12 golden rules of ownership

1. Know and obey local laws. At the same time, avoid leaving your Bullmastiff tied out in your yard for long periods. Bullmastiffs are social animals and require companionship. Leaving a bullmastiff out for extended periods tends to lead to barking and aggressive behavior.

2. Consult your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your bullmastiff if you know you will not breed. Neutering not only helps to control the severe pet overpopulation problem, it also has health benefits. Spaying reduces the risk of mammary cancer, especially if done prior to your bullmastiffss first heat. It also reduces the possibility of uterine infections and cancer. Castration prevents prostate disease and testicular cancer in male bullmastiffs. It also reduces or eliminates fighting between males, roaming, urine marking and mounting behavior.

3. License and place identification on your dog. Rabies vaccination and licensing are required by law in most states. In addition, you should identify your bullmastiff with a name tag, tattoo or microchip in case he gets lost.

4. Provide regular veterinary care for your bullmastiff. Annual vaccinations, checkups and dental exams are essential to good heath.

5. Train your bullmastiff to have good manners.

6. Feed your bullmastiff a balanced diet and provide fresh water at all times.

7. Always clean up after your bullmastiff in public places.

8. Keep your bullmastiff clean and groomed. Regular grooming keeps your bullmastiff looking his best and helps to detect and control skin parasites that could be passed to people.

9. Play with your bullmastiff at least 30 to 40 minutes a day. Avoid chase games, tug of war, and wrestling.

10. Exercise your bullmastiffs at least 30 minutes daily. Brisk walks, jogging and ball playing are enjoyed by bullmastiffss.

11. Provide your bullmastiff with the chance to socialize with people and other dogs. Do not leave him cooped up in your house or yard.

12. Love, admire and respect your bullmastiff as your companion and as an individual. Your bullmastiff is a wonderful, beautiful and intelligent member of the canine species. Be patient with him if you run into problems. Don't hurt him, abandon him or ignore him. Get help before you give him up.

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Last Updated Sunday, April 01, 2001