Activities For Puerto Rican Mastiffs

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Introduction

You might know your Puerto Rican Mastiff by a far more majestic name — this regal breed is also known as the Gran Mastin de Borinquen, and it’s the only breed of dog native to Puerto Rico. Like many mastiff breeds, the Puerto Rican Mastiff has been unfairly slandered as a violent brute, but while these pups were bred for fighting and guarding, they can also be a gentle and fiercely loyal family companion (though they aren’t recommended for families with small children).

These intelligent dogs benefit from a good deal of mental stimulation, and despite their fierce appearance, they’re  sensitive and need quite a bit of TLC. They’re also rather lazy, so they may need a little extra encouragement to exercise. Read on to learn about the best activities to keep your Puerto Rican Mastiff as healthy and happy as can be!

Give Your Dog a Massage

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Any Day
Free
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Activity description

Everyone needs a bit of pampering now and then, and your pooch is no exception! Your Puerto Rican Mastiff might look tough, but a massage can be just the thing they need to make them feel relaxed and loved. Like many intelligent dogs, Puerto Rican Mastiffs can carry a lot of stress, and a good rub-down is an excellent way to keep them grounded.

Grooming parlors can be expensive, but it’s not too hard to give your doggo a massage at home! Saving cash isn’t the only benefit of keeping it DIY, either. Puerto Rican Mastiffs were bred to work alongside humans, and the pet/pet-parent bond is particularly important to them. An at-home massage is a pawesome way to show your furry friend some affection! 

Step
1
Make sure your dog is calm
"But wait," you might be thinking, "isn’t the point of a massage to calm my dog down?" Well, yes, but you need to make sure your pupper isn’t too agitated to sit still first! Plus, if your dog is particularly wound up, a massage might actually reinforce that feeling. If your Puerto Rican Mastiff is nervous or looks to be a few minutes away from raising their hackles, consider going for a walk first.
Step
2
Pet your pup gently
This step is particularly important if you’re massaging your doggo for the first time. You’ll need to get them used to you having your hands on their body! Rub them softly all over their back, head, shoulders, and legs. You might also want to give them some gentle words of encouragement.
Step
3
Massage!
You can use either circular motions or just a heavy-handed pet. Work on your dog’s neck, back, and shoulders first before moving on to their chest and legs. Pay attention to your pooch's reactions — some pups prefer different techniques and different pressure levels, or just don’t like having their chests touched.
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Go Camping

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 2 days
Items needed
camping equipment
collapsible food bowl
water
airtight containers
Activity description

Sometimes a pup and their person just need to shed the shackles of civilization and head off alone into the wilderness. But while solo camping can be a refreshing and rewarding experience, many people are put off by safety concerns. Never fear — no one’s gonna mess with you while you have your loyal Puerto Rican Mastiff by your side!

Or maybe you’re looking to spend time with those you love in some splendid natural surroundings. If so, then a camping trip is a paw-fect choice for a Fido-friendly family vacation. Depending on when you go and where you stay, it can be pretty budget-friendly, too!

Step
1
Do your research
The first thing to consider is your choice of staying spot. While many campgrounds — particularly US National Forest ones — are fur-friendly, not all are, and some will have breed restrictions or pet fees. With a Puerto Rican Mastiff, it’s extra important to consider the demographic of the campground and the space between sites. Remember, they don’t always do well with little ones, so you don’t want to end up two inches away from a family with toddlers! Remember, while your campground of choice might welcome wagging tails with open arms, some of the activity options in the area might not. This is especially the case with many national parks, where puppers might be allowed in the campground but not on the trails.
Step
2
Gear up
You’ll want to make sure you have everything to make your doggo’s stay as comfortable as possible! At the very least, you’ll want to have plenty of water, food in airtight containers, and a collapsible food bowl. You might also want to bring tweezers in case of ticks, and maybe some booties in case your pup injures a paw. And of course, waste bags are a must! (Oh yeah, and pack some stuff for yourself too.)
Step
3
Enjoy!
Get ready to spend the night under the stars with your pooch by your side. Light a campfire, make some s'mores, and investigate the activity options in the area. You and your buddy might want to figure out what trails to sniff and explore, cast a line in a nearby body of water, or just chill out and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors.
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Hill Walking

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Sunny Day
Free
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Harness
Water bottle
Activity description

Without a lot of encouragement, Puerto Rican Mastiffs can become total couch pup-tatoes, something many owners can empathize with. But those big muscles definitely need a workout! Usually one to two thirty-minute walks a day will cut it, but there’s no harm in getting a little more intense.

Hill walking is a furrific exercise option for your Puerto Rican Mastiff, because there’s a greater intensity of exercise without a lot of time put in. However, it does require owners to have a certain fitness level — if you’re out of breath just thinking about it, you might want to consider something else.

Step
1
Choose your location
Investigate state parks, open spaces and nature preserves in your area, and select one with appropriately hilly terrain. Be sure not to push your pup too far too fast — you don’t want to end up calling mountain rescue because your Puerto Rican Mastiff has had enough. Puerto Rican Mastiffs often don’t do well with crowds, so a less-frequented trail might be a better option.
Step
2
Be prepared
As always, you’ll need to bring waste bags and plenty of water for your doggo, and it’s worth noting that most parks and preserves will require your buddy to stay on-leash. You might also consider a harness — it’ll give you more control over your canine companion on steeper sections. As with camping, tweezers and booties are a very good idea. Be sure to look up a trail map, too!
Step
3
Hike!
You’ll need to be right by your buddy as you head up those slopes, so make sure you’re geared up with good hiking boots, synthetic layers, and waterproofs if necessary. Go out, get some exercise, and experience the great outdoors with your four-pawed pal! Trust us — this is one grrr-eat way to a fitter furry friend.
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More Fun Ideas...

Cuddle up and Watch a Movie

At the end of the day, your pupper is happiest when they're by your side. Spend an evening in in front of the TV — you guys have earned it!

Jogging

Many Puerto Rican Mastiffs don’t love the idea of exercise, but they do love you enough to jog alongside you! It’s a great idea to take your buddy for a morning run, but make sure they’re at a decent fitness level first.

Special Watchdog Training

Puerto Rican Mastiffs weren’t just bred to fight; they were bred to guard property and keep their owners safe. Special watchdog training will engage their brain, teach them when and when not to bark, and even improve their social skills. Look into classes in your area.

Conclusion

So there you have it — six ways you can  spend your time with your best pal! While Puerto Rican Mastiffs can look mean, they need a lot of love, and your presence by their side will make them one happy pup indeed, even if it takes a bit of effort to get them moving. Have fun!