Garden State Mastiff Rescue, Inc.

Helping rescue organizations with the rehabilitation of English Mastiffs in need.



Looking for a particular breed of dog for you to enjoy for many years is more difficult, if done properly, than buying a new camera. Yet some people will do more research for a camera than for a breed of dog. No emotions are attached to a camera.

Your feelings should not override everyone else's in the house. Everyone must want the Mastiff. They are a time consuming delight and a labor of love.

The purpose of getting a Rescue dog is to provide a homeless dog with a loving, welcoming home. It is not to get a Mastiff "cheap", because your vet bills will not be cheap, whether you bought your dog or rescued it.


All dogs have feelings. You can see the expressions on their faces. You can read their body language.

When Mastiffs come into Rescue, many of them are scared. Some are depressed.

Some are happy as clams.

Some Mastiffs fit right into their new environments and families as though they have always lived there. Others go through a period of adjustment which takes a bit longer, but eventually fit into their new home. They have much to learn. Age doesn't matter. It's the make-up of the dog. Each dog has their own constitution with which we, as humans, must work. Remember, you and I are not perfect and neither is a dog.

IF YOU STILL WANT A MASTIFF CONTACT A RESCUE!  We have several listed on our links page.

Please read If you are considering a Mastiff

What you are about to read may seem like we are trying to discourage you from adopting a Mastiff.  Keep in mind that we are interested in placing a dog in a home that will be its “forever” home.  Adopting or getting a Mastiff has its own unique challenges of which you should be aware.


Let us begin by explaining the term "Mastiff", the proper name for this breed. "Mastiff" refers only to the "English Mastiff", sometimes known as the "Old English Mastiff". Other breeds include the word "Mastiff" in identification such as Bullmastiff or Tibetan Mastiff but they are not a Mastiff. To refer to a Cane Corso, a Fila Brasileiro, Neopolitan Mastiff or a Dog de Bordeaux as a Mastiff is also incorrect. One is really talking about the molosser breeds and not the "Mastiff".


Mastiff puppies look so adorable, but if you have little to no knowledge about dogs, don't start with a Mastiff. Understanding dog behavior and dog training is of great help when owning this giant breed. Do not depend on a dog trainer. Educate yourself. Lack of knowledge is one of the reasons Mastiffs end up in Rescue.

The size of a Mastiff coupled with the sad expression and pleading eyes is enough to lure people toward the Mastiff breed. Another reason that causes Mastiffs to end up in Rescue is the emotional reaction of dog lovers which overrides the practical side of owning this giant breed.

A Mastiff is not a dog for young children due to their size. A young child's face, which is right at the dog's eye level, is in danger no matter which end of the dog he/she is facing. The tail is a whip and the head is like a demolition ball. Most Mastiffs enjoy children, but their size is not compatible with the size of busy little people.

Mastiffs do not enjoy being climbed on or having their ears or tail pulled. Would you?

They're not interested in chasing a ball or jogging a mile down the road. If you are looking for a dog for the children, get a breed that is more active.

To begin the day: this breed causes one to put on one's shoes immediately upon arising otherwise you may limp through the rest of the day. Mastiffs greet you every morning, and the closer the better as their foot upon yours can be excruciating.

In the morning:  wake up knowing vacuuming is the first activity of the day unless it was the last on the day before.

In the evening:  plan to escape unseen, in your best clothes, for a night out, otherwise your accessories may consist of fur and slobber.

All day:  and all year the Mastiff sheds wonderfully and this is not an "outside" dog.

All night:  some snore.

Does your furniture need refinishing? If your Mastiff drools on any part of the wood, the drool may remove the varnish. Leather furniture is recommended even if you don't plan to have your Mastiff join you on the couch. It's that shedding thing again. If you have fabric covered furniture, you will soon find your furniture hidden under sheets or blankets for its own protection. If you are a fussy housekeeper, don't get a Mastiff.

Still want a Mastiff? How is your supply of towels, buckets and mops? Some Mastiffs, not all, slobber due to their lips not fitting together like a well-made puzzle. Hanging jowls cause the saliva to exit, sometimes with a head shake, sending slobber to the ceiling, to the furniture or hanging from your countertops in the kitchen. If you don't see it immediately, it dries into interesting stalactites or stalagmites, a conversation you would prefer to avoid with non-Mastiff owner company.

Back to the mops. Have them handy at all times. Mastiffs have four BIG feet. They are like magnets collecting mud, leaves and water to deposit on your floors. The water will be added to that which they carried away in their jowls after their last beverage stop.

Unless you choose to have your dinner table decorated with a Mastiff head, you better teach, in a kind and patient way, your dog to "go to your place" before dinner begins.

If a Mastiff needs to visit the vet, dig deep into your pockets. It seems like a truckload, instead of a little brown bag full, of antibiotics is needed for your little Mastiff. Mastiffs, like any breed, can have their share of physical problems. If surgery is necessary, get a second job, send the spouse to work and have the kids mow lawns. This is wise, but few do it.  Open a savings account just for "Rover" so it's there when you need it. Very serious suggestion.


None of us know what the future has in store for us, but we do have control of our actions for the present and they should not include immediate self gratification. This is why so many Mastiffs end up in Rescue. The dogs, no matter the breed, depend on humans. They have no choice. They do have feelings, but cannot speak. THINK before you act!

Consider the following:

1.  Why do you want this particular breed?

2.  If you are planning to have a family, wait till the last child is at least 5 years old before     becoming involved with a Mastiff.

3.  Does everyone in the household want a Mastiff?

4.  Do you have the time to take care of and love your Mastiff?

5.  Do you have the time to train your Rescue dog properly?

6.  Can you take care of your dog financially?

7.  What will you do for your dog when it becomes elderly?

8.  Does your job keep you away from the house for long periods of time?

9.  Do you have the energy to keep up cleaning and caring for your dog?

10. Do you own your own home and have a fenced yard?

11. Is your vehicle large enough to comfortably transport a Mastiff or just give him a ride for fun?

Unfortunately, in our experience, we find that divorce is the most frequent excuse for getting rid of a Mastiff. Other reasons are all included in the above "Consider the following" because people did not do their homework before they became involved with the breed.


Dog lovers mean well when they go to a shelter or think they are helping out a friend or see a Mastiff in need advertised on the Internet and take the dog into their home. We call them the "bleeding hearts". They don't want the dog, but feel they will give it to Rescue. They haven't evaluated the dog because they don't know how. They may know nothing about the dog, but they "saved" him even if the dog is a "time bomb".

The goal for any rescue is to rehome the dog. They do not take dogs that have a bite history or are aggressive. The "bleeding hearts" would not want to adopt a dog themselves knowing it bit someone, but are willing to give it to someone else. Euthanizing a dog is not an easy thing to do. Passing the buck to Rescue, people think is an easy thing to do. Think again.

You have the dog. It is your responsibility.

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