Mastiff dogsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Both of our dogs are grtting up in the years, and we are thinking about getting another one. We like BIG dogs...we are all big folks, with big feet, and are afraid of stepping on the little yappy breeds!
Hubby likes German Shepherds, and has worked alot with them in the Army, and we have one now, a search and rescue trained one. But I like the breeds with he low domed heads and low ears, breeds that act "doggy;" but they have to be gentle around family and leave the chickens alone. But I want a GOOD watch dog, too.
Has anyone had any experience with English Mastiffs? I DON'T mean the bull sort; I don't want a fighting dog, but I do want an impressive-looking (size-wise) dog who is protective of the family and the farm.
-- Leann Banta (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2001
Leann, Mastiffs are ver impressive dogs. If you don't get the information you want on them, consider a Great Pyrenees. We have two and I would be hard pressed to ever get another breed. They are a guard dog that is so gentle and loving to its "family" but very protective. We have no small children but when friends come over with them, the dogs are patient and gentle no matter what the kids do to them, yet I have seen pictures of them fighting off bears. They will clean baby lambs as they are being born, yet not get drawn away by a wolf. The father of my male dog almost died of heatstroke while protecting a baby ostrich that got out of its pen. The owners and Vet pieced the story together. There was water available, but they figure he would not leave the chick's side, he must have moved around the chick all day to keep the chick in his shade, and spent 2 days at the Vets getting IV's for himself. Look into these great dogs. Joanie
-- Joanie (email@example.com), October 10, 2001.
Leann, We have had 2 English Mastiffs and currently have a Bullmastiff and they are all very good dogs. Our last English Mastiff was Brutus and I bought him for my husband (he was ready for our second child and our first was just 1 year old, I wasn't ready and bought Brutus)he grew up to be 220 pounds but with breeds that large you are bound to have problems with their skeletal system and Brutus had his problems.
The vet bills were large with the English Mastiff but the Bullmastiff is about 140 pounds and now that she is getting older is limping a little. But not the huge vet bills...yet anyway.
English Mastiff puppies are quite fragile as you aren't supposed to take them for walks, you let them out to do their duties and are with them but to put them on a leash and go for a "walk" is a no no. We used to put Brutus in a big old baby buggy and take him with us on our walks. The reasoning behind the walks is their bones are soft when they are little and they weigh quite a bit and grow quickly.
Our bullmastiff(Nova) doesn't "FIGHT". I am not a fan of bulldogs and the fighting thing at all but my bullmastiff shows nothing but love to all things. She(and Brutus)both would "chase" but only for a second. When the other animal would run, they will stop and if the other animal (including cats) don't run they would walk up to them and nuzzle them. I have one cat that comes into the house to find the dog and rub up against her.
As far as the kids go. We LOVE both of the kinds of Mastiffs with our kids. Like I said my oldest daughter was 1 when we got Brutus and she laid all over him and dressed him up and played with him. The second kid was born and still no problems with the dogs.
I guess the biggest "problem" was the vet bills. Plus Brutus had bad luck. That didn't help much either. He had a gland pop out of his eye and that took 5 surgeries, he got a hematoma in his ear (it blew up like a balloon) that took 2 different types of surgery. He fell out of the back of our station wagon and chipped a bone in his elbow, that took another surgery (turned out that was some sign of a genetic defect)the list went on.
My husband put Brutus down after Thanksgiving last year. We miss him a lot. We have tried other breeds of small dogs since but they are not what we want. My husband says he wants another Mastiff.
I hope this has helped. If you want more information you can e-mail me directly.
-- Emily in central Ky. (BellyAcresFarm@kyk.net), October 10, 2001.
I have a lab, but would love to have a Mastiffs or Great Pyrenees. Down the road a way is a Great Pyreness/great dane mix. One big dog. Doesnt bark. DOESNT HAVE TO, Just looks at you and you know what is accecptable and what is not. A big playfull 300lb pup!!!
-- Gary (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2001.
Please consider checking with your local animal shelter for a dog that is available for adoption, you can even be put on a waiting list for the breed or type that you prefer. My friend picked up a papered choc. lab that was dropped off for being 'too playful'! Apparently such owners are better off with the stuffed variety! There are hundreds of dogs that are too big,small, dumb,smart.....maybe you could provide a home.
-- Kathy (email@example.com), October 10, 2001.
Bullmastiffs are actually better tempered than the Mastiff.As with any large working class canine, good obiedence training and early family bonding are essential. True some unsavorey people attempt turning them into fighting dogs, however this goes against the selected traits of the breed. The Bullmastiff is a manmade crossbreed through husbandry of the English Mastiff and a now extinct breed of bulldog. The breed was selectivly bred to enhance the protective family bonding instict and working traits of the Mastiff and produce a quiter more agile working dog for protection against poachers on private estates in mideaval times.
Growing up I had three as pets and my family maintained a kennel of the breed for a time. The bullmastiffs were very well rounded personality wise. Ours even held a family friend that knew them at bay by laying on him until I released them when he had jumped our back fence to get a sprayer I had offered him. He was amazed at how firm yet gently the dogs detained him until my release command two hours later. They bond to and are very protective of their family. The only exception to ours family loyalty was when infants were concerned. My dominant female held me at bay when an infant I was holding began to cry, however she never lunged, only gutterally growled at me until the dominant male buffered she and I and the infant quieted down. The same family friend that jumped the fence occasionally used the dogs as guardians when his daughter was with him visiting by laying her on a blanket and our dogs would lay in opposite corners of the den. When the baby started to crawl off the blanket the closest dog would roll her back to the center dolphin style with their five gallon bucket sized heads. Personality and quietness of pursuit are remarkable traits of the animals. Bulls also can get as large as 165 lbs, so while not being horse large as a 230 Mastiff, they can stare an average sized man in the eye when reared on their hind legs.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2001.
Hello! I have three mastiff-type dogs right now, and I wouldn't trade 'em for anything! One is a Neopolitan Mastiff, one a bullmastiff, and one an English Mastiff. Only problem I have is a large feed bill! They are protective and good watchdogs, and their appearance is enough to deter strangers, yet are completely trustworthy with my tiny children. In fact, I frequently catch my three-year-old riding them! The neo and the english are generally low-energy dogs. They are completely content laying around on the porch. Slobber is the only concern with the english...they tend to drool a great deal and it can be a little messy in the house.
-- Jennifer (email@example.com), October 11, 2001.