Boris just had his 3 year old birthday (yay!), so I thought it would be appropriate to write a post on the truths about living with a mastiff that many people may not realize! I read recently that you have to love the dog more then you hate the mess, and that’s definitely true when it comes to our Boris. We love him so dang much that when he makes a big mess, I can’t help but let out a big sigh (or scream) and move on with life. I mean, with a very efficient carpet cleaner, cleaning up after Boris is a lot easier. You can find the best pet carpet cleaner at Steam Clean Reviews to make your life with a dog a lot easier, as I understand how messy they can get! Something that hasn’t been listed here yet as we haven’t experienced it is any type of incontinence issues or anything of a similar sort. But if you are currently going through these issues and you don’t know how to manage them, you may want to have a look at diapers for dogs to see if this would help. I’ve heard they’re meant to be quite good.
So here are some truths about living with a Mastiff..
Many people think that Mastiffs just walk around with constant shoe strings hanging out of their mouths and that’s really not the case. Boris definitely drools when he’s eating, drinking, or is really hot, but the rest of the time that’s he’s sleeping or walking around in an air conditioned area, his saliva is under control.
Our mastiff has a snubbed nose, so his respiratory system is constantly overworking to get air into his lungs. This means he is constantly breathing loud and/or snoring. I remember our first night with Boris as an 8 week old puppy. Most of what we read warned us that our puppy might be up all night crying those first few nights. Not Boris… he was sound asleep keeping us up all night with his snoring! But now we love it. It’s like a constant white noise machine that brings comfort to our home.
Mastiffs are big dogs, so of course they are going to have some strength behind them. That’s why it’s so important to train them early on and socialize them a ton because they get big so fast! It is always useful to check out tips to help train puppies before they turn into big dogs that can be a handful!
Your 5 person car instantly becomes a 2 person car
We actually upgraded our car 6 months after getting Boris because he wasn’t fitting in the back seat of our Camry anymore. The salesman asked why we were looking at getting a new car. We said it was because of our dog lol!
You don’t need to live in a big house
May people assume, owning a big dog means you need a big house. But Mastiff’s are actually perfect apartment dogs! They just sleep ALL DAY LONG. They don’t require very much exercise either. We take Boris on one longish walk in the evenings and that’s about it. Maybe a 10 minute fetch session in the backyard during the day if the weather is nice.
I don’t know if this is mastiff’s in general (I’m pretty sure it is), but Boris is very stubborn. Even though we kept up on his training, there were still things he didn’t like to do and he would use his weight against us. Going on walks for example, Boris hates them. It was a huge fight every evening. He would pull and tug and do everything in his power to not go. We’d hold our ground and eventually he would cave and just go. But with how big he is, there is no way we could force him to do anything he doesn’t want to do.
Socializing your mastiff with people and other dogs is VERY IMPORTANT! Make sure to start them young so they get use to meeting all sorts of people. We did this with Boris and he is so good in public because of it. Everyone always comments on how calm and sweet he is. It’s because we attended training classes weekly for the first 2 years of his life and we take him out in public at least a couple times a week. We go to Home Depot, Lowes, any sporting goods stores, outdoor malls, Bass Pro Shop, etc. He loves it and he always gets lots of attention!
Mastiff Puppies are Fragile
Mastiffs grow fast but it also takes them about 18-24 months to get full grown. During these years, it’s important to limit stair activity, jumping, and also be careful to not over feed them. All these things can be hard on their joints as they are growing. But also understand that every dog is different. If you are unsure about something, consult your breeder or your vet. Boris for example, has always eaten tons. Like way over the recommended amount on the dog food bag. But if we fed him less, he always seemed so hungry. We asked our vet about it and he said that because Boris is so active, he works most of the calories off. He was a lean and healthy looking pup despite how much he ate. We also sent pics to our breeder and she said he looked very good. So 3 years later, we still feed him lots and he continues to stay lean. Someday when he isn’t as active we’ll make adjustments :)
Hope this helps you understand mastiff breeds a little bit better! They are wonderful dogs :) Boris’ specific breed is a Dogue de Bordeaux (or commonly known as a French Mastiff). We love his breed and can’t wait to add more to our family in the future.