Raising and Training Mastiff
Prior to bringing your new puppy home you should have decided on a sleeping place. The kitchen is probably best. Cardboard boxes make a good bed to start with as it doesn’t matter what they do to them. Polystyrene beans or sorbo enclosed in TWO tough covers to avoid ingestion make good bedding. Don’t be tempted to buy whicker baskets until you are sure they are out of the chewing stage. Some never are!
Young puppies need a lot of sleep, the bed must be located somewhere they will not be disturbed - particularly by young children.
Your puppy will probably be unused to sleeping alone. However he will soon adjust to it if you ignore the grizzling or yelling for a few nights. Remember both comforting and scolding are forms of attention. A well wrapped stone hot water bottle and a load ticking clock may help.
Mastiffs want to please although some are remarkably slow to learn what pleases and what does not. Never chastise a mastiff. They are very easily cowed. Tone of voice is quite sufficient.
can be achieved quickly with concentrated effort on your part. Take the puppy to wherever you require him to “go” after each meal, on waking. After play or during long play and even after accidents following a word of admonishment. Then stay with him to lavish praise on completion. You must not be put off by inclement weather.
A bored puppy is a destructive puppy. Marrow bones and durable toys will relieve boredom. NOT small or soft balls or old rubber shoes. Make a practice of taking toys etc. away with the command DROP so that you will always be able to take things away without growl or worse.
All commands must be a single word preceded by the dogs name and as a command. "SPOT SIT", not "Spot will you please sit down". With each new command, a push or pull to indicate what is required will obviously be needed to start with.
If you have no experience of lead training enroll at a local training class as soon after completion of inoculations as possible. Classes are also good for socialising your puppy. Whether you go to classes or not, do not use a check chain on a youngster (under 6 months).
BE ADVISED BY YOUR VET ABOUT INOCULATIONS
Many mastiffs like to show their affection by jumping up or by gripping your arm in their mouths. Jumping up should be discouraged by going down to them. It is not very good for them and may well not be good for you when they weigh 200 lbs or so. The arm gripping is very endearing but should also be discouraged, especially if you have children around.
Your own children will soon learn that by pressing on the gum behind the canine teeth they will release. However visiting children may complain of having been bitten. The grip from an adult mastiff will not break the skin unless the arm is torn away in panic.
A final word about mastiffs and children. If your children have friends in to play and a squabble breaks out, your mastiff is likely to go to the aid of whom he sees as his charge. No dog should be left unattended with young children.