MW: Dogs in particular out of balance in regard to height/ weight ratio and exaggerated head pieces. I feel that the extreme in any desirable trait should be avoided. 4. Do you have a specific breeding program and if so what is its primary objective? VA: I do have a small breeding program to keep my own line going. I don’t breed often but when I do, I strive to meet the standard and keep my “must have” traits mentioned above. SB: I have co-bred and bred Bullmastiffs for over twenty years. My primary objective is to breed dogs that con- form to the standard while being sound in both mind and body. Type and structure are critical to my breeding program but no less important than temperament and health. Extensive health testing including eyes, hips, elbows, thyroid and hearts by echo are done on all my Bullies before I consider them for breeding. These are big, powerful dogs that must maintain their historic pur- pose but also live successfully in today’s family homes. SG: Yes, I do have a specific breeding program and I try to breed for type and temperament. I carefully select each stud dog to match with each bitch that I am breeding. CL: I breed for temperament, health and soundness. BM: Breed a litter that hopefully meets our standard. CP: To adhere to the breed standard while taking notice of the correct traits and line breeding strongly on those. KR: The primary objective of my breeding program as is many other breeders is obviously to produce sound stable dogs that can be an excellent representative of the breed, a valued family member and be healthy enough to live into the double digits. Sometimes you have to sacrifice, looks versus temperament versus health but all three play a vital role in the selection of the breeding pairs. Of course I love a dog that can think and I try to meld the two extremes of the Bullmastiff, the couch potato and the high drive working dog to produce a multi-func- tional family dog that has that distinctive “look” of the Bullmastiff. MW: Though I am no longer breeding Bullmastiffs, I still believe that we always tried to produce dogs that were typey and sound of body and mind. In essence, the total Bullmastiff. 5. What about a dog attracts you immediately? VA: Confidence. When a Bullmastiff owns the ground it walks on, it is very impressive. When you see a dog come into the ring that is smooth, balanced and powerful, it will take your breath away.
looks like. When a Bullmastiff takes on too many of the qualities of an English Mastiff: well over breed standard in height, bulk and weight, it should not be considered for breeding. BM: Confidence, type, temperament and structure CP: Breed type, form and function, temperament and overall health. KR: Type: they must undoubtedly exemplify the look. Temperament: this has always been a tricky one for me as there is such a fine line between a good working Bull- mastiff and one that is a reliable easy to live member of the family. Although I admire their aloofness to strangers they should still be confident in all situations. Soundness: I do a lot with my dogs, they run together on four acres, run with me on the road, do obedience and are kept very active. They need to be a sound construc- tion that can handle the activity. MW: Correctly proportioned, head-cube on cube, dark eye with coal black mask and ears, broad underjaw, good cheek development, decent bite, level topline, good bone and substance, balanced angles front and rear, correct tail set and tight feet. Temperament that is confident, reliable and willing to please. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? VA: Size, Bullmastiffs are getting too big. Heads are also overly exaggerated; the clean square head has become round with masses of wrinkle. SB: Overdone headpieces and overdone overall size—sup- posed to be a compact, nearly square dog who could takedown and hold an adult man. Supposed to be sub- stantial but that does not mean the bigger the better. SG: Yes. I have seen over the last few years our breed is getting bigger and bigger. By that I mean we are starting to look more like a Mastiff and not like a Bullmastiff. Our standard says a male should be 130 lbs not the 150-160 that I see in the show rings now. CL: Yes, we’re seeing longer backs and we’re losing the cobby, nearly square appearance. The longer the back, the more English Mastiff like the dog looks. BM: Yes I feel like breeders are breeding too much wrinkle in the head, losing lengthen of neck causing to much wrinkling down the body, to long in back which is start- ing to look like the Mastiff breed. CP: Straight shoulder, narrow under jaw and shallow fronts. KR: Heavy wrinkling is definitely something that is becom- ing exaggerated. Wrinkled when alert, does and should mean that at rest the head is not heavily wrinkled.
250 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2017
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