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We are fanciers of the true Old English Mastiff, sometimes referred to as the "English or Old English Mastiff"  not to be confused with the "American Mastiff" which is a cross/mix between an Anatolian Shepard Dog and an English Mastiff.  Just another mixed breed is. the "American Mastiff" and it IS NOT recognized by the AKC as is the "Mastiff."    

My family has been "owned" by Mastiffs for 16+ years now.

They have taken over our home, lives & hearts!

When I bought my first Mastiff puppy no one gave me any information on proper care for mastiffs.

I did not know until I started researching that Mastiffs need different care then most dogs. They are NOT large breed... they are GIANT:)

 I hope the following tips will help you to take better care of your Mastiff....

Please do not spay until 1 1/2 years -2 years is BEST!!!

  Too many Mastiff pups have been lost lately due to early spaying/nutering. 

Also never let your vet use A.C.E. It will kill your mastiff!!


FOOD:

Puppy food should be given to your puppy no longer than 10 to 12 weeks of age before switching to adult food.

Only an adult dog food- small kibble in the following ratios:

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20-23% protein

12-18% percent fat

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Just remember that too much protein and fat will cause numerous health problems for you and your dog.

Also they say that the slower grower the larger the dog!!

SUPPLEMENTS:

Please do not give any supplements unless you check with a few breeders (and me) and your vet. Most will harm your dog.

VET:

Find a good one a.s.a.p. Ask if they have had mastiffs in their clinic and how many. Also make sure you like the vet.

If you are in DuPage Il. my vet of over 15 years is linked below:

She knows mastiffs and comes to your house for the visits!

She is also great with cats and other breeds! I would be lost without her:) http://www.housecallsvet.net/

EXERCISE:

- Exercise for the first year should be watched and monitored carefully.

- Mastiffs grow at a very fast pace which makes them frailer then they appear to be.

- If you are going to take your pup for a walk do not take them anyfarther than you can carry him/her back. Mastiff pups are known forwalking half way and then are to tired to walk back- try carrying that 30-50 lb. pup a block!!

- Gradual extended walks after 10-12 months of age.

-Also since their joints are growing quickly and you have to make sure not tomake them jump or do too many stairs. This is hard on their joints and will cause strains.

-If  your truck/van is high you might want to consider getting a ramp for them when they get older and are too heavy for you to lift.

-Avoid out door activity during hot weather this can cause heat stroke.

BLOAT:

This is common in any of the larger breeds.. Shepherds, Danes, etc.. even Labs. It is when the stomach flips or twists and is sealed at both ends. The dogs stomach gases will be sealed under pressure and will cause severe pain on the heart and an agonizing death will follow if not treated immediately by a vet. 

TIPS OF ADVOIDING BLOAT:

Feed 2 smaller meals a day instead of 1 large one.

Never let your dog take vigorous exercise after eating.

You can soak the food if you feel it is better- remember that what dry food they eat ends up doubling in the stomach. So if you feed 3 cups it will swell to about 6 cups in side of your dog

BURSAS:

Do not panic.. they just look really really bad.

A bursa is when there is swelling around the elbow that begins as a fluid pocket may develop into a rough spot of skin.

*** Please do not let the vet drain a bursa ever! It will just re-fill up the next day or so.

Also, now you have spend $200-$400 and have a cut/hole making it easier for infection to get in.

A few months of ZINC 50mg. will get rid of the bursas.

Mastiffs will get these due to their massive size & weight. When they use their elbows to lift themselves off the ground or just from the weight of them laying on the elbow/knee areas.

I have seen them on a mastiff the size of tennis balls and then same dog 4 months later totally gone.

You should "try" to make them lay on a soft dog bed or thick blanket to avoid bursas.

I have also talked to many breeders on this and if you give 50 mg. of ZINC a day it will help them go down. But it takes months so do not expect it to work in a few weeks.


TREATS:

Veggies & fruits- my dogs love apples, oranges, cucumbers and tomatoes!!

They will even steal them from my garden!

Yougart, cottage cheese, chicken, lean meat, peanut butter sandwiches,

HIPS:

They are giant dogs and more prone to hip/elbow problems. Proper care is needed early on to help avoid problems later in life.

LIFE EXPECTANCY:

10-12 years

AKC CLASS:

working group (yeah..right:)LOL

TEMPERMANT:

Mastiffs are NOT aggressive dogs but they are very, very loyal and protective of their "packs" (your family/their family!!).

If someone is a threat to your family they can get aggressive if needed. Most mastiffs will corner an intruder over attacking them.

My mastiffs are very protective with my kids and no stranger is going to come in my yard by my kids unless I ok it!

They tend be more on "gaurd" in their own yard, home or car.

After all, they love you enough to die for you... Mastiffs have BIG hearts!

SOCIALIZE:

Mastiff puppies HAVE to be socialized as much as possible!

Take them out with you and expose them to as many people, kids & other dogs that you can.

I also recommend you sign them up for puppy training classes and that is another great way to socialize them and get a little control.

SOME LAST TIPS:

-Mastiffs are very sensitive and their feelings can get hurt easily. Please keep this in mind and do not yell at them:)

-Never hit a Mastiff

-Never use a choke or prong collar- (soft leather is best) -if you need more control or your child is

walking the dog you can use a gentle leader

-Never chain or tie them out to a tree, building etc..

- No tennis balls or socks- Mastiffs have been know to choke on these or get a blockage ending in lots of $$$ for surgery or death.

-They are not outside farm dogs.. PLEASE do not get one for protecting your yard/store.

THEY NEED you, your home & family!!

-All Mastiffs Drool-

If you are going to own a mastiff get use to the term "slingers" .

You can also pick up some drool towels or rags.

Some people hang them by the doors and wipe the dogs lips when they come in.

-Their tails can hurt if they hit you or a toddler in the face when they wag them

-Once you ok them on the couch you will never be able to make them stay off

  • If given a lot of love and attention this will be the best dog you ever owned

Mastiffs are truly a magical breed & definitely one of a kind.

Keep in mind when you are getting one,

that your are not just "getting a dog"

but a… MASTIFF!!!

Please call or email if you have any questions!!

 Thank you, Heather & Jeff

 815-516-7792

 DND MASTIFFS

 Email:

dndmastiffs@aol.com 


LINKS:

 For more good mastiff and puppy help visit:

  http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/1239

 www.mastiffweb.com 

MASTIFF EAR CLEANING/INFECTION RECIPES BELOW:

VINEGAR:

A timely vinegar rinse, cleaning out the yeast or bacteria, could make all the difference. Dilute the vinegar half and half with water. Either dip a cotton swab into the solution and gently clean the inside of the ear, or use a bulb syringe. NOTE: Never use a vinegar rinse if you suspect a ruptured eardrum! By the way, vinegar can serve as a homemade antibacterial cleanser too. Using the same half-and-half mixture, you can disinfect "hot spots" and other wounds. A vinegar-solution compress applied to the joints can also ease the pain of arthritis and hipdysplasia.

BLUE EAR POWDER WASH:

Note: The originator of this recipe is unknown. At this point it is a widely cited "folk remedy" which is highly effective in treating ear infections.

1 16 oz bottle of rubbing alcohol (pour off an inch to make some room)
8 to 16 drops Gentian violet (it's real cheap, but hard to find - try next to the Iodine at a Mom & Pop Pharmacy or ask someone to order it)
4 Tbs. Boric Acid Powder (also cheap and found at the pharmacy)

Shake well and for convenience transfer some to a small (4 ounce) "spout" bottle. Each time you use it, shake the bottle well to make sure the powder is in suspension.

The Gentian Violet will stain, so be careful where you mix it and where you apply it to the dog's ears.

If you're treating an infection, you want to clean the ears with this mixture on a daily basis. Otherwise from once a week to once a month is usually enough to keep the ears healthy.