We are now on our third Mastiff. Not a Bullmastiff, an English Mastiff.
They are by far the best dogs I have ever known. They are utterly devoted, calm, dignified companions. They don’t bark too much, they are undemanding, they simply want to be with you.
A note about intelligence:
Mastiffs are not dumb. They do not have the problem-solving ability of, say, a German Shepherd, but these are not dumb dogs at all. Their instincts are good and they can learn many, many commands.
Read about Mastiffs in Daniel Tortora’s book, The Right Dog For You.
Nobody should buy from back yard breeders, but you are especially asking for trouble with a Mastiff with temperament troubles or hip problems. Buy from a reputable breeder who genetically tests and can vouch for his puppies’ lineage. Or if you want to try rescue, look up Mastiff rescue on the internet,
but educate yourself about the breed before taking on that challenge. Mastiffs are adorable pups–but they grow.
Our first Mastiff lived 10 and a half years. He probably would have lived longer but for an old injury that crept up on him.
Our second survived bloat but had an auto-immune disorder that finally caught up with her at almost 8 years. Our third is 2 and a half years old and doing fine.
His best buddy is a 7 lb kitten.
All three were/are dear, gentle giants, but we certainly did Obedience with each.
A responsible owner will do obedience with any size dog, but a 185 lb dog should know to lie down when he’s told.
These are not high energy dogs, and they will be lazy if you let them. They do not need any more food than a healthy Labrador. But if they need medication, it will cost you. And yes, if they lose mobility, you’ve got a big problem.
Mastiffs do slobber. There is this new “breed” called American Mastiff which is supposed to be dry mouth. I dunno. For me, it’s part of having a Mastiff.
Mastiffs may not live as long as a smaller canine, but while you have one, it’s a lot of dog, both body as well as heart.