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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is James and I am new to the site. What brings me here is that my family is looking to add a new dog to our house. We already have a malti-poo(rescue) and a boston terrier/mix(found in street). I have owned different breeds throughout my life including a Pit Bull, Boxer, and a few others.
The puppy is mainly going to be my daughter’s dog but mine as well. She is 9. She has been around dogs all her life. I have always wanted a mastiff type dog and my daughter likes them as well. Doing some research so far they seem like a good fit. We want a good dog with kids and also be a good guardian to my daughter and of our home. The dog will be a indoor dog. Taken out for walks around the neighborhood daily. We also have a decent size yard for Los Angeles. We will also make sure the puppy receives a lot of training, especially with my daughter and the puppy working together.
So my question is do people think that a mastiff type breed would be good for us? Also what type would be best? I really like the bullmastiff, cane corso’s and the English mastiff. All feed back welcome. Thanks.
 

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Huge difference in energy between the mastiffs and the cane Corso. Cane corsos are a true hunting dog and have quite a bit of energy and prey drive to them. Mastiffs, in the other hand, are a lot lazier and more laid-back. Probably more reliable with little dogs as well.

Have you thought about who is going to be handling this dog, and how? All three are considerably large and powerful. Even with training, you are still going to need full control of the dog in instances where a loose dog runs up and attacks, a car backfires or a firework goes off. Is this possible? Definitely something to think about, if you haven't already.
 

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My Aussies best friend in the whole world is an English Mastiff. She's very sweet, but she's very big. She is almost 2, and is about 120 pounds. She plays pretty well with both my 50 pound Aussie, and my 40 pound BC.
Other than walks, and the occasional meet up with us, she's pretty lazy. And she's a very loud snorer! The one thing I will mention is that she. Is. STRONG. Her one owner is a big guy, about 300 pounds. She can drag him around if she wants to. :p

I'm sure @Gnostic Dog will have lots more advice about Mastiffs.
 
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I would decide between wanting a giant breed and wanting a dog your daughter can actually walk safely on her own.

I have a very dog-experienced aunt and cousin who have Bernese Mountain Dogs. My aunt is a smaller woman, and while the female she has is on the small side of the breed standard (I think closer to 70-90lbs), the male she has is one the large size (easily over 110lbs, I would say). The male has pulled her down and caused injury enough for her to need to go to the ER several times when he gets over-excited, especially during icy winters. I think the count is several sprained ankles and wrists and at least two mild concussions, at this point.

I would definitely advise against a Cane Corso. They are a lot of dog, and definitely not a breed I would want to bring into a house with 2 small dogs already or if I was wanting a good dog for my child to play with.

Gnostic Dog has a lot of experience with over excited mastiffs, and can definitely give some insight into what it's like to live with and work through. I can confidently say that a nine year old, no matter how large for their age, would not be able to handle an excited, aggressive, or reactive Mastiff. Even the giant breed puppies I've been around have been STRONG.

I would also caution against choosing a breed known for protectiveness of home or master for a child's pet if you're hoping for the child to be able to walk the dog on their own, and if you are hoping for the child to be able to walk the dog on their own, I would suggest looking for smaller breeds (medium or small, maybe not even a large breed like a GSD or Lab, honestly, because I could easily see a dog that size pulling a kid down).

What are some general traits you're looking for in a dog?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Walking the dog is probably the main reason I am concerned with the mastiff breed. She wouldn't being walking the dog(any dog for that matter) alone anytime soon. We don't live in a bad neighborhood but you never know. Plus we live behind a very busy street. The back wall could easily be climbed. One of the reasons we wanted something of a guardian type breed. Like if she is playing in the backyard or when we are not home.

When are walking the dog I know she will want to hold the leash though.

What other breed of dogs would you recommend? We already have two small breed dogs and we both want something bigger.
 

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Cane corsos are a a high energy breed, and definitely need A LOT of mental and physical stimulation. Hiking, running, preferably dog sports, games, etc. English and bullmastiffs are generally more low key (at least in adulthood) and more suited to a beginner big dog owner, but as they are strong, big dogs, you'll want to spend a lot of time training them and getting them into training classes (and preferably get CGC certification), so your daughter can handle them with little issues.

It sounds like your dog's main exercise will be walking with some backyard play? If that's the case, if not a mastiff, I'd look for a dog with a low to moderate energy level. Hmm...maybe a Bernese mountain dog? If you want a lazier type dog with some protective instincts, there is the english bulldog.
 

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Any large dog is going to be a crime deterrent. Darker colored dogs (dark brindles/dark brown or fawn/especially black ones) often seem to be more anxiety-inducing in strangers than lighter ones, as well. Barking dogs, especially a large barking dog, is also a pretty solid crime deterrent. I grew up with a 45lb mutt (border collie/lab/terrier/heinz 47 thing) with a pretty deep bark that is mostly black; not aggressive at all, but the sort of dog I that would feel confident in thinking would intercede at threat to herself if I were ever actually threatened, and a very good watchdog. No one enters our house or yard with out her letting us no, even if it's the middle of the night. For someone just wanting a largish dog that will let them know when people are in the yard, a shelter mutt is always a good choice. If you're wanting to know a little more about what to expect of an adult personality, you could look for a slightly older puppy or one whose dam (and possibly also sire) is in shelter/rescue custody as well so they can tell you about their temperament- pregnant and nursing bitches are relatively common in shelters. A typical bully breed or possibly some kind of shepherd-like mix might be a good choice- both typically have a look that makes strangers more weary without necessarily bringing on the training and temperament challenges that many guarding breeds can bring or having the extreme bulk of the lower-key mastiff breeds.

How much exercise and training are you looking to do with the dog? Are you looking for a dog that is more bark than bite? The kind of dog that might actually defend property? To what extent is your daughter going to involved in training and handling- a normal amount for a young child with a puppy, or do you or she actually want her to be able to do some things with the dog on her own?

I think most people wanting a "protective" dog are really looking more for something that will bark when someone it doesn't know or doesn't know well comes onto the property/into the home, is a decent enough size to be somewhat of a crime deterrent and perhaps also has a fairly fierce sounding bark, but also isn't actually likely to be a potential liability, perhaps not even actually be likely to bite or attack anyone on the property but will be scary enough to chase them away should they wander onto the property. If you're not looking for something to actually have a whole lot of bite behind it, but to have a threatening sounding bark and likely to feel that it should let you know when someone is there, I would look into Collies (as in Lassie type Collies, smooth if you don't want the fur or the longhaired if you do), which I think are a pretty forgotten kind of guardian dog. Boxers are another I would consider if you're up for a little more exercise and, again, not looking for something that is likely to actually bite intruders. Bully breeds/pits would be something to consider for look alone, but there are other drawbacks to them (not great guard dogs, to start, though they might alert bark, and there is a strong potential for dog aggression as well as the hassles that come with breed bans in this day and age, especially if you're a renter). GSDs sound like maybe something that might fit, though I hesitate to recommend the show line dogs these days because of the structure they breed them with and I have a feeling any working line GSDs is going to be more to handle than most pet homes want. Again, its really going to boil down to whether you're looking for bite or bark, how much training experience you have, and how much exercise you intend to give the dog as well as how much training you intend to do. A lot of the breeds best suited to actually guarding a household are not breeds for the novice trainer or are really more suitable for homes intending to do a lot of physical and/or mental activity with them, and they develop a lot of issues if they're not adequately trained and exercised mentally and physically.
 
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