Training your Mastiff is a lot about developing good habits so your dog knows what is acceptable and what isn’t. Your dog’s behavior isn’t just about teaching them actions to be well mannered, but its also about how your dog lives with you.
If you let them get away with something that isn’t okay, they’ll interpret it positively, and continue the behavior. Each of your responses to your dog’s actions is a message. If you respond correctly to certain things, it will shape their actions, and in turn, you will be training them for success.
What to Teach Your Mastiff
When it comes to obedience training, there’s a lot you can teach your dog. Let’s focus on the simpler aspects of training. These behaviors are needed for your dog to function at an acceptable level in public.
• Make sure your dog knows who’s boss. Mastiffs naturally like to lead, and they may assume that role if you don’t draw a clear line. Be strict when you command them but make sure you’re careful and calm at the same time. You want to establish a semblance of control with your dog, but yelling won’t get you very far. Your Mastiff will just get scared and won’t follow you.
• Basic commands are another area of training that is necessary. This will include things like not to nip and potty training.
• Obedience training isn’t complete without a leash. Take your dog on frequent walks while he is leashed. This will further cement you as the leader in his eyes. Always praise your dog for following your lead.
• Treat time is important too! Treats should only be given as rewards for a dog following your command. You don’t want them to become overly reliant on treats, or worse if treats aren’t earned, they’ll lose value. A great example of this is training your dog to sit. Every time he listens, give him a treat. Another tactic you can use is to show the treat to your dog and then ask him to perform an action. It can serve as motivation for a reward if he chooses to listen.
• Expose your dog to other people and animals. This is a more social aspect of obedience training, but important, nonetheless. Socializing your dog will lower his aggression towards anyone friendly. Allowing your dog to be pet by strangers is a great way to help them determine who is harmful and who isn’t. When you are with your dog in a group setting, make sure you maintain the fact that you’re in control. Also, being around your Mastiff regularly will help with social training. This is because they get anxious when they’re left alone for long periods of time.
Training a Mastiff can be quite different from training other breeds. They’re a lot quieter and calmer than a smaller, more energetic dog. The usual methods of dog training like playing fetch or going for a run won’t appeal to them but you can always try.
Proper Mastiff training is essential if you want them to be at their best as household pets and protectors. They’ll not only benefit you but also benefit society if they’re well trained and obedient.