Mastiffs grow to be large dogs that can weigh up to 200 pounds. This breed does not reach full maturity until the age of three. Consequently, a mastiff remains a puppy longer than most other breeds, making certain precautions necessary.
Mastiff puppies are susceptible to joint injuries during growth spurts and should not be over exercised. Long walks and excessive jumping put extra strain on a puppy’s joints up until they are around 18 months old, when their growth rate decreases.
Mastiff puppies are also big drinkers and require available water at all times. Drool may accumulate in a puppy’s bowl and needs to be regularly cleaned and replaced with fresh water. Because their jaws are so powerful, mastiff puppies have the ability to bite and swallow pieces of toys that can cause a blockage in the intestines. A mastiff puppy needs close supervision, and caution should be exercised when providing chew toys. A ball should always be larger than the puppy’s head.
Because they are a large and powerful breed, mastiffs require early obedience training to establish boundaries and respect for an owner’s leadership. Mastiffs need a firm, confident pack leader when they are young to avoid dominance issues later as adults. A firm hand coupled with kindness and early socialization, help to raise a balanced puppy with the skills necessary to handle different situations.