Owning a English Mastiff : Breeder Recommendations
As with any purebred dog, we recommend you buy a Mastiff puppy only from a reputable breeder, for several reasons. The most important reason is that you are more likely to get a healthy young Mastiff from a good breeder and your pet will experience fewer health and behavior problems, as it grows and becomes part of your family.
Another good reason to buy from a reputable breeder – you will most likely get all the information you need about the parents of the puppy, about the proper diet, and exercise.
Because of this information, you will have a better experience with your new dog.
Things to Know Before Getting a English Mastiff
You could buy from a retail store or a backyard breeder, but this will probably limit the amount of information you are able to obtain. Instead, a reputable breeder would be open to questions about the parents, as well as the time spent with young dogs to socialize them. The socialization process takes place in the first eight weeks or so of a dog’s life, going a long way to ensuring that the young dog is comfortable around people and other dogs. In fact, good socialization at a young age makes training a dog much easier overall.
Once you have located at least three reputable breeders, take your time when visiting them. You should prepare yourself by doing your homework, reading all you can about the Mastiff, and talking with anyone who has had experience with the breed.
Ask to see both parents of the litter and ask to see any documentation on their bloodlines and health. One thing you may want to avoid is choosing the first puppy that seems attracted to you. Instead, look at several puppies and be ready to make some comparisons. Often the puppy that is a bit less forward or seems to be less “cute” and “adorable” make the best pets.
Ask your breeder about the diet of a Mastiff. Many times, you would be able to follow the recommendations and continue the healthy diet that the puppy started with while it was with the breeder.
A good breeder would also be open to questions about the required vaccinations and other health-related questions. Be sure to arm yourself with information so you can ask questions to help clear up doubts you may have, as well as prepare you and your family for the arrival of your newest family member.
With larger dogs, it is always a good idea to ask about hip dysplasia. For this, ask the breeder if the parents of the breeder’s puppies have any history of this disease. Additionally, you want to ask about the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) test that can detect this condition in a young dog. The key is making sure you puppy is OFA certified. It is important to ask about such conditions as eye disease and skin allergies as well, which could also be part of the parents’ bloodlines.
It is never easy to think about losing a pet, but you should be prepared to clear up any questions about this when visiting a breeder. For instance, if the puppy should become seriously ill right away, would you be offered a replacement or be entitled to your money back? If the dog should die within a specified timeframe, would a replacement puppy be provided?
You should have all of these situations covered in a written contract with the breeder.
It is very important that you have too much information rather than not enough when considering adding a Mastiff, or any other purebred dog, to your family. Often, just asking a few of the right questions, and taking your time when visiting breeders, would make a huge difference in the experience you have with your new pet.
Read More About English Mastiff
- English Mastiff Breed Information
- English Mastiff : 10 Most Common Questions
- English Mastiff Training Guide
- English Mastiff Health Guide