Considering a Mastiff Breed

Mastiff puppies need training and proper exercise from a prospective owner.

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Q. I want to know about mastiffs, how long do they live? Are they a high-maintenance dog? Do they need a lot of exercise? Do they shed? I live in the city and have a fenced yard, but I am older.

A. There are several Mastiff breeds to consider. They all shed, drool (to a greater or lesser degree), and, as giant breeds, may not live as long as we’d like them to, although many breeders have made longevity a priority in their breeding programs.

Puppies grow quickly and so obedience training is a must. It is imperative that these strong and powerful dogs be under control, heel on leash, and obey basic commands, or they can be a liability to you as well as your neighbors.

The Bullmastiff makes a great city dog, and is “smaller” than the English Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, etc., but we are still talking about a dog that could tip the scales at 130 pounds. Are you up to walking a dog of such size and strength? It’s great that you have a fenced yard, but daily walks will do you both good, as long as the dog is not dragging you down the block. English Mastiffs and Neos can easily reach a weight of 150 to 180 pounds, and more.

Contact breeders and rescue groups to see if a more mellow and mature dog might be available to rehome with you. Such a dog will have had some basic training and might be a better fit for a senior than a more boisterous puppy.

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Pat   Hinckley, IL

5/6/2010 5:41:16 PM

I live on 5 acres with 2 horses and a 7 yr. old rott. (And, of course, love
DOGS)
She is not in good health and we are seriously considering a mastiff when she dies. I felt your article was informative, if not a little "warning" off of the breed.

Many people enter into dog ownership uneducated, which accounts for many of the pound dogs and adopted breed agencies. On a personal note, my last 2 dogs.

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Judy   Olympia, WA

3/8/2010 1:27:55 PM

Sherry, I use Nutro Choice for large breeds. Gus has great coat. So does my Boxer, I also like to give alittle canned to moisten and encourage eating.

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Judy   Olympia, WA

3/8/2010 1:21:36 PM

I was just denied home insurance by a company because I own an English Mastiff. I have not heard of any problems with this breed. He is a huge teddy bear who adores people. Maybe the Bull Mastiff has had problems but I have NEVER HEARD OF ANY WITH THE ENGLISH MASTIFF. ANYONE?????

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Sherry   Midwest City, OK

3/15/2009 5:52:02 PM

What causes dogs hair to be dry? I have been told it is because dry food has corn it and get food that does not have corn in it. Could it be so?

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