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Keeping of an Adult Bullmastiff

Place (he needs a place to sleep)

Bullmastiffs are used to sleeping much. Therefore it's important to organize his sleeping place properly. Just watch him. A bullmastiff tends to choose such a place as to be able to keep an eye at you all the time - he needs this. He won't occupy a big area for sleeping but needs a soft bedding since these dogs are very heavy and are inclined to formation of corns on elbows (but mind that while he makes himself comfortable the dog tramples for a little while, turns around and may also rake the bedding beneath himself, and if the bedding is filled with wadding, cotton wool or down, you'll soon have to tidy up the room). It may very likely happen so that he'll like your favorite armchair or a sofa. Here it's up to you to decide whether to permit this or not. If the choice of his sleeping place is yours, you must arrange it so as to be draught-proof and far from heating appliance.

How to bathe

Ksiusha and Centurion (6 month) Life itself has decided this problem. If a dog lives in the flat it is washed in a bath.

One shouldn't wash a bullmastiff too often. There won't be bathing problems if you regularly take care of his hair.

Though if you decide to bathe your dog, use shampoos for animal purposes only, because the pH-levels of humans and dogs differ. Wash shampoo away very carefully, since a remained cleanser may cause irritation and inflammation. If use shampoo concentrates, dissolve them in water before applying to a dog hair.

Feeding

Set aside questions concerning rational feeding and foods quality, 'cause there's a lot of literature on this topic and besides opinions differ. I'd only want to say that on my mind the point is not what to feed your pet with (since every dog needs an individual diet) but how to feed him. The fact is that the Bullmastiff is not just a big dog but he is referred to giant breeds. And all large sized breeds may suffer such diseases as twisted bowels (and it is terribly difficult to save a dog with such a diagnosis). But it's very easy to avoid this disorder by keeping within the two rules:

1. An adult dog as well as a young one should be fed 2-3 times a day in order to reduce the amount of one portion of food

2. Feed a dog later than 1 hour after a walk. Under no circumstances feed the dog before going outdoors.

These two rules are also valid for dogs living in private houses with a free exit outdoors.

Walks

Naomi, 3 year Bullmastiffs need much time for walking. This is not the kind of dog you may take out and wait aside while it satisfies its necessities. In the latter case the dog won't get a proper physical load and emotional relaxation. An adult dog of bullmastiff needs 2-3 hours of quite an active walk daily. Bitches need less, as their demands are a little bit different.

Exercises

Since bullmastiffs have a large weight they need a special kind of exercises. It's clear that a weak and physically untrained dog may meet a lot of problems such as incorrectly set hind limbs, lowered pasterns, sagged topline of body.

Any relief area - hills and gullies, forests and parks, sandy beaches - is a good natural source of exercises. If a bullmastiff is well trained he can for a long time move and play actively, getting over different natural bars (hills, slopes, grooves) with pleasure. Try to do so as to load all muscles of dog, let him jump, run, swim, and carry heavy sticks during trainings.

Naomi and Cefat At the age of one or better one and a half year one may add hauling loadings, such as dragging a car wheel or a sledge. These are very useful exercises, but remember that the weight of load the dog drags should increase gradually. One should not start with a big load. During hauling a dog should move only by trotting. Thus his muscles get maximum load and heart - minimal. Hauling loading favor developing of broad set of fore legs, improving of angles in hind legs, the lifted rump thereof lowers, muscles of the back become stronger, and a sagged and weak topline disappears. Remember that every exercise should be reasonable. Be patient, don't hurry and you'll do everything right.

I object of collars and breast-bands provided with loads. They can easily do harm and one should very carefully and seriously train the dog to get some use of them.

Irina Barykina

     E-mail: bullmastiff@inbox.ru   Phone +7 (095) 7711630, 7557244, 7903251, (279) 76172

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