Giants among us

Giants among us

Despite their intimidating size, giant breeds such as bernese mountain dogs, dogue de bordeaux and mastiffs are often devoted, gentle and sensitive family members.

It’s important to be aware that these “Big Friendly Giants” will naturally cost more to maintain than the average dog, needing more food, bigger “dog furniture”, and larger doses of any medications. They will also require special care and training to keep them healthy and easy to handle.

Special care during growth

Giant breed puppies mature slowly and are not considered fully-grown until about two years old. It’s important to protect your pup’s developing joint health by:

Feeding a large breed growth diet until 18-24 months old – these are specially formulated to support slow, steady musculoskeletal growth and to keep your pup in lean, healthy body condition
Keeping exercise gentle and controlled for the first 12-18 months
It’s also ideal to purchase your pup from a breeder who adheres to hip and elbow health scoring when breeding their dogs (depending on your particular giant breed). If you have any queries, our veterinary team will be able to explain more about hip and elbow scoring in relation to purchasing a puppy.

Good training

Given your adult dog will probably be roughly the size of a small pony, they should be well-trained from a young age! A good dog trainer who uses positive methods can help you learn to walk your giant pet comfortably, as well as manage any potential issues, such as jumping up or surfing for snacks on the kitchen counter.

Rapid ageing

Unfortunately, these gentle giants age at a faster rate, and are considered “elderly” by six-to-seven years of age.

It’s important to have your older dog health-checked every six months, which can help us detect common giant breed health issues, such as arthritis and tumours. As well as keeping your pet comfortable, we can make recommendations on household modifications to support their mobility.

We’re big on health and happiness for big pets!

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