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First of all, hello everyone, and thank you in advance for your input. I'm eighteen years old and I'm about to be a Senior in high school. After I graduate I'm moving to an apartment and getting my basics done at a small college. I love dogs, and really want one so I can have a companion living on my own. I would like to get a puppy soon so he can already be trained by the time I move out. I've pretty much narrowed my search down to two breeds: the Bullmastiff and the American Staffordshire Terrier. I want a larger dog, and I really like the Bullmastiff, but to be honest I'm not sure if I would like to own SUCH a large dog. I know the pros and cons of each, and I'm going to train him myself. I'm also prepared to give him at least two walks a day. So...what do you think? And if you have any other breeds that you think would work with my situation, please let me know. I'm always open to new ideas. Thank you, again.

Spencer.
 

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If you're going to college soon, are you going to be able to financially support a dog. Before you answer yes, calculate out your living expenses. I know that I spend about $200 per month on necessary groceries and that pretty cheep for college living. $500 rent but if your living alone, probably more and more still for owning a pet. Probably about another $1-300 on what I'm gonna call "entertainment". I know that my credit card ran up an average of $850 a month without a dog.

I would calculate out at least $100 per month for a dog just to be on the safe side. If I were in your situation, I would need probably $1500 a month to feel secure about owning a pet. Not counting tuition for college.

If money is no issue then I would say your probably fine. College gives you plenty of time if you're not working a job.

As for big dogs, I personally wouldn't ever own a mastiff just cause they're too big for me to handle. Have you thought about going to a shelter and adopting? I thought I wanted a big dog too but I love my 34lb mutt and wouldn't trade him for anything. Also remember you'd have to spend more on food for a big dog :).
 

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You also have to consider where you'll be moving after high school. You mentioned an apartment but many apartments have breed restrictions and weight limits. I don't know where you live but I'd look into that first before adding a dog that might not be allowed.
 

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id say no to either.

Bullmastiff Cons

bigger the dog, bigger the bill. ask any of the big dog owners here. they eat more. Vet care costs more. bigger everything = more money.

apartments 99% of the time have weight restrictions. trying to hide that big of a dog is going to be nigh impossible and damn irresponsible and not fair to your dog. You will most likely have to find a house...which goes back to the "more money" thing.


AmStaff Cons.

AmStaffs fall under the typical blanket label of "pit bull". Meaning breed restrictions everywhere you go. You may have difficulty boarding, finding training classes that will accept your dog...because its a "pit bull."

you will DEFINATLY have a HARD time finding a rental that will allow the dog. insurance companies charge waay more if there's a "pit bull" on the premises. they're considered a liability and most landlords will not allow it...in apartments or houses...

at any point in time your city can do this www.denverkillsdogs.com
Can you live with that fear? Can you be prepared for that possibility?

People will harass you. They will call animal control for bs reasons. if there's trouble involving dogs...you can pretty much bet the "pit bull" will get the finger pointed at him first.

they have a slightly higher incidence of dog to dog aggression than other dogs. Could you handle that?

they often cost more to liscense.

and so on...


honestly...

it can be done...but those breeds you picked...it will NOT be easy.

my suggestion is to wait. Establish unwavering stability in your life. Volunteer to get your dog fix. then when you have the time and moolah to put into a dog like an Amstaff or a Mastiff...you run zero risk of being forced to give your dog up.

Don't you think a good dog deserves that kind of security?


If you do insist on a dog. I'd recommend a smaller breed. they will cost less. it will be easier to find a rental.

you like bully type dogs. I'd suggest a Boston Terrier. little dogs with big souls. Easily falling under most rental weight restrictions and not really subject to BSL...yet.
 

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1) ... I love dogs, and really want one

2) ... so I can have a companion living on my own.

3) ... I want a larger dog, and I really like the Bullmastiff, but to be honest I'm not sure if I would like to own SUCH a large dog.

4) ...I know the pros and cons of each,

5) ... and I'm going to train him myself.
I'll try to keep this brief; aside from the good advice already given:

1) Sorry ... but I have serious reservations about anyone posting on "First Time Dog Owner and Basic Questions", getting one of these powerful breeds. "Loving dogs" and "really wanting one" does not, in and of itself, qualify you to be a confident and competent owner of a Bull Mastiff or AmStaff. Having said that, either breed is a wonderful choice for the right owner.

2) I'm not suggesting that you didn't do your homework, but if simple companionship is what you're primarily looking for, there are a myriad of other breeds which might be more suitable for your needs.

3) Aside from the additional expense of owning a larger dog, size is less of an issue than your ability to raise, train, handle and provide for the needs of the particular dog you get. Larger dogs, IMHO, tend to be easier to train and handle than small breeds. For a first time dog owner, it might be best to look to softer breed than the ones you've zero'd in on. There are many large dogs which would make ideal companions for a less experienced owner. Again, this is just my opinion.

4) "Knowing the pros and cons" of a particular breed on paper, is oftentimes quite different from the reality of "ownership". This is why there are so many beautiful Dalmations, Pit Bulls, JRT's etc, etc, etc, which end up abandoned in shelters and/or euthanized.

5) It's not that you couldn't train one of these dogs yourself, but raising and training one of these powerful breeds takes more time and know-how than a softer breed, especially when it comes to their needs for ongoing and extensive socialization.

There are far too many people who have purchased the "breed of their dreams", only to end up in a canine nightmare. I would respectfully suggest that you seriously rethink your personality, experience, lifestyle and finances, to best determine what qualities you would ideally like to see in your dog. If we were to speak in person, the first questions I'd ask you are: "Why these particular breeds?" and "What is it about these particular breeds you really like?" Somewhere out there is the perfect first dog for you; I simply question if it's an AmStaff or Bull Mastiff.

Most of those online, breed-choosing web sites are fun, but fairly useless. But if you were to (re)post your inquiry on this web site, I bet you'd get some great input as to breed selection.

Again, this is all just my opinion. Best of luck!!!
 

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id say no to either.

Bullmastiff Cons

bigger the dog, bigger the bill. ask any of the big dog owners here. they eat more. Vet care costs more. bigger everything = more money.

apartments 99% of the time have weight restrictions. trying to hide that big of a dog is going to be nigh impossible and damn irresponsible and not fair to your dog. You will most likely have to find a house...which goes back to the "more money" thing.


AmStaff Cons.

AmStaffs fall under the typical blanket label of "pit bull". Meaning breed restrictions everywhere you go. You may have difficulty boarding, finding training classes that will accept your dog...because its a "pit bull."

you will DEFINATLY have a HARD time finding a rental that will allow the dog. insurance companies charge waay more if there's a "pit bull" on the premises. they're considered a liability and most landlords will not allow it...in apartments or houses...

at any point in time your city can do this www.denverkillsdogs.com
Can you live with that fear? Can you be prepared for that possibility?

People will harass you. They will call animal control for bs reasons. if there's trouble involving dogs...you can pretty much bet the "pit bull" will get the finger pointed at him first.

they have a slightly higher incidence of dog to dog aggression than other dogs. Could you handle that?

they often cost more to liscense.

and so on...


honestly...

it can be done...but those breeds you picked...it will NOT be easy.

my suggestion is to wait. Establish unwavering stability in your life. Volunteer to get your dog fix. then when you have the time and moolah to put into a dog like an Amstaff or a Mastiff...you run zero risk of being forced to give your dog up.

Don't you think a good dog deserves that kind of security?


If you do insist on a dog. I'd recommend a smaller breed. they will cost less. it will be easier to find a rental.

you like bully type dogs. I'd suggest a Boston Terrier. little dogs with big souls. Easily falling under most rental weight restrictions and not really subject to BSL...yet.

I 100% agree with Zim....I would also suggest that if you are interested in any bully breeds that you join a pit bull forum and speak with experienced owners :)..(not that there aren't wonderful bully people on DF;))
 

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Zim makes a great point.

I'm a college student who is renting and owning a dog. First you need to check your apartment's restrictions. Second, since you're in college be aware that you may be moving quite a bit in the upcoming years to different complexes or even different areas. If you chose something hard to rent with even , it will be hard to find a place to move possibly impossible especially if you have a budget. I know people who do rent with breeds like dobes and pitties but it takes a lot of effort and many times a lot more money on their part. Am Staffs fall under the pit bull label and are thus banned from 99.9% of apartments here. Actually I have not found an apartment yet that will allow pit bulls. Mastiffs are banned from many too, not just because of the size but because of their breed. Only one apartment here allows dogs over 65 lbs, and most restrict dogs to 35 lbs or under. I could technically have a mastiff at my current apartment but I would have absolutely no back up plan. If I had to move for some reason, there'd be NO other apartment that would take a mastiff owner. I could not risk that.

I have had too many neighbors try to have dogs that are restricted and it's just not fair to the dogs when they are forced either to move or give them up. Especially the bully breeds because going to a shelter here is basically a death wish for a pitty.

I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying go into this with your eyes open and a plan for every possible circumstance. First check your apartment's restrictions and work within those. Figure out what you'll do in various circumstances. What if you graduate and move to a place where you can't find an apartment that allows pit bulls? What if your apartment changes the weight restriction (it can happen, I've had that happen before) Will your mastiff or pit bull be taken care of? When you take on a dog, you take on all the responsibility for the rest of their life. In such a unstable part of your life I'm just not sure it's a good idea to take on such a breed.

As a dog owning college student I'd say to stay with something small to medium-large. I wouldn't exceed 60 lbs. I would not get anything commonly restricted like a pit bull, am staff, doberman, german shepherd, or rottweiler. You don't have to get a froo froo dog, there are plenty of 30 to 50 lb shelter dogs that would fit the bill perfectly and be a lot easier to rent with. A boston terrier might be a great compromise too. I understand though, my dream dog is a German Shepherd. I want one so badly. I just am not in a place in my life where I can be a responsible GSD owner yet.
 

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I live in an apartment complex, and I'll tell you there are other things you need to consider besides just the money and costs of a bigger dog.

I live in a complex where no one else follows the rules. I am constantly in a losing battle with the office and other tenants to keep THEIR dogs on leashes! I am rushed all the time by puppies, Min Pins, Chihuahuas, Shibas, and others alike... If you get a Bull-Mastiff or AmStaff... Are you willing to put up with the headache?

Your dog will be bigger than most of other dogs, and if your dog is rushed by a Chihuahua and fight just "happens" to break out, which dog is going to come out on top? Then you'll been in a fight with the other owner about "who's in the right"?

I would love to have an Irish Wolfhound, I would even love to have an AmStaff, but I live in a complex where I would be putting myself and other dogs at danger.

(Am I making sense to anyone else?) lol!

I agree with Zim and Laurelin completely...

I adopted Donatello because he is perfect for my life right now... He's small enough to not be the center of attention with other owners, meaning- When he gets in a fight with other off-leash mutts, I don't have to worry about Animal Control coming and repossessing my dog because "he's a big mean vicious Pit-Bull that chased down my Chihuahua and ate him up!" There have been several incidents around here just like that, too.
 

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Don't know if you're actually still listening Spencer but if apartments don't work out, you could try to rent a house together with some other people. Then you'll have to deal with living with multiple roommates :rolleyes: .....and a dog.

I think everyone already gave good advise about choosing your breed so here's one more


ahem..........mastiffs aren't the best chick magnets ;).


....my dream dog is a German Shepherd....
wow, and here I thought you were a pap fanatic, I can't imagine how lucky your GSD will be :D.
 
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