How to Care for a Mastiff Puppy
These 8 Tips Are Must Knows For All Owners

by Ken Alden

Mastiffs are a great choice for a new dog, now you'll need to learn how to care for a Mastiff puppy. This giant breed of dog (who can in some cases grow to be up to 230 pounds!) can be a great new canine companion. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when you bring a Mastiff puppy into your home.

How To Care For A Mastiff Puppy

● Socialize them early by introducing them to friends, family & other dogs
● Don’t over-exercise them, their massive weight can cause hip issues later
● Groom them regularly, this helps keep shedding down, breath fresh etc.
● Foster good eating habits, this helps with bloat and preventing obesity
● Give them plenty of water since they drool a lot
● Be proactive about their health by knowing the signs

Now let's dig deeper into how to care for a Mastiff puppy by dissecting and explaining further the above tips. Read further below...your puppy will love you for it!

Pro-tip: Ever try lifting a Mastiff? Their weight can hurt not only your back but their joints when they hop down from cars, sofas or even your bed. To protect your back and theirs check out the best Mastiff ramps on now.

how to care for a mastiff puppy

Socializing Your Mastiff Puppy

English Mastiffs are born with natural protective instincts. They are even-tempered, calm, and intelligent. A lot of the time, they can be great with children of all ages and very responsive to training. 

The flip side is that these dogs can often be overprotective and very territorial when it comes to their homes. This is particularly evident in their tendency to be cold towards strangers. This tends to happen when you haven't properly socialized your dog.

Without appropriate training, Mastiffs tend to be wary of other animals and human strangers. Because of this, it’s good to help them become less fearful and anxious about other living things. how to care for a mastiff puppy

The way to do this is to get your Mastiff used to the look and feel of your house, as well as any other surroundings that you know he will have to deal with throughout his life. You should also make sure that they spend time around your friends and family, as well as any other pets that you might have. Take him to dog parks and make sure he’s able to get along with other dogs.

However, you don't need to stamp out his guarding instincts entirely. Mastiffs are natural guard dogs who will protect your home, especially when they sense danger. You should socialize them, but you should realize that their natural instincts can be very useful for you as well. how to care for a mastiff puppy

mastiff puppy care

We felt this topic needed further discussing so we wrote an entire page dedicated to just the topic of mastiff socialization.

Exercising A Mastiff Puppy

A lot of Mastiffs will be happy just sitting around in your house. However, their quality of life will be much better if you let them have regular exercise. At the very least, you should take them on walks every day, so that they can release their pent-up mental and physical energy.

You should also keep in mind that there are right and wrong ways to walk a dog. With a Mastiff, it's particularly important that you be the leader of the pack. You need to make him walk either behind you or beside you, rather than in front of you.

Mastiffs are not the most active dogs, but it's important that they do have regular exercise. You can even have one in a small apartment, as long as you take him for a walk every day. Typically, they're not very active outdoors, so if you let them walk around in a small yard that should be sufficient as well.  Don’t forget to take regular walks.

But Don’t Overdo It with the Exercise!

It's important that your dog has a moderate amount of exercise. However, it's just as important that you don't overdo it. You may think that in terms of exercise, more is better, but this isn't necessarily true.

If you over-exercise your dog, you might end up overstraining him. Mastiffs are very susceptible to a variety of injuries, particularly when they are young puppies. Specifically, Mastiff dogs are prone to hip and joint damage.

This is why you shouldn't put them through overly strenuous exercise routines or let them jump from high places. how to care for a mastiff puppy

Maintenance Is Important! It’s important that you take care of your Mastiff puppy physically, just as you would take care of yourself.

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Just what are the exercise needs of a mastiff? They certainly are different than that of an average size dog. On this page we'll not only delve further into this, but also offer exercise tips and best durations.

Pro-tip: Mastiff anxiety, aggression, destructive chewing, jumping up, fearfulness, and other behaviors can be controlled with the right training program.

Here’s a great course that addresses these issues along with many other dog training basics: Check it out now!

Mastiff Puppy Grooming

Mastiff dogs have smooth, short coats. The good thing is that these coats are easy to groom. However, you do need to groom them and shouldn't assume that just because it's easy, it's unnecessary.

Mastiff dogs generally shed quite a bit, especially in the spring and the fall. You should use a firm bristle brush, such as a rubber curry brush, to comb them at least once a week or at most once a day. This will help control their shedding and remove any matting or dirt that might be in their fur.  Check out this website for more grooming tips.

Cleaning Their Wrinkles

Your job doesn't stop with brushing them. You also need to clean their wrinkles. Like Bulldogs, Mastiffs have very wrinkled faces, which can sometimes allow bacteria to hide within the crevices.

You need to wipe out the wrinkles of your Mastiff at least once a week with a baby wipe. Then, you will need to towel the crevices dry, in order to minimize the chance of any infections.

Bathing Them and Brushing Their Teeth

You should also give your English Mastiff infrequent baths. They are a naturally clean breed, and giving them baths too often can dry out their skin.  It can also compromise the natural oils within their coats. When you bathe them, you should use a mild, hypoallergenic dog shampoo; given the size of the dog, it might be a better choice to just let a professional groomer do the job.

It's also a good idea to brush your Mastiff’s teeth often. You should do it every day, or at least two to three times a week. This will help prevent bad breath, tartar build-up, and any bacterial infections that could occur. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste that are made specifically for large dogs.

Nail Clipping

When it comes to how to groom a Mastiff puppy you should clip your dog's nails once a week or two weeks. Usually, you would want to use a large set of clippers that is designed specifically for large breeds. In order to do this, your dog will need to stay still, and you want to make sure not to cut too high up and end up potentially cutting his nerve endings and causing him pain. Again, because of the sheer size of the dog, this might end up being too daunting of a task, meaning that you might want to allow a professional groomer to cut his nails.

Training A Mastiff Puppy Properly

There are many different things that you should focus on while training your Mastiff puppy. Different types of training will foster different types of desirable behavior, helping make sure that your puppy has a positive influence on the environment within your home. 

One thing that you need to remember is that with a Mastiff, it's always important that you be the pack leader. It will be very hard to train your dog if you are treating him as an equal.

Crate Training

Crate training can be effective for all sorts of dog breeds. Mastiffs are no exception. If you introduce your dog to a crate in the beginning, this is the easiest way to allow him to get used to being confined to one area, so that he doesn't go to rooms where he’s not allowed.

A crate can also be an effective tool when it comes to housebreaking your dog as well. It shouldn't be big enough that he can do his business on one side and still sleep on the other side. You need to make it so that it would be very uncomfortable for him if he ends up doing his business in his crate.

When you are crate training your Mastiff, don’t put food and water inside the crate. If he's able to eat and drink in there, he'll end up needing to do his business more often than you may be able to take him out. You should keep his bathroom breaks on a regular routine, so that he gets used to holding it until you take him outside.

Leash Training

You can probably see the value of leash training your Mastiff puppy. The sooner you train him to walk calmly on a leash and let you lead, the better things will be for both of you. 

Mastiffs are very large dogs, making them very hard to control as adults if you don't have them leash trained early on. Keep in mind that Mastiffs can grow to be over 200 pounds.  Think about what it would be like to walk with a poorly trained Mastiff on a leash. If he ends up wanting to chase something, you won't be able to control him.  This could end up being dangerous for you, your dog, and others in the area.

No Jumping!

This is something that you should probably keep in mind with any breed of dog. All puppies need to learn how to behave around humans, as well as other animals. However, it's even more important that large breeds are well-behaved, since a rambunctious, poorly trained dog that weighs over 100 pounds could be dangerous.

When you're working with an English Mastiff puppy, it's important that you always bend down to him. Don't let him jump up to you or your face. If you allow him to do this, this will instill bad habits that can be dangerous when he is an adult and much larger.

Don't Be Too Harsh, Though…

It's important that you use a firm tone with your Mastiff puppy. However, you should make sure never to yell at him or hit him in an effort to get him to obey you.

Mastiffs are very sensitive dogs, and if you are very harsh with them, it'll make them nervous and anxious. If your dog is scared of you, he's not going to know how to behave around you. These dogs can also become depressed if they feel that you're angry at them.

Make sure to praise your Mastiff puppy when he follows your commands. You can offer him a treat as an incentive as well. Be consistent and patient when you are training your Mastiff puppy, and realize that it might take some time to train him correctly.

Pro-tip: Mastiff's (and their owners) love dog crates…and for good reasons. Crates keep dogs from mischief while you're away, are perfect for house training, for traveling by car, and provide the dog a place to de-stress. Check out the best Mastiff crates on now.

Feeding Your Mastiff Puppy: Fostering Good Eating Habits

When it comes to how to care for a Mastiff puppy, proper feeding is very important due to the ease of their becoming overweight easily.

Mastiffs often gobble down their food when they eat. As such, they are fairly susceptible to bloat, which can become a serious stomach issue.

Also known as gastric torsion, this can actually be severe and even life-threatening; your dog may produce too much gas, which can fill, twist, and block his stomach. In order to avoid this, it's important that you help him develop good eating habits as a puppy.

One thing that is very important to do with a Mastiff is not let him eat all of his food for the day at once. You should spread out his feeding schedule so that he eats two to three times per day. Limiting his immediate food intake can help prevent bloat.

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This article of ours is dedicated towards helping new owners understand specifics about feeding their mastiff puppy.

Give Your Mastiff Plenty of Water

It's important that you give your English Mastiff constant access to water, as it is for any dog, in order to keep their joints and digestive systems healthy.

English Mastiffs in particular drool quite a bit. Because of this, they will need to replace the water that they are losing through salivation. They're a particularly thirsty breed and will need a dish of water available to them at all times, both day and night.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is because they are such heavy droolers, they tend to drool into their water. It would be a good idea for you to rinse your Mastiff’s dish every day. They generally don't like drinking their own drool, so if you don't provide them with a clean water dish, they might stop drinking water and potentially get dehydrated. how to care for a mastiff puppy

Be Proactive About Your Mastiff's Health!

Of course, you can't prevent or predict every health situation that comes up with your dog. However, if you’re proactive, you're much more likely to minimize the odds of your dog having unnecessary health problems.

It's a good idea to know the health history of your Mastiff. Before you buy him, make sure that you have independently certified genetic health screenings for his parents. Make sure that they don't have hereditary diseases or disorders, such as hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, or cardiomyopathy, that your dog could potentially have due to these genetics.

You should also make sure to take your Mastiff to the vet on a regular basis. Register him as soon as you get him with a nearby veterinary clinic. It'll be a good idea to have a consistent veterinarian who is familiar with his medical records, so that he can help catch any health issues that arise early on. The vet can also make sure that you keep up with parasite control treatments and vaccination cycles.

Health Issues

You should be aware that Mastiffs are susceptible to certain health issues that you wouldn't have to worry about as much with most other breeds. Bloat, as already discussed, is one.

Additionally, you should look out for canine cystinuria, which is a genetic kidney disease that causes bladder stones and urinary blockages that could be life-threatening. Mastiffs are at higher risk for this, which is why you should take your Mastiff to the vet right away for screening if you see that he's having problems urinating.

Hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as cruciate ligament injuries in their knees, are very common for Mastiffs, largely due to their large size. You can keep them lean in order to minimize the pressure that's being put on their bones and ligaments. You should also take your Mastiff to the vet if you see that he's having trouble moving around naturally or getting up and down. 

It's also important to get regular heart exams for your Mastiff. These dogs are genetically susceptible to different types of heart disease, which include subaortic stenosis, pulmonic stenosis, mitral dysplasia, and cardiomyopathy.

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Proper vaccinations play a vital role in your puppies early years, here's all you'll need to know on vaccinating your mastiff puppy.

How To Care For A Mastiff Puppy...Final Thoughts

It is always important to take care of a dog properly. However, it's important to remember that not every breed is going to require the same type of care. With some breeds, you are going to need to keep certain things in mind that you wouldn't have to with just any other dog.

Many of the things you need to focus on with a Mastiff are specific to his large size. It's particularly important that you are able to assert dominance and train him well. Because of his size, he can unwittingly cause a great deal of destruction if he's poorly trained. 

If you follow all of our tips for raising a Mastiff puppy, you can end up with a happy, well-behaved, and well-adjusted Mastiff dog. Making an effort to raise him well when he’s young will definitely be worth your while in the future. 

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About Author

About the Author...

Ken Alden, a dedicated Mastiff owner for over eight years, is acclaimed for his expertise in care, grooming, and training. Read more About Me and my dog Shadow.

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