Every dog should be taught at the minimum, basic obedience, however because they are destined to be VERY large dogs, it is necessary for Mastiffs. Most Mastiffs are very easy to train because of their willingness to please their owners. They are a ‘soft’ breed, meaning they require little to no scolding. A simple raised voice may have a reaction similar to that of a much worse punishment. I can give my Mastiffs a look and point my finger and they act like I’ve punished them for days. Positive reinforcement training methods are really the only way to go with a Mastiff. Praise and treats everytime they do something correct or you are happy with, they will learn quite quickly.
It is also very important that your Mastiff gets proper socialization as it is growing to ensure it’s attitude in public, around other dogs, people and children is positive. A fearful or shy Mastiff can be quite hard to handle should a situation arise where they need to be taken out of their comfort zone and in some situations fear turns into aggression. Something any dog owner wants to avoid at all costs. A well socialized Mastiff is a stable Mastiff.
It is important to note that while you may want your Mastiff to grow into the guardian of the family, a Mastiff does not need protection training. A well socialized Mastiff has, in essence, been taught what a normal situation is and will be able to sense when something is wrong. It takes a loving bond with a family or person for a Mastiff to instinctually protect, not aggression training.
Please also remember that even if your dog is well socialized and friendly, NEVER under any circumstance leave any child unattended with ANY dog. If a dog bites a child when a parent isn’t watching the parent is the one at fault, they were the negligent one. In most situations the dog was just reacting when provoked or in pain from something the child probably did. However, a 200lb dog can injure a child in a seconds time, so be responsible with your children and protect your dog.