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Another thread got me to thinking about this (a thread from Inga).

Imagine you are walking down the street and you see someone walking a dog that looks like this:



...what do you think your reaction would be?

Most people who know about Mastiff's, know that they are really gentle, loving dogs. However, as Uallis has gotten older, I've noticed that more and more people are afraid of him. This is a two sided issue for me because for 1. I can actually walk him sometimes without getting stopped every 10 seconds :)...but 2. Uallis LIKES meeting new people :(.

I've had people cross the street to get away from us. I've had people stop and turn around to walk in the opposite direction when they see us coming...I've had several people who tell me point blank they they are afraid of him and will not come near him even though their spouse/friend or whoever is petting Uallis.

It doesn't bother me for the sake of bothering me...if that makes sense? In other words, if people are afraid of him, that's fine with me...they just don't know him or know better. However, at the same time, Mastiff's aren't really "known" for being "aggressive" or even have a bad rap to the degree that Pits and Rotties have. English Mastiff's are actually known for being pretty gentle.

So what are YOUR opinions toward Mastiff's???
 

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Honestly MDawn...the only English Mastiff I have had close contact with terrifies the crap out of me.

She is allowed to roam the neighbor with zero supervision. She fence fights with all the neighbor dogs and has rushed at me..snarling while I was pushing my son in the stroller..


its the owner though..she is a horrible woman who I thoroughly despise...

From the impressions I get from the limited contact I have had with other English Mastiffs and seeing Ually and Otis here on the forum I will be happy to have the opportunity to interact with a well raised dog of the breed...I don't think Id own one..the Mastiff breed Id choose would be a Tosa...
 

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Personally, except for that drooling, I love Mastiffs and Mastiff-type breeds. But, due to their size if nothing else, they are breeds that require responsible owners who socialize them early and often, are willing and able to train them, and who don't let them realize just how big they are. Of course that last item means you'll probably end up with a rather large lap dog.

But I can understand why some people are afraid of them just due to the size of many of the Mastiff breeds.
 

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for me it makes no difference what the breed of dog is....if it is walking w/ a calm, happy-go-lucky manner and not agitated/aggressively, i'll go up to pet it.....there are tons of little dogs that i wouldn't touch w/ a 10' pole b/c their growly/barking and straining at their leashes, and then there are Pits/GSD/Rotties?etc that i'll walk right up to and ask to pet.....that being said, i'm not afraid to touch the snappy/yappy ones, just don't care for that behavior and ignore it....some of them are just excited to see people and friendly and that is how they have learned to act....i don't allow it in my dogs and don't acknowledge it in others

i've had people say "oh, s/he's really friendly and wants you to pet them" and i just tell them "when they're acting like that, i don't pet to reward the hyperness"
 

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Mdawn i know exactly what you mean.
To be honest if you lived here i think everyone would be wary of Uallis,i think its thier size that scares people and like Tirluc said its also about how well trained the individual dog is.
With Aslan....

well he seems to clear streets on a daily basis,where i live there is a 24 hour supply of joggers but they dont jog past me,its a shame people are hesitant because Aslan is friendly and likes people too.
He doesnt like people just coming up to him like ually though its almost like i have to do the introduction first.
 

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Well quite frankly I would run the other way as fast as I could. Just kidding. If the women walking the dog appeared to be in control of her dog I would probably ask to pet it. If the dog was calm and sweet like most of the Mastiff's I know, I would kiss him on his cheeks, being careful not to get to close to the juicy lips. I am with Skelaki, not a fan of the drool.
I know what you mean though, Mdawn when I take my Rotties that are pups or youngsters places people can't get enough of them. Then all of a sudden they must hit that magic weight where people are afraid of them. It is sad because the dog doesn't understand why last week it was met with smiles and love and all of a sudden it is being avoided. You would hope that anyone that might be of a threat to you IS actually deterred by your dog though. At least that would be a benefit.

Ps. The bandana.... makes him look all the sweeter. :)
 

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Kyle and I were at the vet with Blazer once and a lady walked in with her Mastiff. (Not sure what kind it was. Sorry, I'm really bad with the different types.) I was so excited because I hadn't seen a real one before. It was a total sweetheart, just plonked down and looked around very serenely. I just kept nudging Kyle and pointing to it and making little waves at it from across the room, till she finally asked if I wanted to pet it.

In other words, I think they're awesome.
 

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If I saw Uallis or Aslan I would ask permission to hug the crap out of them. I LOVE big dogs and while I respect their size, they do not scare me in the least. I can certainly understand the reaction they might get, though. I took my boyfriend with me to meet my raw food supplier. Now my BF is a dog lover, is not scared of dogs in the least, but when she brought out her 150lb Irish Wolfhound he high-tailed it the other direction. I was shocked at his reaction...this guy is a gentle giant. But the BF admitted that his size alone scared him. Sissy.
 

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My personal reaction would be to get super excited and if I was with someone elbow them and say "Oh my gosh! That is an Mastiff! That is sooo cool! I wonder if the owner would let me pet him or talk to me about him."

It's like the time I was at this dog function and saw someone with an Irish Wolfhound and I got sooo freaking excited that I asked the man if I could have a picture with his dog and I was babbling like I'd just seen a celebrity or something.

Anyway...I think other people who are afraid of mastiff types...I think it has almost nothing to do with their breed and everything to do with their size. I think they are thinking of how quickly a dog that size could kick their butt if it so chose. And even if the dog is walking placidy by the side of it's owner they may think what if it just doesn't like me and decides to take a chunk out of my thigh? I don't know....just extrapolating I guess...but that's my theory.
 

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I want to clarify...I love mastiff breeds..

there are a lot of owners here and most of them are garbage in the responsible category.

This one dog's owner is very...not nice to be around. She got the dog because "I don't like dogs. I just need one to look mean and scare off all these men." :rolleyes:

You can imagine what that kind of woman would make a dog into..:(


There is another...a mastiff named Molly...She was out of control but I helped her owner train her some...she is one of my toy test subjects...

EM are nice looking...So are Bullmastiffs...they are too big for me though..


I want a Tosa someday but that is someday
 

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Honestly, if I was walking down the street towards you I would cross the street. It would have nothing to do with you or your mastiff personally. I am just very scared of large dogs - that's why I have two small ones.

I'm just starting to get used to the beautiful golden who lives across the street.

Some people - me - are just afraid of large dogs - nothing to do with the breed or the owner. Oh, and I couldn't tell you why - just am.
 

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I love Mastiff's, I actually think some look like giant Pugs!

I have never come into contact with one, but I do know of their reputation as "gentle giants" so I wouldn't be afraid at all. Like other posters have said, it's mainly the owners control of the dog and the body language that I notice, not the breed. I don't breed discriminate at all, neither does Chloe - she would play with every dog we meet if I let her - be it the huge dobe in our neighborhood or the mixed breed medium size dog next door.
 

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I am so passionate about this kind of issue.

I LOVE mastiffs and I can honestly say that I have never in my country seen a Mastiff or cross who has been agressive to anyone other than standing up for their little doggie friends at the dog park.

My experience with the breed has been a gorgeous one, and I love these gentle giant dogs.

Recently in Australia a 3 year old girl was mauled to death by 4 mastiff crosses and everyone called for their heads. It made me so angry, you can't blame dogs for their action s that are natural.

I LOVE MASTIFFS!
 

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i wonder if maybe something that says "please ask to pet me, i'm friendly and we want to keep it that way:D".....i had a 125# GSD yrs back (Sir) and it was funny when walking down the street...people would walk across the street when about 10' away and then cross back when about 10' behind us....Sir was the sweetest thing to come down the pike....
 

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I personally love the Mastiff breeds and would love to have a Bull if there is ever a point in my life that I have the space for one. I do feel that they are like any other dog and need to be socialized early and lots. There are several Bulls and English mastiffs that come to my work on a regular basis and they will just lean into you and flop on the floor when you give them attention.
 

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I love Mastiff's, I actually think some look like giant Pugs!
Haha!:D
I think my cousins EM looks like one,tyson is only 8 months old so is yet to get the 'jowls a hangin' look.


I tried getting a photo of Aslan and him but Aslan was'nt having none of it.
Tyson is such a friendly dog.
 

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I would in a second ask to pet your dog if I saw you on the street, I love Mastiffs. Friends of my husbands had ten of them and I use to go visit with my rain coat and play with them in the back yard it was a blast!
 

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When I'm alone (without a dog) and run across someone with a monster like that, I don't go out of my way to avoid them, but I do give them plenty of space because I know how aggravating it was when I was desensitizing Bubba to people walking up. But if the dog has that look when the ears fall loose and the tail wags with that big ol' eye ball sparkle, I'll ask to pet them.

Hmmmm, sounds like I need a Mastiff to stop the onslaught of meet and greets.
 
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