Mastiffs in Norway
English Mastiff is a rare breed in Norway, as in the rest
of the world. Today (2001) there are a little more than
100 mastiffs in the country. The first English Mastiff import
to Norway was born in 1904. She came to the country in 1905,
and was owned by William Mustad. The dog's name was
Rita. A male and a bitch was imported in the middle of the
seventies, but both of them was in a rather bad condition
and didn't live very long. They left no puppies. In 1981
a bitch was imported from Finland, and after that time several
other imports have been made. The first Norwegian puppies
were born in 1990.
not expected any particular growth for the breed in the
near future. Puppies are very rarely born, the average is
about 0-10 puppies every year in the whole country. Many
mastiffs find their way to Norway through England and Sweden.
Under these circumstances the breed has not much of a chance
to grow in numbers. At least the number of mastiffs has
been quite stabile the last few years. Even if many people
are impressed by the mastiff, there are a few reasons why
they think twice when it comes to getting one for themselves:
He is really big and heavy, and requires a lot of
* He eats a lot!
* He drools (some drools a bit, and some a lot)
* He snores, passes gas and has a bad breath (sorry).
* He usually doesn't live that long (6-8 years is
* He's rather expensive to buy.
planning on getting a mastiff despite of the mentioned minuses,
I'd like to say as a friend of mine once said: "These
things are just charming. Those are just part of the breed!"
Very optimistic, yes, but also quite true. As a mastiff-owner
you most certainly will get noticed (which can be both fun
and annoying). The usual comments you must expect to hear
just about every day are "Good God! What's that? A
pony?" or "I hope he's not hungry!".
no one has ever seen the breed before, so you better getting
used to explaining what a mastiff is and how his personality
is. People that are impressed by the massiveness and power
of a mastiff often stop to ask questions. Anyway, the questions
you get basically circles around amount of food, weight,
age, personality and training, so they shouldn't be too
hard to answer. If you still wonder what positive sides
this dog breed might have, you should keep on reading. Believe
me, there ARE many positive sides!
mastiff is both affectionate and loyal.
He is very calm and quiet (except for his snoring).
He is no barker, and normally very patient.
He is not aggressive towards other dogs, and does
not try to start a fight.
He is gentle and patient with children.
He loves to take a walk, and adapts whether you
take him for a daily three hour mountain-tour or
just a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood.
He is the perfect watch-dog!!!
He won't run away, and is not particularly interested
in hunting activities.
He is easy to teach most things as long as he feels
the things you're doing has a meaning. The mastiff
has the ability to think for himself, and doesn't
like to repeat things again and again that is no
fun. Things are often executed in the so called
mastiff-tempo, which means pretty slowly, but the
mastiff can be both fast and surprisingly accurate
if he feels he has a good enough reason for it!
NORWEGIAN ENGLISH MASTIFF CLUB
mastiff society in Norway is small, but most of the owners
of the about 100 Norwegian mastiffs have some kind of contact
with the Norwegian English Mastiff Club. Every year the
club has their own mastiff dog show. This event gathers
about half of the mastiffs in the country. During the same
day the member's annual meeting is arranged. Here the club's
"Board of Directors" is elected.
Inge Arild Næss, Åsenveien 33, 5306 Erdal
club is working towards a higher goal; to make sure that
only fitted members of the breed are being used for breeding.
They also try to spread information about the mastiff, and
to create a social environment for mastiff owners throughout
the country. The club has a person who is responsible for
knowing where to buy mastiff puppies, mainly in Norway,
but also in the neighbor countries. The club also has a
register of practically all the mastiffs in the country,
with pictures and some information about dogshow results
and other subjects.
members of the club are spread throughout the country, but
except from the annual mastiff-gathering, some of the most
active travelers to dog shows meet as they exhibit
their dogs. Some of the members attend most of the dog show
in Norway, which means travelling basically every weekend.
mastiff owners aren't very active when it comes to activities
as hunting, agility and obedience training. Even so, experiences
from abroad shows that mastiffs can compete in other arenas
then in the ring. A mastiff loves to do meaningful things,
so the possibility to train a mastiff to do other things
than competing in dog show is there! Nothing would be more
exciting than to see this fantastic dog in these other activities
in the future.