The English Mastweiler is a designer dog, a deliberate crossbreed between two large, muscular dogs designed to guard people and property, the English Mastiff and the Rottweiler. These dogs are family oriented and are naturally protective, but they are very powerful animals and interactions with smaller children and animals should be closely supervised to prevent unintentional injuries as well as aggression. This hybrid will take extra care during development to encourage good health and development, including early and thorough socialization, properly formulated food for large growing dogs, and extra caution during activities that include rough-housing, running, or jumping. This dog should not be confused with the Bull Mastweiler, a cross between the Bullmastiff and the Rottweiler, which is typically a smaller and more intense hybrid than the English Mastweiler.
The English Mastweiler is a large crossbreed, a deliberate mix between two breeds of imposing and dedicated guard dogs, the English Mastiff and the Rottweiler. Mastiff-like dogs have been depicted in ancient Asian artwork as far back as 2500 BC and they were recorded as travelling across the Alps with Hannibal and his armies. When Mastiff dogs were introduced to England they quickly became quite popular, a consummate guard dog and hunting companion that was favored by landholders and peasants alike. World Wars I and II had a negative impact on Europe’s canine population, particularly on larger sized dogs like the Mastiffs who were both useful on the front lines, and difficult to keep fed. By the time both of the wars had ended the English Mastiff was nearly extinct, at one point down to just fifteen dogs known dogs worldwide that were able to contribute to the gene pool. Mastiff puppies were imported to England from scant populations in both the United States and Canada to help revive the breed. The Rottweiler is an ancient German breed, a breed that is old enough that their full origins are obscured by history, although it is believed by most that they were the descendants of large Roman dogs that drove cattle for the cattlemen and butchers, known as drover dogs, sometime prior to 700 A.D. They were named for the area that they were developed in, a site known as Rottweil for the abundance of red, Roman tiles that were unearthed there. Although their popularity declined during the industrial revolution in the 1800’s, it was rekindled in the 1900’s when they were often employed as police or military animals.
This crossbreed produces very large canines that are solidly built and well-muscled. They have a nearly square appearance, although the dogs are usually slightly longer than they are tall, and broad, flat heads. They have dark brown eyes that are either round or almond shaped, with an alert and dignified expression and their ears are V-shaped or triangular, sit high on the head, and fold down either to the front of the face or to the sides of the head. English Mastweilers sport short, dense coats with a thick undercoat and may take their coloration from either side of the family. This hybrid may favor the traditional English Mastiff colors of red, fawn, or brindle, as well as mixes of these colors, or they may lean towards the Rottweiler side of the equation and have black & rust, black & mahogany, or black & tan coloration. Black, white, or brindle markings and dark masks are also common for this crossbreed.
Both of the parent breeds are consummate guard dogs that, while they can be clownish on occasion, tend to have a strong and dignified air about them. The Rottweiler is a very active animal that requires a great deal of exercise, but the Mastiff is a much more sedate canine who is more likely to tend towards laziness as they age. Both breeds are good with children as well, and the addition of the English Mastiff to the mix may encourage slightly less boisterous activity than some dogs of this size, particularly after they mature. English Mastweilers will be happiest if they are a part of the family; however, these dogs are very powerful, and all time spent with toddlers and younger children should be supervised. This breed is generally less boisterous than most canines their size, due to the contribution of the English Mastiff, and they tend to be laid-back, easy going, and loving towards children. Early and frequent socialization should help to curb suspicious behaviors towards strangers and to prevent overprotective aggression from developing.
Although the Mastiff is a rather laid-back breed that typically requires less exercise than other large dogs the Rottweiler is an active breed, so at least 40 to 60 minutes of vigorous activity a day will be needed to keep this hybrid in top condition. Along with daily walks, these dogs are adept at drafting and carting activities, tracking, and obedience training. During your dog’s formative years it is important to keep exercise sessions somewhat shorter by breaking them up throughout the day, and ensure that your dog does not rough-house or jump from a significant height as this can damage the still forming bones and joints. This crossbreed prefers the room that a larger house provides, but as they are not given to barking unnecessarily they may be able to adapt to apartment life if given a great deal of extra exercise in several short sessions throughout the day. Slippery surfaces should be avoided, however, in order to avoid joint and ligament damage.