Activities For English Mastahoulas

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Introduction

The English Mastahoula is a mixed breed that combines the well-known English Mastiff with the less familiar Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, also known as the Catahoula Leopard. The Mastiff is one of the dog world's friendly giants and is described as being calm, gentle and well-mannered. They typically have a low energy level but require moderate exercise each day in the form of a walk or interactive game. Mastiffs are not a fan of the heat, so finding ways to cool down or beat the heat on hot days is recommended for this breed. 

On the other paw, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dogs are working dogs, and with proper socialization, they can develop into gentle, family dogs. The English Mastahoula is much like both parent breeds, as they tend to be apprehensive of unknown animals and people, though they generally have a calm, laid-back demeanor. English Mastahoulas require daily stimulation to prevent unwanted behaviors and to maintain a healthy physique.

Puppy Playdate

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Any Day
Free
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Toys
Activity description

Early socialization will help your English Mastahoula learn the norms of interacting with other dogs, which will prevent aggressive behaviors when they're in unknown situations. There are many ways you can socialize your pooch, but arranging regular playdates from a young age is one consistent and effective way to encourage your pup to develop healthy relationships with other dogs. 

If you have a friend or family member with a dog, reach out as soon as you get your pooch. The younger you start the interactions, the better. You may also consider finding more than one friend to arrange playdates with, giving your pooch variety and plenty of "oppawtunity" to mingle with others! Arrange your playdates at least once a week, if not more, and allow the pups to play for a minimum of an hour. 

Step
1
Finding the right match
English Mastahoulas grow to be quite large, with an average body weight ranging between 80 to 160 pounds, depending on the gender and age of your pooch. With this in mind, set out to find another playmate who is similar in size and personality. A pup that is too small could get injured or intimidated by how large the English Mastahoula is, unless they are introduced from puppyhood.
Step
2
Choosing the location
There are many ways you and your pooch can spend time with their new four-legged companion. For starters, you can take walks, hikes or explore open spaces such as parks and fields together. Or, you can set up a playdate in the comfort of your own home. Large backyards or basements are "pawfect" for playing.
Step
3
Supervising the interactions
As you know, English Mastahoulas can have a tendency to act protectively around other pups, which can "ultimuttly" result in aggressive behaviors. Always supervise your pups while they play, especially during their first few interactions. If you see either dog act aggressively, be ready to correct the behaviors calmly and swiftly. Provide the dogs with toys and play games with them to make bonding time fun and stimulating for both pooches.
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Learning Leash Manners

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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Waste Bags
Activity description

English Mastahoulas are a giant breed, and it's likely your own Mastahoula outweighs you. That being said, you want to ensure you teach your pooch proper leash manners from a young age to prevent any issues with walking them.

Giant breeds often attempt to dominate their handlers and pull while walking. You want to teach your English Mastahoula your walking expectations early on so that you're the one who is doing the leading during your walks. To prepare for your leash manner sessions, grab a bag of treats, waste bags and a leash. You want to start as early as "pawssible" -- beginning as a puppy would be ideal.

Step
1
Stopping when pulled
The first thing to keep in mind when walking is that you want to give minimal slack so that your pooch is right at your side. As soon as your pooch pulls on the little slack they have, come to an immediate halt and wait for them to reposition themselves back beside you, not in front. Once in position, reward their obedient behavior using positive reinforcement.
Step
2
Changing direction
Another technique to try when your pup pulls is changing direction. As soon as they indicate wanting to lead you in one direction, turn around and walk in the opposite direction, showing them it is you who makes the choice. Again, when they move back into the correct walking position, reward them with praise and a treat.
Step
3
Taking baby steps
You may find you're hardly getting anywhere if you're constantly stopping or changing direction when your English Mastahoula pulls. That's okay -- don't sweat it. Your training sessions should range from 15 to 30 minutes, and sometimes, you may only take a few steps before heading home because of the time it takes for your pooch to refocus. In time, your dog will learn that the quicker they listen and stay in position, the further they get to walk. As your pup's behavior improves, you can reward them with longer walks!
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Frisbee Fun

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Frisbee
Treats
Activity description

Frisbee is one way to take the game of fetch to a whole new level. The purpose of using a Frisbee instead of a ball is so a dog has more time to position themselves to catch the flying disc in mid-air. With mid-air jumps, there's a whole new world of "oppawtunities" for pups to integrate agility into the activity, giving them a more strenuous workout.

To teach your pup how to catch a flying disc, you will need to build on the steps using training sessions that range between half an hour to an hour. Start off by picking up a disc and plenty of treats. You're going to want to use positive reinforcement throughout the training to encourage your pooch through the learning process. Once they learn how to catch the disc, enjoy endless games of Frisbee in the yard each day as one of the activities you use to work your pooch! 

Step
1
Introduce the disc
Pick up a Frisbee from a local pet shop if you don't have one already. Introduce the disc simply by holding it out to your English Mastahoula and letting them investigate it with their eyes and nose. You can allow your pup to take it in their mouth, but make sure they don't bite down and break the disc.
Step
2
Start with short tosses
To introduce the toss, position your pup a few feet in front of you. With treats in hand, throw the disc gently. If they catch it on the first try, reward the behavior immediately with treats. If they don't, repeat the action and encourage them. Treats and praise go a long way when introducing the catch.
Step
3
Increase the distance
Once your pup understands how to catch the disc, begin to increase the distance between the two of you. Do this until they can catch it from far away. At this point, add in motion. Have your pup start right beside you when you throw the disc. As you toss, give the command for your pooch to "seek." It will take lots of time, treats and practice to master movement with disc catching, but the investment is worth the payoff!
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More Fun Ideas...

Treibball

Treibball is kind of like doggy soccer with a twist. In Treibball, your pooch will learn how to navigate a series of balls into a goal area. The dog learns to follow the commands given by their handler, indicating the order that the balls need to be scored. Teach your pup a variation of Treibball in your own backyard and put their minds and bodies to the test!

Dock Diving

Take advantage of your English Mastahoula's adventurous personality by introducing them to dock diving. For this sport, find a dock and large body of water and train your pup to jump off of the dock to retrieve a thrown object. Enjoy dock diving on those hot summer days when hikes and walks are just too much to bear!

Conclusion

English Mastahoulas are large and gentle with their family, and when socialized at a young age, they get along fine with strangers, both dogs and humans. Find a friend for your English Mastahoula who’s available for regular play sessions each week. If this just isn’t an option, you could always visit dog parks where you’re bound to run into another pup! Taking your pooch on walks is another way to socialize, but of course, you'll need to teach them their leash manners first. 

For physical activities, try playing a game of Treibball or Frisbee with your English Mastahoula. Both activities will take time to introduce and learn to play, but they will provide your pup with both mental and physical stimulation, preventing boredom and anxiety. Dock diving is another physical activity that's ideal for the hot weather. Use dock diving to work your pooch physically and to cool them off when it's too hot out for other activities. As long as you nurture and train your English Mastahoula, they'll develop into the loving, gentle giants they have the "pawtential" to be!