by Nick Murs | 5:10 am
This article is shared from Gentle Giant’s Rescue:
Because we have been enormously successful in prolonging the healthy, happy lives of our Gentle Giants, we have strict care requirements so that our adopters can hopefully enjoy the same amazing success that we have had. Everyone wants their dog to live the longest, healthiest, happiest life, and if you follow our feeding and care program and feed all natural Gentle Giants dog food, you will have the opportunity to love and enjoy your loving canine family member with you as much as twice as long as you might have otherwise.

Our English Mastiffs are house dogs, not outside dogs. And, they are not garage dogs, laundry room dogs, barn dogs, shed dogs or patio dogs. Your English Mastiff should live inside your home in the main living area as a member of your family, day and night, and go outside only to eat, to go to the bathroom, for short periods of play, and to be with you and your family whenever you are outside for as long as you are outside. At all other times, he/she should be inside the main living area of your home. Also, providing a cushioned bed for them becomes very important to them, and their bed becomes their “security blanket.”

Many people have traditionally left their English Mastiffs outside during the day, and brought them in only at night. Their English Mastiffs usually live short lives, usually 7 to 9 years. Some people leave their dogs outside day and night, and their dogs usually live even shorter lives. We cater to the physical and emotional needs of our English Mastiffs, and they live a lot longer.

For example, we allow our English Mastiffs the freedom to go outside whenever they want to, and conversely, the freedom to come back inside whenever they want to. These are the same freedoms that a human has. So, it does take a little extra effort to pay attention to what your English Mastiff is trying to communicate to you. And by doing this, your English Mastiff feels that he or she has some say so in their life and they don’t give up and resign themselves that they are either “cooped up” outside or “cooped up” inside. This freedom we give them enriches their emotional needs and their spirit, and they are happier. Happier dogs live longer.

Our English Mastiffs go outside every few hours (or sooner if they want to). Yes, they frolic and play in between feeding times. You can see that in the many photos on our website. But, after about 15 to 20 minutes, they’ve had enough and that frolic and play gets old for them and they want to come back into their “den” (figuratively speaking), which is your home.

We say in our literature that a “doggie door” is optional, not required. What isn’t optional is leaving your adopted English Mastiff outside other than when he/she is eating, going to the bathroom, briefly playing, or being with you or your family when you are outside.

Our English Mastiffs are house dogs, and your English Mastiff should be allowed to stay in your house, whether you are home or not.

When we started rescuing English Mastiffs, our dogs were living an average of 7 to 9 years. Now, our English Mastiffs are living an average of 14 to 18 years. A significant attribute of our success in increasing the length of their lives is to nurture their needs and instincts, and living inside has shown itself time and again, to be a key ingredient in lengthening their lives.

Spaying And Neutering Your English Mastiff
All of our English Mastiffs are spayed or neutered at five to six months of age or as soon as we get them after five months of age. Spaying (females) and neutering (males) does not only prevent excessive breeding, which, if left unspayed and unneutered, results in so many millions of unwanted dogs that end up in animal shelters each year (most of which are put to death), but, spaying and neutering your English Mastiff at an early age (the optimum age is five to six months) is critical to extend and prolong your dog’s life.

Cancer is the #1 killer of dogs, and 85% of all cancers (whether they end up developing in the bones, organs, blood or skin) originate in the reproductive organs. So, by spaying or neutering your Exotic Breed at an early age, you are giving your dog the gift of a much longer life! This is one of the most important things that you can do for your English Mastiff, and it is one of the key things that we do to help our dogs live an average of 14 to 18 years.

If you want to adopt a dog from us, you must spay or neuter your own dog prior to be approved for adoption. Also, unspayed and unneutered dogs do not always get along with spayed and neutered dogs, and we have achieved an amazing level of socialization, good behavior and easy handling with our dogs  by combining spaying/neutering with our immensely successful training program. We feel that it is in the best interest and safety for our dogs and for your dog that you spay or neuter your dog before we adopt a dog to you.

We Use Crates To House Train Puppies!
Our dogs are crate trained, but we only use plastic (not metal) crates when our youngest puppies are learning to be housebroken. When our puppies are housebroken, usually at four to six months of age, we stop using crates. If a puppy is still in the chewing stage, we will “baby gate” them in our kitchen when we can’t watch them. Giant breed dogs and many medium and small breed dogs are not comfortable in crates, and they are not happy in kennels, so we don’t use either after four to six months of age.

Keeping Your English Mastiff Out Of The Sun And Away From Heat
The sun’s rays are dangerous and can be very detrimental to your English Mastiff’s health. Giant breed dogs and some medium and smaller breeds need to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Most giant breeds and some medium and small breeds have a single coat of fur, which gives them no protection against the harmful rays of the sun. They can develop skin cancer very quickly. Once the skin cancer develops, the dogs usually develop internal cancerous tumors as well. This can quickly lead to death.

Other breeds of dogs have a short, thick inner coat of fur that protects them from the sun. Because most giant breeds and some medium and small breeds do not have a short, thick inner coat of fur, they should not be allowed to lie out in the sun at all. Interestingly, dogs with inner coats of fur shed all year long, whereas giant breed dogs and some medium and small breeds without the inner coats of fur shed only twice a year.

English Mastiffs also need to stay away from heat. Their bodies do not dissipate heat well, and they can get heat stroke, which can cripple them or kill them.

If someone wants to keep their English Mastiff outside, whether it is during the day or at night, whether they are home or not, we will not adopt to them.

Feeding Your English Mastiff To Maximize His/Her Life Span
Our care and feeding program has worked magnificently for the thousands of giant breed dogs and many medium and small breed dogs in the last 17 years here where we could see and experience the results first hand. No one else in the country that we know of who cares for dogs has accomplished this or anywhere near this to our knowledge.

It is our love for these dogs and our total commitment to saving, enriching and lengthening their lives that has provided us with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these magnificent animals.

That is why we do what we do and why we have (what may seem strict to some people) the requirements that we have. In the end, the dogs we adopt have proven to be living longer, happier lives in their new adopted homes, and that has made their adopters happier because their loving canine companions are with them longer. You can read this first hand in the many letters and emails that we have posted on our website.

You can experience the same or similar results with your English Mastiff by following our feeding and care program and by feeding all natural Gentle Giants dog food to your dog.

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