Mastiff puppies must learn social skills

You only have a very limited timeframe in which to help your mastiff puppy develop his essential social skills.

In Weeks 1 to 12 of his young life, your mastiff puppy will learn most of his sensory and motor skills. What he learns about his owner and other humans, interacting with a variety of people, other animals, and even places – these lessons will imprint on his brain, and will probably stay with him for the rest of his life.

It stands to reason, then, to devote as much of your time and energies as possible developing a close and loving bond between dog and owner and family. Get as much physical contact as you can, in play and in rest. Develop a planned timetable for these vital weeks, so that puppy Mastiff gets used to a routine from an early age.

Even a young puppy needs grooming, and this is a great opportunity to get close and personal. Grooming should take place at the time appointed on the timetable i.e. a fixed time each day. Not every young puppy will welcome grooming, but gentle perseverance will win him over. Never shout or speak sharply at this stage – all communication should be gentle and kind.

Get him out in public as early and as much as possible, but avoid any situation that might pose a threat to a sensitive young dog mastiff puppy. Make a conscious decision to visit several locations a week, and introduce your young mastiff to many different people, so that he learns to cope with this strange animal that is Human, and gets used to the noise and bustle of daily life. And of course, see that he also gets to meet other non-threatening animals and dogs.

If at any time you sense that he is getting distressed or fearful, pick him up and gently reassure him that all is right, and try to put him back in the situation so that he accepts that he can cope, that his fears were unfounded.

The puppy will quickly learn to mirror your emotions, so always remain calm and in control, and he will imitate these attitudes. Avoid bad temper and angry words in his presence.

Often in his third month the young mastiff puppy may go through a “fearful” period of 2 or 3 weeks, when he can easily get distressed. If this happens, it is best to keep him away from any situation likely to very busy or noisy.

If you follow these simple guidelines, then your young mastiff will be on his way to being socialized, so that he can be a faithful and confident companion by your side.