PDF Print E-mail

Important Information about your Mastiff puppy


  1. The puppy was weaned to a raw food diet and has begun eating 4 Health puppy food. Slow and controlled growth is best for the development of a Mastiff’s bones and joints. Slightly underweight (where you can feel and see their last couple of ribs) is better than overweight for the long term. The puppy will reach its genetically pre-determined size by the time it is full grown (usually about 2- 2-1/2 yrs. for giant breeds; 2 years UP and 2 years OUT) and overfeeding will only bring on problems with bones and joints. A good quality premium adult dog food (without grains or fillers as the first ingredient in the contents section) with no more than 24% protein, a 1:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus not to exceed 1% and under 15% fat, such as Diamond Lamb & Rice large breed adult food.


  1. The puppy’s joints will take some time to develop and they should not walk or run long distances (such as walking or jogging with you for more than a block) for the first 6 mos and not more than a half a mile at 1 yr.  Additionally, you shouldn’t let them run up and down stairs or run on slippery surfaces as this can do joint damage that may not show up right away. Also, it is a good idea to closely supervise small children so that they don’t pull on the puppy’s legs as this can cause joint strain.


  1. The Mastiff consumes a LOT of water each day. In addition to making clean water available, be sure to wash the bowl out as Mastiffs also drool a lot and the bottom inch of water is likely to be drool.  Puppies (nor dogs) can drink their own drool.  Males tend to drool more than females and this usually starts as they near a year of age.  “Slingers” are the ropey drool you see a lot on Mastiffs. A stainless steel water dish is recommended as sometimes mastiffs are prone to acne on their chins and metals dishes seem to help prevent this. I recommend putting the water dish onto a boot tray (shallow with a slight lip) which will catch a lot of the drips and splashes when they drink.


  1. Because of joint sensitivity with laying on hard surfaces, it is a good idea to have a good orthopedic bed for the puppy. An egg-crate foam pad is good for crate use. I use a baby bed mattress for my older dogs. They are large enough for a mastiff, they are orthopedically sound and best of all, are less expensive than overpriced dog beds for a dog this size. I use crib sheets, which fit, are inexpensive (thrift shops are full of them), and can easily be changed and thrown in the wash. If you decide to purchase a wire crate for the puppy, get the largest crate with a movable panel that can be moved back as the puppy grows. You only want to give them enough room in the crate to turn around and lay down; too much room, and they will potty in the crate and that is a VERY bad habit to break. If the crate comes with a plastic tray (as most of them do), put a piece of remnant carpet (cut to fit the crate bottom) between the tray and wire floor. This will prevent the weight of the dog from cracking the tray over time. If your dog is going to be kenneled, use gravel (pea gravel) for the floor of the run. This is better for their joints than standing or lying on concrete.


  1. Mastiffs are pretty good about housebreaking themselves and there are dozens of books on this subject. If there are other dogs in the household, get the puppy in the habit of going out with them when they go; they learn by example. I like to use the puppy “fire hydrant” pegs that are out on the market that you drive into the ground to give them the general idea of where to go. Puppies need to go out often, usually right after a meal and upon awakening from a nap, and about every 30 minutes that they are not in the crate. Reward them with a food reward (nothing big; small bits of microwaved hot dog are a big favorite at our house) as soon as their butt hits the ground, and then a couple after they go.  Do this each and every time they go out and this process will go much faster and smoothly, and you can gradually back off the rewards when they have it down. If your puppy has an accident in the house, roll up a newspaper and hit yourself on the head with it. Accidents are YOUR fault and responsibility; I recommend putting the puppy in his crate when he’s not being played with. When he is loose in the house, have him on a lightweight leash attached to your belt or wrist so that you can immediately feel when he goes to squat. Then you can rush him outside and this will also help the process go faster.


  1. Puppy Kindergarten is a very important for mastiffs. Giant breeds grow very quickly and what is cute and adorable in a puppy, isn’t so cute in a 200+ lb. dog. More giant breeds are given up to rescue or mistreated because this one thing is skipped. Help make your puppy a true member of the family and a canine good citizen and it will more than pay off in years to come. Go to Dogstardaily.com and download for FREE Dr. Ian Dunbar’s “Before Getting Your Puppy” and for $7.50 (sometimes for free, too, but cheap and worth every penny) download “After Getting Your Puppy.” Dr. Dunbar is the father of all good things puppy. There is a lot of good info all over this website.


  1. Socialization is another important issue. Up through the age of 4 mos., there is an “open window” of time to acclimate your puppy to strangers, sights, sounds, and smells which encourages proper socialization. After 4 mos., this “window of time” gets smaller and pretty much closes making it much harder for your puppy to accept new experiences and new people as easily. Take them out in public as much as possible – to the soccer field, to the post office, rides in the car, walks in the park – anything that gets them out there and exposes them to new things, people, and other animals, and this will stick with them for life and cause you much less grief when you do have to take them to the vet, the groomer, or to be boarded.


  1. Should you decide to spay or neuter your Mastiff, breeders advise waiting until at least 18 mos. and preferably after 2 yrs. of age. This allows the giant breed to fully develop their heads and chests, and look like Mastiffs. Neutering and spaying too early will make the Mastiff leggy and thinner, looking more like a Great Dane than an English Mastiff; research also shows that spaying too early can lead to incontinency issues in females and a much higher than average risk of osteosarcoma in both sexes. Vets will tell you that this is rubbish and that only mastiff people think it is true. But since giant breeds are very slow to mature, they need those hormones they won’t get if they are fixed too early. I’ve seen too many Mastiffs masquerading as Great Danes not to believe it. I believe in this so strongly I put it in my puppy contract. And besides, your Vet has a financial incentive to get you in there for this as soon as possible. Go to a Vet you trust; but also realize that you should question any suggestion that your vet receives a financial incentive from, even down to the food they sell. Hill’s Science Diet is a TERRIBLE food, you can check its rating on Whole Dog Journal. My motto is: if you have a question, ask your breeder. If you have an emergency, see your vet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me.  As your breeder, I am here for the life of your dog and will try to help answer questions to the very best of my ability.



Hocus Pocus Mastiffs

245 Joe D. Coffee Rd.

Monroe, TN  38573


Breeder:  Betty Aronson

Last updated 08/11