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Tibetan Mastiff

A giant dog, slightly longer than he is tall, the Tibetan Mastiff dog is a powerful, muscular breed that is athletic and agile, with a dignified composure. Adult male dogs stand at a minimum of 66cm and females at a minimum of 61cm. The weight range is 36-72k-plus, depending on the dog's sex, height and build. The dense coat is quite long and there is a 'mane' around the neck and shoulders, which is more obvious in male dogs. The coat comes in a range of colours and markings - for full details, see the breed standard.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Tibetan Mastiff

Origin

An ancient breed, thought to date back 3,000 years, the Tibetan Mastiff dog breed was used as a guard dog in his native country, protecting properties (including monasteries) as well as livestock. Marco Polo reported that the Tibetan Mastiff was as “tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion.” The breed is relatively new to the rest of the dog-loving world, only coming to the attention of breeders in the West a century ago.

Personality

A guard dog through and through, the Tibetan Mastiff is not a breed to take on lightly. He is wary of strangers and naturally protective of his family and property. Experienced handling, socialisation and training are needed, as with all guarding breeds. In the right home, he is a calm, affectionate, loyal companion.

Health

Tibetan Mastiffs are generally a very robust breed. As with many breeds eye disorders and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can sometimes occur. Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore recommended.

Exercise

An hour's daily exercise is required for a Tibetan Mastiff, though he will happily accept more if you can offer it. A Tibetan mastiff puppy should not be overexercised, as it is important to avoid putting strain on the muscles and joints of such a large, growing breed.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Tibetan Mastiff is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

The Tibetan Mastiff's double coat consists of a dense, woolly undercoat, which sheds in warmer weather, and a thick topcoat that is straight and hard-textured. The tail and back legs are well feathered. A brush through a couple of times a week is advised with daily grooming when the coat sheds.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Thought to date back 3000 years, Tibetan Mastiffs were bred for guarding. Today, they're loyal and affectionate to experienced owners. Find out more at Purina.

St Bernard (Medium/long coat)

One of the instantly recognisable breeds, St Bernard dogs stand tall with massive frames. They are muscular dogs with powerful, imposing heads, and are capable of covering very rough ground with unhurried, smooth movements. This breed can be orange, mahogany-brindle, red-brindle, or white with patches of these colours. The adult male stands at a minimum of 75cm and the female at 70cm. Their weight is approximately 68-91kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
St Bernard (Medium/long coat)

Origin

The St Bernard dog breed takes its name from the Hospice of the Great Saint Bernard Pass, founded in AD980 by St Bernard de Menthon as a refuge for travellers through the dangerous Alpine pass between Switzerland and Italy. By 1707 the overworked monks realised that dogs with their superior noses, strength and weather-resistant coats were better equipped to rescue travellers, thanks to their in-bred sense of direction, and they established their own breeding programme, calling the dogs Alpine Mastiffs. Tales of great rescues were reported with one of the most famous dogs, Barry, having saved the lives of 40 people.

Personality

A 'gentle giant' sums up the character of the St Bernard. They are good-humoured, trustworthy and love family life. They are very loyal dogs who rarely bark, but will defend you and your possessions if they deem necessary. They normally accept other household animals with no problems. Young dogs must be taught from an early age not to pull on their leads, as this habit will be difficult to break when they are older.

Health

The most serious health problems commonly seen in the St Bernard are various bone disorders, including bone cancer, epilepsy and heart disease. As with many breeds, they can also suffer from hereditary eye disorders and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

Exercising St Bernard puppies must be done very gradually to avoid putting excess strain on their growing bones and tender tissues and, even with the adult dog, care must taken to build up exercise gradually. Having said that, for their size they really do not need copious amounts of exercise – about an hour daily for an adult.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. St Bernards are prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

There are two coat types – smooth and rough. The smooth is short-haired and the rough is long-haired. Grooming is not a problem apart from the amount of coat to get through! They need to be brushed or combed several times a week to remove loose hairs. The ears should be kept clean and the eyes checked very regularly, especially those dogs with drooping eyelids. St Bernards are clean animals but do tend to slobber.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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A gentle giant, St Bernards are a loving and loyal companion who are ideally suited to family life. To find out more about this breed, visit Purina today.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Compact, symmetrical dogs, Welsh Springer Spaniels are medium-sized and built for endurance and hard work. They have a glossy, silky, flat coat with feathering on their extremities, and are a rich red and white colour. Adult males are 48cm in height and females 46cm. They weigh 16-20kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
Welsh Springer Spaniel

Origin

Red and white spaniels have existed in Wales since the 1700s. They were found mainly in Wales and the west of England before spreading to the east of England and Scotland where they were used as gundogs and for breeding. The versatile abilities and hunting instincts of the Welsh Springer Spaniel made them prime candidates for worldwide ownership and by the 19th and 20th centuries were exported abroad. Before acceptance into the British Kennel Club in 1902 the Springer Spaniel breed was known as Welsh Cockers.

Personality

Welshie's have all the soft-eyed faithfulness of the other spaniels and are totally devoted to their families. They are high-spirited, good-natured companions. They are people-orientated dogs but can be a bit reserved with strangers. They are family dogs and need company. Easily trained, a Welsh Springer Spaniel often makes a superb obedience dog and working gundog.

Health

The Welsh Springer Spaniel can suffer from hereditary eye diseases and so screening is advised. Hip testing is also recommended as hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can also occur.

Exercise

Welshies need plenty of exercise, over two hours daily for an adult. They love swimming and care must be taken to ensure their safety when water is about. They are ideal candidates for field trials.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

This breed does not need a lot of grooming but the feathering will need regular combing, brushing and trimming – two or three times a week. The ears should be trimmed regularly to prevent infections.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Welsh Springer Spaniels have existed in Wales since the 1700s and this faithful and outgoing breed makes a great pet for families. Find out more at Purina.

English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium-sized sporting dog with long ears. This dog's expression is alert, kindly and trusting. The coat is straight and medium-length with feathering, and can be black and white, liver and white, or either of these with tan markings. The adult English Springer is about 51cm in height and weighs about 23-25kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
English Springer Spaniel

Origin

All Spaniels can trace their origins back to the spaniels of Spain. Up until the 1600s all spaniels were considered as being of the same group of dogs. The larger of these were the forefathers of today's English Springer Spaniel dog breed. In 1892 the Kennel Club of Great Britain recognised Cocker and Springer Spaniels as separate breeds even though they sometimes appeared in the same litter. This was soon stopped by the two breed clubs and a standard conformation was made of each breed. Their original purpose was for finding and springing game for the net, falcon or Greyhound also used by the hunters. Nowadays they are used to find, flush and retrieve game for the gun.

Personality

The typical Springer Spaniel is an extrovert by nature, friendly, eager to please and quick to learn. As a rule they make good companions and family dogs, being well behaved and quick to learn and respond. Some of the less well-bred dogs of this breed can be stubborn, timid, or aggressive, but this is the exception not the rule. The show strain of the English Springer Spaniel appear to be calmer and less active than the working strain.

Health

English Springer Spaniels are generally a hardy breed. However, as with many breeds, they can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. A particular type of anaemia is also seen more frequently in the breed.

Exercise

These dogs love the outdoors and are energetic enough to go on all day. A lot of exercise and learning is required to keep this dog content – two-plus hours for is suitable for a fit adult, otherwise behaviour problems can result. They love to be kept involved in all family activities and as such are ideal for a growing family. They will settle happily after adequate exercise.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

The body coat of the Springer Spaniel is flat or wavy and of medium length, and the ears, chest, legs, tail and under carriage have moderate feathering. As a result of this feathering some amount of grooming is required. Some trimming will be necessary around the head, feet and ears. Extra grooming is required especially after a day out in the undergrowth, as the coat can and will pick up all sorts of twigs and grass.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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English Springers are outgoing and energetic, and as they learn quickly and love to please, they make great family pets. Read more about the breed with Purina.

Siberian Husky

These are medium-sized dogs whose proportions suggest a balance of power, speed and endurance. With a double-layered, medium-length coat, erect ears and a brush tail, this breed comes in all colours and markings, including white, with some striking patterns being seen. Adult males stand at 53-60cm, females at 51-56cm. Adult males weigh 20-27kg, adult females 16-23kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For one to two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
Siberian Husky

Origin

The Siberian husky breed was employed by the Chukchis of the Kolyma River in Siberia during the 19th century. The fine temperament of the breed can possibly be acclaimed to the fine treatment of the Chukchis. As dog sledges were the principal means of transport, these huskies were of paramount importance to the natives. The first Siberian Huskies arrived in Alaska in the early 20th century, still known as Chukchis. Sled-racing then became popular at about the same time and the breed's speed amazed and inspired dog racers in the States. The Americans renamed the breed as Siberian Husky around that time.

Personality

The breed is known for its good temperament and its love of people means they don't make natural guard dogs. They love and need company and should not be left alone for long periods of time or they can become very destructive. They will be happy with other well-adjusted dogs but are keen and efficient hunters so contact with other household animals needs careful handling and training. Whilst they do not often bark, they will howl, often just for the joy of it!

Health

The Siberian Husky is generally a healthy, hardy breed. However, as with many breeds, they can suffer from hereditary eye disorders and occasionally hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

This breed does need a considerable amount of exercise but this must be done in a safe, enclosed area, or on a lead, as they do have a strong desire to run if free and cannot be relied upon to return on command. A well-fenced garden is a necessity and, as they can jump anything from a standstill, height is also important. An adult Siberian needs two-plus hours of exercise daily and an appropriate opportunity to run.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

Grooming is particularly easy: a brush and comb through two or three times a week normally, but daily grooming during the moulting period. This is a clean breed with little or no 'doggie' smell.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Siberian Huskies just love to socialise with people! With a happy temperament, they make loyal companions to dedicated owners. Visit Purina to find out more.

Shar Pei

Shar Pei are easily recognisable by the loose folds of skin on their bodies and their 'frowning' expressions. They are squarely built and short-coupled and look powerful with good bone. Their coat is short and bristly and harsh to the touch. The Shar Pei dog comes in many colours – see the breed standard for details. Adult Shar Pei measure 46-51cm and weigh around 18kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can groom my dog once a week
-
I prefer quiet dogs that only bark from time to time
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Shar Pei

Origin

The Shar Pei dog breed is centuries old and is a cross of the Mastiff and Nordic breeds. The blue tongue is a characteristic shared with the Chow Chow and this breed is also in its make-up. The Shar Pei dog was originally considered a delicacy in China and the outlawing of them as pets on the mainland forced the breed into near extinction. Thankfully, Matgo Law, a concerned breeder, was able to inspire interest in the Western world and the breed was saved. When Shar Pei first reached the West in the 1970s, they were classified as the rarest breed in the world.

Personality

Well-socialised Shar Pei are devoted to their families. They are loyal, playful and active but can also be stubborn and territorial if not trained properly when young. They are naturally suspicious of strangers. They will be fine with cats if they have been introduced to them when puppies but there can be problems mixing with other dogs. They often hate the cold.

Health

The most common health problems affecting the Shar Pei are skin infections in the excessive skin folds, and various eye conditions. They also may suffer a particular condition which causes fever and joint swelling (familial Shar Pei fever).

Exercise

Whilst an active breed, Shar Pei dogs will take as much or as little exercise as offered as long as they have access to free play. As a guide, an adult dog should be offered an hour's exercise daily, though he will happily accept more. If the dog is quarrelsome with other dogs, make sure he is on a lead and suitable restrained to ensure he cannot cause any trouble.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

Some lines have very close-set tails and these must be inspected and cleaned to prevent infection. The eyes as well should be inspected daily. The coat itself just needs a going over with a soft brush.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Characterised by their loose folds of skin, Shar Peis are lovely looking dogs with playful personalities. Discover more about this dog breed at Purina today.

Rottweiler

Rottweiler dogs (or 'Rotties') are large, compact dogs known for their solid black coats with clearly defined rust-coloured markings. They are strong and powerful dogs for their size. For their size, Rottweilers are very agile and capable of running and jumping with ease. Adult females stand at 58-64cm and weigh around 38kg, while adult males measure 63-69cm and weigh around 50kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
I'd love a large dog
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can groom my dog once a week
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Rottweiler

Origin

The Rottweiler's ancestors could have been the dogs used by the Roman legions to drive and guard their livestock as they crossed the Alps. By the Middle Ages, in Rottweil, Germany, these dogs had been crossed with local sheepdogs to create the 'Rottweiler Metzgerhund', the Rottweil Butchers' Dog. Butchers used these dogs to drive and guard their livestock as it made its way on foot from town to town. In the 19th century cattle-driving became illegal in Germany and the Rottweiler dog breed suffered a decline until 1914 when they were once again brought into use for the war, which proved their physical and mental abilities.

Personality

Rottweilers are unconditionally loyal to their handlers and their families and will naturally defend them and their property. A popular breed with unscrupulous breeders, it's important to find a well-bred, well-socialised pup, as temperaments can vary. The importance of socialisation and training from an early age cannot be overstressed! This breed is not suited to the novice/inexperienced owner.

Health

In common with many large breeds the Rottweiler dog may suffer from a specific stomach condition (gastric dilation volvulus) and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

Rottweilers need exercise and plenty of it! Failure to do this can cause all sorts of behavioural problems. They love to run through woods and in the open countryside with no desire to wander far from their owners. For an adult, two-plus hours of daily exercise is required.

Nutrition

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Rottweilers are also prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming

One of the easiest breeds to maintain, give your Rottweiler a good brush down with a rubber glove every now and then – and more regularly during the moulting seasons – and this will suffice.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Rottweilers are unconditionally loyal, and they can make great pets for experienced owners. To learn more about this powerful dog breed, visit Purina today.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog is a large, solid-coloured, active breed with a short coat that has a distinctive ridge of hair along the back. Powerful and agile, adult males measure 63-69cm and weigh 30-39kg. Females are 61-66cm in height and weigh 30-39kg. They can be any self-colour from light wheaten to red wheaten.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
I'd love a large dog
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can groom my dog once a week
-
I prefer quiet dogs that only bark from time to time
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Rhodesian Ridgeback

Origin

Records show that the Hottentots of South Africa used ridge-backed dogs as hunters and companions from at least the 15th century. They were bred as big game hunters, to track and trap the prey, but not to attack. Once they had cornered their prey they would bark to alert the hunter. In the 1800s European settlers bred these dogs to their own Mastiffs and scent hounds thus producing the Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed we know today. Nowadays few of these dogs are used for their original purpose of hunting; instead they are guard dogs and companions.

Personality

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a strong, powerful dog that can be determined and stubborn. Although quite placid and confident at home, they are very wary of strangers. Not the ideal breed for the novice owner, they need experienced handling and training – together with early, thorough socialisation.

Health

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is predisposed to a particular inherited defect involving the spine (dermoid sinus) and all puppies should be screened at birth for this. As with many breeds they can also suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

The Rhodesian Ridgeback requires a couple of hours' daily exercise as an adult. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have strong hunting instincts so should be in a safe open space before let of the lead. A reliable recall is essential.

Nutrition

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. The coat shorthaired coat can be groomed using a rubber-grooming mitt once or twice a week.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Originally bred in South Africa for hunting, these beautifully red-coloured dogs now make loyal companions to experienced owners. Learn more at Purina today.

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

They look immensely strong and yet are well balanced and elegant, with unhurried, steady and smooth movement, which is driven by powerful hindquarters. Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (or 'Pyrs') are plain white or white with patches of badger, wolf-grey, lemon, orange or tan.on their heads, ears and root of their tails. The minimum height for an adult male is 70cm and 50kg in weight. Adult females are from 65cm and 40kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Origin

Originating from the Pyrenees, the mountains that separate France from Spain, the exact history of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog breed is unknown but they have been guarding the flocks in France for millennia. Fossils of this breed type have been found, which predate the Bronze Age (1800-1000BC). Before the French Revolution, the breed could be found guarding the large chateaux in southern France. Exactly what breeds contributed to their make-up are not known but the Kuvasz of Hungary, the Maremma Sheepdog of Italy and Anatolian Sheepdog of Turkey are all likely candidates. To this day, the breed works in France, guarding sheep and cattle from predators and stock thieves.

Personality

Pyrenean Mountain Dogs often make affectionate companions. They can, however, be aggressive towards other dogs of a similar size. Strangers will be mistrusted and you and your family will be protected against any unwelcome strangers. Pyrenean Mountain Dogs can be headstrong and stubborn and are not ideal for first-time owners, requiring a more experienced owner.

Health

The Pyranean Mountain Dog is generally a hardy breed. However in common with many large breeds they may suffer hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

Exercising puppies must be done very gradually to avoid putting excess strain on their growing bones and tender tissues and, even with the adult dog, care must taken to build up exercise gradually. Having said that, for their size they really do not need copious amounts of exercise, but, in time, should be given free running off the lead as well as regular controlled walks.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Pyrenean is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

It is necessary to brush or comb this breed thoroughly once or even twice a day to remove loose hairs. This becomes even more important during the moulting times. Failure to do this will result in the coat matting and the dog's coat looking dull and unhealthy. They do require regular bathing and this is no easy task!

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Ideally suited to experienced owners, Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are affectionate companions, but can be a little headstrong! Learn more at Purina today.

Neapolitan Mastiff

A giant-sized dog, the majestic Neapolitan Mastiff is strong and muscular. Slightly longer than he is tall, an adult male stands at 65-75cm and weighs 50-70kg, and females are slightly less. The short, dense coat comes in several colours and shades (black, blue, grey, brown) including brindle and the skin is quite loose over the body and head – though this should not be excessive.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Neapolitan Mastiff

Origin

The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed comes from the ancient Molossus type of dog – a large, fierce guarding breed used by the Romans. They are thought to have been used in the arenas and also as ferocious dogs of war. The Neapolitan Mastiff has been used as a police dog as well as his main role as a guard. It's said that when working on the estates of Naples, he instinctively knew the boundaries he was entrusted to protect and was left free to roam the parameters.

Personality

Essentially a guarding breed, the Neapolitan Mastiff is vigilant at all times. Even-tempered, he is loyal to his loved ones and slightly aloof. Given his natural protection tendencies, early socialisation is essential and he needs experienced handlers. If raised with another dog, he will live happily with one, but it may best that they are of the opposite sex. The cost of caring for such a large dog should be seriously considered before purchase.

Health

As with many breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. They are also particularly prone to skin infections

Exercise

For an adult, about an hour's exercise is needed, but while he is still growing, a puppy should not over-exert himself, in case he strains his joints.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Neapolitan Mastiff is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

The short coat is low-maintenance, requiring a once-weekly groom. But many times a day you will need to wipe your dog's mouth and any slobber drools left around the house and on furnishings, and his facial folds and mouth area will need cleaning once or twice a week, too.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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neapolitan mastiff
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This giant-sized Mastiff is a naturally vigilant character, with an even temper and strong protection tendencies. Read about his care and breed history here.

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