1. #1

    Why is my English Mastiff super timid/scared?

    I've got an English Mastiff I've had since she was a puppy, shes about 3 now. At first when she was younger we thought she'd grow out of the timidness, but she hasn't. She is okay with women but runs from men she isn't familiar with. Typically she hides from them. If they can manage to get close enough to pet her shes fine, but she jets as soon as they look away.

    Is this normal for a dog of this breed? I had a co-worker who has a female english mastiff as well, and he said she is also very timid.

  2. #2
    Im not sure this forum is the best place to ask this question (you would do better looking at dog breeder forums), but most of the time extreme oddities can be explained by environment in dogs. Is there a guy or group of guys that are/were mean to her?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by obdigore View Post
    Im not sure this forum is the best place to ask this question (you would do better looking at dog breeder forums), but most of the time extreme oddities can be explained by environment in dogs. Is there a guy or group of guys that are/were mean to her?
    Nope, we got her from a breeder as a puppy. We all love our animals .

    I wasn't really curious enough to ask on a dog/pet forum as I'd have to register and blah blah and I'd just end up forgetting about the thread anyway.

  4. #4
    Epic! Blockygame's Avatar
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    One of the most needy breeds of dogs you could ever own, hands down. Not sure how you would go about sorting this out, but this might give you some insight, unless you've already seen this site:

    http://www.monasticmastiffs.com/SOYOUWANTAMASTIFF.htm
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  5. #5
    Stood in the Fire JackHeart's Avatar
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    It is very hard to speculate, and in my experience Mastiffs are not that timid/scared.
    It is rather common among dogs that the bitches are a bit more timid and cautious than male dogs.
    My guess would go like Obdigore, and that is enviromental, maybe before you got her. Maybe she was the runt of the litter or had a really bad experience.

    Also if there is a very dominant male in the household that yells alot, it could start a fear in the dog, and it becomes timid and scared.

    The only thing you can do now is not to encourage timid behavior, try to reward her when she is brave and make her understand that such normal behavior is often rewarded. Most dogs want attention, and if they notice they get attention in doing something they try to do that more often.

    Good luck.
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  6. #6
    Herald of the Titans Solidito's Avatar
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    I've had two English Mastiffs, last one passed away around 10 years old and got a 4 year old one now. I've never really experienced any of them feeling/acting like this, the only thing i can think of is that maybe a guy has hurt it at some point. Maybe hit it for doing something bad, or just hit it for the hell of it, and it's scared shitless of getting hit again. Both the English Mastiffs i've had have been really well behaved tbh, never really done anything out of line besides pissing everywhere as a pup and the odd time where he gets a bit silly while play fighting.

    Actually thinking about it, i've noticed a few times if my dad shouts at him sometimes he lowers his tail and head and acts a bit scared, does anyone do this a lot in your house?

    My current one, he's awesome!


    Read the site listed above 'Mastiffs have a tendency towards shyness as a breed, and will go through stages as puppies where it is critical that they are properly socialized or they can and will develop into fearful, timid dogs. ' Could be something to do with this?
    Last edited by Solidito; 2012-09-18 at 12:42 PM.

  7. #7
    Your mastiff looks just like mine !




    its funny, now that I think about it, every picture of my Mastiff I have is either with something between its paws or on top of some one. (Or both)

    And yea, its likely she wasn't socalized enough as a puppy. We had other animals in the house, but very rarely strangers.
    Last edited by Alcsaar; 2012-09-18 at 12:50 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Alcsaar View Post
    And yea, its likely she wasn't socalized enough as a puppy.
    Bingo. But it's not too late. We messed up with our first dog and he hated almost anyone who wasn't me or my wife. We found out though that there are classes that will help you socialize your older dog, but it takes time and dedication to keep it up as just like humans, dogs can fall back into old habits. Your dog is larger and more aggressive than mine so they may request you get a muzzle or something, but it is still an option.

  9. #9
    Mastiff's have long been called "gentle giants". Do some googling on the breed.

    Yours sounds like it needs more socializing though.
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  10. #10
    The only way to fix it is as others said: don't encourage the behavior.

    Dogs are not people, and they're NOT like people. Comforting a dog that is scared doesn't comfort them, it teaches them that they're doing right by being scared. They'll continue to grow more afraid or even just act afraid whenever put in those situations (not that dogs aren't afraid of things).

    Instead, coax your dog out and into interaction that is positive in spite of the situation. If they're acting scared, turn your back and move away. Force them to confront it and come out, then reward them for doing so. Once they see that there is nothing to be afraid of, the situation will resolve itself.

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