a large body, the wrinkles on their forehead need to be lifted and cleaned as they can catch dirt and sometimes maggots.They need to be brushed twice or thrice daily, as they have a considerably long coat and shed a lot of hair. Don’t forget to make your Mastiff wear a tick collar to prevent fleas and ticks. The dogs should be bathed once in two weeks to rid their coat and skin off the natural oil secreted by their skin, which attracts a lot of dust and dirt.
Like any other dog, the English Mastiff too has various health issues including, Hip disorders, Vaginal problems, arthritis etc. They need regular exercise to prevent any bone disorders. When your Mastiff is a pup do make sure you keep it on a non slippery ground, as constant slipping may lead to rickets, since they are heavy dogs. We had to make Xeenah run around for at least 3 hours at a stretch every evening just to keep her limbs lubricated. Also they feel thirsty a lot so make sure you keep bowls of water, in all your Mastiff’s favorite spots of the house, as they are very lazy and would prefer to dehydrate themselves rather than go looking for water to drink.
Now let’s discuss the temperament of the English Mastiffs, they are basically very docile dogs and are highly well behaved around children and the elderly. Xeenah was a very well behaved dog until she saw a stranger. Another reason behind keeping Mastiffs in a cool place is that the heat may make them irritable and they may resort to biting. But all in all they are an adorable breed, very loyal, highly sensitive, very brave and can be trained well with patience. We taught Xeenah to sit, stay, speak (bark), and lie down. The English Mastiff is one of the breeds that are addicted to being highly pampered. Train your dog with patience and DO NOT RAISE YOUR HAND ON YOUR DOG.
As far as the food is concerned, as always, I would personally recommend home cooked food for your bud, such as good old chicken broth, butter milk and chapatti. As the Mastiff is a huge dog, they need to be fed at least twice or thrice in a day. While training your dog you could treat them to meaty chew sticks and dog biscuits. These meaty chew sticks available in the market help in broadening your dog’s head. As a broad head and sturdy square broad chest makes your Mastiff stand apart.
Since Xeenah entered our house, she was pamperd and treated just like one of us. She had her own room, away from the rest of the dogs. Her room had an air conditioner. There were two dog boys in our house and two cooks. One of each exclusively for Xeenah. Her cook made her meals and her dog boy was in charge of ensuring that her room was spic and span, also he would clean Xeenah thrice a day and would give her an oil massage twice every week. Her cook would get chicken separately for her and keep it in a fridge with xeenah’s food and medicines.
Every time my father went abroad, he would buy clothes for us and goodies for Xeenah. He treated her like his baby. There were special outings planned for her. Whenever we went out for a drive Xeenah had to be with us. She has traveled with us just like a member of our family would. My mother would personally pack Xeenah’s things and food for the journey.
Though they are spoiled, you can trust your Mastiff to make you proud when ever they get chance to do so. Xeenah made us all mighty proud.
Xeenah was 8 years old when she passed away due to old age and organ failure. She was a very dear friend, an important teacher and our baby. Our darling Xeenah, where ever you are, you are missed. We love you.