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Old 11-08-2011, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,258 posts, read 7,240,458 times
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I am looking for real advice and feedback from previous or current owners of an American Mastiff. I've been reading a lot about the breed and it seems like the dog and my family would make a good match for each other.

About me: I live in a decent size house sitting on an acre in a rural setting. I do have a 4yo daughter who loves big dogs. I currently have a 10yo yellow lab who is great and I don't think I could ask for a better dog. However, she's getting old with numerous fatty tumors (vet said not to be worried but to continue to watch them but more and more continue to pop up.). I don't know how much longer she'll live. She is still active and doesn't appear to be in any pain.

I enjoy having a dog and don't want to have too much of a delay in getting a new dog as I think it would be easier on my daughter. I'm doing a lot of reading now because it appears to be about a year on a waiting list for an AM. A lot of what I have read is on a breeder's website. I have read very little from other sources which is why I'm looking for opinions from actual owners to verify if what I've read about the breed to be correct.

Please give your experiences and feel free to ask questions that might help whether about an AM or my lab.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:24 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,731,988 times
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well there not a "breed" so its tough, they were origonally planed to be a breed, mixing the english mastiff with an anatolian in an attempt to reduce drooling and the hip problems that come with the english masitff.

being unrecognized theres still alot of variance within the dogs produced depending on what kind of generation there breeding (an eng mastif to an anatolian litter wil be differetn than an english mastif to an eng x anatolian, which would result differently still from an anatolian x english to anatolian x english...

that being said you would get a very large dog, tendency to be very protective and standoffish with strangers, great with kids and typically good with livestock.
youll need to provide extensive socilization and a strong but KIND hand with consistent training through the entire life of the dog! which is going to be a little on the short side compared to other breeds, anatolians are a little longer lived than english mastiffs but being both giants they both tend to be a little shorter lived.
expect a VERY VERY active and potentially destructive puppy (no stuff on the coffee table it will be knocked off accidentally) and then as an adult itll realy depend on which side the dog takes after, english mastif tend to be couch potatoes, anatolians are working livestock guardians...so it could go to either extreem or anywhere in between.

youll have to be very carefull about over feeding, no forced excersize for the first 2 years (ie jogging on pavement) but still provide enough physical and mental stimulation to keep the dog properly worked. mastif are a guardian breed, anatolians are a livestock guardian breed, both bred to WORK so youll need to attend that.
anatolians are prone to being barky and wanderers so youd need a proper fence around your property at least 5 ft high, and the iunderground fence wont keep them in...NEVER rely on an LGD to stay home...there bred to cover VAST acerage every day, and 1 acre isnt remotly enough to keep an anatolian or anatolian mix home...

all in all id be very warey with a breeder puprosly breeding any mixed breed, check what health testing is being done, given both breeds propensities to hip and elbow issues id want to see OFA for both on both parents at very minimum. and given giants arnt physically mature untill 2 years old i wouldnt want to support a breeder breeding 2 yr old dogs in these kinds of breeds, 2 ys old is the norm in most breeds but giants take alot longer to mature and are still puppies at 2, id make sure momma is at least 3 yrs old

theres certainly potential for an amazing family dog with the anatolian x mastiff mix, but definatly not a dog for someone used to "easy" dogs. youd need to be prepeared for a very strong willed hard headed dog, both anatolians and english mastiff are very smart but can be hard to train becuase they are hard headed and strong wiled.

ive not had personal eperience with the "american mastiff" but i do have expereince with both Anatolians and Eng Mastiff.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,258 posts, read 7,240,458 times
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THANK YOU for the very informative post!

Quote:
you would get a very large dog, tendency to be very protective and standoffish with strangers, great with kids and typically good with livestock.
This is one of the reasons I'm wanting an AM. My job requires me to be away sometimes and although I do have a security system I know there's no better protection for the family than a large dog. I know my Lab, bless her heart, is so sweet that although she would bark (if she woke up) at the sound of an intruder just would run and hide and not actually protect my family. I'm not looking for a guard dog which will attack on command but I do think it would be nice to have a dog that would attack if there was a threat.

Quote:
youll have to be very carefull about over feeding, no forced excersize for the first 2 years (ie jogging on pavement) but still provide enough physical and mental stimulation to keep the dog properly worked.
This won't be a problem as I hate jogging. However, I'm frequently home during the day working outside and my lab is always with me outside playing in the yard free to roam.

Quote:
anatolians are prone to being barky and wanderers so youd need a proper fence around your property at least 5 ft high, and the iunderground fence wont keep them in...NEVER rely on an LGD to stay home...there bred to cover VAST acerage every day, and 1 acre isnt remotly enough to keep an anatolian or anatolian mix home...
What about if the breed was mostly mastiff? I don't have a fence and don't plan on installing one since the dog will be kept indoors with the family. I do like how my lab will stay in the yard by herself even if I go inside only to leave the yard to greet a walking neighbor and return home. Is it not possible to train a mastiff to stay in the yard without my presence and no restraint?

Quote:
but definatly not a dog for someone used to "easy" dogs. youd need to be prepeared for a very strong willed hard headed dog, both anatolians and english mastiff are very smart but can be hard to train becuase they are hard headed and strong wiled.
I feel like my lab was extremely easy to train. I did spend a lot of time training her as a puppy (a lot more time than others I know with labs but the behavior differences show.) but she was my first dog which is why I chose a lab. I've learned a lot over the years about training from my dog and lots of reading so I'm fairly certain training a more stubborn dog won't be an issue. I just don't want a dog that's not able to be trained. Example:
I love the fact my lab goes potty in the woods and never in the yard.
I love the fact my lab will stay in the yard without my presence.
I love the fact my lab will respond to hand motions (just an example. I don't require a dog to respond to hand motions. I just wanted to see if I could train my lab to do so.)
I love the fact my lab can go places with me and be around strangers and still respond to commands even though she's excited about being in a new place.

Is an AM able to be trained as well as my lab is even though it make take a while to overcome the bullheadedness?
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:17 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,352 posts, read 16,787,412 times
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aaahhhh .... another one of those designer breeds......

yaaaayyyy....
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,258 posts, read 7,240,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latetotheparty View Post
aaahhhh .... another one of those designer breeds......

yaaaayyyy....
I don't think so since the "breed" has been around for 30 years.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:27 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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are they trainable, absolutly both dogs in the breeds gentic maeup are increidbly smart.

would i EVER alow a dog such as a mastif mix free roam of an unfenced yard NO, never, no matter how well trained.

i dont agree with letting dogs roam even on 20 acres in the country side unless its perimiter fenced...
as it is right now i live in a town of 305 people, the average lot size is 2 1/2 acres and theres a house down the road with 3 or 4 dogs that live in the unfenced yard. ive lived in this house for less than a month and ive seen 2 of the dogs get hit, one returning home with a serious injury to the leg (no weight on the leg) one dog whome i can only assume was theres dead on the side of the road and almost hit 2 of the dogs myself...i looked up thier tax card the house has 25 acres, yet the dogs still spend most of their time in the frnt yard and aparently IN the road, this is not some busy town or main highway...dogs are living feeling thinking animals, mastifs are living thinking feeling animals with STRONG drives...id NEVER EVER leave a mastif alone outside anyway, but an unfenced yard...liability asking to happen.

get a fence, even if its just a small area to be fenced in for when you cant be out there to supervise the dog...

think of it this way...a sweet old lab wanders off to go visit the neighbors and most pople will recognize it as a sweet old lab and send it on its way...
a HUGE mastif mix however goes wanderin off to visit the neighbors, its likley to get shot in a rural area...

Quote:
I love the fact my lab goes potty in the woods and never in the yard.
I love the fact my lab will stay in the yard without my presence.
I love the fact my lab will respond to hand motions (just an example. I don't require a dog to respond to hand motions. I just wanted to see if I could train my lab to do so.)
I love the fact my lab can go places with me and be around strangers and still respond to commands even though she's excited about being in a new place.
since id NEVER EVER suggest allowing your dog to roam about unsupervised, especially a mastif mix, strick your first 2 loves off the list...keep him in the yard and deal with picking up the poop and never assume this "breed" will stay home if your not there to supervise.

hand motions or any ofrm of sign lnguage is ctually EASIER for a dog to learn, ANY dog can be taught to respond to visual cues as long as they can see and given theres no human garble (dogs done speak human) to confuse them its actually a MUCH easier method than voice training...so this is aboslutly doable.

taking your dog everywhere and having it well focused...
well taking a mastif mix anywhere is going to be interesting...your dogs going to have its own personality but depending on which side it takes after youll either get a dog who is quiet, reserved and wants NOTHING to do with strangers but will focus well on you (assuming properly trained and socilized) you could however get a very frinedly dog (english mastiff are the most outgoing of the mastif breeds) with a tendency to "selectivly hear", or you could end up with a dog who doesnt like strangers at all with a possibilty of agression...
the latter is generally the result of a lack of socilization and training, generally this personality could be turned into the "ignores strangers" with the right time and training from you...
i wouldnt expect however a Lab like personality...this mix will be about as far from a people pleasing doofy lab as you can get...

and no its NOT a breed...
its a MUTT...
the guy who origionally thought up the mix was hiping to establish strong multi generations and turn it into a breed...but he never suceeded, the dogs didnt breed true and most people breeidng them today are stil breeding F1 and F2 gens which means they are NOT a breed, and still dont breed true...

to get this dog to be a dedicated breed of its own youd have to have a number of breeders involved in breeding F4 or higher (meaning american mastiff to american mastiff for at least 4 generations with no outcross to the english or the anatolian) and ALL The puppies form these breeders were comming out uniformly, same coat type, colors, head shape, body structure size ect...

as it stands right now this simply isnt the case, there breeding first generations (anatolian to english) the pups are NOT uniform comming out with vaying degrees of physical traits and the personality and temperment is still unable to be correctly defined because some pups take 1 side some the other and the rest are in varying degrees in between...

it is a designer MUTT...
started with good intentions yes (just like the labradoodle was) but is in all a "failed experiment" the origional breder abandoned and got picked up b the byb fad market, trying to sell a unpredictable product (you cannot predict what the puppies wil turn out to be like from this mix) as a predictable item, touting "good hips and no drooling" as selling points when thefact of the matter is, they cant guarentee anythign about this "breed"

again if your seriously interested finding a reputatble breeder is you frist step and at the very minimum you want multi generation (am mastif to am mastif) with OFA scores on at least 3 generations.

Last edited by foxywench; 11-09-2011 at 10:39 AM..
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:59 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,352 posts, read 16,787,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underPSI View Post
I don't think so since the "breed" has been around for 30 years.

is it a recognized breed or a "breed"?
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,258 posts, read 7,240,458 times
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The Continental Kennel Club recognized the AM as a purebred in 2000.

Another question, is it better to get a new dog while my lab is still alive or is it better to wait? My lab loves all dogs and I think it would be good for her to have a playmate. Would my lab help to "show the ropes" to the new dog? Would the new dog's "puppy-ness" affect my lab by possibly causing my lab to start be destructive again like she was when she was puppy?

Last edited by underPSI; 11-09-2011 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:07 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,731,988 times
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continental kennel club is NOT a repuatable breed registry..the am mastiff is NOT a purebred dog plain and simple and only unscrupulos people would try to tell you differently. i have no problem with mixed breeds for a purpose...but claiming a dog is a breed when its not realy annoys me...

continental will also register any first gen cross as long as someone has given it a cutsey name, the peke a poo, cocker poo, boggle, doodles ect...continental will register anyone and anything as lng as your willing to pay the $25 fee...sorry but you have ALOT more reserch to do before your ready for this mix.

as for when to get a new dog...a young puppy would probably be mentally and physcially too much for an elderly dog...would probably be quite stressfull..

im sorry to burst the bubble about the continetal keenel club and the fact this is NOT a breed...but i dont like to see anyone taken for a ride by these people claiming so much when realy there not much more than small scall puppy mills...
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,258 posts, read 7,240,458 times
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Quote:
im sorry to burst the bubble about the continetal keenel club and the fact this is NOT a breed...but i dont like to see anyone taken for a ride by these people claiming so much when realy there not much more than small scall puppy mills...
You're not busting my bubble since I'm not trying to pump up the breed. This is exactly the type of information I was seeking. Thank you!
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