THE PUPPY PAGE
Mastiff puppies aren’t like other puppies. They are usually very calm and easy to deal with even when they are small babies. Some Mastiff puppies are, of course, more active than others. They generally tend to learn the house rules fast, if the owner takes the time to teach the puppy in a loving and understanding way. You can experience that a mastiff-pup is as calm and easy-going as an adult one. They are very sensitive, and don’t handle yelling and unfair treatment very well. These pups also need a lot of sleep, in addition to a great deal of affection and company.
If the dog has to be home alone while you’re at work or at school throughout the whole puppyhood, both you and the puppy will be better of if you wait getting a dog until someone in your household has more spare time. Remember that any dog must feel safe in his home WITH his owners before he can feel safe being in his home WITHOUT his owners! He has to be totally sure of that you are leaving him only temporarily, and that you’ll be back in reasonable time. He also needs to be sure that the homecoming is worth the wait!
You can start teaching the pup to be home alone as soon as he’ gotten used to his new home. Leave the house or the room only for a few minutes the first times. Be sure he knows that you’re gone, and return to him BEFORE he starts crying for you. This way he learns that he doesn’t have to bark or cry to make you come back home. He must never get the impression that this kind of behavior gets rewarded, rather he should discover that there’s no need for it. He can always be sure of that you’re just around the corner. Build up his trust in you!
It can be a good idea to let him have a toy or something else that keeps him busy while you’re leaving the room. Remember that even for a grown up dog, 6-8 hours is considered as the maximum time a dog should spend alone on an every day basis. This is even more important if you don’t have much time for him when you finally get home! In other words: A puppy isn’t that different from a child. He needs caring, compassion, time and understanding. He’s well aware of who’s a member of his family, and who is not. All he wants is that safe and caring home that all children want.
Let’s get one thing straight: The Mastiff eats a lot! Your 10 kilo puppy may weigh about 60 kilos just six months later. It’s important to feed the pup properly. A growth like that demands quality dog food if you want to bring up a strong and healthy fellow. The stuff you get at the supermarket may be alright for Mr. Smith’s dog, but it’s not good enough for your Mastiff! Find out where to buy Eukanuba Junior, Hills, Royal Canin, or any other high quality product. This will cost you a lot more money than the supermarket solution, but you can be sure of that your dog gets what he needs to grow up to his full physical potential.
The puppy needs a nice, comfortable place of his own where he can go to when he needs to relax without any disturbance. Such a place will give the dog the privacy he sometimes wants, but it shouldn’t be too fare away from the family either. The Mastiff is very dependent on his owners, and needs to be close to them as much as he can!
One shouldn’t let children (or grown-ups!) wake the puppy while he’s sleeping, no matter how tempting it might be. A dog needs peace and quiet when he’s tired. If he can’t get the rest he needs, he’ll might become a restless and nervous dog. A dog simply can’t understand why you won’t allow him to relax. Your Mastiff also has a right to privacy!
Contact with other dogs is important while growing up. In the picture to the left, Kaiser (6 months), is playing with the Doberman bitch Mika (2 years). One should remember that all dogs that grow as fast as the Mastiff does, shouldn’t use his full strength until he’s fully grown. Don’t let him play like crazy neither with people nor with other dogs. Even so he needs to meet other friendly dogs, in order to learn that they might be nice creatures just like himself. Kaiser loves to meet other dogs, especially the smaller breeds!
A male mastiff-pup will get an important lesson for life if he learns that he can play with another male. You can let him meet and play carefully with a low-dominance grown up male, no matter what breed he is (but try to find a dog at about the same size as your mastiff – before it’s too late…). Aggression towards other dogs is rare with mastiffs, but getting used to being with strangers, both human and four-legged, is important anyhow!
Can you get them any sweeter? Baby-Kaiser with his first toy – ten weeks old. Is this really the same dog we’re living with today???
Don’t take your pup for too long walks the first 7-8 months. He grows in an enormous tempo, and doubles his own weight several times during these months. A heavy pup like this can hurt his muscles, hips and joints so bad that he will never recover.
Take him for daily slow walks, and play gently with him. Being too careful is better than making your friend a cripple! Be extra careful when the pup is “cold”, i.e. the first ten minutes after he’s started moving outside. When the Mastiff is fully grown, at the age of three, he has an enormous strength that can solve plenty of tasks! Remember that he needs to warm up, just like an athlete, before he should do anything that demands his full strength. You are, as the owner of the dog, the only one that can plan his future health. Your Mastiff-puppy is not able to decide what’s best for him! A giant like this needs to be taken care of in a special manner. It’s a responsibility that gives great pleasure!
Do you have any questions about mastiff puppies or mastiffs in general? Contact your local dog club, or even better, a Mastiff Club.
Thanks for visiting the Puppy Page!