The breed was first used as gladiator dogs in Roman arenas and as guardians of people and their property.
Today, Mastiffs are considered one of the best companion animals among the different breeds of dogs.
With intense affection and great patience, the Mastiff temperament is an epitome of the ultimate man’s best friend.
Mastiffs Loves Children
A Mastiff’s protective and gentle nature comes into full play when dealing with children whom they treat as their “puppies”.
Many families with Mastiffs will attest to the fact that they can trust their pet to be with their children, even the small ones.
There is a unique bond that easily forms between children and Mastiffs and makes them best friends for life.
Living up the Gentle Giant Reputation
Mastiffs never fail to live up to their reputation as gentle giants. They can grow as big as 200 pounds, and it takes most between three to four years to reach their maximum physical growth.
But don't be intimidated by their size. For a dog that grows to be large and powerfully built, Mastiffs are well known as calm and good-natured.
The Mastiff temperament makes them one of the most diplomatic among the different dog breeds. They are very tolerant of other pets.
So there is really no reason to worry about aggression.
However, never forget, when a Mastiff feels he needs to defend himself that is the time he will use his brute strength to scare off a potential opponent.
Live to Please Attitude
A Mastiff's temperament is rooted in the fact that your pet lives to please his acknowledged alpha leader. It is this attitude that makes the Mastiff very easy to train.
Positive reinforcement can work wonders when training your pet. Pouring lavish praise, lots of belly rubs and pats on the head and your pet’s favorite treats will certainly produce favorable results in the shortest possible time.
Expect Loud Booming Barks
Although Mastiffs are not extreme barkers, they can be bothersome when they do start barking. Expect a loud, booming bark, that will be sure ti scare away an intruder but annoy the hell out of your neighbors if he keeps it up.
Thus, you have to train your Mastiff to listen and obey your command to stop barking.
Don't Forget Early Obedience Training and Socialization
Because of the Mastiff’s size, it is important that obedience training starts as early as possible.
Your training should include teaching your pet not to jump on people or pull on the leash.
A full-grown Mastiff with these behaviors can pose a risk for anyone because of its massive body.
Socializing is the key to developing your Mastiff’s temperament.
Exposing your pet to all kinds of people, dogs and other pets will make him a more effective protector because the Mastiff will be able to interpret different types of body language and can differentiate a friendly from a hostile presence.
Exerting your Pack Leader Status
Just like any dog breed, a Mastiff needs to know its order in the pack. Training your pet will let him know your status as the pack leader.
Mastiffs respond well to human leadership. As the Alpha dog, you need to exercise consistency and proper leadership.
Your Mastiff needs to know the rules that you should clearly define.
His Heavy Weight Invites Health Problems
Because of its size, the Mastiff is prone to health problems. Oftentimes, it forgets its weight and runs after a cat or other pets.
A little instability can lead to sprained ligaments, stretched tendons, and even patellar luxation and dislocation of hip joints or elbow joints.
These conditions can all lead to mobility problems, inflammation and pain.
Beware of a Bored Mastiff
Before bringing home a Mastiff, be sure of your intentions and ask yourself if you are ready to be a responsible owner of a powerful dog that will someday outweigh you.
A Mastiff does not want to be tied up in your backyard for most of the day.
Doing so will make him bored, sad, lonely and increase the possibility of developing destructive traits.
After all, it’s not property or territory that the Mastiff feels a need to protect; it’s the members of the pack.
Indeed, the Mastiff temperament makes it an ideal household companion even for families with kids.