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Snappy English mastiff

2742 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Russ77
We've got a 10 month old english mastiff. We've had him for nearly 8 months now along with our 3 kids. He's been great, typical mastiff, loves to cuddle and sit on your feet. great with the kids, gives horse rides to them and tries to share their beds. But lately, we've had him snip at few few people trying to pet him, all have been complete strangers, but a couple were kids which concerns me.

My first thought was to get his boys removed sicne he's nto fixed, but doing some research it does nto appear that doing that will help aggression. Any suggestions?
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I would be very careful -- if you have the ability to see a behaviorist, that would probably not be a bad way to go.

Do not allow him to be near strange children at this point, I would say. Not until you have a handle on the situation.

A dog that large snapping at children, is, to me, really kind of scary. And he might not always be as tolerant of being ridden like a horse and whatnot as he gets closer to maturity -- teaching your kids to play respectfully with him is a good plan.

Other than that I would work on training *a lot,* and consider training courses with a trainer who can deal with a large breed dog that doesn't seem to like strangers (ie not a class at Petco).

Neutering will likely not entirely eliminate this issue, but it won't aggravate it, either. I would neuter him unless you have a really, really, really compelling reason not to.

And, this is basic advice I see a lot on the forum, you might want to see your vet to eliminate that this sudden change isn't due to some sort of physical discomfort.
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At any rate, for the time being I would make sure to always step between your dog and strangers. A lot of kids (and adults) do not understand the proper way to greet a strange dog, but if he's going to snap, you have to be proactive.

I am no mastiff expert, but from what I know of them, it's not unusual for them to be aloof with strangers. But if it's normal, or may happen again, that someone should enter your home unannounced, and you don't want the dog to react aggressively, then you have to get the dog prepared for that possibility. Same thing with being out in public. But I really do suggest you work with a professional.
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