English mastiff, three stars

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-11-00-59-amNot really a dog person but we thought we’d give it a try… 
on December 26, 2014
Color: Brindle  verified purchase 

Had this product for a day now. Seems great! Highly recommended. Came with crate, shots, ear cleaner, and food dishes. There was a bit of an odor when we unpacked it, but I’m sure that will dissipate over time. Very attractive, almost noble-looking.


Edit: I just had to come back and update this review. We’ve had this product for a month now, and while it still gets daily use, and the kids really enjoy it, we suspect that there are some manufacturing defects. It was advertised as a security dog, but it also barks hysterically at things like rain, grass, clouds, Nina Totenberg, and nothing. Especially nothing. I cannot find a factory reset button anywhere.

The batteries have a very short life. It runs around at full power for just a few minutes and then appears completely depleted, and takes forever to recharge.
This is especially frustrating as it takes up so much space, and often requires powering up right in the middle of the house.  It also sometimes seems to “crash” in the middle of operations, for instance, while eating a sweater.
Did I miss that it is somehow solar powered? It seems to require frequent sunbaths. Also extremely noisy while recharging. Cannot find factory reset button.

Also, the smell has, if anything, intensified. At least we’ve stopped blaming my son. It is like a tire fire.

Edit #2: So much for the mailman. We had to talk the post office out of suing us, and now we have to go pick up mail every day. On the up side, the Jehovah’s Witnesses chalked a giant warning hoboglyph on our walkway, and they haven’t been back; so on balance, that’s a win.

Edit #3: The longer we have this product, the more I’m convinced there was some kind of error at the warehouse. I think we actually got parts for three different dogs, and they accidentally got put together in one box. The skull is ridiculously out of proportion to the rest of the body, but the “brain” component does not seem to be similarly large.


 There is also way too much skin in the face area, causing constant oral leakage. It doesn’t affect performance, but it is not aesthetically pleasing, to say the least.
Seems to have been manufactured with top quality materials, but is still somehow fragile on the inside, requiring constant emotional maintenance.


Also, it steals carrots.

Also, its spacial awareness does not seem to be properly calibrated, and it is constantly trying to wedge itself into places that are physically too small for it to inhabit


including laps. We sometimes see the dining room table walking around apparently under its own power, only to discover that the dog has again gotten stuck under it.

However, it cowers before the toddler (and has done so ever since she was born)

and puts up with the most outrageous tyrannical behavior from her, even though it could swallow her in one mouthful.
It actually seems to thrive on being pushed around by her, so I can’t really complain. Is a willing participant in . . . just about anything.
Is also willing to share lollipops.
And can subsist on nothing but kibble and toddler affection for days at a time.

Caveat: Brain still does not seem to have increased in size commensurate with rest of unit over the years we’ve owned this product.


Edit #4: This is a mother’s angel.
Wish I could give it ten stars.
Highly recommended.
That smell, tho.



If you want to talk us out of getting an English Mastiff …

. . . you have about 24 hours.

Oh dear, here is the story.  No, we’re not going to have two dogs.  Poor dear Shane of happy memory had a glorious but short life with us.  Here is what happened:  A couple of weeks ago, it was snowing, which always made Shane go completely bonkers with glee.  Someone opened the door, he shot past them, got hysterical because of the snow, and ran right out into the road.

It only took one car. He was hit hard.  Many broken bones, many internal injuries.  They carried him inside and called the vet, but you could see that there was no hope.  My husband and older son stayed with him and said good bye and thank you for being a good dog, and they put the poor boy to sleep.

Shane was a good dog. He was not smart.  He learned almost nothing beyond the basics.  But he loved the kids with all his doggy heart.  When he was just a baby, we took him to the beach.  One of the kids put Benny in a floating tube.  Shane was terrified of water — didn’t even want to get his paws damp — but when he saw what he thought was his baby floating away, in he went. (Of course he ended up tipping her over and getting everyone soaked, but he meant well.)  Here is Shane at the beach when he was just little:

and here is Shane having a wonderful day afternoon in a safe spot out in the woods, off the leash:

taking a break from zooming around, and laughing his head off, on the inside:

You see, a happy life.  I was not able to tell the kids that dogs just disappear from existence once they die.  I just couldn’t do it.  I know animals don’t have immortal souls.  But they have something.  Shane was someone, not something.

It was a hard few weeks, after he died.  Once the shock wore off, we talked a little bit about another dog, maybe a smaller one this time.  Our house is not big, and we were constantly tripping over Shane. We thought it would be smarter to scale it down, and look for a more sensible kind of breed.

Then this guy turned up:

PIC mastiff in red wagon


This is not the actual dog, but it looks just like him.  Here is another dog of the same breed:

PIC mastiff in back seat

The one we met is one year old, a brindle English  Mastiff.  He grew up with three little kids and another mastiff; but his dog pal died, and now he’s lonely all day.  He is like a slow-moving armchair, and lets the kids treat him like a jungle gym.  Damien and I went to meet him, and he seemed pretty much like our dog.  His paws are the size of candlepin bowling balls, and he will be growing for another two years.  I know, I know.

Anyway, here is a bit about  his temperament.  We will be picking him up — well, not “picking him up,” but getting him, on the day after Christmas.  He goes by “Boomer.”  He drools and farts and snores, and is completely ready to love you forever, unless you maybe might be going to hurt the family, in which case he will sit on you.

I know, I know.