Please note : The O.E.M.C does not recommend individual breeders and all arrangements for buying a puppy are between the breeder and buyer.
The OEMC encourage its members to health test their dogs. We are currently subsidising Cystinuria and Pied DNA tests.
Further health screening records are held by the KC on their Health Test Results Finder database. This database allows you to search for any screening results received and recorded by the KC from a British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club (BVA/KC) health scheme (search using the dog’s registered name, registration number or stud book number).
Please do ask breeders for details of their testing schemes and results.
'Alexia', Ursula Avenue, Selsey, West Sussex PO20 0HT
tel - 01243 603899
E-mail - Claire@oemc.info
Members currently with Litters:
BUYING A MASTIFF PUPPY
Do your research!
When the entire family have agreed that a Mastiff is the breed for you, when you have studied the pictures and read the books, it's time to start looking for the pup. This should not be rushed, go to some of the breed shows, talk to as many different Breeders as possible, study their dogs for sound movement, temperament, health etc.. Make an appointment to visit Breeders and ask to see their other dogs - are they outgoing and friendly, do they look clean and healthy?
Once you have chosen your Breeder, be prepared to be asked - and to answer as truthfully as possible, dozens of questions, all good Breeders will do this to safeguard their pups. When the litter is born and it has been agreed that one of the pups will be yours, go to see the litter as soon as the Breeder allows it. Take your time in choosing your favourite, it normally takes at least two visits. Study the litter carefully, which of the pups is outgoing and not afraid to come and be made a fuss of. Check the skin for any signs of a rash or flea infestation. Ask the Breeder what documentation you will be given with your pup. The least you should expect is:-
Kennel Club registration certificate
Worming certificate and
It is most strongly advised that any puppy purchased from anywhere abroad, or from dogs in this country bred from imported stock, should be tested clear from carrying the pied gene.
Be prepared to pay a deposit for the Breeder to 'hold' the pup you have chosen and ask for a receipt for the amount paid prior to taking your pup home. Decide whether or not you want to show and discuss this with the Breeder. Most Breeders will be happy to have you keep in touch and will help you in all aspects of rearing your pup, never be afraid to ask for help.
Picking a Show Puppy
Many experienced breeders find the best time to pick a puppy is when it is wet (newborn) or between the ages of 7/8 weeks. Usually the puppy will go back to what it was at that age when mature.
First of all check the overall look of the puppy, does it look like an adult in miniature, does it stand firm on all four legs, is it well boned. Look for balance. Good movement should show the puppy is constructed correctly, bone structure does not alter; shoulder and rear angulation should match. A slightly overshot mouth is usually nothing to worry about; the bottom jaw will continue to grow.
The back should be straight without a dip. Feet large and round, with well arched toes. Already you should be able to see a good spring of rib and depth. Pick the pup up and stand it down front legs should be straight elbows should be close to the body. The rear end, neither wide nor narrow and the feet should not turn in or out. Look for length, movement and overall balance.
Large ears will never be small, but remember also they have to grow into them. They should lie flat to the head look for black inside as they tend to pale off from birth and then get darker again. Look at the eye shape small wide apart and tightness of the lids. Study the eye colour in the sunlight what looks dark in normal light may be light in sunlight, they may still be blue but you want a dark blue.
Look for the pup that stands and says 'here I am' the show off, no matter how handsome he is if he is not bold you will be disappointed in the ring. You are looking for a miniature of a grown dog.
FEEDING A MASTIFF
LYN SAY (BULLIFF MASTIFFS)
There is such a vast selection of manufactured diets on the market; it is not possible to make hard and fast rules, though many feed mastiffs on the well tried tripe and biscuit method. If you do feed complete food additional supplements should not be required as the manufacturers have already added a selection - 'read the bag'. Do make sure that the complete food chosen is specially developed for a giant breed.
Mastiffs in general do not require a high protein diet and many of these feeds are very high. If the food vanishes from the dish and they look good on it, you must be on the right road. Obviously young puppies, pregnant bitches and the oldies may require something a bit different. I have found it helps to wean puppies as soon as their eyes are open. The are introduced to finely minced beef or lamb, about the size of a small walnut, which is fed to them individually by hand, once a day for 2 days and then twice a day, moving them on to a manufactured puppy porridge at about 3 weeks, or when they are standing firmly. At 5 weeks they go on to tripe and biscuits. I do not give milk after they have come off mum.
For a newly purchased puppy I would strongly advise keeping the pup on the food the breeder has suggested, at least for the first few days any changes should be made gradually or you will end up with 'upset tums'. Don't be caught in the trap of speaking to everyone you know with a dog and taking a little advise from each of them, it just doesn't work. Do remember to increase the size of the puppies meals as he grows.
FRESH CLEAN WATER SHOULD ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE.
Worm regularly monthly for puppies, twice yearly for adults with additional worming if you think it necessary. Mastiffs seem to avoid most flea invasions but not all.
Mastiffs are easy to keep clean, a daily brush and ear check with an occasional bath, should keep them sweet. We clean their teeth occasionally and they have marrow bones. Cheese or liver is a good titbit, NEVER chocolate made for humans as this can be toxic to dogs.
RAISING A MASTIFF
For about 12 months don't be tempted to over exercise your pup, the first 9 months playing in the garden is adequate with a small amount of controlled exercise such as getting them used to wearing and walking calmly on a collar and lead. Soft webbing collars are much kinder for young dogs and pups than metal ones. Do however, socialise them. This is very important, without adequate socialisation, your pup can become nervous of people, other animals, and unfamiliar situations. It is your responsibility to help them become used to all aspects of normal everyday life. Join the local training classes, but check that the floor is not slippery before taking part. Take them to the local market or to the railway station where they will get used to loud and sudden noises. Start doing this socialising as soon as they have had their vaccinations.
Stay calm and praise them for being brave.
Avoid the pup running up and downstairs DON'T let your pup jump in and out of the car, avoid them jumping up always go down to them.
Don't over feed your pup, when giving treats these are part of the diet, use cheese or dried liver.
Balls are great fun but should always be larger than the dogs head.
Many experts have been employed in developing Proprietary dog foods and their guidelines on feeding should be adhered to as much as possible. Always feed food developed for a Giant breed.
If your pup has loose stools, this generally means you are over feeding if constipated you are not feeding him enough. If either of these conditions continue contact your vet.
Plenty of fresh drinking water should always be available. Change it regularly, the saliva they produce can make it very slimy.
Toilet training starts as soon as you get your puppy. On waking, after play, after meals take him to the area you want him to use, no matter what the weather stay with him and lots of praise when the deed is accomplished.
Be firm but kind. With a good dog training group your pup will meet other dogs and people and learn the basic social skills required of him. Usually the owner needs more training than the dog and this is a good place to learn.
Basic commands such as 'heel', 'sit', 'stay', 'lie down' and 'recall' will make for a happy relationship. When disciplining your puppy a simple 'NO' should be enough, if this is ignored say 'NO' in a harsher tone. You must remand them whilst they are in the act of displeasing you, it is no good after the event, they have short memories.
Always praise your pup when it has done well. Remember you are 'TOP DOG' and your puppy is the lowest member of the pack and should never dominate you or any member of the 'pack'.