There are a few things you should consider before just jumping right in. Mastiff puppies are adorable and will capture your heart instantly so, before you pick him/her up and take her home, let’s first talk about how shopping for a mastiff should first begin.
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How Does Finding a Quality Mastiff Work?
An easy way is to take a look at the local breeder market, but be aware that a local breeder may be convenient but it may not necessarily quality. A quality breeder, serious about her profession, who truly cares for her mastiffs and is one that you can trust is worth the extra travel. So please consider finding a “quality” breeder, because you’re not just purchasing a new addition to your family, but also instituting a relationship with a breeder that can help you avoid many of the pitfalls of Mastiff ownership. Trust in the word of mouth. Visit some dog local dog shows on the weekend and talk to those showing off their Mastiffs. They will either be a breeder or know of a quality breeder and, of course, they love to talk endlessly about their passion.
You might even approach the winning Mastiff owner and say something like; “Hi, Congratulations on the win. You obviously know your breed. I’m in the market for a Mastiff pup and was wondering if you can give some advice on where I can find a quality breeder. You can count on this advice because these types of people do not want second-rate breeders perpetuating inferior Mastiff Puppies. You’ll definitely get several business cards from different breeders so by the end of the show you will have a number of recommendations and a proper direction to a reputable Mastiff Breeder.
The Follow Up
Now that you have some leads on some breeders, it’s time to do the follow-up. When you call the breeder, you want to get a feel for the breeders’ attitude about their profession, their ethics, and their commitment to the Mastiff breed. Introduce yourself and express your interest in the mastiff breed. A few good questions to ask are; “How long have you been in the business of breeding mastiffs”, “Do your pup’s come registered”, “Do your mastiff puppies come vaccinated”. These types of questions will inevitably get you into a conversation with the breeder.
If you find the breeder is more concerned about the monetary value of the dog then you can assume that the commitment to the Mastiff breed and the love of their vocation is not quite strong enough. You’re looking for a breeder that has a passion for their Mastiff; they can brag about their bloodline, intelligence, and beauty of their puppies. A reputable Mastiff breeder should put you at ease about the idea of your new venture to purchase a pup.
Ensure to go through your entire list of leads, because the decision to make a new addition to your family should not be taken lightly. When you finally find a mastiff breeder that you are at ease with, that should have a litter available or is expecting make an appointment to go see them. A reputable breeder will be more than accommodating to set up an appointment (after all it is their business). Be prepared to answer questions about yourself, a good breeder that has a love for his/her Mastiffs will want to ensure that they are going to a good home.
I’m not kidding, be prepared. You might even ask the breeder when making the appointment if you should bring anything. A good breeder may seem to be interrogating you with questions, so don’t be offended; he does not know otherwise.
While visiting with the breeder feel free to ask just as many questions. A few good ones are: What got him started into breeding Mastiffs? Do you primarily breed Mastiffs for show or for pets? Ask about any health issues that are associated with Mastiffs or their particular bloodline. Every breed is known to have certain health concerns, so it’s always best to know before adopting since you can take preventative measures. Also, ask the breeder what is the Mastiff’s single characteristic is; by doing so your also quizzing the breeder and getting insight into his reputation and his thinking about the breed.
Making the Final Decision
Your calling and visiting of various breeders will narrow your choices in who to purchase your Mastiff from. I recommend prioritizing your list of potential breeders to buy from. At this point, you’re just about set to choose your Mastiff puppy. The breeders on your list may have a current litter available for the picking, in which case you may need to wait until other customers that made arrangements before you to make their pick. Most likely you would be placed on a waiting list of buyers for the new litter.
I know it can be a bit irritating to wait for a puppy, especially when you want to enjoy it NOW, but I would view this as a good thing. It signifies that you have made the proper choice of breeder and will give you a chance to puppy-proof your house and prepare for your new addition. Otherwise, if you really feel that the wait for a new puppy is excessive with your first choice of breeder, you can always work down your prioritized list of mastiff breeders and find one that has an available litter.
It was a long time coming but finally, you get the call you’ve been waiting for. The Mastiff pups are ready for viewing. Usually, the puppy will be about eight to ten weeks old and will demonstrate their various personalities. Bring up your entire family for this viewing session and you’ll also be able to see how the mastiff puppies interact with everyone.
Your decision on the Mastiff pup will be in line with the reason for your purchase. If you have plans on showing the Mastiff at shows, or plan on breeding the Mastiff later on then you will most definitely want your choice to meet the show ‘standards’ of the breed (you can find these standards in my book; Mastiff Mastery) otherwise if you’re not into showing or breeding, and are simply looking for a loyal family pet, then by all means pick the Mastiff puppy you all fall in love with.
With your decision made on the pup, the breeder will guide you through the purchase and sign the breeder-owner agreements (for more information on the agreements to be signed at purchase check out my book; Mastiff Mastery). Depending on your picks age, you may not take him home from the initial visit as he still requires time with his mom. Your kids might be disappointed but it gives them something to look forward to, and it gives you plenty of time to prepare yourself, home, and family for your new arrival.
Have a great time with your new Mastiff!