THE AKC STANDARD The American Kennel Club approved changes to the standard submitted by the American Bullmastiff Association, the parent club for the breed, on February 8, 1992.
The amended standard went into effect March 31, 1992. Geraldine Shastid , a noted Bullmastiff judge, explains and expands on the points made in the standard. Her comments are in italics, in between the pertinent sections of the standard.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE BULLMASTIFF
GENERAL APPEARANCE That of a symmetrical animal, showing great strength, endurance and alertness; pow- erfully built but active. The foundation breeding was 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. The breed was developed in England by gamekeepers for protection against poachers. This introductory paragraph describes the overall physical impression of the Bullmastiff, the antecedents that gave it a unique type and the purpose for which the breed was intended. In other words, it outlines a strong working dog and emphasizes structure, type and function. All three of these elements were present in the early Bullmastiff, as they are in Bullmastiffs today. SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE Size— Dogs, 25 to 27 inches at the withers and 110-130 pounds weight. Bitches, 24-26 inches at the withers and 100-120 weight. Other things being equal, the more substantial dog within these limits is favored. Proportion —The length from tip of breastbone to rear of thigh exceeds the height from withers to ground only slightly, resulting in a nearly square appearance. Not a giant dog; the ideal height of the Bullmastiff has remained generally the same over the years in most written standards. The weight, however, has been increased since the first Bullmastiffs were registered and is now also slightly greater for bitches than the current British standard permits. A premium is put on substance, within the limits of the standard, meaning muscle and bone rather than bulk and fat. This substance should never be at the expense of the required elements of power, endurance, agility and activity mentioned under General Appearance. Although not actually one of the square breeds, the ideal Bullmastiff should always have a square appearance. The closer a dog approaches a noticeably rectangular silhouette, the less correct it is on this point — an element that helps differentiate the breed from the Mastiff. A balanced Bullmastiff should have a deep body that is approximately one half of its total height at the withers (top of the shoulder). One should also remember that although width is not men- tioned in this part of the standard, to be a "symmetrical" and "powerfully built" Bullmastiff, a dog should possess sufficient width to balance its height and length when viewed from any angle. When viewed from above, the width of the front, the ribs and the rear should be equal. HEAD-EXPRESSION Keen, alert and intelligent. Eyes— Dark and of medium size. Ears— V-shaped and carried close to the cheeks, set on wide and high, level with occiput and cheeks, giv- ing a square appearance to the skull; darker in color than the body and medium in size. Skull— Large, with a fair amount of wrinkle when alert; broad, with cheeks well developed. Forehead flat. Stop— Moderate. Muzzle— Broad and deep; it's length, in
by GERALDINE SHASTID
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