Training your Mastiff

A Mastiff is an excellent choice for those who want a big dog.  However, it is essential that you provide good training for the Mastiff because you definitely don’t want this big, muscular dog to have behavior problems.  Training your Mastiff puppy should begin the day you bring it home.

Here’s the good news: Mastiffs are relatively easy to train and even enjoy the process.  They are eager to please and will demonstrate this by picking up your commands quickly.  Start early, be consistent, and you’ll have an outstanding dog to enjoy and trust.

Mastiffs are Unique

Training a Mastiff differs than training other breeds due to a couple of unique traits.  To begin with, Mastiffs are fairly relaxed and calm dogs.  This doesn’t mean they don’t need exercise – they do.  Regular walks will help them stay fit and burn off excess energy.  It will also give them the mental stimulation they need.  A hearty walk is the best way to exercise a Mastiff.  They’re not big on fetching a ball or going for a jog, but you can always try.  Be calm but firm in your training and your dog will respond.

Mastiffs also need your consistent companionship or they may become anxious.  This doesn’t mean you have to be with your big pooch every moment, but these dogs may not do well being left alone all day.  Make sure that they get a healthy dose of socializing with other people and with other dogs.

Know your dog’s needs and seek to meet them, along with providing firm and encouraging training.  Your Mastiff will reward you with wonderful companionship while being eager to please.

Basic Tip for Training your Mastiff

The best training your Mastiff will receive takes place in its litter with its mother.  For this reason a dog should never be taken from the litter until at least 8 weeks.  This early socialization sets the stage for the training you will do.

Continue the socialization process once your big puppy is home with you.  Introduce him to the neighbors, extended family, and to other pets in its environment.  If you know people with gentle older dogs see if they’ll allow your dog to spend some time around them to continue its education of acceptable doggie behavior.

One form of instruction you should avoid is training your Mastiff to be a guard dog.  To be an effective guard dog the animal needs to be trained to be aggressive.  You simply don’t want a dog this large to be aggressive.  Mastiffs that feel good in your home will instinctively protect it and will be able to differentiate between the postman dropping off mail and an intruder that represents a real threat.  Besides, their size alone will deter any potential intruder.

Training your Mastiff to be Obedient

Mastiffs are very trainable when you start young, typically from about 10 weeks on.  Good training begins with teaching him or her that you are in charge of the household.  From there, work on housebreaking your Mastiff.  In all your training refrain from being harsh or violent because it may produce aggressive behavior if your Mastiff fears you and acts to protect itself.

Move on to essential behaviors like being good on the leash, learning to sit and stay, or responding to your call for it to return.  Don’t tolerate the dog chasing cars, cats, kids on bikes, etc.  Training this dog to be under control is vital, especially because of its size and strength.

Be patient and persistent in training your big pooch.  Teach and practice the expected behaviors consistently and provide reward and encouragement for good follow through.  Continue to provide good opportunities for your Mastiff to socialize with people and other dogs, too, and your furry friend will be happy, contented and very well-behaved.