Bullmastiff Breed Magazine - Showsight

Bullmastiffs should be sound coming and going, and have moderate reach and drive to accomplish a smooth, even gait. Their gait should be powerful and deliberate. “Flashy” movement is not what is appropriate for this breed and showmanship should never override breed correctness. When evaluating breeding stock, either as a judge or a breeder, the first thing we look at is static balance in the silhouette. Unlike breeds whose bodies are longer than tall, a square dog must be built to the correct proportions and angles if it is to move correctly. We do not look at a dog’s gait in a search for beauty and flash but rather as evidence that the dog is both fit and functional for the job it was bred for. In observing how a dog moves, one evaluates the dog as a whole trying to assess the ability of the dog to

do its historic work… and if accurate, it is usually associated with correctly con- structed and athletically fit dogs. The most efficient working dogs are those that can work the longest at their jobs with the least amount of effort. The efficiently moving Bullmastiff travels in a straight line with the mini- mum amount of energy, legs converg- ing under the body as speed increases. Length of stride of the dog is an impor- tant consideration. For any breed of dog, the fewer steps required to cover a giv- en distance, the less energy is required. With the Bullmastiff’s moderate angles and compact body, the motion should be deliberate and powerful, but not fast. A Bullmastiff is a working dog that patrolled huge estates all night, hun- dreds of acres, not small courtyards, so tight feet, proper moderate angulation,

well let down strong hocks, firm backs, sound shoulders and heavy hindquar- ters were as important as the instinct to guard. Appropriately compact Bullmastiffs are more capable of quick and sudden movement and can better make sud- den change in speed and direction and maintain balance and grace than a long dog. This form following function is closely related to body type and the job the Bullmastiff was bred to do: to be able to penetrate thickets and dense underbrush, to be agile to maneuver around, over and under various obsta- cles, with the ability to move swiftly and gingerly. A dog can be moving in the show ring with less style than its competitors but be moving cor- rectly. The first structural issue is the very important requirement that the


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