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Bailey's Mom

Super Moderator
Super Moderator

(with permission)

Congratulations, you have a new family member! The following tips may help you and your puppy/rescue dog.


You want to crate train. PUPPIES: Make sure you have a blanket, stuffed animal (about their size) and white noise (ticking clock or ipod with soft music) so the dog can sleep. The dog is used to cuddling with their siblings.

Make the crate the dog’s happy place to go to when they want to sleep, decompress or just hang out.


Find out what kind of food the shelter/rescue/breeder was feeding the dog and continue to feed it to the dog until you transition to a newer food, if you decide to change the food.

**Slow transition to the new food is as follows to prevent diarrhea. If at any time during the transition, the pup has diarrhea return to previous amounts of food per feeding. If you are switching flavors made by the same manufacturer, you should not have to do a slow transition. **

Amount per feeding:

Day 1-4 ¾ cup of old food and ¼ cup of new food.

Day 5-9 ½ cup of old food and ½ cup of new food.

Day 10-14 ¾ cup of new food and ¼ cup of old food

Day 15 Start 100% of new food


You can feed the dog boiled meat and boiled white rice with canned/raw pumpkin (not the pie filling) usually start with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin for young puppies and 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin for dogs older than 8-10 months for 4-5 days to reset their system. After the reset, start the new food.

If the dog is allergic to grain and/or chicken found in kibble: Checkwww.dogfoodadvisor.com dog food ratings and customer feedback. NOTE: Mastiff puppies SHOULD eat Large Breed adult food or All Stage food because puppy food has too much calcium causing fast growth. Slow and steady growth for a healthy mastiff. Protein in the food is not an issue unless the pup has kidney issues.



Check out Acana Regionals, Wellness Core, Castor & Pollux Grain Free, Earthborn Holistics, Fromms, Whole Farms and Victor’s Grain Free. Do your best to feed human-grade dog food.

You may want to check out the raw diet or home-cooked diet for your dog. Raw diet can be fed to puppies. It is not recommended to feed the dog kibble (one with grains) and raw food. Do your research re: raw diet and home-cooked diet and form your own opinion.




This is a natural behavior because they are stressed in their new environment. Place the dog in a quiet place at meal times and sit and hand feed them. This will help them to eat when they are placed in a calm atmosphere, help you to bond with them and help them to trust you. As they become settled, they will naturally follow your routine.


This is very important for puppies younger than 3 months of age! Keep the dog in your yard and place newspapers down where they will walk on the ground. Keep the pup away from dog areas unless they have had their 2nd round of shots, 3rd round of shots is best so they will have some immunity to the infectious diseases, i.e. Parvo.


Keep the dog on leash when you take them outside. Train them with a potty word, like “potty.” Generally, it can take 20-25 minutes for them to do their business. When the dog goes potty, do the potty dance. The potty dance is a dance while you are singing the dog’s praises for going potty. It works!

If the dog/puppy has an accident, do not punish the dog/puppy. If you catch them in the act, tell them “no” in a calm, firm voice and bring them outside. If you do not catch them in the act, there is not much you can do. When a dog/puppy has an accident, it is not their fault because they usually have “tell” to let you know they need to go outside.

Puppies have very small bladders and they will need to go outside at least every 2-3 hours. Some people use pee pads, but this could lead to the puppy only going to the bathroom on paper and more difficult to train them to go outside.


Puppies: Socialize after they’ve had at least their 2nd round of shots preferably 3 rounds of shots to be safe. Prior to the 2nd or 3rd round of shots, keep the pup in your own yard. If that is not possible, bring newspapers with you for the dog to walk on. Avoid dog parks and areas with a heavy traffic of animals.

Puppies/Rescue dogs: Socialization can be the human park while the dog is on leash, riding in the car, sitting at the park or shopping center/mall, etc.

**Tell strangers and strangers “no touch, no talk, no look” as they approach you and your dog. Bring your dog to sit while they approach. Have your dog approach the strangers and allow the dog to sniff them. Have a calm, controlled meeting. This shows your dog the correct way to greet strangers and other dogs.**


First: The key to successful training is LOTS of patience, consistency and positive reinforcement with motivational reward. Training is a lifetime commitment.

Puppies/Rescue dogs: Start with basic commands and reward with motivational reward, i.e. fav food or toy. Train for about 5 minutes per day and slowly increase the training time. Teach one command at a time. Once they master one command, move onto another command.

First command should be “sit”. Teach them to “sit”, by placing a treat in front of their head and move it to the back causing them to “sit” to get the treat. When the dog “sits”, tell them good “sit” and reward them.

Second command should be "focus/look”. This will help you tremendously if the dog will be an adult dog of 50+ pounds. Place the dog into “sit”. With a treat in your hand (let the dog smell it), put the treat up to your eyes and tell the dog to “look or focus”. They may only do this for about 1-2 seconds. As soon as they look at your eyes, reward them. Generally, guardian breeds and pit bulls do not like to look anyone in the eyes for longer than a few seconds because that represents a challenge to them.

Other commands are "down/off", "leave it," "wait" (short pause), "stay" (pausing until you release), “drop it” and "quiet/calm".

When you are training and the dog does not do as you ask, then give them a word or sound that brings their attention back to you. I use “uh uh” in a calm, stern voice.

The only time a stern and loud “NO” should be used is when they are doing something that can cause harm to themselves or others.

Praise is the most powerful tool you have and the dog WANTS to please you. Show them clearly what you want, notice and praise when they comply, and learning goes much faster and pleasant for you both.

**Some breeds can be extremely stubborn and if you get frustrated with them, they will shut down and stop listening to you. It is best to not yell or strike a dog when they do not do well with the training. It’s best you take a break and start again when you are no longer frustrated. Hitting a dog can result in some unwanted behavior, i.e. fear aggression, which could result in biting.**


Puppies/rescue dogs: Have the dog wear the leash around the house to get used to it. Once they are used to the leash around their neck, then you can start the leash training. Have lots of motivational rewards on hand while doing the training. Consistency and patience is key.

If the dog pulls while walking, tell them “wait” and stop walking. Place the dog in “sit” and reward. Tell the dog “ok” or “come” to start walking again. Requires a lot of consistent training and patience. Do this inside the house and then move to outside.

If they nip at you while on leash, they want to play. Tell the dog “uh uh” or your stop word, place them in “sit” and reward.


Puppies will chew/bite anything they can find unless you re-direct the chewing/biting. This is normal puppy behavior! Provide frozen washcloths or small towels (make sure the cloths are big enough the pup cannot swallow them), ice cubes with treats frozen in the middle, plastic water/coke/milk bottles, Nylabones, ropes, deer antlers, cardboard boxes to destroy (make sure they do not eat the cardboard), Kongs with frozen yogurt so they can chew to their heart’s desire.

Puppies bite and growl because that is normal play with their siblings.

If the dog is biting/nipping, try the following. This behavior requires a lot of patience and consistency in training.

When they bite, tell them “OW” in a high-pitched voice and “NO” in a stern, calm voice. NEVER HIT OR YELL AT THE PUPPY/DOG. Hitting can lead to fear aggression and yelling causes the dog to shut down on you and ignore you.

When the dog stops biting, place the dog in “sit” and re-direct to one of the chew toys, i.e. ice cubes with treats, freeze small bowls of water, freeze large hand towels (large enough they will not swallow), cardboard boxes, deer antlers, ropes or Nylabones.

Teach the pup “leave it”. When the pup “leaves it” meaning they stop biting your body part, then bring the dog to a “sit” and reward.

**DO NOT allow children and pup on the floor together. The dog will see them as playmates and nip at them. Picture the dog playing with their siblings.

Keep the dog on leash while the children are on the floor so you can have control of the dog. The dog and children should not be allowed to play alone.

**Great bonding exercises: have the children hand-feed the pup and help with training, i.e. teach the pup to “sit”, “stay” and “come”. This helps the pup to see them as non-playmates and as people in authority.


Puppies can exercise with natural movements and free play like running, stretching, playing on soft surfaces (grass and dirt). This type of exercise is actually healthy and good for their developing bodies.

Structured exercise/play on hard surfaces and where they don't have they ability to pace themselves is where you need to be very careful. This type of exercise could harm the puppies joints and bones. **Puppies should not do any excessive exercise, i.e. walking, jumping, running and navigating stairs for the first 12 months to avoid injury.**

Stairs should be maneuvered while on leash (even in the house) especially going down the stairs. Stairs should have carpet or rubber matting to give the puppy traction. Puppies should be assisted up and down stairs until they are about age 12 months to prevent injury.

Generally, the amount of time to exercise is 5 minutes per each month of age.


**Breeds will small muzzles do not tolerate heat and will overheat rather quickly which can result in their death. In the heat, reduce walk/exercise times. Have clean water available at all times. Use a kiddie pool to keep them cool. I freeze towels to either place on my dog or put on the floor for him to lie on in the summer to cool him off.

Enjoy your new family member! They will reward you with love and loyalty!

Bailey's Mom

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
I hope that all new dog parents stop by this information. Music Deb no longer visits with us...which is very unfortunate. I contact her occasionally through email, but time has moved on for her after she lost her Titan. Unfortunately, she was also a great repository of information on raw feeding and was such a blessing and benefit to the Forum. I placed her New Puppy/Adoption info at the top of the list so that it would always be there for our new members/new dog parents to have and use.

I hope everyone gives it a read...it's a great primer on Mastiff care (any other dog care for that matter.)

Missing You, Music Deb!