Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Ivy, Sep 16, 2009.
Out of curiosity, are mastiffs generally good to live with small dogs?
I think it would depend on the dog - everyone's different.... but Capone does exceptionally well with small dogs and babies. We just tell him to 'play small' and he watches his step.
Any tips on what to look out for, in relation to temperment between such a large dog and a smaller one?
Are you considering a puppy or an adult?
I am just starting to consider a puppy. Initially I was thinking of a rescue, but since they are sooooo much larger than the dogs I have now, maybe a puppy would be better/easier in relation to transition and accepting wise (of other dogs)
Or what would you recommend?
I am just thinking about it for now. I don't want to jump into anything too quick.
An adult rescue you would be able to know whether or not they're good with lil' ones.
A puppy's prey drive can kick in at any time and while you can teach them manners from the beginning...a teenage mastiff doing zoomies might accidentally trample something small...
How are your dogs with big dogs? I'd say if they're not afraid of bigger dogs (on play dates, dog park, or even meeting potential adoptees) and you can find an adult rescue who is good with small dogs, that would be best.
I assume you are talking about an English Mastiff? If so, the ones I have known are good with other dogs. When they are puppies their size, clumsiness and sillyiness can lead to serious injuries for smaller dogs but usually aggression is not the problem. Not all Mastiff are as easy going as EMs though.
Just a question for the mastiff peoples here, but how common is same sex aggression in mastiffs? My aunt had a bull mastiff and Bart turned into a foaming raging monster if he saw male dogs. Females were okay.
Is the same gender aggression something to be wary of in the breed/s? Or was Bart a fluke? I imagine it would be something to be aware of if you're mixing big and small dogs in the same household.
Here is my opinion- as always, you can take it with a grain of salt.
With any giant breed, due to the possibility of severe problems and an extremely short life span, I would only go to a really, really good breeder.
I'd be willing to pay out the $2000.00 now rather then pay out the wazoo later if the dog comes down with something preventable.
With all of the idiots that are "into" creating "extra large mastiffs" or mixing random breeds of big bully dogs and calling them mastiffs; you just really don't know what you're getting.
I'd say if you want something smaller a rescue would be a really good option for you. You could also see if any show breeders want to rehome a younger adult or retired show champion who was raised around kids and dogs, but that's only if you're wanting an adult.
BUT if you want rescue, cschellenberger at dogforums.com is active in mastiff rescue, or she used to be. I bet she'd love to help you make a good decision, and quite frankly, she does give wonderful advice.
also remember that not all Mastiff breeds are not the same. First you mentioned Mastiff, which is what most people say when they mean English Mastiff and then you talk about a Bull Mastiff. In my limited experience, they have fairly different personalities.
Neopolitan Mastiffs for example have very different personalities again. I think it is important to decide when one you are interested in first. But I would guess the EM would be the least apt to be DA of the mastiff breeds. I think they probably would also have the least prey drive and they have been bred to be pretty mellow.
Today's EM is not the EM of your Great Great Grand Father
Each mastiff has different traits. Some are known for DA. You really have to research them to know which one is best for your family situation. Bull Mastiffs are known to be DA, english mastiff and Filas aren't.
That was one of the reasons I chose Brutus. Filas are normally not DA. I had a female Rottie and a shiz/mix so I needed a dog that would get along with large, as well as small dogs. Usually a Fila will let a small dog walk all over it...literally. LOL However I don't recommend a Fila for everyone.
I can't speak on behalf of other Mastiffs, but Filas are true pack animals -- or maybe more accurately, pride animals and work and live together. Judy and Gary's males all lived in the house together amicably. It probably helped that Gamble was such a dominant personality.
However, for most people ONE Fila is too much dog, lol, much less a houseful.
So Filas are more of a social breed?
I have hounds, and I know they are more of a pack breed since they are originally bred for hunting, and hunting is usually done in packs or at least pairs. So I have no worries with them being together.
Would you recommend the Fila for my specific situation?
I have Beagles and Bassets. When I stated that I have small dogs I did not mean chi's or tiny dogs. My Beagles are about 20-25 lbs. My Bassets are between 35-45 lbs. They are a very social and friendly bunch.
I also take in fosters. At the moment I have a Mastiff cross living with us as well.
I have always wanted a large/giant breed. I live alone out in middle of nowhere and I like the whole concept of having a protector. Don't get me wrong, I DO NOT want to have a "trained" guard dog. I just want a "deterent". I still want the giant dog to be social and such, but if a situation were to arise and I needed a loyal protector, knowing that my "place breed here" would not let anything happen to me would be a nice thing to have.
I'm not an expert but to me it sounds like you don't want something as hard as a Fila. Filas strike me as a very special breed, the epitome of guard dogs, but they're definitely not for everyone. I respect the breed so much but I doubt I'll ever be able to handle a breed like that.
Do some research on them and on their breed trait ojeriza (dislike of strangers). Truly beautiful animals even from someone who typically isn't a mastiff fan. They're stunning.
But Renee and the other Fila owners will tell you more, I'm sure.
I did do some research on that trait and I found many sites that stated the ojeriza trait surfaces when the pup is not socialized anymore after 6 months of age. I wonder if ojeriza would not surface if you were to constantly socialize them, even after 6 months?
That's why i'm here.......teach me!!!
I am not sure exactly what breed would fit my lifestyle. It does not neccessaerily have to be a Mastiff, but I am very interested in a large/giant type. If anybody has any other suggestions, please let me know what other options are out there.
From what I know which is mostly from reading this board, ojeriza is a breed trait. It's genetic, much like herding behaviors are in border collies. You can socialize but that doesn't mean the fila is ever going to like strangers. It's completely against his nature. That doesn't mean they're unstable animals at all, look at Kharma for example. It's just you can't expect to train out traits like these that are so ingrained and so important in the breed.
This part is what makes me say maybe not a fila:
What do you mean by social? What do you mean by deterrent?
Anyways I've only ever met one fila in real life and many people here have met more so they can talk more.
Danes, Leonbergers, English Mastiff come to mind but those are all quite a bit softer temperaments. Usually the visual of a 100+ lb dog is enough for most people to be deterred. Leonbergers look like teddy bears though so that might be out. I like bullmastiffs but they have a tendency to be DA.
a two hundred pouind male Eng. Mastiff is a heck of a deterrent if you kind find a will bred one that isn't scared of his own shadow. In ByB Mastiffs there are a lot of nerve issues. Eng. Mastiffs are no real guard dogs (real manstoppers anyway like a CAS or Fila) but if you have ever had one stand at the top of the stairs and bark at you......you will be deterred unless you are a pretty serious criminal.
My mind keeps going to a Dane for you. Beagles and Bassets are really soft dogs. Most mastiffs need an experianced owner. Filas, Corsos, ect.. are for the experianced only.
I know alot of people with Danes who say 99% of people whont come anywere near their yard. But the dogs are teddy bears. That being said they will be there if they are needed.
I agree with the whole experienced owner concept....but how do you get experience without really owning one?
Hmmmm Great Danes......I like that. Can anybody point me in the right direction with those giants? Or any other suggestions?