Mastiff

Mastiff

The largest dog on record was an 8-foot long, 323-pound Mastiff named Zorba. These hulking dogs weigh between 120 and 220 pounds and stand at least 2 feet, 3 inches tall. Mastiffs are larger than Bullmastiffs and they have a greater tendency to shed, but their personalities are similar.

The Mastiff is an enormous dog. Even though they are not particularly active, they need plenty of space to be comfortable. They shed heavily and they require some firm, dominant training, but they make adoring and devoted family companions.

Mastiffs are extremely powerful dogs with large, muscular bodies and strong limbs. Still, despite their impressive size, they are gentle with those they love and their eyes are kind, pleading and alert. They are not particularly active, especially indoors, so don't be surprised if your big dog confuses himself for a lap dog or an ottoman. Mastiffs love to cuddle, and they especially enjoy being in close range of their owners, which makes for some humorous situations indoors. Once they grow into their bodies and are trained to understand their size and power, Mastiffs are well-mannered and calm companions. They are extremely protective of their owners and their property, so if they are not socialized as puppies, they can become aggressive or overly protective. Although Mastiffs are not particularly active, they do need a fair amount of exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Owners may need to bribe their oversized dogs into active play or exercise, but once Mastiffs are engaged in activity, they can be extremely playful.

The Mastiff is double-coated and sheds consistently. They have a short, straight outer coat that is slightly hard to the touch and a dense, short under coat. Mastiffs are seen in shades of fawn or apricot and brindle. Their nose, ears, face and eyes are outlined in a dark mask, which should be dark black. Brindle Mastiffs have dark black stripes and fawn undertones.   

Bathing them with a shedding reducing shampoo will help cut back on the amount of hair they lose. Clean your Mastiff's facial wrinkles daily with a damp washcloth to prevent infection. Make sure to dry the wrinkles and clean the hanging skin above the upper lip after mealtimes.

No aspect of home dog grooming requires as much time and regular devotion as brushing. Routine brushing keeps your pet’s hair clean and tangle-free, while keeping his skin healthy by stimulating blood flow, removing dead hair and distributing natural oils.

Dogs with short coats are relatively low maintenance when it comes to brushing, although they shed their harsh coats constantly. As a result of their frequent shedding, they require at least a weekly brushing. Brush all the way down to the skin. If detangling is needed, use a slicker brush. You might want to follow up with a rubber curry brush to remove lose fur. Brush from front to back with short coats. A light mist of detangling spray after brushing brings out their coats' natural shine.

Mastiffs shed significantly in spring and fall. They should be brushed weekly with a firm rubber bristle brush, but while they are shedding, brushing them daily will help reduce the amount of hair they lose.

What you need

  • Slicker, bristle or steel pin brush
  • 2-in-1 comb
  • Shedding blade (for heavy shedders)
  • Liquid detangler 

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but dogs with short coats do produce a distinctive dog odor, so your nose may encourage you to bathe them more frequently - about every 8-12 weeks. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing; high-velocity dryers work great to remove excessive loose hair with shedding; coat should be fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair.

Clean your Mastiff's facial wrinkles daily with a damp washcloth to prevent infection. Make sure to dry the wrinkles and clean the hanging skin above the upper lip after mealtimes. Use a shed-reducing shampoo while your Mastiff is shedding to help cut back on the significant amount of hair they can lose.

What you need

  • Slicker, bristle or steel pin brush
  • Dog shampoo
  • Rubber tub mat
  • Towels
  • Bathing tether (if needed)

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Most dogs with short coats generally require occasional trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth with trimmers or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove tangles and mats. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed.  When finished, the coat should lay flat and smooth against the body of most short-haired dogs. 

What you need

  • Slicker, bristle or steel pin brush
  • 2-in-1 comb
  • Shedding blade (some coats)
  • Pet clipper
  • Pet trimmer

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
 
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
 
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Because Mastiffs are not particularly active, make sure to trim their nails weekly, because they might not wear them down naturally.

What you need

  • Sharpened nail clipper
  • Styptic powder

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some short-coated dogs, like hounds and mastiffs, have large, sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Pug, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like Pugs and Dogues de Bordeaux, be wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

What you need

  • Pet trimmer
  • Blunt scissors
  • Cotton balls or soft cloth
  • Warm water
  • Mineral oil (or olive oil or witch hazel)

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.

What you need

  • Dog toothbrush
  • Dog toothpaste (homemade recipe of baking soda, salt and water is acceptable)