Special Aspects of Raising a Mastiff Puppy
Even a small Mastiff is destined to be a large dog. This is something that must be taken into consideration when rearing it. As a puppy, your Mastiff should not be allowed to do anything that you would not wish your full grown Mastiff to do, such as laying on the couch. And because your puppy is going to be such a large dog, it is also a very, very good idea that it receive, at a minimum, basic obedience training. You DO NOT want a 200 pound dog that won't listen to you; this can lead to obvious problems.
Mastiffs grow at such an astonishing rate that it is best not to force their growth with artificial vitamins and calcium supplements. A good quality dog food is all that they require. A Mastiff is going to get as large as it is going to be, genetically, anyway; allowing them to grow at their own pace will give them a more stable foundation once they get there. Many breeders recommend NOT feeding a 'puppy chow' beyond the first few months due to the high protein content.
During growth periods your Mastiff puppy is subject to joint injury. You will need to be especially careful during these times to control excessive exercise. A puppy may play at its own rate but should not be encouraged to take long walks, jump obstacles, or any other exercise that will stress the joints. This is not to say the puppy has to be confined. Just use caution and do not allow it to over exert itself. After about 18 months the growth rate has decreased and the puppy has just about reached its full stature.
A Mastiff remains a puppy much longer than most breeds. Even though a Mastiff is already quite large by the time it is 6 months old, it is still growing and maturing rapidly. A Mastiff does not reach its full physical or mental maturity until around 3 years of age.
You will be surprised at how much a Mastiff puppy will drink. Fresh water should be kept available at all times. Drool will accumulate in the bottom of the pup's water dish. Since the pup will not drink its own drool, the dish should be rinsed out at least daily.
All puppies love to chew. Mastiffs have very powerful jaws, even as a puppy. Some chew toys that are fine for other breeds may not be suitable for your Mastiff. Caution should be used when choosing toys or chew bones because the pup could bite off pieces and swallow them, resulting in intestinal blockage.
Mastiff puppies also have a tendency to chew, or swallow, rocks and sticks.
They should be watched closely and discouraged from doing so.