Dog Owner Reveals Meaning Behind Mastiff’s Sweet Habit of ‘Petting’ Brother

A dog petting his older brother.

A pet owner has revealed the heartwarming meaning behind her mastiff’s unique way of interacting with her older dog brother.

In a video posted to TikTok under the handle lincoln_mastiff, 2-year-old Lindsey can be seen quite literally reaching out to her 4-year-old sibling, Lincoln, with her paw.

To most casual observers, it appears as if Lindsey is petting Lincoln in much the same way a human might interact with a dog. However, when she paws at her dog brother’s head in this way, it actually means something else entirely.

“Lindsey started petting Lincoln as a puppy at about 8 or 9 weeks old,” their owner told Newsweek. “Lincoln was so gentle with her, despite being 170 pounds heavier. He lets her do just about anything, and the petting has become her way of telling him she wants to play.”

On second viewing, it almost appears as if Lindsey is trying to nod in the direction of somewhere they can go to play. While that may not necessarily be the case, her big brother seems to be happy to play along with it all.

“They are from two different breeders, but they have been super close since the day we brought Lindsey home,” their owner said. “They are both so goofy.”

Their sweet relationship isn’t that much of a surprise to their owner, who has had mastiffs for 15 years now.

“Mastiffs are true gentle giants,” the owner said. “Lincoln weighs 200 pounds and Lindsey is at 180 pounds, yet they truly believe they are lap dogs.”

The owner continued: “There’s something so genuine about this breed. Their lifespan is shorter, but their love is forever. These two in particular have helped us through some very trying times.”

Lindsey is seen petting her older brother, Lincoln. She’s been doing it since she was a puppy for a very specific reason.

Mastiffs live on average between 6 and 12 years. While that’s shorter than the lifespan for other breeds, these two are certainly making the most of their lives.

Lincoln was awarded the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Certification Program, which is regarded as the gold standard for dog behavior.

He also serves as an emotional support dog to one of his owners. Being two years younger, it’s Lindsey’s job to keep Lincoln on his toes—something she appears to be doing very well in the clip posted online.

There’s no doubt that Lincoln benefits from having a younger sibling around. In 2023, a study published in the academic journal Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health said dogs that live and socialize with other dogs were associated with “better health” outcomes than those more isolated canines.

It certainly sounds as if Lincoln and Lindsey enjoy a happy and active life together, though their owner admits “their first love is sleeping.”

“We are very active in training with both, but Lindsey acts like she’s too lazy to make it through a whole class,” the owner said. “They love running around the yard…. We try to take them out as much as possible, so they’re celebrities at places like Home Depot and our local pet store. Also huge Memphis Grizzlies fans.”

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