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Dec 30, 2006, 10:09 AM

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Re: [richard222] On Neopolitan Mastiffs

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Thank you all for your kind remarks and suggestions.

Richard was right that the neo in question was raised alone by an owner who must have beaten her often or even fought her as many Mexican owners like to do for probably two years and, thus, had developed no social skills that would help her adjust to the pack. On top of that she was an aggressive and dominant creature given to sudden and violent threats. We had socialized her in the only way we knew how and that was with daily long walks with the whole pack. I will tell you that we are lucky in West Ajijic to have long stretches of deserted beaches where we could accomplish this. Over time, she became socialized but what that turned out to be was that she was the boss and would try to kill any dog who dared to try to dominate her. The housekeeper was deathly afraid of her and it was only time before she really hurt someone.

I appreciate the suggestions on Justus Hauser but I donīt want to be stuck with his hospital bill. If youīve ever faced a 150 pound mass of muscle trying to decide whether or not to have you for lunch then you know what I mean - and we have successfully trained several mastiffs at home.

One small bit of advice for mastiff lovers. Bordeaux are much easier to train than neopolitans. If you are going to have neos, get them when they are very young and train them well and assertively. Anticipate being able to handle 150 pounds of pure muscle for the next eight years or so. If you do it right, there are few more magnificent dogs in the world than neos. However, think twice before you adopt a mistreated and neglected neo thatīs a couple of years old or more.

One more thing about neos. They are very social and detest being left alone. They will want to be with you and the pack always and (I am not making this up), may sob and screach uncontrollably if left alone. Also, if left alone they turn to brooding and may turn dangerous. You never know. However, I donīt think they are the best watchdogs for commercial establishments because they tend to be stalkers, quietly awaiting a prey upon which to pounce without warning. You want a barker for that kind of work. You donīt want to be paying for leg replacements for thieves who just might be the cousins of local cops.

I am sorry to tell you that, upon the strong advice of our vet, who dearly loved that dog, we had her put to sleep before, as the vet said, something terrible happened. It was an unpleasant experience but part of being a dog owner.

(This post was edited by Bubba on Dec 30, 2006, 10:15 AM)

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