First time mastiff owner questions.

Discussion in 'General Mastiff Discussion' started by Tia Joelle Oquist, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. Tia Joelle Oquist

    Tia Joelle Oquist New Member

    I have an intact 5mo English Mastiff male. He just recently within the last week started not listening to commands, acting like a brat etc. Is this because he's maturing and has more testosterone? I've been thinking of finally getting into leash training with a prong collar ((he hasn't done well with any other collar/harness.)) Maybe that would help with obediance?

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  2. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Well-Known Member

    Hi Tia,
    They go through various developmental stages and phases. I think constant and continuous training and practice are key. They can certainly be stubborn at times. At this young age he‘s far from being mature, so there will be ups and down. Have you thought about some formal training with a professional trainer?
    Apart from that, read as much as you can from credible sources and ask specific questions of the very experienced owners on this forum. Nothing you describe seems to be out of the form. They will test boundaries.
    Bailey's Mom likes this.
  3. glen

    glen Super Moderator Staff Member

    Totally normal, my eldest was so stubborn, train train and more training, if never used a prong collar, patience and be consistent stay calm and he will come through.
    Bailey's Mom likes this.
  4. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Agree with Tyler Durden and Glen. Totally normal. I do not think a 5 month old pup needs a prong. I would stay away from any trainer that tells you you do. In my opinion. Can you give specific examples of his lack of obedience? Sorry. That's an awkward way to say it. Tell us what you've tried to get him to do, how you've tried to teach him (including how you corrected, etc), and what he does when asked to do these things. Videos would be great too.
    Bailey's Mom likes this.
  5. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    Sorry to tell you this, but it's a problem with this breed. Bullmastiffs have the same problem. My Bullmastiff puppy ignored me from the very beginning. He's actually quite smart at figuring things out, so it's not a question of intelligence, it's an obedience problem. They know what you want but they don't want to do it. My American Bulldogs were a lot more obedient than that. On top of that, the Mastiff and Bullmastiff don't take well to compulsion. If you hit them, they will take it personally and obey you even less. It's going to take motivation and creativity.
    Bailey's Mom likes this.
  6. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    They don't always know what you want. Many times they're guessing. It's also important to understand that just because your dog "knows" the cue in your living room doesn't mean they know it elsewhere.
    glen likes this.
  7. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure he knows what I want most of the time. He's one of the smartest dogs I've had. I have experience in obedience. I put several title on my American Bulldog including an obedience title where he had to heel off leash for a 50 yard pattern and set of certain commands, snake through a crowd of people, and do a long down while another dog was doing the entire routine. I think this Bullmastiff puppy of mine is actually smarter at figuring things out, but he is bored easily and more independent minded.
  8. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you know your dog best. My reply wasn't to say that you were wrong, but to put another perspective out there for the original poster.
  9. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Have you tried NILF training (nothing in life is free)? If stubbornness and intelligence is causing the disobedience in my experience consistent NILF training is the only thing that works. And for smart stubborn dogs it works very very well. My Diesel is one of those. He constantly wonders whats in it for him. That's a fair question if you think about it but NILF gives him a permanent answer to that question and really helps with the obedience. Now in public especially while the dog is young you do have to worry about distractions because what you have to offer may not be as good as the other thing the dog is going for out in public. But if you can prove to your dog that you have better things to offer and that those things absolutely have to be earned every time then your dog will learn to obey. Also if you already do all of this sorry for the rehash but it may be helpful for someone else looking through prior threads. :)
  10. Francesca

    Francesca Member

    I have a female and she's the same way. This breed is dominate and head strong which is good for some things and bad for others. Lots and lots of Patience, self control and routine. Over and over, consistence and training and your pup will slowly mature into a more obedient pal. Also I would never spay or neuter a growing pup, esp. a large breed dog. Hormones play an important part of healthy growing potential. At least wait until 18 months or longer if you feel you must.
    Loverboy Skyline likes this.
  11. Francesca

    Francesca Member

    Oh I forgot to answer the question. I would only use and regular choke chain on a pup that young. If it's not working you maybe using it wrong or just getting frustrated and making a chain reaction. Maybe try a whole head harness that directs his whole head. Prongs on such a young pup might bring a fear factor into the training and you would not want a fearful dog. Good luck!
    Loverboy Skyline likes this.
  12. Tia Joelle Oquist

    Tia Joelle Oquist New Member

    Thank you! :) it's been a challenge but hes worth all the effort. I planned on keeping him intact unless a health issue arose, as for the others here since I didnt want to make separate replies for all, I dont swat my dog. I honestly dont have the heart for that, I've tried positive reinforcement mostly and if he really acts up ((he has an issue with biting my hands,)) I give him the silent treatment and when I revisit and he can go without hand chewing, he gets a chew toy and some positive words.
  13. Smokeycat

    Smokeycat Well-Known Member

    This brings back memories. Kryten hit that stage at 8 months old. He went from a well behaved, if stubborn, puppy to completely untrained almost over night. What worked best for me was being more stubborn than he was. Some things he 'remembered' quickly since he had always had to do them from day 1 others took time and persistence. There was one walk that I connected his leash to a light pole because he was refusing to stop pulling and then walked ahead of him. He instantly stopped pulling and looked behind him and then sat down and just looked at me. He started listening after that on that walk. I do use a prong but I wouldn't recommend it for a puppy but if you choose to go that route just make sure that you know how to use it safely.
  14. Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave Well-Known Member

    Putting pennies or little dry gravel in a tin can with lid and, after dropping it on the mastiff's back a few times, just shaking it gets an immediate response. Sometimes I toss a little pebble at his side to get him in the house, and it works. I really recommend the pennies in a tin can....awesome response. Mastiff's love to please, but..always in "mastiff timing" which is slow.
  15. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Sorry Pastor Dave, but I really don't like using a shaker can, and never for a puppy. I know that it has been used in temperament tests, but that's not the same as how most people use it when "correcting" their dog. It was a widely used correction technique a lot of years ago, but we've learned more about dog behavior and positive training since then. Using a noise or a touch to get attention isn't a bad thing, but it should be used to gain attention only and then go on to positively teach the dog that paying attention to us is the best thing ever. If one does choose to use a shaker can to gain attention (only, and not my first choice), it should never touch the dog. If you have a rock solid dog it may do no harm. Other dogs become hand shy, noise phobic, they can begin to associate unpleasant things with their owners being near - I could list more. Most dogs find it highly aversive. Again - using it as a sound interrupter (softly and never on the dog) could be useful, but then it's important to make the transfer of attention to you the best thing ever. Rewarding what you want is how you get reliable behaviors. I also think there are much better and more effective means for gaining attention.

    I've heard shaker can usage likened to clicker training. They are completely opposite. The shaker can is used to mark inappropriate behavior. A clicker marks appropriate behavior. Anyway ... I've used sound interrupters with great success with very anxious dogs, but it has to be done carefully and not as a punishment. Always show your dog what you DO want. As an aside - I've worked with dogs that find the noise of the clicker scary, so that can be a thing. In that case I use a marker word.
    BattleDax and glen like this.
  16. mmmcc

    mmmcc Well-Known Member

    my cc George started to demonstrate good behaviour just recently when he hit 2. Much harder to train than all dogs I had interaction before. Definitely hard headed, stubborn and wilful breed.
    It took me much longer to train him basic obedience . They maturing really late and only now I see he is showing some protective instinct and I can work with him on that.
    My advise to be ready to spend much more time on training if you getting cane corso. BTW, prong didn't work for him and the best currency for him is chinese fortune cookie!
  17. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Absolutely agree about the punishment. They will make you pay if you hit them, and it take a long time to undo that damage. This is a dog breed that needs to know that you are always going to be reliable in your reactions. Repetition, repetition and never, ever take it personally. Part of their charm and the protective nature finds it's strength in thinking situations through, they are not an attack first type, they are a watch you and watch you and watch you before they choose a course of action. Collaboration is what is needed. Calm, deliberate teaching and consistent rewards for their collaboration. It worked for Bailey...and she is one stubborn pup.

    I can tell Bailey 10 times to come, and she won't, she'll just stand there and stare at me. She doesn't like orders, but if I invite her over with a slap on my knee and a smile, now it is cooperative and she runs to join me. Because I so rarely issue ORDERS, when I do turn demanding and back up my request with a loud "NOW!", I get immediate compliance. We are a team...we both listen to each other's needs and wants. She wants do I.
  18. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    Yes, that kind of stuff works for my puppy too. Unfortunately, if you want to put some kind of obedience title on your dog, he needs to obey swiftly without you repeating the command or using hand gestures. I don't think it will be impossible, but it will take more time and patience to get there than it will with most breeds.

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