Today I am going to share Part 1 of my interview with Tina & Todd of Jadem Mastiffs.  They have been breeding big dogs for 23 years and Mastiffs for 16 years and are committed to doing everything they can to improve upon the health and longevity of the Mastiff breed.  Tina and Todd live on the north rim of the Snake River Canyon on sixty acres in the heart of beautiful Magic Valley Idaho and were kind enough to spend some time with me to share their thoughts on the breeding and raising of Mastiffs. 

Jadem Mastiffs - Tina And Todd

“Strive to breed better for the betterment of the breed”

~Tina Woods, Jadem Mastiffs


“We believe a house is not a home without a mastiff.”


Big Dog Mom:  How did you get started in dogs?

Tina:  I have grown up with big dogs my entire life.  My grandma bred Great Danes and my first litter of puppies was a Dane litter 23 years ago.

Todd:  I have been an avid horse breeder for over 30 years and was drawn into Mastiffs by Greiner Hall Nicholas.  I hold him as a wonderful example of the breed standard and everything that a Mastiff should be in type and substance.

Tina: I fell in love with GH Nicholas as well and sat on the waiting list for over 3 years before getting a Greiner Hall dog.  The Mastiff breed overall somewhat lacks in type, bone and substance and their boys have it and are very dominant in it.

Big Dog Mom:  How many years have you been breeding and showing mastiffs or other big dogs?

Tina: I have been a breeder for 23 years; 16 years with mastiffs.  I have been showing mastiffs for 14 years.

Jadem Mastiffs MCOA Breeders Cup Award
Jadem Mastiffs Bulldog And Junior

Big Dog Mom:  What other breeds have you owned, bred or shown in the past?

Todd: Rottweiler, Mastiffs

Tina:  Great Danes, Mastiffs, Bulldog

Big Dog Mom:  How would you describe your breeding philosophy?

Tina & Todd:  Breeding for the betterment of the breed with health and longevity as top priorities.  We believe a house is not a home without a mastiff!

Big Dog Mom: What would you say has been your greatest achievement to date as it relates to your dogs?

Tina & Todd: Breeding consistency over time.  Moose and Oliver hands down are two of our biggest show achievements as they are still the top winning litter-mate brothers in mastiff history.  Moose (UKC BIS AM BIS MBISS PGCH Jadems Rythm-n-Boo, CGC TD) was the first mastiff in the country to receive the Platinum Grand Champion (PGCH) title!  In 2010, Moose took Best of Opposite Sex (BOS) at Nationals at the very young age of 17mo.  He won our Mastiff National Specialty in 2011 and He won Best Champion in the Tournament of Champions at our Mastiff National Specialty in 2012, the same year his litter mate brother, Oliver (BIS MBISS GGCH Jadems Oliver Twist, CGC TDI), won the national specialty.

Both Moose and Oliver have received numerous Best in specialty Shows (BIS) as well.  We were honored to receive the Mastiff Club of America’s (MCOA) Breeders Cup in 2011 and 2012.  Moose and Oliver’s litter (Cienna x Zahar) holds the record for the most champions (9) out of a single litter in history.  Cienna was featured in an AKC Breeder magazine for having the most champions in a single litter.

Jadem Mastiff's Moose Ad
Jadem Mastiffs Moose And Oliver
Jadem Mastiffs Moose National Win

Big Dog Mom: Did either of you have a mentor when you started out?  If so, who? 

Tina: Yes, Steven and Leah Napotnik from Greiner Hall Mastiffs.

Todd:  My grandfather was my mentor and taught me a great deal about breeding quarter horses and understanding pedigrees.


“…learn the old school methods of line-breeding to hold consistency… and to never stop learning…”

Big Dog Mom: Can you tell me one or two things your mentor shared with you that made an impact on you as a breeder/dog owner? 

Tina: They taught me to learn the old school methods of line-breeding to hold consistencyLearn everything you can before making breeding decisions.  Most of all, they taught me the importance of education.

Todd:  My grandfather taught me to never stop learning and always breed for the betterment of the breed.

Big Dog Mom: Switching gears a little bit.  Describe your expectations for people who adopt one of your puppies.

Tina & Todd: We prefer all puppies go to pet homes and expect that our puppies will be inside dogs and loved as members of the family.  Also, we pick the puppy for each family.  We don’t allow people to pick their puppy anymore.  The primary reason for this is that every puppy has a unique temperament and not every temperament is right for every home.  We try to carefully select which puppy goes into which home based on the puppy and what the family is looking for.   We have a waiting list, but people aren’t on there in any particular order.

Tina Breeder And Junior
Jadem Mastiffs Moose

Big Dog Mom: Tell me about your process of screening homes for the puppies you produce.  What are you looking for?  What are some deal breakers for you?

Tina & Todd: We have a very comprehensive puppy questionnaire which helps us screen families.  One red flag for me is when people are overly focused on size.  People don’t necessarily have to have had a Mastiff before, they just need to be aware of what they are in for with a Mastiff; higher vet bills, slobber, shedding, will need a big vehicle, size, etc.  I [Tina] used to do home visits and bring one or two of my guys to see how people behaved around them and reacted to the slobber and hair, but now that is more difficult.  We use phone conversations, emails, Facebook, etc. to get to know people.  If I have any reservations, I do not move forward.

Big Dog Mom: Walk me through what you do for your puppies in terms of stimulation & socialization from birth until they leave for their new homes.

Tina:  I use a biosensor method called Early Neurological Stimulation starting on Day 3.  Yes, there is a genetic link with temperament, but it also starts in the whelping box.  Mastiff moms generally aren’t the greatest which allows us the opportunity to have a lot more one-on-one time with the puppies.  When their ears open we start with the slow desensitization of different sounds (vacuum, music, dogs barking, and use sound socialization CD’s which I play at different levels depending on their age.  We have other people and kids come over to handle and play with the puppies, we take them for several car rides to give them exposure to the car.  Our puppies get lots of outside exploration time as well.  Also, we expose them to a variety of surfaces such as, (wood, tile, laminate flooring) and carpet so they can feel and get use to different textures.  I play Disney movies for the puppies so they can hear all the different sounds that would be heard in a home with kids.  We also give them baths several times and as needed.

We provide the puppies with numerous interactive toys (with different sounds, textures, movements, etc.), and items such as tunnels, tents, crates, etc.  With respect to temperament tests, there are several different methods out there.  We don’t use any one particular method. When I have done formal testing on a litter of puppies, it hasn’t really shown anymore than what I already knew.

If a certain puppy is fearful or more insecure, I consider keeping him/her longer and until that fear/insecurity goes away.  I will also try to do more with a puppy like that which will help to desensitize them and condition them to not be fearful or insecure.  In our last litter we had one puppy who, when the vacuum came out, would hide behind the other puppies every time.  I kept that puppy two weeks longer than the others and he has had no issues in his new home.  He is a perfectly well-adjusted and confident boy.  Sometimes the puppies just develop at different speeds.

Child and Puppy Socialization-2
Junior Mastiff Slobber

Big Dog Mom: What advice would you give to someone new to mastiffs?

Tina & Todd: Just accept the slobber – it comes with the breed.  Also, always be your dog’s biggest advocate and voice for your dog with professionals (vets, specialists).

Big Dog Mom: What advice would you give to someone new to breeding?

Tina & Todd:  As our mentors taught us, learn everything you possibly can; research different lines, talk to as many breeders as you can and develop relationships with other breeders to build a network.  Learn by other peoples’ mistakes.  Strive to breed better for the betterment of the breed.  And, most of all, BE PATIENT – don’t be in a hurry.  Take your time and learn everything you can. 


“Take your time and learn everything you can.”

Big Dog Mom: Do you have any specific resources you use for breeding/breed/dog-related information?

Tina & Todd:  Facebook, internet, all mastiff books, Veterinarian (especially our reproductive specialist), mentor or fellow breeder with more experience or who has been breeding longer.    The Facebook group Mastiff Health has been great for some health related information as well.

In Part 1 of my interview with Tina and Todd, I focused on their high-level breeding philosophy and their responsibility as breeders.  In summary:

#1: Breed for the betterment of the breed.  Period.    

#2: Breeders should begin desensitizing puppies starting on Day 3 to give them the very best start in life.

#3: Education is Key!

What were your key takeaways from this interview?  For Part 2 of my interview with Tina and Todd of Jadem Mastiffs, click here.  Once you have read both parts of this interview, I would love to know what additional information you would like to gain from future breeder interviews!  Please feel free to post a comment below or email me at

Junior Big Puppy 7 Weeks Mastiff

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For The Betterment Of The Breed: An Interview With Jadem Mastiffs ultima modifica: 2017-05-08T16:11:13+00:00 da BigDogMom
Prioritizing health, longevity, and the importance of education, Jadem Mastiffs is an outstanding example of what a great big dog breeder is and should be. Puppy Buying / Buying A Puppy From A Breeder / Dog Breeder / Breeding Dogs  #DogBreeder #BreedingDogs #Breeding #PuppyBuying  #BigDogMom