Picking the right kind of dog to keep as a pet can be hard, and it can get overwhelming, too, because each breed is different. If you are thinking about getting an English Mastiff, you'd love the fact that they make great pets because they are such gentle giants. However, there is so much more you need to know about this black-masked purebred before you can decide for sure if it is the right breed for you.
An English Mastiff is right for you if you’re looking for a silent guard dog to protect your home and property. You just need to have a large indoor and yard space to accommodate its size, the time to train and take it out for a daily exercise, and the budget to provide for its dietary needs.
This article will talk about everything it entails to have an English Mastiff. You will learn about their temperament and their needs, as well as the things you can expect as a pet owner. Learning about what English Mastiffs are like and how to take care of them is the only way you'll be able to tell whether it is the right kind of dog for you. Read More Below...
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According to the American Kennel Club, the English Mastiff is a large symmetrical dog with a
well-knit frame, giving a vibe of grandeur and dignity. However, when deciding
whether this particular breed of dog would fit perfectly in your home and in
your life, you need to look beyond their physical appearance. There are so many
aspects you will need to consider.
In terms of temperament, English Mastiffs are lovable and courageous guardians and companions. They are born a guard dog and being watchful comes naturally to them, especially when they sense danger. Moreover, English Mastiffs are eternally loyal and very protective of their family and territory.
Although they rarely bark, they have a natural wariness of strangers. When they see an intruder, instead of an all-out attack, they are more likely to hold him at bay, trapping him in a corner or lying on top of him. In other words, they are silent guards.
Because of their cautious and protective temperament, it takes time for them to warm up to new people. As such, they respond best to gentle, patient, consistent, and firm training. While early training and socialization are important so that they don't become aloof with strangers, they don't need to be trained on how to guard.
Dominance levels vary for Mastiffs. But generally, you will have to establish authority to communicate to them that any sign of dominance is not welcome. You have to let them know that you are the leader of the pack. These gentle giants are excellent with children because they are patient, self-confident, intelligent, calm, docile, and even-tempered. So having kids that are a bit older at home won’t be a problem.
So, when it comes to temperament, an English Mastiff may be right for you if you need a dog to guard your home. Also, the fact that they don't bark a lot while watching over your property could be an added benefit or a disadvantage, depending on how you want to get alerted about intruders. If you want your guard dog making a lot of noise so you could call the police, you may want to consider a different breed of guard dog.
An English Mastiff would also be the right dog for you if you like spending quiet evenings at home. If you love holding parties on the weekends and having a lot of people over, it could be overwhelming for them. Moreover, you need to have plenty of time to train your dog and to establish yourself as the head of the household.
English Mastiff Temperament: This helpful article of ours goes much more in depth about their temperament and their personality.
Are Mastiffs Good Family Dogs? What's written in this article of ours is an excellent read if you're thinking of bringing one home as a family member.
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When it comes to caring for an English Mastiff as a pet, you will have to know their nutrition, grooming, exercise, and health needs before you can be certain that it is the right dog for you. You need to know whether you can provide for these needs, whether financially or just in terms of time. Here's a few questions to ask yourself to see if you're a fit for this breed...
Proper nutrition is critical for rapidly growing large dog breeds like the English Mastiff. The AKC cites breed experts as recommending that you start Mastiff puppies on an adult dog food formula with up to 26 percent protein percentage and a calcium/phosphorus ratio of about 1.2:1. Feeding them a densely caloric diet that lacks adequate calcium/phosphorus ratio can lead to puppies and young adults becoming prone to skeletal disorders.
It is also recommended that you maintain a feeding schedule for them rather than free-feeding so you could keep them from gaining excessive weight.
Given their special dietary and nutritional needs, you need to allot a considerable budget for the right kinds of dog food. Large dogs like an English Mastiff eat more than a much smaller dog, so you should expect this to be rather costly. Moreover, you also need to have time to feed your dog on a fixed schedule.
As such, if these things won’t be a problem, then you have another box ticked.
Mastiff Feeding Guidelines: This article of ours will help you know what you can expect when feeding your pooch
Yearly Feeding Costs: These dogs each A LOT and this article will break things down.
An English Mastiff’s deep and thickly muscled rectangular body is covered by a short double coat of hair. Their outer coat is coarse, straight, and moderately short, while their undercoat is short, dense, and close lying.
The short and dense coat of a Mastiff is easy to groom. You just need to do a quick brushing every few days. Once or twice a year, there will be periods of heavy shedding, and this will require more frequent sessions of brushing using a strong, toothed comb to remove dead hair.
You should also regularly inspect and clean the dog's ears, as well as the deep wrinkles around its eyes, head, and muzzle. Its nails need to be trimmed short, too, and because Mastiffs drool quite a lot, you will have to keep wipe cloths within easy reach to wipe slingers off their face, your clothes, the floor, and the couch when they shake their head.
Mastiffs tend to wheeze and snore loudly, as well as drool. So if you have an English Mastiff as a pet, you will have to be fine with drool being slung here and there. Other than the drool, all the grooming requirements are pretty much basic.
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Compared to other large dog breeds, Mastiffs have low exercise requirements. Daily one-mile or two-mile walks outdoors, and free play will be good for them both physically and psychologically. However, you will need to be careful not to overtax your growing Mastiff puppies and young adults. Avoid having them jump from heights, run up and down the stairs, or engage in long walks.
Given adequate exercise, Mastiffs can make themselves at home. They prefer the comfort of home and in the presence of their family. They'd even be happy being a lap dog or a cushy footstool alternative. But if you leave them to their own devices, without exercise or stimulation, they will become bored and destructive.
You should also know that Mastiffs are known for plopping down when they get overheated or tired during walks. So it may be best not to walk them farther than you're willing to carry them back.
So an English Mastiff is right for you if you have a large space or yard for your dog to walk around during the day. You also need to have the time to take him out on daily walks, or perhaps take him to the park where he could run, and maybe socialize with other dogs. As such, you might consider settling for a smaller breed if you live in an apartment or a house with a small area.
Mastiff Exercise Requirements: Just what do they need? Plus you'll find some creative exercise ideas.
English Mastiffs may be prone to certain health conditions. You can only say that it is the right breed for you if you are prepared to give your dog the care it would require when such illnesses strike. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is guaranteed to afflict your dog sooner or later.
You should only get your English Mastiff from a responsible breeder who can assure you that your puppy has been screened for health conditions associated with their breed and has a clean bill of health. This also ensures that the puppy has not inherited any health-related anomalies from its parents. These breed-related health conditions include:
Mastiffs can also experience bloating, which is a life-threatening condition wherein their stomachs suddenly distend and often twist.
Another big consideration for getting a large dog is the fact that they have shorter life spans than smaller dogs. Mastiffs, in particular, live short lives. Their life expectancy is six to 10 years, but some have lived to 18 years. So if you are fine with this, then an English Mastiff may be right for you.
Mastiff Health Issues: Here's a more in depth article of what this breed is prone to.
An English Mastiff is the right pet for you if you are looking for an affectionate canine companion and a silent guardian to protect your home and family. You should also have the space for a massive dog in your home, as well as the time to walk, exercise, and stimulate it daily. And while these dogs are not as messy as the hairy breeds, you have to be ready to clean up after their drool
Having enough space, time, and money to care for a dog like an English Mastiff is just one thing, though. The more important factor in being able to keep one as a pet is knowing that it is a full-hearted commitment on your part as long as your dog is around.