Ok chaps, and ladies, for that matter. By now you all know I’m a bloody good sport. I’m probably the most talkative English Mastiff on the planet. I dare you to rub your paws over the mouse; there you go, nice, gently, gently, there’s a good boy, click here and there with the arrows on the computer screen, to find a more sociable creature than me. I dare you to find a Mastiff that actually does all the talking around here. A dog that talks! Bloody hell. That sort of thing only happens in children’s movies. This is a sociable blog and it’s been more than we can say for just boring readers with scientific facts and such on Mastiffs.
Partly, he’s right, you know. I never intended this blog to become yet another long-winded and unoriginal wind-up of facts and figures, tips and tricks, and all that sort of thing. I have, of course, mentioned things that dog lovers should be made aware of, but to be honest, I think it’s because there were matters of fact that piqued me. Today’s post focuses on the social. Max is a sociable chap, no doubt about that, and it is fortunate for him, I suppose, that I love spending time with the old bugger. Being all alone in a yard would surely kill him.
All good and well that I may be enlightening new initiates on the importance of TLC towards the Mastiff by way of outlining some characteristic aspects of his personality, but don’t for a moment forget just how much the human handler benefits by having a loving and friendly companion at his side. Guys, as they say, like to do stuff together. Our days of romping about over the lawn are few and far between these days because Max is a rather heavy chap and my bones are starting to rattle. But if there’s one thing we look forward to each day, I would have to say, that it’s our daily walks.
Max and his close cousins are good natured and well-mannered. They are courageous and surprisingly docile. But while they are never shy, they are never violent. There have been incidents of violence among Mastiffs and other large breeds, but this has a lot more to do with the human influence of neglect and abuse. It should go without saying. Social Mastiffs tend to be wary of strangers but not in an alarming way. By instinct, they are simply protecting their masters or companions. It’s a good job I’m a single bloke.
Other than Max, there’s no one else about with which to have a row with. Not that there is any disagreements between Max and myself. But just imagine it. Me having a missus about the place. Inevitably, I suppose, arguments will come up but in the event someone could come a cropper. Because if there’s one thing that Mastiffs do not like to encounter, its humans in the throes of a heated argument. Don’t have children, and don’t dare to discipline them in a firm and angry voice either. Because, sure as anything, old Max will have something to say about it.
Like most other Mastiffs, Max is rather sensitive. Never man-handle your Mastiff. Well, that may be rather tricky to do, unless, of course you are built like an ox. As sensitive creatures, Mastiffs can be shy and filled with fear if abused. In the case of English Mastiffs, the importance of walking the dog at least twice a day cannot be emphasized enough. Owing to its sociable temperament, these dogs need exposure to more than just the old household. Take it walkies. Take it to see sights and sounds. Take it to see people and places, and other dogs too.
Regular walking exercise also helps to create a well-rounded Mastiff pet. Speaking of socializing, take the dog to pet friendly parks where it is likely to encounter other dogs. Generally-speaking, Mastiffs get on with all dog breeds. In the dog sense of the word, you could say that Mastiffs are multicultural and hold little or no prejudice for all and sundry that are different from them. I’m not a member myself, but I’m all for joining dog clubs, whether it’s going to be one tailored specifically for Mastiffs, or one that caters for all comers.
This is good for both dog and its master. If you’re a single bloke like me, you’ll get to meet like-minded mates. Who knows, you may just meet your soul mate at one of these social clubs. Apart from the young Mastiff being naturally inclined to socialize, keeping it on its toes also helps to create some balance in its life and helps prevent it from being naughty. Dogs can become ill-disciplined when they have nothing to do with themselves and thus become bored. One thing you must never do is let your dog run about on its own through the neighbourhood.
Really folks, that’s just plain daft and its asking for a lot of trouble. In most functioning urban areas around the world, about the most you can expect from this show of irresponsibility and disdain is your poor pet being removed from your ‘care’ and you being handed a hefty fine. If you are one of those who allow your dog to roam free like this, well my friend, you have no business keeping a dog. Back at the ranch, so to speak, make sure your premises are large enough for your pet to move about in. Make sure that the premises are secure and that there’s more than enough for the curious-minded Mastiff to do to keep it preoccupied.
Oh, and don’t forget to treat your large dog to a nice, warm kennel. Keep it cosy with a nice clean and warm blanket, and always keep it clean. Make sure it’s disinfected from time to time to keep those irritating pests from gnawing at the poor dog’s skin. And one last thing, talk to your dog.