Mastiff puppies are muscular, powerful, and massive dogs. Despite their size, they are still known for being non-aggressive and child-friendly guard dogs. Aside from being keen observers, mastiffs are also intelligent, patient, and calm creatures that require consistent and firm training. During puppyhood, owners also need to communicate with their mastiffs with an air of authority in order to gain control over them before they grow into adults. If you are planning to bring an English mastiff home, you have to consider these important factors.
Temperament and training needs
The dominance level among English mastiffs greatly varies but they are usually called gentle giants. Born as efficient guard dogs, they rarely bark but they have the nature to defend their family and territory. When they catch intruders, they are also more likely to hold them still by lying on top of them or keeping them trapped in a corner rather than doing an all-out attack. Mastiff puppies do not need training in order to become efficient guard dogs. No matter how friendly they seem, they will naturally guard your home when they sense danger unless you tell them otherwise.
Watchful and self-assured, mastiffs are patient so they socialize well with children of all ages. They are even-tempered, intelligent, and calm. They also respond well to patient yet firm training. They love pleasing their owners so they constantly seek for a strong form of human leadership. Once you introduce mastiffs to your home, you have to socialize them well to stop them from becoming cold towards strangers. If socialized well with proper leadership, mastiffs can easily get along well with dogs of other breeds. To succeed in training mastiff puppies, you have to achieve the status of a pack leader.
Exercise, grooming, and health problems
While mastiffs are inclined to be somewhat lazy, you can keep them happy and fit by providing them with regular exercise. As with other dog breeds, an American mastiff needs daily walks to release his physical and mental energy. While walking them outside, you have to make him walk behind or beside you to make him realize that you are the leader of the pack. Mastiffs do well in small apartments as long as they receive sufficient amounts of exercise. They are also rarely active outdoors so a small yard is enough to keep them preoccupied throughout the day.
Mastiff puppies are susceptible to hip dysplasia. They are also prone to bloating so you have to feed them at least two small meals every day instead of serving them one large meal per day. They are also prone to gastric torsion, vaginal hyperplasia, coronary heart disease, and progressive retinal atrophy so you have to keep your eyes open for symptoms of these conditions. Do not walk them excessively because they are also prone to joint and hip damage. When it comes to grooming mastiffs, use a firm brush to keep their short-haired coat free of tangles.
When caring for a mastiff puppy, you have to keep in mind that you are rearing one of the largest dog breeds. As long as you feed mastiff puppies well and provide them with adequate exercise, you can give them a great sense of security and make them feel loved at all times.