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Jungle look: Massive Mastiffs regularly mistaken for lions



By Katie Pearson via SWNS

These massive golden pups are so large strangers have mistaken them for lions while out on their daily walk – but their owner insists they’re ‘gentle giants’ who think they’re tiny lapdogs.

Owners Shaun Kingsnorth, 42, and partner Katrina Springs, 40, live at home with their two Chinese Tibetan Mastiffs, two-year-old Bear, and one-year-old Amira.

The huge dogs already weigh in at a whopping more than 150 pounds and the male dogs – like Bear – can reach as large as 210 pounds when fully grown – the same as the average adult man.

On all fours, Bear is the same height as their youngest son, Ryan, six, and stands as tall as Shaun – who is 6ft – when up on his back legs.

Shaun first spotted Bear on Facebook when he was six months old after his previous owner had to sadly give him up due to his mammoth size.

The couple fell in love with the breed and were contacted by a rescue center, based in Romania, about Amira who was looking for a home.

The two pups are adored by passers-by who often stop them for photos and Shaun said the pair still squeeze on the sofa like they’re ‘tiny lapdogs’.

Shaun, a builder, from Corby, Northamptonshire, said: “They’re honestly the most loving, loyal dogs.

“They are a bit of a handful because of their size – but both just gentle giants.

“Everyone loves seeing them when we take them out for walks.

“We’ve had people double-take and think we’re out walking lions because of their huge frame and golden manes.”

Shaun and Katrina, who work at Burger King, spotted an advert for Bear on Facebook in 2019.

His previous owner had trouble caring for the male pup, so the couple took on the challenge of raising him.

Shaun said: “I just fell in love with him I saw him.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge because of his size. He was very protective at first, but it didn’t take long to train him.

“Now he’s so well behaved but still playful – he’s the gentlest dog.”

After having Bear for six months and getting a handle on the breed, Shaun was contacted by a rescue charity in Romania.

They saw how well he did with Bear on Facebook and told him about a female Chinese Tibetan Mastiffs they had called Amira who was looking for a home.

Once again, the couple couldn’t resist and flew her over to join their family in the UK.

The couple raises the dogs at the family home which they share with their kids Kyle, 19, Bradley, 16, Shakira, 14 and six-year-old Ryan.

Shaun said: “The kids absolutely love them.

“Both dogs have grown so big and they’re still not fully grown. They take up the whole sofa or bed by themselves.

“Even if we’re sat on them, they’ll hop up and try and sit on your lap.

“I swear they think they’re tiny.”

Amira, who is one, weighs around 9st 4lb, and Bear, who is nearly two, weighs 11st 8 pounds.

The dogs are fully-grown around age five when they can reach a weight of 15 stone.

The pups eat a diet of beef, chicken and steak, as well as a dry dog food mix.

The family are often stopped on their daily walks by passers-by who are fascinated by the dogs' huge, fluffy manes.

Shaun said: “We live in quite a small village, so they’re the talk of the town. They're not often found in the UK, so I think it's quite a novelty.

“We can’t go out for a walk without people stopping to stroke them or take photos.

"The vet once said: "I've never seen dogs like that, are you sure they don't belong in the zoo?"

“We’ve even had people stop and think we’re walking lions. Sometimes I feel like they actually are lions.”

The dogs need to go out several times a day and Shaun, who works as a builder on a local farm, often takes the pair of pups to work with him.

He said: "I’m very lucky to work where I do.

"While I'm working, I can let them run around the fields or go into the paddocks.

“I often see kids flocking to them at the bottom of the field – they love the attention.

"They're the best dogs and we feel very lucky to have them."

Shaun's girlfriend Katrina, 40, also fell in love with the dogs when she first spotted them on Facebook and has loved watching them grow.

She said: "It was Shaun's idea to get the dogs and I'm so pleased we went for it.

"I fell in love with them as soon as we saw them online. It's the gorgeous color of their fur - they're so beautiful.

"They take up a bit of room but we barely notice anymore.

"They're brilliant with the kids - our daughter is obsessed with brushing their fur. Both of them are a big part of the family and I couldn't imagine not having them."

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