The Magnificent American Bandog Mastiff

Technically speaking, the Bandog Mastiff is not a "purebred" breed. Not in the way some of the other breeds are. These simply glorious dogs possess an ancestry that is part American Pit Bull Terrier and part Neapolitan Mastiff. And, as of now, the breed isn't recognized by any kennel clubs.

But don't let that deter you from considering ownership of this most exceptional canine. His history may be short, but he possesses an abundance of loyalty and love.

In fact, the breed as we know it today is only a little over 40 years old. The breed exists today thanks to the dedication of two american mastiff breeders. In the 1960s, John Swinford, an American veterinarian, decided to breed the "ultimate" guardian dog. He consistently crossed a male American Pit bull Terrier with a large, strong Neapolitan Mastiff female. Anther american mastiff breeder, by the name of Joe Lucero also had a hand in the evolution of this breed. He specifically refers to his dogs as American Bandog Mastiffs.

While you may find variations of this breed, those developed by Swinford and Lucero produce the most stable canines. They are known for their even temperament as well as their outstanding qualities as a guardian dog.

You'll immediately recognize the American Bandog Mastiff by his prominent muscles as well as the "athletic" look he carries with him. Most of the individual dogs in this breed are black brindle, but there are some who are black, blue, red as well as tawny.

A surprising characteristic is the docility of the dog. For a dog who is bred for protection, he has a quiet, confident air about him (perhaps he realizes that he weighs in between 100 and 140 pounds or 45 to 63 kg!)

But more than this, the American Bandog Mastiff is a highly intelligent dog. And Dr. Swinford were he alive today, would be pleased to know that this canine does, indeed, make an excellent guard dog. The breed as a whole though does possess one small disadvantage when it comes to this task: they're reluctant to bark. It's common for dogs to bark a warning, not only for their owners to know someone is around, but also to warn the intruder not to continue his journey much farther.

They also simply crave attention. As a loyal friend, they hate to be left alone. And if you ever doubt that fact, just ask the neighbors of a mastiff owner. They could probably attest to the fact that the Bandog Mastiff howls just about the entire time the owner was away from home.

Typical of the breeds from which they come, this giants want nothing more than to be in the company of their owners, to please them, and, of course, to protect them. And the Bandog can indeed get along with other household pets, if, that is, they have been raised from "puppyhood" with them. In fact, they'll even get long with kittens and cats. If they haven't been socialized with an individual animal though, they can be aggressive.

Considering their size, you may believe that the members of this breed would find it fairly uncomfortable confined to living in an apartment. However, they'll be fine as long as you find the time to exercise them regularly. Because make no mistake about it, they do need their exercise!

And don't worry about grooming these dogs. They are easy to take care of. When compared to other dog breeds, the American Bandog Mastiff comes in as an "average shedder." As long as you brush him regularly, removing the dead hair, you should have no problems.

If you choose to let an American Bandog Mastiff into your home, you've just let him into your heart as well. You, your family and your new family member will enjoy many happy years together!