Activities For Muscle Mastiffs

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Introduction

This mighty dog breed is a hybrid with Dogue de Bordeaux and Mastiff parents, which is where the name "Muscle Mastiff" comes from. Built with a strong and sturdy body, the Muscle Mastiff is a giant breed with a weight that can reach up to almost 200 pounds. This breed is both intelligent and ideal for guarding, as they have an imposing appearance, though they're gentle in nature.  

The Mastiff is a large breed with an intimidating appearance. With the proper socialization and obedience training along side a competent and confident leader, this dog can be reared into a playful, friendly and loving companion. The Dogue De Bordeaux is a dog breed that dates back centuries, with their exact origins unknown. Characterized by an affectionate temperament and loyal personality, this pooch is ideal for guarding as well as companionship. Combined, the Muscle Mastiff makes for a powerful and mighty pooch that requires a regular amount of daily exercise to keep them satisfied.

Hill Drills

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

Hills drills are one way to maximize your outdoor walking experience with your pooch. Just as the name implies, hill drills require your Muscle Mastiff to complete running drills while going up or downhill, depending on the muscles you wish to work.

Hills drills do require a lot of physical exertion from your pooch, which is why the activity should be completed in short intervals. Too many drills can cause your pup to overheat. It's also ideal to do the drills on cool days. You can do hill drills multiple times throughout the week, but keep the drills short and sweet. Drills are free and require you to encourage, praise and reward your pup's success. Check out your neighborhood terrain and decide where you and your Muscle Mastiff can begin your hill drill training.

Step
1
Visit your vet
Before you set out for a hill, swing by your family veterinarian to discuss your pup's overall physical health. Strenuous exercise is not recommended for Muscle Mastiffs puppies who are less than a year old. The activity could also be too much for older Muscle Mastiffs. To be on the safe side, get the okay from an expert!
Step
2
Find a hill to conquer
Once you get the go-ahead, start this activity off by finding the right hill to run. Scope out your neighborhood and look for either one large hill, or multiple little hills to run. Ideally, the hills will be clear of trees or other impeding terrain, so you have a clear route to run.
Step
3
Learning and mastering the drills
Introducing a hill drill is quite simple. Keep your Muscle Mastiff on-leash during the training process. Position yourself at their side at the bottom of a hill. You can either first walk or lightly jog the hill. Uphill drills work the hind legs. You can repeat the action coming down. Eventually, your pooch can go off-leash, completing the drills independently. You can still run at their side working out together or wait at the top of the hill, cheering them on!
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Weighted Walks

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Weighted Vest or Backpack
Leash
Water
Activity description

Like hill drills, weighted walks are a way to elevate the traditional walking experience you have with your Muscle Mastiff. Weighted walks work your pooch, building their muscles and endurance. For weighted walks, you will need to purchase either a weighted dog vest, sized to fit dogs based on their height and weight, as well as adjustable backpacks. Depending on your budget and intentions, you may prefer one over the other.

Weighted walks are shorter in duration than standard walks, as a weighted walks are typically twice as difficult as normal walks. A ten-minute walk with a weighted vest or backpack is equivalent to a 20-minute normal walk. Keep this in mind when you plan your routes.

Step
1
Finding the right unit
Start off by deciding if you want to use a weighted vest or an adjustable backpack for your Muscle Mastiff. Weighted vests come as one unit with a predetermined weight. They can be bought in different sizes based on your pup’s weight. Adjustable backpacks, on the other hand, are similar to backpacks worn by humans with the perk of being able to modify the load by filling the pack with varying weight sizes. Backpacks also come in different sizes based on your dog’s build and weight.
Step
2
Adjusting for comfort
After you decide on and purchase your equipment for your pup, it's time to try it on. It's best to allow your Muscle Mastiff to get use to the feel of the fit and the weight of the load prior to taking a walk. Allow them to wear the backpack or vest around the house so they adjust, keeping an eye out for behaviors trying to remove the vest.
Step
3
Walking like a champ
When they're comfortable with the new gear, try it out with a short walk. Weighted walks can cause your pup to heat up quickly, which is why you never want to go too far. Short walks are sufficient for meeting a Muscle Mastiff's exercise requirements. You can also allow them to wear the vest when being active around the house for an extra work out, while still using short intervals of time!
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Obedience Training

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Treats
Leash
Activity description

Obedience training should begin at a young age and be a consistent part of your Muscle Mastiff's weekly activity schedule. This is important as Muscle Mastiffs can grow to be giant, and this, coupled with their independent personality, could make for some challenges during obedience training.

Beginning young and being consistent with your training will reinforce expectations and the behavior. Start with simple commands before moving on to complex commands. Consider using a favorite treat as well as praise to reward and further encourage the behavior. The activity could be done at home by the dog handler or with the help of a professional. Start this activity off by becoming familiar with the most basic commands to teach. 

Step
1
Learning to sit
The first and arguably simplest of commands to teach your Muscle Mastiff is to sit. Prepare ahead of time by grabbing a treat. Hold it in your closed hand, but allow your pup to smell it. Lift your hand upward with the treat inside while saying "sit" in a strong and clear voice. Typically, your pup will try to follow the treat with their nose, resulting in their bottom lowering. Reward when they are success and repeat as frequently as necessary.
Step
2
Learning to lie down
Just like when you taught your Muscle Mastiff to sit, start with your treat in hand. This time, after they smell the treat, move your hand quickly to the floor, while you get down with them. They should then follow you and the treat and lower their body to the ground. When they do, repeat the command and reward the behavior.
Step
3
Staying on command
Learning to stay can be a little tricky when you add a favorite toy or treat to the equation. This command requires your pup to have already mastered sitting. Begin by having them sit with you positioned directly in front of them with their reward held so it's in sight. Let them take a sniff, give the command to "stay" and slowly take a few steps backward. While you step, repeat the command word and use positive reinforcement. Reward your pup for each baby step they take along the way, acknowledging all times they wait! Increase the wait time and distance as they improve with the command throughout their training.
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More Fun Ideas...

Tug-of-War

Under the right conditions, tug-of-war is an excellent way to get your Muscle Mastiff moving and to teach them self-control. Keep in mind you want to discourage aggressive behaviors while playing such as shaking the tug object violently, but if played correctly, it can be a fun and physically draining activity for your pooch.

Visiting the Dog Park

Swing on by the dog park with your Muscle Mastiff "wagging" along to introduce them to other pups. Socialization at a young age can help with your pooch learning how to act appropriately with other dogs, preventing dominating and aggressive behaviors in the future.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, a Muscle Mastiff is giant contribution to any household, but this giant is as calm and friendly as they come. With traits of loyalty and affection inherited from their parent breeds, Mastiffs are loving towards all family members including children. One key aspect in developing a healthy and socially outgoing pooch is to socialize them at a young age, with lots of interactions with people of all ages as well as dogs. You can do this by visiting a dog park and taking lots of walks. 

Obedience training is also important in establishing the boundaries with your Muscle Mastiff. As this is a very large breed dog, you want to ensure you have control over them at all times! Begin training as young as 8 weeks to really enforce the behaviors and commands. Hill drills, tug-of-war and weighted walks are one way to meet the physical needs of your Mastiff breed, but be mindful of temperature and the potential for overheating. Diversify your Muscle Mastiff's workout routine to keep them engaged and entertained!