Mastiff

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AKC Group: Working

The Mastiff descended from the now extinct Pugnaces Britanniae. “Mastiff” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “masty” meaning “powerful.” It is recognized as the oldest breed of English dog. It is believed to have been brought to Britain in the 6th century BC. They were used for the blood sports of bull, bear and lion baiting as well as dog fighting. There is evidence to say that the Mastiff was brought to the New World via the Mayflower, though actual documentation begins in the late 1800s. In 1835, the UK passed the Cruelty to Animals Act that prohibited the baiting of animals and the popularity of the Mastiff began to wane.

Size: 27.5 to 30 inches tall; 175 to 200 pounds

Color: Fawn, apricot or brindle

Life span: 10 to 12 years

Health problems: Luxating patella, strokes, epilepsy, spinal problems, eye problems, thyroid disorders, osteochrondritis dissecans, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, hip or elbow dysplasia, heart defects, bloat, kidney problems, and sensitivity to drugs and chemicals. During the sticky summer months, Mastiffs can suffer from heatstroke.

The Mastiff is a giant dog, with a muscular and powerful build. An alert and keen looking dog, they look menacing without even having to move. The coat of the Mastiff is close fitting, short, and sleek. They may have black markings around and/or between the eyes. Small ears fold down toward the sides of his head. An occasional brushing and wipe down with a damp cloth is all the grooming requirements your Mastiff needs. A Mastiff sheds constantly but lightly.

A dignified, courageous, and loyal dog, a Mastiff has a pleasant nature and a high level of intelligence. Due to his size, he makes an effective deterrent/watchdog. Despite their look, the Mastiff has a even temper and docile nature (unless they’ve been raised not to). Early socialization and confident, assertive training are required. A Mastiff is not a difficult dog to train. If you spend frequent time away from home, a Mastiff is not the dog for you; they thrive on companionship and affection. A Mastiff is not an overly active dog; he does best with a moderate amount of exercise. They don’t bark that much. Unfortunately, they are too large for apartment dwelling. They need a safe, secure yard in which to play and exercise. They should do great with children and animals (though they may try to dominate) that they’ve been raised with. If you’re doing a great job with him, your Mastiff should be friendly and welcoming to guests. If he isn’t, you’ve done something wrong.

Selkirk Rex

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Known as the “Cat in Sheep’s Clothing,” Selkirk Rexes feel like lambs wool. Selkirk Rex are caused by a dominant curly-coated gene. At 6 months of age, they lose these curls to grow a sparse, straight coat during their adolescence. At 2 years of age, when they reach maturation, a thick, soft coat of curls reappear.

A naturally occurring gene, the first curly cat derived from a housecat, found in a Montana shelter in 1987. Named Miss DePesto (“Pest”) of NoFace, she was bred to a black Persian, Photofinish of Deekay. This produced a litter pf six kittens, three with curly coats and three with straight. Yes, there are curly and straight-coated Selkirk Rex as well as short- and long-haired varieties. It’s easy to tell if you’re going to have a true curly Selkirk Rex by their whiskers. Curly kittens have curled whiskers too. So why the name Selkirk Rex? The breeder responsible named the breed Selkirk after her stepfather. (This makes the Selkirk Rex the only breed to be named after a person.)

Selkirk Rex cats are patient and loving. He is completely used to being touched; everyone he meets just has to run their fingers through that gorgeous so so soft coat. Expect to laugh a lot; Selkirk Rex are known to be big clowns. Playful and laidback, he’s extremely smart too. He will learn how to get into drawers and to open doors. When it’s time for a chat, you’ll hear a quiet, gentle small voice. When he feels neglected (which shouldn’t normally be too often), he will let you know. Meanwhile, he doesn’t like to be left alone for too long (though they aren’t overly demanding), so provide him with a buddy if you have an active lifestyle. Don’t worry, this is a cat that gets along well with everyone.

A big cat, the Selkirk Rex comes in all colors and patterns and developed from the British and Exotic Shorthairs. These big boned cats have round heads atop semi-cobby, muscular bodies. They weigh between 6 to 16 pounds.