Is a Mastiff the dog for you
Do think carefully before you decide whether a mastiff is the right dog for you and your circumstances.
They are very large with a corresponding appetite. They do slobber, and their saliva can, if left, remove stain and polish from your favourite antique. They do shed hair for most of the year, and their tails can clear a table in seconds. On the other hand they are very good with children and other pets providing they are brought up together. If not brought up with children they can be unaware how easily a child is knocked over. If other pets run away they will be likely to give chase, but can easily be taught not to. It is very rare to come across a bad tempered mastiff. However, there is regretfully a certain amount of timidity in the breed. The result of this is that they will love their own family dearly but rarely make friends with your visitors. This of course can be an advantage.
It is purely illusory that owning a large dog gives you status.
The only person you fool is yourself.
The comparatively high price of puppies leads some people to think there is money to be made in breeding mastiffs. Even without charging your labour, you are most unlikely to come out showing a profit.
Choosing a Puppy
First and foremost go to a reputable breeder – NOT a dealer or shop.
Having made arrangements to see the breeder, you should expect to see the dam, the whole litter and maybe the sire. Then ask yourself some questions: are they and any other dogs on the premises looking clean, healthy, well cared for, free of discharges from eyes and noses? Are you being cross examined by the breeder as to what you know about raising large dogs and what sort of home will you be offering the puppy? Are the family that are going to live with the puppy comfortable in the presence of adult mastiffs? If the sire of the pups lives elsewhere do try to go see him.
The largest puppy doesn’t necessarily become the biggest adult. A mastiff puppy of between 6-8 weeks of age will look more like a miniature version of the final dog than it will again for some considerable time. They tend to start going through a number of awkward phases after about 9 weeks of age which may last for a year or more before they settle to their final form. Even then they will still need to fill out.
Regretfully, the two most important things about your puppy are virtually impossible to assess at a tender age. They are, soundness of temperament and movement. At 6-8 weeks of age a puppy has not been using its legs for very long, therefore the only thing about movement you can assess is whether it appears to move around as well as its brothers and sisters.
If you should be looking at a slightly older puppy, it is perfectly true to say that some of the soundest of mastiffs may appear to be very awkward and have difficulty to get up or down, whilst they are teething. But, who’s to say which will “come right” and which will not?
If you let sentiment be your guide, you may live to regret it.
Many breeders sell puppies covered by short term insurance. The insurance company will contact you before it expires. It is strongly recommended that you continue cover for veterinary fees and public liability.