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Brindle English Mastiffs
Many pets have made their way in and out of my life, from fish, to chickens, to ferrets. One pet has unexpectedly become one of my best pets......Titan, my Brindle English Mastiff. Admittedly, I did not do enough research on the breed before I purchased him. In fact, a Mastiff was never in the plans for my near future.
It all began began one day when my family and I were on one of our many shopping adventures. We had eaten, bought some shoes, bought some clothes, and were on our way home when my daughter spotted a Petland. When my husband agreed to go in, I knew we were in big trouble! ( Little side note: This is the man who agreed to buy baby chicks for our kids when we lived in Minnesota. Then, when traveling, like we do quite often, I had to sneak them into a hotel room). Needless to say, we were walking out of that pet shop with something. My daughter immediately fell in love with a Yorkshire Terrier and before I knew it we were doing all of the paperwork and paying for him. We continued to look around and spotted another dog, or should I say giant, barely fitting in his living quarters. We both felt bad for him and my husband commented on how beautiful he was, but we quickly moved on to look at some snakes. We looked around for a few more minutes and then we were on our way. My daughter was smiling from ear to ear with tears in her eyes as she held her adorable AKC registered yorkie. It made my day!
We were three quarters of the way home when my husband mentioned how bad he felt for the large dog who was stuck there. Nobody wanted to buy him because he was just too big. I agreed that I felt bad as well, and before I knew it, we were in Petland purchasing our AKC registered English Mastiff. And so, our journey with Titan began.
At first, I was intimidated by Titan's large stature, but quickly realized that he is an oversized teddy bear with an even larger heart! He was approximately 3 months old when we got him and is now about 7 months old. He weighed 92 lbs. the last time we were at the vet and has easily put on 10 or more pounds since then. The picture I have on here is even before he went to the vet, so you can imagine how big he is now. Although he is a big teddy bear, size has its downfalls.
Sometimes, he doesn't realize how big he is and when he moves around he knocks things over, including my two youngest children. He doesn't do it intentionally, but it still scares me. Over time, they have learned, to their best ability, to maneuver without getting in each other's way. It is usually when the kids are playing, running around, etc. and Titan is playing and running around that some collisions take place. When Titan is laying down, my kids can do whatever they want to him. They lay on him, hug him, kiss him, climb on him, and Titan doesn't flinch. When the kids are laying on the floor, on the couch, or on their beds, Titan licks them lovingly. As you can see, this type of dog would never intentionally hurt anyone, but he just doesn't know his own size. In fact, this is the dog who thinks he's a lap dog and makes himself quite comfortable on my lap!
Also, his large size requires a lot of nourishment! Titan eats more than any person I have ever met! I feel like all I do is buy him food and treats. Needless to say, this is extremely expensive! Affordability needs to be considered before buying a Mastiff. If you can't afford to buy more dog food than you do for yourself or your family, don't get one!
As I mentioned before, my family travels A LOT, and size is an obvious obstacle for traveling. My family consists of me, my husband, my 11 year old daughter and her yorkie, my daughter who just turned 4, my son who will be 3 in January, FiFi our Chihuahua, and Titan. We have to make sure everyone is safe when we travel, which can be quite a daunting task. We also have to make sure the dogs get out of the car often to pee and to walk around. We have traveled to our hometown in Pennsylvania, a six and a half hour drive. A six and a half hour drive turns into and eternity due to potty and stretch stops for our children and dogs. Not to mention trying to get Titan out of the vehicle. What's really ironic is that I just went to check my mail and give my fingers a rest. There was a Doctors Foster and Smith pet magazine in my mailbox. This is the first time I have ever seen one of these. On the back page I saw a "Deluxe XLarge Telescoping Pet Ramp". I never even knew they existed! It says that the ramp is Aluminum and high-density plastic that extends over 7 feet. It will hold up to 300 pounds. I am going to be purchasing one of these in the near future! I'll keep you posted on how it works out. What I am getting at is, it's stressful and difficult to travel with a large breed dog (or any dog really), but it is possible. You also have the option of putting your dog in a pet facility when you travel.
His size also makes it difficult to keep him away from table food because he is tall enough to reach just about anything. In fact, Titan was as tall as I am if not a little bit taller than me when I stood him up. That's not hard, because I am only 5' tall! Still, that is very big for a dog. Good training is a good preventative measure for this problem. Titan and I are still working on this one!
Titan is extremely smart and obedient. I taught him to sit and shake within 10 to 15 minutes one day, to play dead within 5 minutes the next day, and to speak within 10 minutes a few days later. Learning commands wasn't difficult for him either. He learned "lay down", "come", "pee", "poop", and "be easy", rapidly. This takes proper training, but you don't have to be a dog trainer to train one of these dogs! You do have to keep in mind, however, that puppies are like little kids. In fact, I could've had this written yesterday, but Titan was interested in a furry cat hanging around the house. He came beside me and barked, so I knew he had to go out to pee or poop. When I took him out he didn't do either one because he was too busy sniffing a cat. I took him back in, hoping the cat would be gone. He came to me and barked again and went to the bathroom. The cat was still out there and he knew that. He kept barking at me like he had to go to the bathroom until finally I took him out once more. This time, he laid right in front of the cat and wouldn't budge. This went on for a good hour. No matter how obedient they are, they will test their limits and chase after things they want. Titan tests his limits with me as much as my children do, but this is to be expected. Generally, he listens well and is a loyal companion!
I just wanted to give you a glimpse into my life with an English Mastiff. Titan is a blessing and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world! I am currently working on the history of the English Mastiff and Training an English Mastiff. So, if you are interested in this keep an eye out for when I publish those!