Mastiff Temperament and Personality

Bringing a new family member home is always exciting, especially when they have four legs and are covered in fur. For many animal lovers, having a dog means more than just having a pet, it’s a special kind of love and bond that so many of us simply cannot live without. Although many people would love to have any dog in the family, it is important to be sure that you select the right type of breed for your lifestyle.

Commonly recognized as being one of the largest breeds of dogs, the Mastiff is also well-known for their easygoing personalities and docile nature. While their exquisite size and somewhat ferocious or intimidating appearance can be off-putting to some people, there is much more to these giant creatures than what meets the eye. So before you run off to find your giant friend, take a minute to learn about the Mastiff temperament and personality to see if this breed is right for you.

Mastiff Background

So you’re thinking about bringing a Mastiff into your life, but aren’t sure if this breed is really the best option for you. Before making the decision to adopt, there are few things to consider. These large, somewhat aggressive-looking dogs were historically bred to be combat dogs, both guarding troops and fighting alongside them. But today, the modern Mastiff is one of the ultimate animal companions for dog-lovers. Their mellow nature makes them excellent with families –  as the Mastiff temperament is patient, nurturing, and protective.

While the breed is no longer specifically bred for a guard dog lifestyle, the Mastiff is still a great protector and will help ward off any unwelcome visitors. These protective traits are more likely to manifest themselves when visitors come to your home. Mastiff’s tend to be suspicious of strangers and are very protective of their owners. Due to this guardian-like personality, Mastiffs have been known to bark when they feel their family or territory is being threatened. This aspect of the Mastiff personality can be frustrating for some pet owners to deal with, and should be seriously taken into consideration before bringing this animal into your home for good.

Lifestyle & Behavior

First, Mastiffs need a large area they can run around and play freely in. Typically weighing up to 200 lbs, these dogs do not do well in small apartments or studio settings. While they have been deemed as “couch potatoes” that are happy to lounge around with the family all day, but they still require regular daily exercise in order to live healthy and happy lives.

These large, energetic animals will benefit greatly from long walks and having the opportunity to dash and play. If this large, naturally rowdy breed does not get enough exercise, they will find other ways to burn off their excess energy, which usually equals destruction.

Mastiff Personality

When it comes to the Mastiff personality, this breed has long been considered a dignified yet good-natured animal. These pets are loving and affectionate towards their family, and their calm demeanor makes them a good companion for older children. However, for families with toddlers or small children, the massive size of this breed could potentially be unsafe or even dangerous for kids. While the Mastiff would not intentionally try to harm a child, accidents can happen if they are not properly monitored.

Despite their grand stature, Mastiffs are the ultimate lap dogs. This breed loves to cuddle with their owners and often (hilariously) try to sneak up on the couch or even into bed for a snuggle. So, if you aren’t interested in a massive cuddle companion, the Mastiff may not be the right fit for you. Instead, consider a breed that is more independent and requires less attention and affection from their owner.

Although the Mastiff may be quite friendly towards humans, the same cannot always be said about their level of friendliness towards other dogs. Some dogs may try to attack or dominate other dogs they encounter, some may prefer playing rather than engaging in a fight, and still some may just tuck their tail and run away. When it comes to owning a Mastiff, you never know what you might get! This is why it is important to know your Mastiff personality before putting him in a situation with other dogs that could potentially be unsettling or unsafe for him.

One way to help prevent your Mastiff from taking on an overly-aggressive attitude towards other dogs, is to socialize your dog early on. It has been said, that dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until they were at least 6-to-8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, were more likely to have better canine social skills overall. It is important to implement these lessons as early on as you can to bring out the sweet, lovable Mastiff personality and temperament everyone has grown to love.

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