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.
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.
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.
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!
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!