How to Discipline a Mastiff
From Puppy to Adult

by Ken Alden

Mastiff puppies are cute and adorable, right? With proper training, they can grow up as disciplined and highly obedient dogs. Besides, adults tend to be large, powerful, and strong-willed, with an instinct to protect, so without discipline and proper training, they can be dangerous. 

How To Discipline A Mastiff...

To discipline a mastiff from puppy to adult, you need to be patient and calm. Start easy before moving to the complicated stuff. Repeat, don't expect the dog to pick up training straight away. Most importantly, be consistent and keep the sessions short. Don't forget to reward them! 

Training a mastiff from inception can be different from teaching other dog breeds. This guide will outline tips on disciplining a mastiff from puppy to adult, Read More Below...

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 discipline a Mastiff

How to Discipline a Mastiff Puppy

The first 12 months of a mastiff puppy's life are the most exciting and rewarding to the dog and the owner. Until they are one, most dogs are deemed as puppies, and they go through various stages. It's here they learn and develop at least 90 percent of their physical, social, and behavior and personality characteristics.

As they hit 6-18 months, which is the equivalent of a human teenage stage, it can be the worst phase coupled with selective hearing, raging hormones, and lack of motivation. They will chew on objects as they explore the world, or relieve boredom and anxiety. 

Your patient is crucial during this stage to ensure you help your growing dog be disciplined and remember good things happen when she listens as it will pay off years to come. Here is how to discipline a Mastiff puppy throughout the first year of life:

From Birth to Four Weeks

Puppies are born as relatively helpless neonates who can perceive. Around this period, the mother or littermates greatly influence the pup through the senses touch and taste. 

At around three to four weeks, their eyes open and the teeth break out. They also develop a strong sense of hearing and a sharp sense of smell. Please introduce yourself to the pup and speak to it in a soft, kind voice.

Four Weeks and Three Months - Plan Your First Vet Visit

Your puppy develops a few social skills, physical coordination, and a spontaneous bite at around ten weeks. They may also show a sign of fear, but with numerous training, they can overcome.

Your pup is very handy during this time and explores the environment to see exciting objects and chews almost everything to relieve teething discomfort. The intensified chewing stage ends at the age of six months. Here are a few discipline recommendations:

  • Provide your puppy with plenty of chewable toys, including inedible chew bones, to prevent inappropriate chewing.
  • Dog-proof the house.
  • Identify when your dog is likely to chew and offer him a puzzle toy filled with something delicious.
  • Discourage chewing inappropriate items by spraying chewing deterrents.
  • Supervise the puppy when he is awake until you feel confident his chewing behavior is under control.
  • If you plan to leave your mastiff for an extended period, ensure that you place him in a confined area and remove all things he shouldn't chew.

Provide the dog with plenty of physical exercises and mental stimulation through social visits and training.

Help your dog through this stage to learn what he should and should not chew. Most young mastiff puppies outgrow the behavior as they mature, so continue to offer positive training.

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

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Three to Six Months

At 3-6 months, social relationships become apparent as they start to learn their space in the park. The dog may become territorial with animals present at home and challenge relationships. The behavior is normal and requires you to remain loving and meticulous in training. 

Puppies love those who bring food to them at this stage, making it easier to connect and engage with them. Stick to what is close by and work. For instance, use treats as a reward during training for good behavior. Be patient if the puppy doesn't get it the first time. 

Controlling the environment, patience, and how you react to the dog has a lot to do with good discipline. Here are some tips for training your mastiff during this stage:

  • Connect and engage with the dog.
  • Train by playing.
  • Exaggerate your praise and reward.
  • Be fun and predictable.
  • Never hit, shout, or abuse the dog.

Six to Twelve Months

At 6-12 months, your mastiff has grown up physically, is sexually active, and females can easily get pregnant when on heat. Expect the dog to keep testing and defending their status in the household. They also become uninterested in you, but it's all part of the process.  

Although a mastiff puppy is physically grown up in this stage, they insist on acting more like puppies until about one and a half years old. 

During this time, if properly trained, the pup doesn't test the set rules and restrictions. However, it would help if you continued engaging the dog in activities and set clear boundaries as they continue learning as long as there are no severe behavioral issues

You also need to engage them in activities that will exercise their mind like off-leash play with other dogs, tug and fetch games, feeding meals in puzzle toys, and daily walks and outings.

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.

How to Discipline a Mastiff Adult

Even on a strict diet, mastiff pups grow fast and become big hulking dogs. Training a mastiff adult is easy if the necessary steps took place when it was a puppy. 

Conversely, if your pup was adequately socialized, you will find that they will easily overcome the usual temperament of suspicion, aggressiveness, and shyness. Here are a few areas that you may need to train your adult mastiff for appropriate discipline:

  • Socializing training - Continue to socialize your dog to minimize agitation with unfamiliar people or objects. 
  • Obedience training - Be firm and consistent when commanding but never issue negative reinforcement as they don't respond well to such.
  • Use time out as a training and discipline tool - If your dog suddenly ignores what you say, you might need to ignore her. If she continues not paying attention, put her away from you in another room for a timeout. After a couple of minutes, if she behaves, give her a second chance for rectified behavior, let her out, and praise her. If your mastiff often misbehaves, it would help if you're consistent in giving her another chance. 
  • Down and wait command: This instruction is beneficial for correcting and disciplining your mastiff, especially if you can do it at a distance without holding or touching. Train the dog to lay down at your command and use your arm to show what you mean.  

Why Training a Mastiff Is Important

Mastiff puppies are very playful and adorable and form a deep bond with their owner or family. However, as they grow up, their size, strength, and protective instincts can be dangerous if not controlled.

Therefore, it's necessary to focus on their behavior through appropriate training as early as you can. Additionally, proper handling and care when a mastiff is still a puppy will help it grow into a calm, well-behaved adult.

Training a Mastiff isn't that hard if you start early and are consistent. We think you'll benefit from our training tips on this page regardless of your Mastiffs age and will soon regain control in short order.

How To Discipline A Mastiff...Final Thoughts

Disciplining a mastiff from a puppy to adulthood is a journey you're on, not a destination. Although it's hard initially, especially in teenagehood, when hormones are raging, and the dog seems to listen to you, it gets better.

To ensure that your mastiff stays on the right track and is well behaved, teach your dog simple, meaningful behaviors with firmness and lots of love. Remember, your dog will try the best she can so, be patient, calm, and consistent.

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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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