A FEW SIMPLE GUIDELINES
Your puppy will need lots of gentle attention when you first introduce it to its new surroundings as it will be in a completely new environment to what it is used to and will be missing its mother and siblings.
If you have another dog, ensure your puppy is protected from any rough play as this can frighten your puppy as well as put it in danger of injury. It is important that you are able to secure your puppy away from other dogs when not being supervised as adult dog especially, if they are large and/or heavier than your puppy, can cause irreparable damage to young and growing bones and joints if they fall or jump on them.
Your puppy should have an area that is ‘theirs’. Whether this be a small run, a laundry or a crate, this area should be a safe zone for your puppy to be able to retreat when necessary and to place them away if necessary.
If you have young children, make sure they are supervised and gentle with your new puppy. Please discourage young children from picking up your puppy. A Bullmastiff is quite heavy, even at eight weeks of age, and dropping a puppy again can cause irreparable damage to growing joints and bones.
Young puppies cannot maintain body temperature as well as adult dogs. Your puppy will require a clean, warm, draught-free place to sleep. A pup should be housed in a placed that allows for frequent interaction with the human members of the household.
You will need a heavy container for water, as large puppies have a habit of knocking over their water containers. Make sure it is not too tall and skinny (such as the galvanized cleaning buckets often used for older dogs) tat may allow a puppy to get caught upside down and drown.
Please ensure that your pup always has access to clean water at all times that is changed daily.
“Hip Dysplasia is not entirely an hereditary disease and environmental factors such as feeding, exercise and, even, the position the young dog is made to sit in, may be responsible for 60% of the occurrence of the hip dysplasia changes seen on X-Ray. The disease has only a moderate hereditability of 30 to 45%”.
To help reduce the risk of hip dysplasia, I strongly suggest that you adhere to the following guidelines:-
NEVER allow your puppy to jump in or out of the car, dog trailer, lounge, bed, or any place higher than it’s trampoline bed. (At least until the puppy is 18 months of age).
NEVER allow your puppy to jump off the back of a Ute, from the back of a 4WD or any other high obstacle AT ANY AGE..EVER.
NEVER over feed your puppy. Bullmastiffs ADORE food, but a large heavy boned pup that is also over weight puts a lot of unnecessary stress on joints, bones and ligaments that could lead t disaster.
NEVER over-dose on calcium and vitamins. Good quality commercial foods provide a balanced diet and don’t require any additional supplements. If you feel you dog requires any additional additives to their diet, please contact us for advice FIRST.
TRY to feed your dogs’ whole days dinner in two or three smaller portions. Better to feed smaller amounts more often than in one large sitting. Puppies MUST be fed at least twice a day.
NEVER over exercise your puppy. Let your puppy exercise itself. For at least the first 12 months of its life. Make sure your puppy has some enforced resting times.
NEVER allow bigger or older dogs to jump on your puppy or rough play with them. Supervise at all times and keep the older dog on a restraint.
NEVER allow young children to pick up your puppy.
ALWAYS pick your pup up with one hand under its chest and the other supporting its bottom. Never allow you pup to jump out of your hands.
STAIRS are a concern for your puppy. Please ensure you have barricaded any stairs that you have so that your puppy does not become at risk from falling down them.
Please consult your breeder or Vet with any concerns you have regarding your puppy and it’s care. They should be willing and grateful that you are taking the correct measures to ensure that you have a happy healthy Bullmastiff.
By Nikki Marshall