Boerboel

Bullmastiff

Though usually mild-mannered, the powerful Bullmastiff is also serious and self-assured. He is afraid of nothing, and once aroused will seldom back down.

Bullmastiff puppies (up to two or three years old) can be rambunctious and have an aversion to keeping all four feet on the ground at the same time.

Fortunately, adults are calm and quiet and need only moderate exercise to maintain their impressive muscle tone.

This breed is intensely loyal to his family and doesn't like being left outside. If he doesn't get enough companionship or personal attention, he may walk through fences just to be with people.

Though sensible with strangers, the Bullmastiff does have well-established protective and territorial instincts. He must be thoroughly socialized at an early age so that he learns to distinguish friend from foe.

He can be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex, and though he may be fine with the family cat, strange animals will not be accepted onto his property.

Tremendously strong and stubborn, Bullmastiffs are inclined to do things their own way and will test members of the family. However, he will respond to early, consistent obedience training that includes leadership, cheerful praise, and food rewards.

Overall, he's a splendid, capable companion for assertive owners, but without ongoing time and effort, socialization and supervision, he is too much to handle.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is massive and powerful
  • Has a short easy-care coat
  • Is calm and quiet indoors as an adult
  • Makes an imposing watchdog
  • Is serious and self-assured with strangers, yet generally mild-mannered unless aroused
  • Needs only moderate exercise

A Bullmastiff may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • A huge dog who takes up a lot of space in your house and car
  • A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet and lean his weight against your leg
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young
  • Destructiveness when bored or left alone too much
  • Potential aggression toward people in some lines, or when not socialized enough
  • Potential aggression toward other animals
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Snorting, snuffling, wheezing, grunting, loud snoring
  • Slobbering and drooling
  • Gassiness (flatulence)
  • Serious health problems and a short lifespan
  • Legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits)

A Bullmastiff may not be right for you.

More traits and characteristics of the Bullmastiff

If I was considering a Bullmastiff, I would be most concerned about...

Providing the proper balance of exercise. Young Bullmastiffs need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy, but not so much that their soft growing bones, joints, and ligaments become over-stressed and damaged. Adult Bullmastiffs need more exercise to keep them in shape, but not in hot or humid weather for fear of overheating. The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.

Since you have to minimize their exercise, young Bullmastiffs can be very rambunctious. They will romp with uncoordinated gawkiness all over your house. You need to substitute extra quantities of companionship and supervision. Otherwise, left alone, young Bullmastiffs become bored and destructive -- and their powerful jaws can literally destroy your living room.

Providing enough socialization. Most Bullmastiffs have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which could lead to biting. Some Bullmastiffs go in the opposite direction -- without enough socialization, they become fearful of strangers, which can lead to defensive biting.

Animal aggression. Many Bullmastiffs will not tolerate another dog of the same sex, and some won't tolerate the opposite sex either. Some Bullmastiffs have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.

The strong temperament. Bullmastiffs are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Many Bullmastiffs are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

Bullmastiff sounds. Because of the short face, Bullmastiffs snort, grunt, and snore loudly. The sounds are endearing to some people; nerve-wracking to others.

Slobbering. Most people are not prepared for how much Bullmastiffs slobber and drool, especially after eating or drinking. When they shake their heads, you will be toweling saliva and slime off your clothes, furniture, and walls.

Gassiness (flatulence) that can send you running for cover. Fortunately, Bullmastiffs who are fed a natural diet of real meat and other fresh foods have much less trouble with gassiness. 

Serious health problems. The lifespan of a Bullmastiff is short and an alarming number are crippled by bone and joint diseases and/or succumb to cancer in middle age.

Legal liabilities. Bullmastiffs may be targeted for "banning" in certain areas, or refusal of homeowner insurance policies. Your friends and neighbors may be uncomfortable around this breed. In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog should be seriously considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.

Frankly, most Bullmastiffs are "too much dog" for the average household. This is a serious working dog with tremendous strength. Very few people really have the knowledge, facilities, or skills necessary to manage this breed.

Cane Corso

Often described as a "coursing mastiff," the Cane Corso outdoes the other mastiff breeds in athleticism, agility, speed, energy level, and sense of adventure.

This robust dog needs his share of exercise, but above all he requires personal interaction and lots of companionship. He lives for his family and may become destructive if left alone too much.

Cane Corso puppies should be friendly and trusting with strangers. With proper socialization, they become more aloof and discerning as they mature.

As with all mastiffs, socialization is an absolute requirement to promote the correct temperament, which is protective, but in a calm, stable, discriminating way. Unfortunately, some people are breeding or raising these dogs in irresponsible ways that can produce dogs with unstable, aggressive temperaments that can be dangerous to innocent people.

Though the Cane Corso was not used for dog-fighting, dog aggression (often very serious) can still be a problem. He should be thoroughly socialized with other dogs from an early age.

The Cane Corso is more attentive to his owner and more responsive to training than other mastiffs, and though quite dominant and strong-willed, will respect an owner who is confident and consistent.

Cani Corso have tighter skin than other mastiffs and drool less. Some love to dig, and most enjoy splashing in water, whether it be the pond, a mud hole, the lawn sprinkler, or their water bowl. These are not dainty dogs.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is massive and powerful
  • Has a short easy-care coat
  • Is calm and quiet indoors as an adult
  • Makes an imposing watchdog
  • Is serious and self-assured with strangers, yet generally mild-mannered unless aroused
  • Compared to other mastiffs, is more energetic, more athletic, and more responsive to training

A Cane Corso may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • A huge dog who takes up a lot of space in your house and car
  • A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet and lean his weight against your leg
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young
  • Destructiveness when bored or left alone too much
  • Potential aggression toward people when not acquired from a responsible source or when not raised and trained properly
  • Potential aggression toward other animals
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Snorting, snuffling, wheezing, grunting, loud snoring
  • Slobbering and drooling (individuals with heavy jowls)
  • Gassiness (flatulence)
  • Legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits)

A Cane Corso may not be right for you.

More traits and characteristics of the Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff)

If I was considering a Cane Corso, I would be most concerned about...

Providing the proper balance of exercise. Young Cane Corsos need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy, but not so much that their soft growing bones, joints, and ligaments become over-stressed and damaged. Adult Cane Corsos need more exercise to keep them in shape, but not in hot or humid weather for fear of overheating. The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.

Since you have to minimize their exercise, young Cane Corsos can be very rambunctious. They will romp with uncoordinated gawkiness all over your house. You need to substitute extra quantities of companionship and supervision. Otherwise, left alone, young Cane Corsos become bored and destructive -- and their powerful jaws can literally destroy your living room.

Providing enough socialization. Most Cane Corsos have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone. Some Cane Corsos go in the opposite direction -- without enough socialization, they become fearful of strangers, which could possibly lead to defensive biting.

Animal aggression. Many Cane Corsos will not tolerate another dog of the same sex, and some won't tolerate the opposite sex either. Some Cane Corsos have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.

The strong temperament. Though much more trainable than other mastiff breeds, Cane Corsos have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Many Cane Corsos are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

Cane Corso sounds. Cane Corsos snort, grunt, and snore loudly. The sounds are endearing to some people; nerve-wracking to others.

Drooling. Cane Corsos with heavy jowls drool and slobber. Those with "tighter" lips do not.

Gassiness (flatulence) that can send you running for cover. Fortunately, Cane Corsos who are fed a natural diet of real meat and other fresh foods have much less trouble with gassiness. 

Legal liabilities. Cani Corso may be targeted for "banning" in certain areas, or refusal of homeowner insurance policies. Your friends and neighbors may be uncomfortable around this breed. In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog should be seriously considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.

Frankly, most Cani Corso are "too much dog" for the average household. This is a serious working dog with tremendous strength, and the ability to do serious damage to other people and animals when not raised and trained properly. Very few people really have the knowledge, facilities, or skills necessary to manage this breed.

Dogo Argentino

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is quiet, calm, and relaxed -- until aroused. Don't be lulled by his bulk. He can be surprisingly athletic and agile when necessary.

This is not an apartment dog. To stay fit, he needs some space and moderate daily exercise. But more than anything else, he requires personal interaction.

Picture that massive body trying to settle itself onto your lap and an enormous tongue swiping across your face. Dogues love to be an integral part of your family.

Dogue de Bordeaux puppies should be friendly and trusting, and with proper socialization, become reserved and discriminating as they mature. As with all mastiffs, socialization is an absolute requirement to avoid either aggression or shyness.

Animal aggression can be a problem; most Dogues will not start fights, but they will surely finish them.

This stubborn breed is inclined to do things his own way, but he will respond to early, consistent training that includes firm leadership, cheerful praise, and food rewards.

The Dogue de Bordeaux has an astonishing talent for snoring, sliming, and drooling. Slobber towels should be high on your list of canine accessories.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is massive and powerful
  • Has a sleek easy-care coat
  • Is calm and quiet indoors (as an adult)
  • Needs only moderate exercise
  • Makes an imposing watchdog, being serious and self-assured with strangers, yet generally mild-mannered unless aroused

A Dogue de Bordeaux may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • A huge dog who takes up a lot of space in your house and car
  • A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet and lean against your leg
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young
  • Destructiveness when bored or left alone too much
  • Aggression or fearfulness toward people in some lines, or when not socialized enough
  • Aggression toward other animals
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Snuffling, wheezing, grunting, loud snoring
  • Slobbering and drooling
  • Gassiness (flatulence)
  • Serious health problems and a short lifespan
  • Legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits)

A Dogue de Bordeaux may not be right for you.

More traits and characteristics of the Dogue de Bordeaux

If I was considering a Dogue de Bordeaux, I would be most concerned about...

Providing the proper balance of exercise. Young Dogues need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy, but not so much that their soft growing bones, joints, and ligaments become over-stressed and damaged. Adult Dogues need more exercise to keep them in shape, but not in hot or humid weather for fear of overheating. The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.

Since you have to minimize their exercise, young Dogues can be very rambunctious. They will romp with uncoordinated gawkiness all over your house. You need to substitute extra quantities of companionship and supervision. Otherwise, left alone, young Dogues de Bordeaux become bored and destructive -- and their powerful jaws can literally destroy your living room.

Providing enough socialization. Most Dogues have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which could lead to biting. Some Dogues go in the opposite direction -- without enough socialization, they become fearful of strangers, which can lead to defensive biting.

Animal aggression. Many Dogues will not tolerate another dog of the same sex, and some won't tolerate the opposite sex either. Some Dogues have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.

The strong temperament. Dogues de Bordeaux are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Some Dogues are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. To teach your mastiff to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory

Dogue de Bordeaux sounds. Because of the short face, the Dogue de Bordeaux grunts and snuffles, and snores loudly. The sounds are endearing to some people; nerve-wracking to others.

Slobbering. Most people are not prepared for how much the Dogue de Bordeaux slobbers and drools, especially after eating or drinking. When they shake their heads, you will be toweling saliva and slime off your clothes, furniture, and walls.

Gassiness (flatulence) that can send you running for cover. Fortunately, Dogues who are fed a natural diet of real meat and other fresh foods have much less trouble with gassiness. 

Serious health problems. The lifespan of a Dogue de Bordeaux is short and an alarming number are crippled by bone and joint diseases and/or succumb to cancer in middle age.

Legal liabilities. The Dogue de Bordeaux may be targeted for "banning" in certain areas, or refusal of homeowner insurance policies. Your friends and neighbors may be uncomfortable around this breed. In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog should be seriously considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.

Great Dane

The Great Dane is typically a gentle giant, easygoing and mild-mannered.

He needs only moderate exercise, but does need space and shouldn't be cramped into studio apartments and postage-stamp yards. Above all, this sociable breed needs companionship. He doesn't do well when left alone.

With his deep, resounding voice, a Great Dane won't fail to announce visitors, but guarding and territorial instincts vary. Some lines and individuals are friendly with everyone, some are sensibly protective, while others are standoffish or skittish.

To build their confidence and promote a stable temperament, young Great Danes must be taken out into the world more frequently than most other breeds.

Some Great Danes are peaceful with other pets, while others are dominant and pushy.

Because he is so huge and can be bossy if undisciplined, obedience training is essential, but Great Danes are also very sensitive and should be trained with cheerful methods. Harshness only confuses them and makes them distrustful.

Great Danes drool and slobber and lumber around in a rather bumptious manner. They are not good choices for fastidious housekeepers, or for those with no sense of humor.

Young Great Danes (up to three years old) can be boisterous, and unless supervised, will dismay you with the magnitude of their destructiveness.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is a giant mastiff-type, but more elegant in build
  • Has a sleek, easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors
  • Is usually easygoing and mild-mannered
  • Needs only moderate exercise
  • Looks imposing, so makes an effective deterrent, yet is usually non-aggressive with people

A Great Dane may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • A huge dog who takes up a lot of space in your house and car
  • A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet or lean his weight against your leg
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young
  • "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness) when left alone too much
  • Aggression or fearfulness in some lines, or when not socialized enough
  • Possible aggression toward other animals
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Slobbering and drooling
  • Gassiness (flatulence)
  • Serious health problems and a short lifespan
  • Potential legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits)

A Great Dane may not be right for you.

More traits and characteristics of the Great Dane

If I was considering a Great Dane, I would be most concerned about...

Providing the proper balance of exercise. Young Great Danes need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy, but not so much that their soft growing bones, joints, and ligaments become over-stressed and damaged. The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.

Since you have to minimize their exercise, young Great Danes can be very rambunctious. They will romp with uncoordinated gawkiness all over your house. You need to substitute extra quantities of companionship and supervision. Otherwise, left alone, young Great Danes become bored and destructive -- and their powerful jaws can literally destroy your living room.

Providing enough socialization. Most Great Danes have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which could lead to biting. Some Great Danes go in the opposite direction -- without enough socialization, they become fearful of strangers, which can lead to defensive biting.

Animal aggression. Some Great Danes are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs, especially of the same sex. Some Great Danes have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.

The strong temperament. Great Danes have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Some Great Danes are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

Slobbering. Most people are not prepared for how much the Great Dane slobbers and drools, especially after eating or drinking. Some Great Danes have looser jowels than others, and when they shake their heads, you will be toweling saliva and slime off your clothes and furniture.

Gassiness (flatulence) that can send you running for cover. Fortunately, Great Danes who are fed a natural diet of real meat and other fresh foods have much less trouble with gassiness.

Serious health problems. Great Danes are not a healthy breed. Their bone structure is often flimsy and may break down under the heavy weight thrust upon it. They are frequently stricken at an early age by joint and bone disorders, heart disease and cancer. Their life span is extremely short.

Legal liabilities. The Great Dane may be targeted for "banning" in certain areas, or refusal of homeowner insurance policies. In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog should be seriously considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.