Bullmastiff Breed Magazine - Showsight


I magine nineteenth-century Eng- land before industrialization. Picture a rural, agrarian society composed of large feudal estates surrounded by small tenant farms. Think of the gamekeeper, whose duty was to prevent the desperate and deter- mined poacher from illegally taking the wild game that roamed the land- owner’s property. And envision a large, powerful and agile dog, as dark as night, with the ability to sneak up on the poacher unaware, knock him to the ground, and hold him without harm until the gamekeeper arrived the next morning. This “gamekeeper’s night dog,” fearless yet not ferocious, was the predecessor of today’s Bullmastiff. Twenty-first-century America bears little resemblance to the English coun- tryside of two centuries ago. The Bullmastiff, which arrived in the US during the first half of the twentieth century, has adapted easily to his new environment and duties. Without an estate to roam and protect, the Bull- mastiff has evolved into a reliable fam- ily guardian and pet. Yet he retains the courage, intelligence, discrimination, as well as the independent spirit, of his formidable ancestors. Walking into the Bullmastiff spe- cials ring should be an impressive sight, your first sense of the breed as a sym- metrical nearly-square dog, showing great strength, endurance, and alert- ness; powerfully built and active. They are a working breed and should be sound structurally and moving in all directions, balanced front to rear, with heavy hindquarters, depth of body with

pro sternum and good bone-to-body proportion. Silhouette is the first thing we see when looking over the lineup, and along with correct head type (cube on cube), soundness moving and struc- turally, temperament and health, all should be included in your order of priority. The physical examination of the breed should not be unlike any other working breed. “What you see, is what you get” and a cursory hands- on examination is sufficient. However, don’t stoop down in front to examine the head or stare at a Bullmastiff. No need to check for full dentition, and a perfunctory look at the bite will suffice. Grossly undershot, overshot and wry bites are serious faults but can be easily

observed in your quick mouth exam. Discourage any barking in your ring, as this could incite aggressive behavior in your entry and don’t overcrowd the ring, allow sufficient space between entries, particularly between dogs. Bull- mastiffs are generally well behaved and even the owner-handler has a capable hand when showing this breed. The breed is usually friendly with wagging tails and overzealous puppy behavior. They can be guarded with strangers, but should never lack confidence or shy away from the judge, or not recover quickly if startled by loud noises. But what makes the Bullmastiff a less popular choice in the Working Group or Best in Show ring? Not a


t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& / 07&.#&3 

Powered by