| Eyes | Bathing
| Ears | Claws
| General |
addition to the daily walk, grooming is another important
thing a mastiff-owner should take care of every day. This
includes cleaning the dog's ears and eyes, brushing his
coat, clipping his claws, and giving him a bath from time
to time. You don't need to (and shouldn't) do all of this
every day, but the brushing and ear-checking should be a
your Mastiff to stand still while he's a puppy. The first
few times of claw-clipping might be a challenge for both
of you, but if you're careful, calm and persistent, the
dog will soon experience the grooming as a natural thing,
yes, even as a social thing that he enjoys. Many Mastiffs
love being brushed, and cleaning the ears isn't too unpopular
with some of them either. Just remember not to use force
if he finds the whole thing scary. Doing that will at least
double the time it takes to make him except the treatment.
You don't need to rush things. Let the dog take his time
to get used to the grooming.
groom the Mastiff?
will never regret it once you've made it a habit. It's pretty
obvious why you should clean your dog's ears: Infections
and mites are very likely to occur if you neglect it. The
bathing and brushing make the dog smell less dog, and the
shedding of hair will be greatly reduced. By cleaning the
eyes every time it's necessary, you keep eye infections
on a distance (it will also make you want to hug your Mastiff
more often!). If you let his claws
grow freely, they will finally become so long that even
walking is uncomfortable. When you've neglected your responsibility
in such a way, it's hard to solve the problem by just "cutting
them off". The nerves grow within the claw, and you definitely
must not cut them off. This would be very painful, and the
amount of blood can be surprisingly large! One claw is bad
enough. Don't even consider doing this on all four legs!
This would be due to torturing your friend, and it will
take a very long time until he trusts you to clip his claws
again. So - you simply have to do this regularly, preferably
once a week. If not, you'll end up at the veterinary sooner
or later (don't forget your credit card and a good excuse
at home, you'll need both!).
grooming your Mastiff while he's a small puppy...
continue doing so the rest of his grown-up life!
to do? When to do it? How to do it?
As mentioned earlier, you should brush your Mastiff every
day. Dust, dead hair and dandruff-like stuff will stay in
the coat until you remove it! Those things smell pretty
bad after a while, and the chances for skin-problems are
a lot bigger if you don't get rid of it. The best thing
to use is a dog-glove. These are made for short-haired dogs,
and work fine with a mastiff. You can also do it the without
any kind of "tools": It's quite effective to use two wet
hands instead. After having put your hands in water, "handbrush"
from the back of the dog and forwards (the opposite direction
of which the coat is growing). Then remove the lose hair
etc by handbrushing the other way. Try it!
Clip the claws once a week. Decide to do it on a specific
day and time, like every Saturday morning. By doing this,
it will soon become a habit for both you and your Mastiff.
Clipping the claws is one thing you shouldn't forget doing!
I already have explained why.
how do you do it? First of all, you can't use a pair of
scissors to clip a Mastiff's claws! You need a specially
designed clipper like the one on the picture on this page,
and you need the largest size there is! Make the dog stand
still, grab one of his legs, and lift it up. Start with
one of the forelegs. If you take a closer look at the back
of one of the claws, you can see the nerve (quick). You
will see that the nerve is shorter than the full length
of the claw, and it is the part that extends the nerve that
you should cut off. It's better being too careful the first
times you try it, rather than cutting off too much. Remember:
Pain hurts! Also keep in mind these three keywords as a
reminder of how to behave while grooming your Mastiff: You
should be: Careful, calm and persistent! You don't need
a vet to do this if you start clipping your Mastiff's claws
while he's still a puppy. Having a vet doing it is almost
like having an electrician come to your house to change
a light bulb. :) Trust me, you can do it yourself!
Some Mastiffs tend to get a lot of mess in their eyes. The
more loose skin in the face and around the eyes, the worse.
Maybe your Mastiff doesn't have this problem at all, but
some do! It's normally a morning-problem (just like it is
to some of us), but since dogs are sleeping several hours
during the day, you have to clean away the eye-stuff whenever
it's necessary. In other words, there are no rules here.
You have to do what you see is best for your Mastiff.
do you need to bother at all? There are a couple of reasons:
Firstly it is not all that pleasant to walk around with
the eyes filled with who know what. Secondly you prevent
the dog from getting infections be keeping his eyes clean.
Thirdly: It looks rather bad. The number of hugs are greatly
reduced if your Mastiff's eyes are not clean. And then finally:
Where do you think all the mess ends up if you don't remove
it? I'll tell you. On all your furniture, walls, sheets,
clothes etc. etc.
while cleaning. Use a wet piece of cloth, or at least something
soft (like toilet paper). The dog definitely will prefer
a combination of both wet and soft. If you're not careful
enough, you might risk that you're irritating the eye in
a manner that increases the problem even more, and that's
not you wanted to do at all! Clean the eye from the outer
edge moving inwards, just like you would do to yourself.
A dog's eye is very similar to the human eye when it comes
If you don't wash you Mastiff's ears, you are asking for
trouble! It looks like the "ear-ventilation" isn't good
enough, and the inside of the ears doesn't dry very well.
This means that the wax stays moist for a long time, if
we don't remove it. The chances for various kinds of infections
are quite big if you don't take this seriously enough. Mites
are also a problem that tend to bother some dogs frequently.
This can be treated effectively (talk to your vet), but
it's not something you want to keep on doing throughout
the dog's whole life. Remember that ear-problems can be
very unpleasant for your Mastiff. Besides it smells pretty
need a soft piece of cloth to wash the ears. Do not use
cue-tips etc. for anything else than the outer parts of
the ear. You can wet the cloth a little bit, but if the
wax is really moist, it's easier to work with a dry one.
Don't be afraid of that you're doing anything that can harm
your dog. As long as you wash only the parts you can see,
it's no problem at all! The only thing you need to remember,
is to be careful not to push the wax further inside the
ear while washing. This is a usual mistake for both beginners
and more experienced dog owners, and can easily lead to
infections etc. You want to get the wax OUT, not stuff it
into the inner parts of the ear! Don't worry - with a little
practice you'll work it out just fine!
Before you read this, there's one thing you need to know:
A dog does not need, and should not have, as many baths
as a human being. That would remove all the fat that protects
the skin from bacteria, microbes and other problems with
the skin. It also may have a negative effect on some allergic
dogs. You must also be aware of that a dog's skin is different
from our skin. This means we need different kinds of shampoo.
You can normally buy dog-shampoo from your local dog-food
shop. If you've experienced what bathing a dog with "human-shampoo"
can do to the coat, you will be very thorough on this! Also
notice that some Mastiffs can get various kinds of eczema
and rashes if they bath too often, even without using shampoo.
They definitely need to have some fat in the coat! Don't
wash it all out!
are several reasons why you want to give your Mastiff a
bath: If you don't, he will smell pretty bad after a while
(like three or four dogs!). If you give him a bath from
time to time, you also will find it easier to keep his coat
free from dead hair and dandruff (see the section about
the coat). He also will look healthier and nicer if he's
clean! If you have a bathtub, you can bath your Mastiff
in it, even if he'll fill the whole tub! If you just have
a shower, things get more complicated. You simply have to
use your imagination. It's not a terrier you're dealing
with! During summer, you can wash him wherever you like!
of advises: If your Mastiff has had a swim in salt water,
you should wash the salt out of his coat afterwards. If
you notice any kind of eczema that might come from too much
time spent in water, you should prevent the dog from swimming/bathing
for some time.