So you think you want a great big dog? If that’s the case, a Mastiff may be just the dog for you. However, without proper training, what you’re going to have is a giant bundle of strength, fur, and dog spit. Mastiff training should be the very first thing you investigate before even considering getting a Mastiff.
Happily, like many big dogs, Mastiffs are highly trainable and very anxious to please their humans. It is, however, very important to begin Mastiff training early and be consistent throughout the training period and beyond, so he doesn’t try to run the show.
What Makes Mastiffs Special
There are a few ways in which Mastiff training is different from most other dog training. Mastiffs are, in general, quite calm and easygoing, but to keep them this way is going to require commitment to exercise on your part. They need exercise on a regular and frequent basis, even when they don’t seem to be all that excited about it. Mastiffs don’t run or jog very often, so you are going to need a lot of time to keep yours well-exercised.
Mastiffs also need to have almost constant companionship to ensure that they remain pleasant-tempered as they grow older. Mastiff training is pretty much useless if you’re rarely home, because they will become anxious. In fact, Mastiffs need more frequent socialization than many other dogs, both with other dogs and with humans.
Mastiff training requires time and tenacity. Mastiffs love to make their humans happy, but can be a bit bull-headed when they feel like it, and they are very large dogs, so training is going to take some work on your part!
Mastiff Training Basics
Urgently necessary to beginning Mastiff training is making sure your puppy is kept with his mother and litter until he is at least eight weeks old. A dog with so much potential size and such an even temperament absolutely must get the socialization he so greatly needs, and it must begin with his litter mates and mother.
As your Mastiff ages, be sure to keep up that socialization with humans and with other dogs. Someone should be home with him pretty much around the clock until he is at least 3 months old, during which time he should be socialized with other dogs whenever you can manage it.
It’s not a good idea to include “guard dog” in your regime when Mastiff training is underway. Mastiffs are quite stubborn sometimes, and not easy to control if they learn to start “guarding”. Their size alone should be adequate to deter would-be intruders, and they will be protective if necessary. Most potential attackers are not willing to risk tangling with a dog this big.
Mastiff Training for Obedience
When it comes to Mastiff training in the obedience department, start young. Ten-14 weeks of age is idea, when the puppy has been housebroken and knows that you are in charge. Be sure that training is gentle, never aggressive or violent, due to your Mastiff’s sheer size and the danger of having a dog that becomes irascible as it gets older.
Mastiff training won’t involve too much in the trick arena. They are pretty relaxed, and the most important things you need to teach them are to sit and stay, and, of course, to walk properly on a leash. You should also teach your Mastiff puppy not to chase cars, people, or other animals, because it’s almost impossible to physically control such a huge dog when it’s determined to give chase. Nip that habit in the bud, while your Mastiff puppy is a manageable size.
With Mastiff training, basic methods of training are effective, but be prepared to put in extra practice time and patience to enforce those methods. At all times, you should keep your Mastiff socialized with people and other dogs, preferably in groups.
Tags: Mastiff Training
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