CP: 1) Front-end assembly. A poor front will affect the over- all balance, movement and ability to perform the job the dog was bred to do. 2) Overall balance. When a poorly balanced dog moves it does not have the proper form and function leaving him/her unable to do their job. 3) Splay feet/long toes. Without a proper tight cat paw, a Bull- mastiff cannot cover the ground in which the way it was intended to do. KR: The most serious faults for this breed that I see are the extremes, too small and light boned or too large and overdone. Another fault I see is weak mouths. This breed was designed to do a job and without a good strong, wide mouth and a solid frame behind them they are not going to be able to do their intended purpose. MW: Our breed standard mentions two serious faults: cowhocks and splayed feet. A dog having both of these serious faults would be unable to function in any kind of terrain. He would breakdown over a period of time and would be useless as a working animal. Straight fronts and rears resulting in poor reach and drive, excessive wrin- kling evolving into entropic dogs, weak snipy muzzles and in some cases wry bites. A wry bite is an abnormality that is wrong in any breed and continues to plague our breed to some degree. Stenotic nares that limit the intake of air that is so necessary if the dog is to have the stamina necessary to chase an intruder or poacher. Lastly, dogs carrying excess weight at the expense of their agility. 7. What do you think is the most difficult breed attri- bute to maintain? VA: Breeding a dog with a nearly square balanced body that has a level topline and can cover the ground efficiently is very difficult. I personally strive for it on every breeding. SB: Structure, particularly front assembly. I’m seeing way too many straight and stuffy shoulders. Particularly with working dogs doing agility it is critical that they are structurally sound in order to do their work. SG: Temperament is a big one for me as well as maintaining good health by doing all the proper testing prior to breeding. CL: Keeping within the breed standard on weight and over- all size. When a Bullmastiff gets confused with an English Mastiff, something is desperately wrong. BM: Bites wide under jaw, tight cat like feet, eye color a light eye takes away from the look of beautiful head piece. CP: Proper shoulder lay back. MW: Being able to consistently produce the moderately angulated fronts and rears that the standard calls for. Good fronts with proper layback can be very elusive. It is a challenge for all of us.
SB: Type, structure and attitude—Bullmastiffs have a “look of eagles” and they need to “own the ground they walk on”. A confident dog that knows when to be the aggres- sor and when to be the snuggler. SG: I love the love and companionship that a dog will give you. They love you from day one to the very end and trust you will do everything under the sun for them. CL: How a dog moves. Its reach and drive and the effort it has to put forth in locomotion. BM: Confidence of a Bully with their tail wagging, structure and movement. CP: Soundness. KR: What attracts me about a dog is their carriage. I love a dog that moves with an alertness and purpose with a beautiful neck and head placement. MW: A lovely headpiece on a balanced body. Symmetry that flows from the head to tail. 6. What faults do you consider most serious and why? VA: One fault that I personally see as being serious is straight front assemblies. Dogs carry 60% of their body weight in their front assembly. The weight of a Bullmastiff coming down on a front that is not constructed properly is very hard on them. Not to mention how it affects the inability to reach and cover ground appropriately. Another fault is grossly overdone dogs with masses of wrinkle and lack of foreface. Bullmastiffs with these characteristics cannot breathe well enough to function with the power, agility and endurance required of this working breed. SB: Cow hocks/splayed feet because they impede the dog’s ability to do its job. Also temperament, overly aggressive or seriously timid, both are difficult to manage for the average pet owner. Dog to dog aggression is part of the breed but people aggression should never be tolerated. SG: I have seen more and more flat/splayed feet in our breed. To me this is unacceptable. Our breed was bred to guard an estate. They cannot walk, run and will not be able to sustain without doing damage to themselves with flat feet. Being cow hocked in the rear is also another fault I do not want to see. I have also seen dogs with a lighter eye. This is not good. Our standard calls for a darker eye. CL: Poor front assemblies, straight shoulders with little to no visible pro-sternum and overangulated rears. The entire dog needs to be balanced. Without balance, you get poor conformation and structural instability. BM: Wry bites changes the whole head. Also the dog has a hard time eating if the bite is really off. Cow hocks bother me, a Bullmastiff needs a strong rear to do it job!
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2017 • 251
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