Tuesday, October 16, 2007

To those that question my dogs "getting along" .......

Sure, there's a 200 lb size difference, but they don't know it.............. We are considering getting one more mastiff, a female puppy that at the moment is 48 hours old. The owner of the puppy's parents is adamant that no one gets one of these puppies that doesn't know what it is like to have a large breed dog. It's pretty much as though he is looking to find a child adoptive parents. Sure, all babies are cute, but these things are up to 10lbs by 6 weeks. Now actually, Rufus is quite a bit larger than the breed standard, so we definately know what's it's like to deal with a huge dog! Most medicines for him require a double to triple dose of what a "normal" dog would need. This goes for heartworm preventative, frontline, and etc. It does add up quickly, if you really take care of one "right."
Most adult male mastiffs weigh about 175 lbs. Rufus weighed 219 last time he was at the vet a few months ago.
Most females (when adults) weigh about 130-190.
Mastiffs excel as companions, family members, therapy workers and as watch dogs. Mastiffs have also done well, when properly trained and conditioned, at carting, tracking, obedience, conformation showing, search and rescue (SAR), and weight pulling. They are also great foot warmers and couch potatoes, just ask Lee Pinkus. He has two that live indoors.
Mastiffs are excellent guard dogs. They go to the door or gate and bark, their hackles stand up, and they look formidable, but Mastiffs, as a breed, are not trigger-happy. They have a gentle, rather than an aggressive, nature. Most of my friends can tell you, he won't even bark when they pull up into the drive. He knows who is "ok" and who is not.

Mastiffs need the company of their human family much more than some other breeds of dogs do. A Mastiff left alone, tied out, or kept in a fenced yard with too little human company, will either pine away or develop destructive behaviors out of loneliness and anxiety. Denied the needed time with its family, a Mastiff may be much LESS protective because it isn't sure it belongs to that family. Rufus definitely pouts if he thinks Max is getting more attention than he does. He will sulk around like a mad kid.

A normal, well adjusted Mastiff will protect it's family, but only if the need arises. You don't want an aggressive Mastiff that protects you from friends and family. The ideal temperament is one where you never know that you are being protected unless a true situation arises where a Mastiff's services are needed. He has only shown true agression once, and he was right to be concerned, and was praised for it. (He jumped the fence and got between me and the person he didn't like, after he blocked me from going out the back door, and I had to run to the front to even leave the house) He is VERY protective of my kids.
However, many people do not understand the difference between protection and aggression. If a dog growls when there is no danger, that is aggression, NOT protection. A protective dog has the judgment to see when there is a real risk of danger, and therefore, if you have a TRULY protective dog, you may never know it till you ARE in danger.

The protective instinct is shown in subtle ways, such as the Mastiff tending to stand between their owner, and a stranger (Rufus does that a lot). Many people who have kids discover that they can't spank a kid in front of the Mastiff -- it looks worried and gets in between the parent and the child. We don't have that problem, though, he knows we won't hurt the kids.
The worst thing about a mastiff, other than the drool, is that books on the breed describe the average Mastiff life span as 6-10 years. That isn't too long....


Jaime October 16, 2007 at 12:54:00 PM CDT  

You know I love those dogs. Mastiffs are great dogs. Get another one HAHAHAHA

dean October 16, 2007 at 7:06:00 PM CDT  

my first thought... 219 pounds... WHAT A HUGE DOG!

my second thought... what i wouldnt give to be at 219 right now...

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