Country/Date of Origin: Great Britain/100 BC
Standard bearer of the family of dogs that share its shape and phlegmatic nature, the Mastiff is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. Its ancestors were brought to Britain by the Roman invaders. They in turn got the dogs from Egyptians who in turn got them from Babylonians and Assyrians. The recorded history of the giant molossus dog goes back to the beginnings of recorded history.
It was a war dog and a guard animal and even a dispatcher of big game. Today, it has a much softer temperament although it retains a lot of its natural guarding instincts.
The Mastiff is one of the original breeds exhibited and registered in the American Kennel Club.