Do not let Rotorua Pet of the Year 2018 Taini's name fool you - he is a big dog and a real smoocher.

Taini is a 70kg 2-year-old bullmastiff. His family bought him from a breeder as an 8-week-old pup.

Owner Niki Mihinui says Taini's father was an international champion show dog called Spud.

She says Taini is their second bullmastiff, who has replaced the hole their first bullmastiff Moose left when he died.


Niki's daughter and Taini's mother, Dana Mihinui, entered him in the Rotorua Pet of the Year competition because she loves him to bits.

Niki says Taini thinks he is a person. He talks, sings and sulks.

Taini is also family-orientated and protective - "bullmastiffs are a great family dog".

Niki says her grandchildren lived with them for five months recently and Taini definitely misses them.

"When the grandchildren were living here they would come and lie all over him and he was quite happy to let them do that."

She says it was a wonderful surprise when the family received the call that Taini had won the competition.

As the pet with the most votes, Taini has won a pet food hamper worth $200 from Addiction Pet Foods.