Which breed?

Discussion in 'General Mastiff Discussion' started by ar12345, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member

    Ok so I’m new and I honestly don’t know if this is the right place to put this thread up. I’m looking for a protective breed that is fairly laid back, which is why I’ve chosen to possibly lean towards the Mastiff side. However, I’m a first time owner, never owning a dog, even though I’ve done my research and have quite a fair bit of knowledge. I understand that being a first time owner immediately changes what breeds are within my grasp, and if this is so, could anyone suggest a breed like such? I’m not even sure if that made sense lol
  2. If you like laid back, then yes, Mastiff type is probably a good place to start (e.g. English Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Dogue du Bordeaux). Just don't expect a really high level of protection. These dogs will alert you and possibly engage an intruder, and their sheer size is enough in most cases, plus they make great family pets. Breeds like German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Doberman Pinchers, and Rottweilers from PROVEN WORKING LINES will take it another level. They are bred for the courage and drive to take on a hostile intruder with full force or die trying. Do you need all that protection? That depends.
    BattleDax likes this.
  3. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member

    I probably need the size of a Mastiff, and would probably find that sufficient really. I have heard that Mastiffs aren’t good for first time owners though, as some are known to have stubborn streaks quite frequently which can prohibit training? Tell me if I’m wrong because I’m no expert, but just may have stumbled upon misleading information. I don’t want to choose a puppy and then find that I can’t grow it up properly due to myself not knowing how to handle the stubbornness, see
  4. Smokeycat

    Smokeycat Well-Known Member

    Mastiffs can be extremely stubborn but that doesn't necessarily mean that a first time dog owner will find training harder than an experienced owner of other breeds. They don't train like some of the more popular breeds. I had trainers that couldn't figure out why he didn't do something for them that every other dog in the class did but by the next class I had got him to learn it.
    I currently have my first 2 dogs and got my EM after having an Irish Setter x for 10 months. Kryten and Jiggers needed different approaches to training. For somethings I had to literally out stubborn him before he would do it. Once he learnt that I could be and will be more stubborn than he is his attempts diminished but at 8 he still will try and get things his way.
    The 3 things I learnt with him is to be more stubborn than my dog even if it makes me look stupid or mean (refusing to allow something) because he will push further if he gets away with something. The second thing was to be completely consistent until he absolutely knew and accepted the rules in place. The third and most important is to do it early and not allow anything as a young puppy that you wouldn't want a 100+lbs puppy doing.
    The most important thing with training is to know yourself and how you are. Are you going to be able to stick to your guns and have the patience to out wait or figure out how to make your dog think its his idea. Or do want a more laid back approach where the dog wants to do what you ask, these are the easy to train breeds.
    ar12345 and Loverboy Skyline like this.
  5. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Well-Known Member

    Depends a lot on your life style, what you are willing/able to handle, what the family is can/want to do on a daily basis with regard to training etc. You‘ve probably researched it quite a bit, but I‘d recommend the "Dogumentary" breed introductions on YouTube. Obviously not an ultimate decision making tool, but still helpful in my opinion.
  6. Mastiffs are different. Most dogs want to please you. When you get up in the morning to take them outside most dogs follow you to the door. If they understand your command most dogs will generally obey it. Mastiffs are so laid back when you get up in the morning they want to lay down a little longer and if you're in a hurry you might need to drag their 150 pound carcass outside yourself. Just because you give them a command and they know what you want doesn't mean they will obey it, and if you hit them they will take it personally and use it as an excuse to obey you less. On the plus side they are big and huggable and not aggressive. A lot of people are insanely attached to them. I'm not saying you shouldn't get one, but you asked about their stubbornness and there's my answer. It shocked me as well, but it's nothing I can't deal with.
    BattleDax likes this.
  7. BattleDax

    BattleDax New Member

    I'm on my 2nd Doberman from proven working lines and these are a dog that are not for the first-time owner.

    As it happens, I am considering switching to a Mastiff-type breed for my next dog after this one passes away. I've got no experience with Mastiffs, but I would theorize that both Mastiffs and high-energy working dogs like mine both take an owner with a good head on their shoulders, and determination, and the ability to really be the leader – not a pushover.

    Study up on the canine mind – pack hierarchy and how dog owners can employ simple every day strategies to send the right messages to their dogs.

    But yeah. If you want a PITA dog to live with, and a lot of whining, get a high energy working dog.

    On the other hand, I am accustomed to unquestioning, crisp obedience; not a dog whose reaction to a command is to sit there and decide whether or not it wants to obey it. So I'm not sure I would be happy living with a Mastiff.

    Just some thoughts.
    Loverboy Skyline likes this.
  8. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member

    To be honest, I’d much rather an easy to train dog, but then that would also come with a certain level of mental stimulation needed surely, as well as physical needs, where I’d rather a dog that was more laid back physically. I’d still provide exercise though.
  9. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member

    I think I’ve actually binge watched all of the Dogumentary videos and they’re great. Essentially, what I’m looking for is an easy to train dog that is laid back physically, and maybe has guarding instincts?
  10. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member

    I have actually heard that they’re the laziest of dog breeds! Sure stubbornness can be hard to deal with, but I reckon I could take it. What I’m scared of is if I don’t train the dog properly, as I’m not experienced, so if the dog makes a major mistake and I fail to flag it, then it could eventually end up in having to give the dog up at one point, which would be my fault
  11. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member

    Yeah I mean it would be easier if the dog listened close to the first time? I’m actually currently reading about pack hierarchy. It’s interesting how the dog could potentially think they’re the leader of the pack when you bought them and feed them everyday lol. I think for you it’s going to be a drastic change, going from proven working like dobermans to a mastiff.
    BattleDax likes this.
  12. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I have a lot of strong thoughts on pack hierarchy when it comes to the humans in the house. There's a lot of contrasting information that's important to take a look at. Would you mind sharing what articles you've been reading? I'd like to share more from a behavioral perspective - like from certified animal behaviorists. I've learned that you can't change someone's mind on this subject, but I'd sure like to offer up some other info as food for thought.

    With proper training you shouldn't have an issue with your dog listening the first time you give a cue. Although I do agree that a doberman will most often do it faster than a mastiff. Mastiffs like to mosey. It's imperative to find out what motivates your breed of choice. My boxers love working so much they're racing to do what I ask, and they're doing it joyfully. My mastiff? She's doing it because I ask her to, which is plenty good enough for me.
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  13. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Well-Known Member

    Regardless of the breed you end up choosing, you will have to strongly consider differences in individual lines and then ultimately individual dogs. Temperaments can even vary greatly "below" the overall breed level. An experienced breeder should be able to match you up with a puppy that suits your lifestyle and requirements. It will help that you have a good understanding of what you want and what you don‘t want.
    Although I may be biased on this, your brief summary above would make me say English Mastiff. I guess "easy to train" is always relative and may be harder for you anyway as a first time owner. However, laid back physically + guardian instinct is what you would probably get out of an EM.
    marke and Boxergirl like this.
  14. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member

    When I say that, I mean I’ve asked people who own dogs, as well as watching documentaries about pack hierarchy. They’re not solely pack based, but depending on the dog, there are quite strong references about it.

    Please do share your knowledge with us! Knowledge is power I guess.
  15. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member

    That is true isn’t it. A family friend was telling me how it’s recommended to hang out with the whole litter, as the puppies tend to have different roles, such as troublemaker, “the noisy one”, and so on.

    To be honest I was kind of pulled towards the English mastiff, the Bullmastiff or the Dogue de Bordeaux, but I’m just worried as to whether I’m actually capable of training them properly. I don’t want to be the one leaving them in a rescue shelter because I made the wrong choice getting a known to be stubborn breed, and not being able to train them effectively.

    What I really want to know, is if being a first time owner and having a Mastiff breed will really impact progress of training. Does this mean that if I was to get one I wouldn’t be able to give them obedience training effectively, or is there something I don’t know that dog owners with experience do?
  16. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    ar12345, being a first time dog owner doesn't mean you won't be able to effectively train. Everyone has to start somewhere. Breed does make a difference. I would never suggest you get a Malinois, for instance. I would suggest finding a good trainer in your area to help you when the time comes. A positive trainer.

    There are still a great many people that adhere to the older training methods. We've learned an awful lot in the last decade or so and those older methods aren't considered the best by veterinary behaviorists. Here are a couple of links . I'm very open to discussing this subject. As a first time dog owner I think it's very important to start off on the right foot and I think that means being aware of the current methods supported by the people that have put so much study into the behavior of our companions. If you'd like to read more, I can provide many other articles and books.


  17. I've had dogs since I was a kid, but these were mostly small pets that I didn't train. My American Bulldog that I got as puppy 20 years ago was the first dog I ever trained seriously and I put several working titles on him and the obedience title was pretty thorough. When I went to the shows and took home all these ribbons and trophies everyone thought I was some serious trainer who made my dog. I think if you're taking it seriously and keep doing your research you don't need experience to own any of the dogs you mentioned. Right now I'm raising a Bullmastiff puppy, and he is a troublemaker. He will be a bigger challenge to train than my first AB who was pleaser but the breed has benefits of its own, like being naturally territorial.
  18. kingmark

    kingmark Active Member

    I am no expert ,i had dogs for almost 30 years but even after 30 years you learn every day. Its very good that you are doing all research that all matters ,but you really cant know how will it be until you get your puppy home. Dont get me wrong but i am a little bit sceptical about first time dog owners getting mastiff for your first puppy especialy if you dont have any dog experience. Or you could look and work with breeder who will find suitable dog for you mellow maybe not some high pray and agressive line. Maybe you will be just fine i really dont know so dont get offended but i am just talking from experience mine and others ,as you have already said that many mastiffs end up broken hearted in rescues because people couldnt handle them or didnt know or didnt want and mastiffs are very powerful dogs. I hope you choose well and good luck so you could also update about situation.
  19. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    ar12345, I think this suggestion by kingmark is imperative. As a first time owner the guidance of the breeder will be very important. As discussed in another thread recently, this is why so many breeders no longer allow free choice of puppy. What may appeal to you could very well end up being the wrong dog for you at this time. I strongly suggest going with a breeder that will get to know you and offer you the pups that are best suited to your home and lifestyle.
  20. Francesca

    Francesca New Member

    Maybe even consider a Great Dane. They can have a protective nature. They mature fast , fast as in 2-3 years opposed to 4-5 like like some hyped up breeds like some of the shepherds. Danes can be real couch potatoes but as all dogs do require training, exercise and patience. Lots of patience during the puppy stage. Many people don't realize how much consistence, routine and patience is put into a well behaved dog so they give up and re-home the dog because it's taking to much time. Every dog owner had to be a first time owner at some point so don't let that hinder you as long as your well prepared and know it's not always going to go as planned.
    TylerDurden likes this.

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