You want a big dog? Then the Mastiff is right for you. But without good training your Mastiff is going to be a giant, runaway brick of muscle and dog slobber. So, Mastiff training should be at the top of your list when you bring your puppy home for the first time.
Luckily, Mastiffs, like many big dogs, are highly susceptible to training and are eager to please their masters. But, it needs to start early and you need to remain consistent throughout the training process to ensure they don’t try and take advantage of you.
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What Makes Mastiffs Special
Mastiff training is different in a few key ways. First, know that Mastiffs are generally very calm, relaxed dogs. But they need a lot of exercise. Not only do they need exercise, they need it to be given on a regular basis, even when they don’t seem to be interested in one. They won’t jog or run much, so you’ll need a lot of time to keep them exercised.
They also need to have constant, regular companionship to remain even-tempered as they age. All the Mastiff training in the world is useless if you’re never home and they get anxious. In fact, they need more socialization more frequently than most other breeds, both with people and other dogs.
Finally, make sure you are patient and have a lot of time. Mastiffs like to make you happy but they can be a bit stubborn and they’re big, so training will not be a walk in the park.
Mastiff Training Basics
To start your training, make sure your mastiff puppy stays with his mother until at least eight weeks of age. With a dog so big and such a carefully balanced temperament, it’s important to make sure he gets the socialization that a litter provides at a young age.
As he ages, you need to maintain that socialization. Someone should be home with the mastiff puppy every day until at least 3 months of age and all the while they should be socialized with other dogs whenever possible.
Avoid training your mastiff to be a guard dog. Their temperament is not easily controlled if they start learning to watch for threats. Their simple size should be enough to intimidate possible intruders and they will be protective if necessary.
Mastiff Training for Obedience
Obedience training with a Mastiff is simple enough. It starts at a young age, usually around 10-14 weeks when the puppy has been housebroken and knows its place in the household. Make sure never to be aggressive or violent with a Mastiff either, due to its size and the danger of such a large dog as it ages.
Because most mastiffs will not be doing a lot of tricks and are relatively relaxed, the most important things you can teach them are to sit and stay and to walk on a leash. It is also a good idea to teach them not to chase things as it can be hard to keep such a massive dog under control.
With Mastiff training, basic training methods work very well, but may require a bit more practice and patience on your part to enforce in them. All the while, make sure you keep your Mastiff socialized with a big family, neighbors or a local dog park.