We are searching all the time for the perfect females for our line. So I know what you are up against. There are a lot of people pushing "mastiffs". First, I ask them what they feed. Most are proud to say that they feed "Iams" or "Purina". Both are less than average foods.
We don't even sell it in our store and we sell hundreds of thousands of dollars in pet food. We would never give such a poor food to our family. It would be like raising children on hot dogs alone. These majestic animals need proper nutrition and you won't find it in a grocery store. Know your food because genetics and nutrition are the foundation of a healthy family member.
I will go over nutrition on another page.
I always ask the breeder "what they do for a living"?
When pressed they usually say they raise "mastiffs". Let me tell you the truth. You cannot make money raising these rascals PROPERLY. Double heart worm because they are so large. Double all medicines. Double food costs, etc...
Next, ask about the genetics. The primary reason we go all over the world collecting great lines is because they have been selectively bred for decades and in some cases centuries. Health is the primary goal.
Find out how the puppies are raised from birth. We stay with our puppies 24/7 until they are weaned. We help them get out of their placenta, we are with them constantly and when you walk up to one of our pups they will greet you and wag their tail because all they know is that humans will love them, scratch them, play with them and give them great food. The result of this constant positive interaction produces a nice temperament the rest of it's life.
Next, ask them if they have a waiting list. Most have trouble "getting rid" of their puppies. The best time to get an English Mastiff is between 7-8 weeks. Google "imprinting with your puppy". Unless they are in a training program, that is the best time to imprint with your new family member.
There are many that just can't find anyone to take their pups so they falsify the birth date. That makes the puppy look large for it's age and conceals that the pup is actually 12-16 weeks old. You think the pup is big for 8 weeks old but it is actually much older. Beware.
Do they have a health guarantee? We have a two year guarantee for any genetic defects. We will replace the pup. We don't need it because we have no health problems but it gives the new owner a comfort level. Some will give a guarantee but will they be around when you need them? Most breeders come and go. They are in it for the wrong reasons.
When searching for females we look at the family genetics for problems and it is shocking what we have found with the supposedly reputable breeders let alone the back yard breeders. It is also why we go back to Itally ocaasionally for impecable DNA.
These are just a few things to consider.