Bullmastiff Breed Magazine - Showsight

Bullmastiff is nearly square, the square- ness which defines breed type. TEMPERAMENT Please do not reward a Bullmastiff with its tail between its legs. To quote Richard Beauchamp from his book, Solving the Mysteries of Breed Type, “Everything in the Bullmastiff standard assures us of a dog that will stand its ground and protect at all costs. Stalwart but effectively mobile, the antithesis of what we look for in the lightning-rod sighthounds. A Bullmastiff’s stance and attitude tell us exactly what we need to know about the Bullmastiff in this respect.” Temperament is the quintes- sential barometer of breed type: “Fear- less and confident yet docile. The dog combines the reliability, intelligence, and willingness to please required in a dependable family companion and protector.” Too often we see Bullmas- tiffs with tails between their legs. This attitude should not be rewarded. Bull- mastiffs should be stable, confident, bold and courageous. They should be a discerning guard dog and know the difference between an intruder and the UPS man. Aggressive behavior toward any person should never be tolerated in the show ring. Aggressive behavior toward other dogs is not the same as aggression toward people and should only be penalized if out of control. A Bullmastiff with its tail between its legs is afraid, whether or not temporary, it should not be rewarded in the show ring on that day. Please do not confuse a gay tail with attitude. “Set on high. It may be straight or curved, but never carried hound fashion.” A tail carried

ground cover. A double coat is ideal, but the coat should be short and dense. Healthy coats with skin free of allergies are ideal for their work and environ- ment. Good condition is a sign of good health, and after all, we are judging breeding stock. Entropic eyes, miss- ing hair, interdigital cysts, thin coats, narrow, restricted nostrils, fat dogs or dogs lacking in muscle development are all signs of poor condition and/or health problems. SIZE “Other things being equal, the more substantial dog within these limits is favored.” The reason for this statement should be clear—a more substantial dog is better equipped to pin and hold the poacher. This is form following func- tion. It does not mean “bigger is better.” That being said, because the male is more opulent than a female, avoid gender discrimination as an otherwise beautiful bitch should not be rewarded because she is smaller than the male... bitches are smaller than males. Some Bullmastiff bitches are petite. If we adhere to form following function, a petite bitch could not knock a man down and hold him. Bitches should proportionately have good bone and substance as their male counterparts (bitches, 24" to 26"; 100-120 pounds). Although there may be a place in a breeding program for a sound, typey small bitch, a truly petite bitch should not be rewarded in the show ring. COLOR As a night dog, brindle certainly would have been the preferred color as camouflage while at work. However, there is no color preference in the Bull- mastiff. Unfortunately the brindle color seems to be discriminated in the show ring, perhaps because of an optical illusion, or lack of attention to detail.

Brindling should ideally be evenly dis- tributed. Red color ranges from honey to dark mahogany. The “orange” Dogue de Bordeaux color in incorrect, as is the “brown” color we also see. The coat should be clear, free from smuttiness with two-toning undesirable. A small white patch on the chest is acceptable, but white anywhere else on the body is very undesirable. A dark muzzle is preferred, but obviously breeders like to see the blacker the better. I person- ally like to see a slight break under and between the eyes, to emphasize the “mask.” Be wary of how pigment can change the overall look of the head and rely on manual exam to conclude on correct bone structure of the muzzle not visual. And that while a full black mask may be striking, there will always be a natural blending between body color and the mask/muzzle and start of the ear color. Be suspect of masks that appear dyed or artificial. There is frequent discussion regard- ing dogs defined as either “breed” or “group” dogs. Theoretically, if you have a quality dog, there should be no differ- ence. Nevertheless, we hear it all the time, “He’s more a group dog” or “He can win in the breed, but he can’t com- pete in the group.” Why is this? There are many factors going into the decision of a judge at the breed and group level. As a judge of Bullmastiffs and the Work- ing group, knowing the nuances of the breed and understanding breed type, it would make no difference as long as it is a quality dog. One is judging at the group level against the breed standards, not against each other. If you have a healthy near- ly-square Bullmastiff, typey, sound with a good attitude and sound move- ment, it is indeed competitive in the group ring. Bullmastiffs seem to need to work harder for their recognition in the group.

over the back is very incorrect. HEALTH & CONDITION

Bullmastiffs should have good coats providing them adequate protection against the weather elements and the

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