King Hill Mastiffs
Food Training & Socialization

Food

Proper nutrition is vital to healthy growth. At King Hill we feed our mastiffs meat, bones and fresh vegetables and we believe that this diet is the best choice for us but understand that it can be a task. If choosing to feed a commercial dog food seems to be your best option then we suggest only feeding a high quality ADULT DOG FOOD.If you must buy manufactured food, a good rule of thumb to follow is that there can only be 10 ingredients or less, and there cannot be anything on that list that you can't pronounce or don't know what it is. There are so many name brand dog foods on the market today that it can become an overwhelming choice and everyone has their favorites (some breeders even get good deals to sell specific products). We do not endorse any dog food companies simply because there is no requirement that pet food products have pre-market approval by the FDA. That means they can and will say anything to influence your purchase. Are you having doubts?Check this out Harvard Law
In effort to simplify things a bit I have listed a few Do & Don'ts when it comes to food & feeding a mastiff.
Do
*Feed a quality food with no more than 26% protein and 14%fat (make sure the first ingredient in the food is whole meat).
*Feed small portions several times a day.
*Have plenty of water available in a clean dish.
*Give Healthy Snacks such as eggs,yogurt,fresh vegetables and fruit.
Do Not
*Over feed a puppy
*Buy regular puppy food
*Give cooked chicken bones
*Give Calcium supplements

Training

When preventing problems from happening with your mastiff in adulthood the process starts from the moment you bring your puppy home. Focus on preventing accidents instead of waiting for accidents to happen. Begin by potty training your puppy on the very first day and it's important to monitor the puppy at all times. The goal is to make it easy for the puppy to do the right thing in the first place. Training in this way is faster and more effective than punishing the dog for mistakes. YOU play the most important part in the success or failure so you must be patient, determined and reliable for it to work. When you cannot watch the puppy it needs to be in a crate. Accidents will happen but please NEVER HIT a mastiff puppy. Mastiffs respond very well to voice training and positive reinforcement. Make a schedule for frequent potty trips that includes after each meal and when they wake up, go to the same spot each time and tell your puppy to go potty, if he/she complies.. praise, praise, praise Consistency is the key. Basic obedience is essential. Keep the training sessions short, never get mad, be patient, make it fun, use treats, clickers, and lots and lots of praise. Important things to teach your puppy is sit, down, stand, stay, come, release object from the mouth, and if you have a jumper teach them not to jump. Remember, you'll have a very large dog and you don't want them jumping on you and your guests. Never let a mastiff puppy do anything that you do not want a large dog to do. The more things that you train your dog the smarter he/she will become, the happier he/she will be, and of course he/she will be a well behaved member of the family. Try to expose your dog to as many novel environments as possible. But remember, do not coddle. Praise the dog only when they shows confidence and explores the new environment. A trained dog is a happy dog.

Weight

The number one question most people ask is how big does a mastiff get? The AKC Mastiff Standard is a minimum height of 27 1/2" for females & 30" for males up to 36 inches (for the exceptionally tall ones). They can weigh anywhere from 110 pounds to over 250 pounds although, most male mastiffs weigh between 160-220 pounds and females between 120-170 pounds. Every mastiff will grow at it's own rate to reach their full potential but this weight chart is a guideline for the "average" growth. Just like people dogs all grow very differently and the weight of a dog is only a small percentage of the total health and should not be the primary focus. It is healthier to keep a mastiff lean and fit.
Weight Chart
Age Male/Female (lbs)
8 wks - 29/24
3 months - 45/39
6 months - 100/80
9 months - 155/110
12 months - 175/120
16 months - 190/125
2 years - 205/135
3 years - 225/180
4 years - 230/190
5 years - 235/200

Socialization & Exercise

Many behavioral problems stem from a lack of socialization. Any dog can cause trouble, but the bigger breeds can create bigger damage. We make it our top priority to spend as much time possible with our puppies so that by 8 weeks old all our effort has been given to provide a solid foundation for venturing into the world. When puppies go to their new homes they will need a lot of time devoted to training, socializing and exercising in order to grow into well adjusted, confident adult dogs. Making a point to do different things, go different places and meeting all kinds of different people on a regular basis will be critical. One of the most important things you can do to aid your puppy in socialization is to enroll your new pet in puppy training and socialization classes as soon as they turn 10-12 weeks old. Mastiffs need interaction with their owners, other people and other animals on a constant basis and continually throughout their lifetime. Condition your pup to accept gentle touching and petting. When your pup is in a calm state, practice examining him from head to toe, gently and patiently. This exercise will pay off later when you need to check your dog for ticks, clip his nails, or when the pup goes to the vet or groomer. It is also a good idea to use touch techniques (such as T-Touch) to relax your dog and help alleviate some behavioral problems. Physical activity burns the dogs excess energy and maintains a healthy state of mind and body. Young puppies need less exercise than most older dogs. Avoid jogging to prevent too much stress on their soft and growing bones, joints, and ligaments. Walks every day will provide enough exercise to keep your mastiff in shape. Playing fetch, swimming and hiking are also great forms of recreational exercise.

Spay & Neutering

SPAYING
* Pet overpopulation is a serious issue and by allowing your dog to have litters, you are adding to the problem. Finding homes for your new family additions is not as easy as you may think. Even if you choose to keep the puppies, you now have the additional cost of vaccines, parasite control, toys and food for several pets. In addition to costs, the health of the mother can be in jeopardy during delivery. Some new mothers can have serious complications delivering puppies and can even develop health problems during nursing. All these potential problems can be avoided by spaying your dog.
* Spaying makes for a cleaner, calmer dog. Without the drive to mate, your dog may be quieter and not prone to an incessant need to seek out a mate. The spayed dog no longer attracts males and their annoying advances and serenades. Dogs wont have a bloody discharge for several days while they are in heat. Without proper protective products, the discharge can stain sofas, bedding and carpets. Spayed pets are also easier to get along with. They tend to be more gentle and affectionate.
* Spaying keeps your dog healthier. Spaying is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Without these organs, ovarian cysts, uterine infections and cancer of the reproductive tract are no longer a concern. Studies have shown that dogs spayed before puberty have a significantly lower chance of developing breast cancer than unspayed dogs or dogs spayed later in life.
NEUTERING
* Neutering removes the risk of pregnancy.
* Neutering makes for a calmer dog. Another positive aspect of neutering your dog is that neutering can result in a calmer, and sometimes cleaner, home. Without the drive to mate, your dog may be quieter and not prone to an incessant need to seek out a mate. The neutered dog no longer feels the need to seek out and serenade females. He no longer has the stress of needing to mark his territory and urinate throughout the house and yard. Neutered pets are also easier to get along with. They tend to more gentle and affectionate. Neutered males tend to roam less and typically are not involved in as many fights with other animals.
* Neutering keeps your dog healthier. Neutered pets tend to have fewer health problems. Neutering is the removal of the testicles. Without these organs, testicular cancer is no longer a concern and the risk of prostate problems is reduced. For those people who would like to sterilize their dog but do not wish to alter his appearance, testicular implants are available.

Last year about 17 million dogs and cats were turned over to animal shelters. Only one out of every 10 taken in to the shelters found a home. This means that over 13.5 million had to be destroyed. The tragedy is that this is unnecessary. Much of the problem could be eliminated by simple surgery: Spaying and neutering operations are performed under general anesthesia and are quite painless. By neutering pets, owners can help lower the numbers of unwanted and homeless animals.