Which breed of dog is this?
Mastiffs are a large, powerful type of dog and some of the largest dogs in the world, typically having short coats, long, low set tails and enormous feet. Mastiffs have large bulky skulls with broad muzzles, and typically have drooping pendant-shaped ears.
Mastiffs are distinct from the similarly large livestock guardian type dogs, historical, archaeological and genetic evidence indicate the two types have been distinct both by form and function for millennia.
The English Mastiff is a breed of extremely large dog. National kennel clubs, including the KC and the AKC, refer to the breed as simply the Mastiff. They perhaps descended from the ancient Alaunt and Pugnaces Britanniae, with a significant input from the Alpine Mastiff in the 19th century.
Distinguished by its enormous size, massive head, short coat in a limited range of colours, and always displaying a black mask, the Mastiff is noted for its gentle and loving nature. The lineage of modern dogs can be traced back to the early 19th century, but the modern type was stabilised in the 1880s and refined since.
Following a period of sharp decline, the Mastiff has increased its worldwide popularity. Throughout its history the Mastiff has contributed to the development of a number of dog breeds, some generally known as mastiff-type dogs, or, confusingly, just as "Mastiffs".