Pitbull Mastiff is a big dog that also looks tough to strangers. But in reality, it is a gentle and friendly breed that has high levels of protective instinct. In fact, this combination of gentleness and fierce loyalty is what makes these pets so endearing to dog owners.
History of Pitbull Mastiff
As the name suggests, this dog is a mix between the Pitbull and Mastiff dog breeds. The puppies got through the cross breeding of these two breeds is called Pitbull Mastiff, and tends to have the traits of both its parents. Let’s take a step back in history to learn about these two unique dog breeds.
Who are the Parents?
Pitbulls were reared originally for blood sports. In medieval times, it was common to pitch these dogs against one another to see the winner in a truly blood curling fight. Besides such sports, pitbulls were also raised for baiting bears. Many years of adaptation to these activities have made pitbulls brave, ferocious and even aggressive.
At the same time, Pitbulls never bite their handlers, which means, there is almost little to no possibility for Pitbulls to bite humans. Over time, Pitbulls came to be used in hunting games and as a guard for one’s home and farm. As a result of all these activities, Pitbulls today are large, loyal, affectionate and brave breed that fiercely protects the family to which they belong.
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The Mastiff is a well-built large dog that is found pretty much everywhere in the world. Like the Pitbull, it is also used for blood sports, hunting, guarding the house and even as a war dog, at times. Though this breed was popular in England during the 1800s, the two World Wars completely wiped out this breed from England. Later, they were revived due to the presence of puppies that migrated to Canada, along with its owners during the war.
When these two well-known breeds are combined together, we get Pitbull Mastiff that have the traits of both the parents. So, they are tall, well-built, loyal dogs, brave and are the best guards in the world.
If you think the Pitbull Mastiff is a ferocious and aggressive dog, due to the adaptations made by its parents and their predecessors, you’ll be completely surprised. In fact, these dogs are anything but aggressive, considering the fighting and hunting history of both the parents.
These dogs are highly intelligent and watchful, again two traits that they have imbibed from their parental history. But, these qualities only make the dog ideal for guarding the house and family. They can understand your thought just by looking at you and know how to modify their behavior, based on your mood.
Another unique aspect of this breed is that it has lots of energy, which means, the family members can actively play with it all the time. This is the ideal dog for the outdoors. It can go on long runs, hikes or walks with you and can be an enjoyable companion.
At the same time, these dogs need constant companionship. Never leave them alone for extended periods of time, as they will start suffering from separation anxiety. If you do that frequently, it can make them sick and can even affect them mentally and emotionally.
This dog is good with children, though some amount of supervision is needed during the initial stages. Also, these dogs tend to be a little aggressive while playing, so it may not be ideal to leave your children with the dog without supervision.
Never keep other animals or pets near this dog because the basic hunting instinct of Pitbull Mastiff can prove to be harmful to these other creatures. In fact, it is not even a good idea to have another dog near a Pitbull Mastiff, as this could lead to violent wars.
Unfortunately, this instinct runs in the blood of these dogs, so they can be quite difficult to socialize with non-humans. Probably, this lack of trust was necessary back them for the blood-oozing dog wars, but sadly that trait continues to remain even now. This is why these dogs are ideal as the only pet of the family, and having another dog or pet is not such a good idea.
If you already have other pets, you will have to introduce them slowly to this breed to avoid attacks.
Things You Should Know
This dog breed requires lots of exercise for good health. Since they have high levels of energy, take them outdoors and play with them often. Such activities are also a great way to bond with your dog and to create a sense of trust in it.
- Health Problems
Health problems are inherent in every living being, and this dog breed is no different. A lot of the problems faced by Pitbull Mastiff is hereditary and is more evident during old age than during the younger years. Sometimes, health problems also occur through neglect.
Here is a list of the health problems common to this dog breed.
Pitbull Mastiffs are big eaters, as they are genetically predisposed to large meals to gain the strength necessary for their physical activities.
However, if you don’t give the dog enough activities, then the possibility for obesity is quite high. The pounds will pile on without activity and before you know it, the dog would be obese.
One way to avoid this problem is to give lots of exercise for your dog, and through it, to yourself as well! At the same time, avoid overfeeding your dog.
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Like humans, dogs can also get tumors, and possibly even cancer. It mostly occurs during old age, but the possibility of contracting tumors early in life cannot be ruled out completely.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing much you can do when your dog gets tumors except provide good medical treatment and lots of love. Most of the times, the tumors and cancers are treated through immunotherapy, and in the worst case, you can take them for chemotherapy.
- Kidney failure
Kidney failure is another common disease that will plague the Pitbull Mastiff breed. Though it could affect other dogs too, the chances for this breed to have kidney failures is higher because of their genetic predisposition.
Intake of toxic food for many years, dental diseases, feeding of spoiled or tainted foods and some medications can cause toxicity to build up in the kidneys. When the filters are unable to send them out, these toxins enter the blood and cause severe diseases, including even death.
As a pet owner, it is important to ensure that you always feed good and healthy foods to your dog and not give unnecessary medications to help avoid such kidney problems.
- Skin diseases
Another common disease that is likely to affect your Pitbull Mastiff at any time is skin infections and diseases. It is estimated that more than 160 different medical conditions affect this breed of dogs. Some of these are curable, but others are not. Likewise, some of them may be mild, while others are more serious and take a long time to cure.
The most common problems you’ll face will be infections and itchiness on the skin folds. Allergies, sores and dull coats are other problems you’ll see in these dogs.
- Cardiovascular diseases
The size and eating habits can determine the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Generally speaking, three kinds of cardiovascular diseases affect these dogs, and they are, myocardial, valvular and heartworm. Out of these three, the first two are incurable, while you can mitigate the third one with proper medical intervention and medication at the right time.
Besides these common conditions, your dog may also experience other conditions such as bloating, indigestion, hip dysplasia and more.
If you see discomfort in your dog, it is best to take it to the veterinarian right away.
A healthy and balanced diet is essential for your Pitbull Mastiff to stay healthy and strong for a long time.
In general, this breed of dog is a good eater and on an average, requires more food than other breeds. They typically need about 4.5 to 6 cups of dog food daily. You can spread them over two to three meals as well.
You can serve three types of food to your dog.
- Raw dog foods
High quality raw dog foods are the best possible diet because this is what your dog is used to during its hunting days. Though these dogs are domesticated and docile now, their food preferences hardly change.
You can opt for healthy and even organic natural foods, depending on what’s most convenient for you and your dog. Since this food is not cooked and no preservatives are added, it tends to be high in nutrients and minerals. Though there is always the possibility of bacterial infections, especially from strands such as E.coli and salmonella, it usually never happens unless you handle the food badly.
- Homemade foods
These are foods that are cooked at home using the available ingredients on hand. The obvious advantage with these foods is that you can give more variety to your dog, or that’s what you might want to believe, because in reality, the dog’s taste buds are not as highly developed as humans.
This means, you can cook a variety of cuisines for your dog, but it may not be able to tell the difference. That said, what you want to give your dog is up to you, but it has to be healthy and nutritious.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is cleanliness. prepare on a clean food surface with washed vessels to avoid infections from bacteria and other microorganisms.
- Dog foods
Probably, the easiest way to give your dogs a wholesome and healthy meal is to opt for premium dog foods that are available in the market.
It contains all the essential nutrients for your dog and is in a form that can be digested easily. It is also easy on you, as there is no cooking or cleaning involved for you.
The exact type of food you give depends on your convenience and the dog’s preferences. Regardless of the type of food you choose, ensure that it is healthy and supplies all the essential nutrients to your dog. Also, make sure it is done on a clean surface.
Take a look at our article on the Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters.
Training a Pitbull Mastiff requires time, effort and patience. Since this dog has leadership traits and a strong personality, it is important that you are firm and ensure that the dog listens to you. It is like how you will treat an adamant child and teach discipline. You will have to handle your dog the same way too.
But this doesn’t mean you should get physical with the dog. All that you need is firmness and should show no kind of weakness or hesitation. Due to the breed’s natural instincts, it will try to take control over any situation, and you should never allow it. In fact, you should always be in control during the entire training session to ensure that your dog is a well-trained and well-disciplined pet.
It is easier to train a puppy than an adult dog, because many qualities and personality are not set when the dog is young.
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Keep these aspects in mind and train your dog with lots of love, patience and firmness.
In short, a Pitbull Mastiff is a unique breed that comes from two parents – Pitbull and Mastiff. Since both its parents are well-built and strong, this crossbreed also tends to be strong and has high levels of energy. Just like its parents, it is brave, ferocious, loyal and makes for a great companion. It is also one of the best breeds to guard your house, as this is what the dog has been doing for many centuries before its role changed as a companion.
The temperament of these dogs are slightly different from other breeds. They do not prefer to socialize with anyone else except humans and yearn for you when you’re not around. Training them can be hard considering their strong and dominating nature, but there is nothing that cannot be achieved with love and patience.
- Paula Fitzsimmons, Mastiff, PetMD
- 9 Facts About Pit Bulls that Will Make You Go “Hmm.”, Found Animals
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