Discussion in 'General Mastiff Discussion' started by Potter, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Potter

    Potter New Member

    Hello all, I found this site through a google search and am excited to share and discuss with the big dogs... o that was bad.

    We have a Great Pyrenees that my wife has owned for 7 years. We have a 4 month old baby girl.

    I've wanted a male English Mastiff for a good ten years now and my wife gave the green light this passed week. Sunday we went on a road trip to check out a couple breeders. I wanted a huge monster pup with non anxious parents. We settled on a backyard breeder, who didn't take the best care of her dogs, but I loved the look of the parents. And after spending and hour or so with the people dogs I confidently assess them and observant, and non anxious parents.

    I've seen 5-10 full grown adult Mastiffs in my life and the sire is the biggest one I've seen by far. He's an outside dog who is fed crap food and still weighed 190 at his last vet visit. He has a huge head and was crazy tall for a mastiff, and quite long. The mom was of sound build, friendly and exhausted.

    Anywho I guess I'm posting for reassurance. Potter was the largest of the litter (by far) and was the 2nd most outgoing of the 8. He's 11 weeks old and only weighs 29lbs. I read that a puppy should be 40lbs by now. The puppies have eaten horrible adult food (Alpo Prime Cuts) ever since their weaning. I attribute this to his lack of size and I hope he's not stunted.

    I've switched him to Diamond puppy large breed, but he hasn't eaten but about half a cup in a day. He's shy but is drinking and acts fine.

    glen likes this.
  2. glen

    glen Super Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to the forum. Have you had your pup checked over by a vet, he may have worms with what you've said he may not have been given the correct treatments. He's in new surroundings and away from his littermates so feeding will be different for him did the breeder send any food with him. I would change over slow he may get the runs. I don't know the food your giving him but we are from uk so hopefully someone will help you soon what's available to you. Slow and steady growth for these big boys is the best way. What's his body condition like can you see ribs.
  3. Oscar'sMom

    Oscar'sMom Active Member

    Size isnt everything when it comes to mastiffs. You can't know they were of "sound build" visually especially if you've only seen a few adult mastiffs in your lifetime. No tests? No vet records? Pups grow at their own rate...it's genetic. You can't force it. Mastiffs should be on adult food as they need slow and steady growth..diamond has had several recalls in the past. Getting a pup from this breeder is only going to fund them to have more poorly bred pups in a shit situation.

    Get your pup to a vet for a checkup.
    7121548 likes this.
  4. 7121548

    7121548 Active Member

    It's pretty troubling that you knowingly bought from a backyard breeder, especially after seeing the owners weren't taking good care of their dogs. I agree with Oscar's Mom--the dog will grow at its own rate. Its frame is genetically predetermined and there's little you can do about that.
  5. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you're probably feeling attacked by now, but please understand that we're all very passionate about our breed. It's difficult for us to hear that someone willingly chose to go to a backyard breeder who does nothing to better the breed, no health testing, and keeps their dogs in sub-par conditions. I really don't understand knowing the difference between a byb and a responsible breeder and choosing the former. Ultimately it doesn't matter now because you have your boy, so now on to making sure that he's the healthiest he can be.

    Where are you located, what stores can you buy food from, and what are you looking at for a monthly food budget? Slow and steady growth is the goal. Oscar's Mom is right, Diamond has had a lot of recalls in the past. Some areas of the country are worse than others. I currently feed Nature's Domain from Costco and it's manufactured by Diamond, but there have been no recalls in my area. All life stages food is a good choice and most people recommend staying away from chicken based foods as many mastiffs seem sensitive to it in processed form. Calcium to phosphorus ratio is the most important thing when choosing a food. If you do a search of the forum I'm sure the info is here.

    My EM was a foster fail. She came to me at 5ish weeks old and weighed 6 pounds at 6 weeks. At 12 weeks she was 26lbs and at 5 years old she's a trim 127lbs. Be more concerned with body condition than numbers. Ultimately any dog over 1o0 lbs is a big dog and his size has already been determined by genetics.

    I sincerely hope you stick around. This forum is a wealth of information. Understand that your dog came from parents that may have health issues that aren't apparent to the eye. Many of these issues can be tested for and while there is no guarantee, they certainly stack the odds in your favor for a better chance of avoiding certain issues. I'll include a couple of links below of the first info that came to hand. Like I said, please do stick around. Ask any questions you have and we'll do our best to help.

    Nik and Potter like this.
  6. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Denna is also from a backyard "hobby" breeder (but a well cared for, happy home environment). Her mom was 185lbs at 3yrs old, and her dad was 200lbs at 2 yrs old. She was one of the largest in the litter... apparently all the other puppy parents were choosing smaller puppies, on purpose. But, at 5 yrs old, her prime weight is 165lbs. So, parent & puppy size are pretty much irrelevant. We got the last pup available. We loved the small home environment, and noted the open doors and loads of children (6-12yrs old) running around the big dogs with no anxiety from the dogs... and I'm sure they provided loads of love for the puppies. Yes, we supported a non-tested breeding operation, and I had serious concerns with that... the people did say this was their 2nd and final "oops" breeding (but who knows if that was a truthful assessment). They obviously loved their dogs and cared for them well. We were sent home with Diamond Lamb & Rice food for the puppy, and changed that over (slowly) to Solid Gold's Wolf Pup once we got home. There are still better foods than what we chose, too.... we feed raw, now, and I wouldn't hesitate to switch a new puppy to raw, now that I know what I'm doing (lol).

    So... I have no problem with your choice of puppy - assuming YOU don't want to breed your dog. I do think going with a well tested, responsible breeder is the BEST choice, but we don't always do what's best, do we... sometimes love wins out over logic.

    Anyway... on to your questions.

    There is no "should be" weight for mastiff puppies. The range for how big a healthy mastiff puppy is, is HUGE. Go by body condition. You want ribs EASY to see, but hips comfortably covered. The leaner, the better as the puppy grows. As for final size - that's all been pre-programmed in the genes. You'll get what you've got, and hopefully you're smitten with Potter and could care less if he's "only" 180lbs as an adult. I don't think a few weeks on Alpo will have any significant long term effects. The puppy you said was big at the time, so he probably did fine getting momma's milk, and was getting enough calories with the Alpo, too...
    (side note: Denna was also 29lbs at 11 weeks old)

    I'm hopeful that you've had Potter checked at a vet - as 99% of puppies have round worms, and need treatment for those.

    Going forward - You want a food with LOW calcium (<1.5%), and a good balance with phosphorus during the growing years (0-2+ years). Protein, calories, the rest, can vary.
    Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy shows:
    CALCIUM 1.2% min (I would want this to be MAX, but otherwise, it's a good number)
    PHOSPHORUS 1.0% min (good balance)

    That food has a lot of non-meat based protein, which helps lower cost, but is not normally considered the "best" quality for dog food. DogFoodAdvisor (.com) has loads of information on foods, ingredients, etc. if you decide you want to try something different. That he's not eating much is probably just the stress of a new home... or he's a good self-regulator and doesn't need the calories right now. They tend to grow in spurts, so, he may decide one day to start inhaling food, you never know!

    I would say, start saving for long-term health issues or buy health insurance (this is basic advice for ANY large breed puppy). We did get insurance - through VPI/Nationwide. So far, we haven't used what we've paid in, but we are dealing with a CCL tear now, so we're getting some benefits, for sure. Big dogs don't necessarily have MORE health issues than the little ones, but when they do, it costs a LOT more. And, if you do run into a major issue (like hip or elbow dysplasia), having insurance early can be a huge help.

    Also - be sure you research the pros/cons of when to neuter young Potter... the longer you wait for males, the better... but... as you may have noticed, having unplanned litters is something we all suggest you avoid at all cost! :)

    And, on a final note - Welcome to the Forum!! If you could post some pictures of your puppy, we'd all LOVE to see them!!!
    Potter and Nik like this.
  7. Smokeycat

    Smokeycat Well-Known Member

    Kryten came from a byb. He was the largest pup in his litter and at 11 weeks weighed a whopping 24 lbs. I thought he was big until I started seeing posts of puppies weighing double that. It did concern me as i was told he was going to be huge at 240lbs (both his parents were 190 and 220lbs) and he was so much smaller than puppies whose projected weights were around 175 lbs. I decided then to ignore what other puppies were and just judge his size based on his body condition. He grew slowly and now is currently 210lbs but I'm trying to get him back down to 190 lbs.
    Since you know that the breeder wasn't taking the best care of her dogs you can be fairly certain that she didn't health check them for genetic disorders. So I recommend that you take the time to learn what is normally tested for and how the conditions can present themselves and at what age generally. Some are painful while others can be fatal. Also I recommend either getting pet insurance or having a sizable savings account set aside in case of medical issues. I know this from experience. Kryten was diagnosed with bilateral elbow dysplasia at 15 months. In the 4 years since he has had 2 surgeries ($6000 & $2000) plus numerous x-rays and is on regular pain meds that cost $200 a bottle.
    Hopefully you don't learn why health testing is important the way that I did and can enjoy a long healthy, pain free life with your boy.
    Potter and Nik like this.
  8. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the group! You will find a lot of good advice here. Like DennasMom I completely understand how falling in love with a puppy can outweigh everything else.

    Neither of my two current dogs came from reputable breeders. Diesel came from an "Oopsie" litter, purebred DDB got out and mated with the neighbor's mutt. The people were giving away the puppies as fast as they could and way too young. We took him because we knew if it wasn't us it would be someone else and at least we were in a position and had the knowledge and ability to handle an under socialized too young unwanted puppy. Our first few weeks were difficult but I won't ever regret it because I adore him. Living with a too young puppy, hand feeding etc is I imagine something like having a newborn baby in the house. You don't sleep. Ever. And it's worth it.

    Kahlua came from a very loving home. The lady who bred her doesn't exactly qualify as a hobby breeder since she only breeds to continue her one specific line of dogs so she always has one from the same family. Kahlua isn't purebred but the owner selected the parents carefully and knew their full lineage (with papers to prove it). She was health tested, she came to me with vet records, already eating good food, already wormed, no fleas etc. Kahlua's owner was about as good as you get without being a reputable breeder looking to further a specific breed. She also made sure each of her puppies had a fully vetted home with someone her family personally knows.

    My prior dog who passed, Cerberus, did come from a reputable breeder and he was a wonderful dog and lived a long life .

    As for his weight the size of the parents is never an exact indicator nor is the size your dog is as a puppy. Diesel's dad was huge and he will never even come close to that size (then again he is a mix and his mutt mom was much smaller). Kahlua is much smaller than both of her parents. She is only just past a year so she may grow some more but I have doubts she will ever be as big as her parents. You just never know though. Each dog is an individual. See a vet, get checked for worms, etc. and just watch the body condition and make sure it is good.

    For fun you can track your dog's growth weekly or biweekly. I did with both Diesel and Kahlua and it was fun to look back on.
    Potter likes this.
  9. Potter

    Potter New Member

    Wow! Thank you for all the quick responses.

    Potter went to the vet today. The vet was impressed by his overall health, and echoed a lot of what I've read and have seen posted here. The Vet was very reassuring, telling me not to worry about him not eating the first few days after such a big move.

    I came off a little too negative about the breeder I believe (I wish everyone could keep their dogs inside and feed them $$$ dog food). The dogs had fresh water, plenty of food, and a kiddie pool to cool off in. (Potter was the only pup to get in the pool while we were there.) I realize in a perfect world every pup would be health checked and neutered, but I don't feel immoral for buying a puppy from a single mom in Oklahoma instead of a sophisticated puppy mill.

    Our monthly budget for food covers him eating 360 cups a month (80lbs). I'd like to stick with Diamond products, I've read rave reviews about their natural line. We're located in mid-Missouri an the stuff is everywhere and reasonably priced. The vet said to keep him on puppy food unless we notice him growing too fast, and recommends neutering at 4 months. I think we'll wait until Potter is 18 months as the vet mentioned some studies coming back about possible negative effects of early neutering.
  10. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to hear that Potter got your vet's approval for health. That is great news! Definitely wait until 18 months to neuter if you can. It can negatively effect his bone and growth development to lose his hormones too early.

    Also just a side note I am absolutely positive nobody on this forum would ever recommend buying from any kind of puppy mill. :)
  11. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear he had a good vet check. Veterinarians don't really get much education about nutrition. A puppy food is fine if it has the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio as mentioned above. Please make sure to check your label. Also make sure to keep a close eye on dog food recalls. I do believe that your area was one with frequent issues with Diamond products.

    I also wanted to clarify. Not one person on this forum would ever suggest getting a puppy from a puppy mill, and they are far from sophisticated. Responsible breeders are the furthest thing from a puppy mill.
    Nik likes this.
  12. Potter

    Potter New Member

    Dog Food Advisor actually has Diamond Puppy as 4 stars and Large Breed as 3 stars, I may switch.

    What are some other options that you'd recommend? I'd like to stay under $1.50/lb.
  13. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Diamond puppy is a chicken formula, so I'd be cautious there. FWIW and my opinion only, I think dog food advisor is a good place to start your own research for a food but I don't take their analysis as law. The person that runs a site is a retired human dentist and has no training in animal nutrition. It says as much on their about page. Their analysis of ingredients is good, but it's really important to use it as a starting point for your own research. What looks good written out doesn't always agree with your dog, so remember to be flexible.

    I'm not one that thinks a grain inclusive food is awful. I do believe that most allergies are from protein sources rather than from grain allergies. I don't buy foods with corn, wheat, or soy but that's because those are fillers and I'd rather not pay for fillers. If you have a Tractor Supply in your area, they have a good selection of affordable foods. I started with 4Health Salmon and Potato for my EM and she did great on it. 4Health is grain inclusive and is manufactured by Diamond, so you have to watch those recalls. 4Health also has a grain free line and I liked it as well. Taste of the Wild is also a good food that's probably within your price range. There's also Costco for other affordable options. I know many like Fromm, Acana, and Earthborn. I like them too, they just didn't work well for all of my dogs.
  14. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Neutering recommended at 4 MONTHS? Yikes!
    I like your pick of 18 months MUCH better! :)

    Instances of hip dysplasia and bone cancers are much higher in dogs that are neutered early, and 4 months is waaaay early. Glad your vet at least is open to waiting, and seems to be hearing more through the professional grapevine on the benefits of waiting.


    Denna is dealing with a CCL tear now, and was spayed earlier than recommended (for many reasons)... there were probably other factors involved in her injury, but the early loss of growth hormones certainly didn't help.
    Nik likes this.
  15. Potter

    Potter New Member

  16. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    Potter is a handsome young pup, you were lucky to find him.

    Like many here, I received my pup from a BYB. The Breeder had a beautiful CC female around 130 lbs, and he met a fellow with a gigantic male (over weight) around 165. In the end, it was a guy-thing....two guys helping their guy dog get it on. Ugh! And, 15 pups later, it didn't seem like such a good idea. Lesson learned. Mom was fixed and all the pups (they hoped) went to good homes. We were one of the lucky pup parents to be chosen. Ours was the last...the smallest...the runt, and, IMHO, the best of the litter. She is smaller than her mom...not as big boned, and certainly more reserved, less aggressive. Mom was fierce until told to stand down. Even our pup looked scared of Mom. When we brought our pup back for a visit, her mom bounded into our van and delivered a head to toe sniff inspection of the pup while our baby looked really scared. I was scared she'd hurt her. On our next trip back to visit them, Bailey wanted to play with her siblings that had been retained by the breeder, but every time she tried, Mom threatened. We never went back.

    We changed her food almost immediately...They were on some low-cost Purina product...we moved her onto Acana large breed puppy and she thrived. I liked what I'd read about it, low temp production, great prey appropriate meats, good balance to support bone and hip growth, no Soy, Wheat, Corn. We were happy with it. As she got older we switched to adult and back and forth from Orijen and Acana and the various flavours. We also added meat to her diet from the family suppers. And, she has thrived. She never got over 120lbs, and the doctor wants her down to 115 (can't really see her last rib now.) She's down to 117...certainly not the monster dog her mother was, and, she never got any size from her dad (Huge!)

    I don't regret her origins, BUT, I do understand the concerns of those here who have seen BYB abuse the bitches and the puppies and won't spend a dime to care for their medical needs. They grind the dogs out with horrible health problems that then become the problem of the new pet parent. Sometimes those problems end in euthanasia. A good breeder chooses their breeding line carefully, they test, they guarantee, they run on their reputations and the love of their breeds. And, they cost money, but, like so many things in life, picking quality saves money in the long run. You and I may have lucked out on the roll of the dice, many others don't.

    I was a little concerned that she was shorter...smaller...not as imposing as her mom, but, she is healthy and happy, and she has a beautiful disposition. AND, funny thing is, everyone else thinks she's huge! Perspective is everything.

    Enjoy your boy, and may you have a long life with him be him, big or small. He's a giant in your family's eyes and You Are A Hero in His!

Share This Page