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What do you need to know before you adopt a Mastiff? We asked the experts!
Mastiffs aren't for everyone. People need to know they get BIG. So many surrenders come into rescue because the owners say they’ve gotten too big for their house. Mastiffs knock over kids, clear an entire coffee table with one tail wag, and slobber. If an adopter can't deal with these things, please don't adopt a Mastiff!
The Mastiff is part of the Working Dogs group — He enjoys activities such as tracking, carting, weight pulling, obedience, search and rescue and therapy work. While regular exercise will help keep the Mastiff in good shape, this is not an overly active breed and he can adapt quite well to a placid type of lifestyle.
The Mastiff is intelligent, eager to please, very sensitive and can also be quite stubborn. Training should be done in a positive manner at all times.
The Mastiff is very devoted and develops a strong bond with his family members, which in turn helps develop his protective instincts and he will protect his family and home wholeheartedly in a non-aggressive manner. Under most circumstances, his size and stance alone is enough to ward off an intruder.
From food to veterinary bills, to medication, to toys, to the size of the crate, to everything in between — Whatever the item, the Mastiff needs more of it than the average size dog. Therefore, the cost of owning a dog the size of a Mastiff is more expensive than owning a smaller breed.
The Mastiff, while naturally gentle and calm and known to be excellent with children, is not a recommended breed for the elderly, the disabled or for a family with very young children. He can very easily knock down anyone who is not steady on their feet or otherwise unintentionally cause injury.
While he can easily adapt to apartment life, the Mastiff does need to be able to move around and the best environment includes a house with a fenced back yard.
Bullmastiffs are loving, protective, loyal and very co-dependent on their humans for companionship. They are wonderful companions. They are NOT dogs to be left outside all day with minimal human contact.
Bullmastiffs are wonderful with children. They are gentle and quite tolerant, and love to lick faces. They will protect their children. However, children must be taught to respect and treat a dog with kindness. Bullmastiffs are large and powerful dogs and must ALWAYS be supervised with children. Their size alone can knock over children simply by running by, and their paws can knock them over or leave a scratch or bruise when they are just asking for attention.
Bullmastiffs slobber! Are you prepared to keep a slobber rag handy in each room of your house? Some drool more than others, and it depends more on the looseness of their flews, but all bullmastiffs drool to some degree. Slobber rags are an integral part of ownership and it is wise to hand them out to guests as they arrive.
Bullmastiffs snore, often loudly. He will want to sleep with you, as in “on the bed”, if you allow it. (not recommended) But if not ON the bed, then next to it, to watch over you as you sleep. They often roam the house at night, checking to see that everything is fine, before returning to your room to sleep. You will find a bullmastiff wants to be NEXT to you pretty much most of the time. You will be stepping over them to cook, to get off the couch, to get out of the bathroom, or out of the shower.