Pros and Cons of Mastiffs
Is a Mastiff right for you?
My experience raising a Mastiff and what you need to know before getting an extra large breed dog.
They're not for everyone, but they turned out to be right for my household and maybe the same will same will hold true for you.
Unfortunately they don't come with disclaimer and warning labels, so please read on.
How it All Began
I didn't set out to intentionally get a Mastiff, honest! For various odd reasons, an eight week old mastiff puppy fell into the laps of me and my husband.
He was ridiculously cute and adorably clumsy and we both fell madly in love with him in an instant. At eight weeks he was about two feet tall and had paws the size of baseballs, you couldn't help but love him.
After getting him settled in we began researching what we had got ourselves into.
Honestly if we knew ahead of time we probably wouldn't have taken him in the first place, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a huge (literally!) part of our household almost seven years later.
No power anywhere would ever make us get rid of him.
The Things No One Really Loves About Giant Dogs
- Drool. Lots and lots of drool. When he eats and drinks and he also produces it out of thin air for no apparent reason. If you're comfortable chipping gobs off your walls at about eye level, this is your dog!
- Hip Issues. Common to mastiffs and many other large breeds, sadly due mainly to improper breeding practices, but there is also a genetic inclination. This can prove expensive depending on how severe. In our case it's meant numerous x-rays and vet visits along with special dietary supplements and care.
- Sheer size. Our mastiff is cuddly which can pose a problem when you'd like to sit on the couch without 170 pounds of dog on top of you. Also inconvenient while trying to sleep as Mastiffs do not always respect your need for unobstructed air flow.
- Feeding. Not as significant as you may think. It's crucial to provide the growing mastiff with top quality feed while he's growing as these dogs develop at an incredible rate and need proper nutrition. After growth is stabilized they don't eat significantly more than an eighty pound dog.
- Your household. Things will change once you have a giant breed dog. Some of the folks you thought were your friends will stop dropping by due mainly to drool and fear. In my experience, Mastiffs aren't going to like every person you want them to and this can make for awkward and potentially traumatizing moments for all concerned.
- Housebreaking. I found the housetraining aspect of Mastiffs to be just as simple as any other breed although accidents are larger and a bit more work to tidy up. The actual breaking of the house was another issue. Mastiffs are no more destructive than any other breed; they are simply stronger and bigger and can do more damage in the same time frame.
- They snore. Really loud.
- Flatulence. Seriously, it's cleared a dozen houseguests out of the living room.
(on a side note, in case you haven't noticed, Mastiffs REALLY like being on couches)
Why A Giant Breed was Right for My Household and Might Be Perfect For You
- Drool. Once you get used to it you'll find it pretty entertaining especially if you have weak stomached relatives
- Hip issues, sorry no pro side to this one. If you're purchasing from a breeder ask for vet checks from the parents and as many other generations as possible.
- Sheer size. They're great cuddlers, really. I love it.
- Feeding. Not that big of a deal, especially if you have another dog to take care of like we do, you won't even notice the difference, just get a bigger food dish.
- Your household. I'm sorry this may sound mean but sometimes scaring people is fun and really, if they're true friends they'll adapt the same as you did
- Housebreaking, well this just isn't fun regardless of size although the destructive stories make for entertaining tales later on.
- Snoring. Well, that's why TV's have a volume control, crank it up
- Flatulence. Almost worth it to see a vehicle going down the road with people's heads sticking out the windows while the dog stays comfortably inside the car.
I've tried to make this an entertaining read but I swear every word is true. Please let me know if I can provide you with any further information on Mastiffs.
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I love my critters and would be happy to hear about yours.