Bullmastiff Breed Magazine - Showsight


muzzle should be broad and deep. It should be 1/3 the length of the entire head with a wide under jaw. The skull should be square in shape and strong. The image of a square on a square comes to mind when considering the Bullmastiff muzzle in relationship to the total head. Shoulders should be muscular, but not “loaded.” Movement should be free, smooth, and powerful with the topline remaining level between the withers and loin. The breed’s moderate angula- tion should match both front and rear. The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Get newcomers involved from the start. Refer them to local and national breed clubs. Invite them to Meet The Breed booths at local dog shows. Offer to introduce them to a breed mentor. Host pot luck Puppy Play Days or amateur handling classes. Educate new puppy owners about the breed from the first day they come to see your puppies. Share the many activities/sports they can explore through AKC, such as conformation dog shows, agility, rally, track- ing, etc. Start a FB page for each litter’s puppy owners to build camaraderie and support. My goal for the breed is to produce puppies that are as close to the American Bullmastiff Breed Standard as possible—dogs that are wonderful family members and good citizens. If we breeders plan carefully, we will see continued improvement in successive generations. In a perfect breeding world, our litters should demon- strate evolution, not revolution. A solid temperament, good health, and a conformation that is true to the standard is the ultimate ful- fillment of the Bullmastiff breeding goal. This is not to say that we don’t make mistakes along the way, because we all do. But to persevere and continually strive toward that ideal is always my goal. My favorite dog show memory? The memory that stands out most was in 2008 when my daughter, Jamie, was showing our boy Nick (CH Escalades All Tricked Out) and finished his champion- ship under AKC judge Patricia Sosa. The very next weekend at the Farwest California Bullmastiff Fancier’s Specialty, we bumped Nick up to compete as a special. Under respected breeder judge Billy Brittle, Nick was awarded Best of Breed with 100 entries. I was completely overcome with emotion, overjoyed and bursting with pride as both a mother and a breeder. It still gives me chills thinking about it. AMY HODGE

with proportions looking like a cube on a cube. The breed standard general appearance is that of a symmetrical animal, showing great strength, powerfully built and very athletic. The body has to have the ability to catch and power and mass to knock down a person. The head has to have the size and width of jaw to hold down a per- son. The combination of these two must tie together to complete the overall function the Bullmastiff was bred for. Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? Not so much in my small town. Most people at first glance think they are a Mastiff or ask what breed they are. Some have told me of a friend that has a Bullmastiff that weighs 180+ pounds. I often find myself educating them about the differences between the Bullmastiff and the Mastiff, their histories, as well as how they are also related. Is there a color preference/prejudice in the show ring? Unfor- tunately, I believe there is a color preference by judges in the ring that is probably not a conscious one. Originally the Bullmastiff was known as the “night keepers watchdog” to help catch poachers on large estates. In order to not be detected in the dark of night, their brindle color was preferred by their keepers. Unfortunately, this dark, striped pattern I believe also makes it more difficult for judges to see the overall structure and features of brindle dogs in the show ring. Over some lengthy time there seems to have been a favoring of fawn and red color dogs in the ring with less brindles representing the breed. I think the biggest misconception about the Bullmastiff from those who are not experienced with the breed is that they are an aggressive breed. Sometimes persons will take historical breed lit- erature expressing their guard purpose along with Bullmastiffs intimidating size as a given that they must be a dog that is overly protective as their main temperament. Though their instinct to pro- tect family and those closest to them is still part of their natural make-up, they are happy to give an expression of concern about a situation to their owners with just a bark. When told to stop, I have found that most Bullmastiffs are satisfied they have done their job and have pleased their owners. Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? For me an important misconception from their impressive power- ful structure to their guard lineage is that they are meant to be an outside dog for home security full-time or a majority of their daily lives. This is the farthest from the truth. Bullmastiffs are very needy, affectionate dogs that need to be with their families on a daily basis. They need to have daily interaction with the family they love and get positive affirmation that they are part of the family as well. Though they love to be outside like all dogs they do not do well in the heat or extreme cold. Bullmastiffs are happiest finding themselves literally by the sides of their family. The only downside to this is that Bullmastiffs honestly believe that they have the poten- tial to be “lap dogs.” What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? The dog show world and dog breeder world have been uprooted during the Covid-19 Pandemic we are in right now (March - ?? 2020). Without dog shows, many dogs have not accomplished titles. Reproductive veterinarians in many states have been told reproduction is not an essential procedure and cannot be performed. Many breeders are looking for veterinarians that can do the health clearances their breeds are required. With the economy so uncertain many breeders have halted their breeding programs. Beyond the logistics of breeding and raising puppies we need to know there will be perfect homes for our puppies to go to. Our world for the meantime will not be the same, but our love of our breed will continue to grow. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Choosing a puppy that may be a part of my breeding program / show ring also comes with careful evaluation. With careful consid- eration of each breeding I first evaluate the dog’s genetic history for

I grew up showing and judging horses. My husband fell in love with the Bullmastiff breed and begged for one for Christmas 1992. Our three children enjoyed many 4-H proj- ects including dog, rabbit, swine and clowning. I have enjoyed learning to show my dogs. I’m one of the lucky ones that my husband loves our dogs as much as I love him. I’m working on

my eighth generation and am excited for the future of TNT Bull- mastiffs. My goals are to always keep learning, seeking advice and keep a consistent type. I had lived in Michigan all my life until 2014, when my husband and I moved south to Georgia for two years. The past four years, we have lived on five acres surrounded by farmland in Dalzell, South Carolina, embracing our southern lifestyle. I enjoy express- ing my creativity in many ways; painting, drawing, creating dog show leads, and floral arrangements, to mention a few. I love flip- ping furniture, creating yard art, giving new purpose to old things. I also enjoy spending time caring for our several gardens around our property. How important are head and body proportions in the Bullmas- tiff? The Bullmastiff is known as a head breed to many. The head of a Bullmastiff is what distinguishes him: 1/3 muzzle to 2/3 skull


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