AMERICAN BULLMASTIFF ASSOCIATION, INC. Q&A
health and temperament. Then I look for phenotype to maintain my qualities of type per litter. After seven generations it is getting easier to see the present qualities I strive for in my breeding pro- gram. At about five weeks they start to come together. At weeks six and seven they still are changing. Usually I can choose what I’m looking for in my breeding program at eight weeks. The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Our standard is very important for the health of our breed. Being a large working breed and the demands on their bod- ies, it’s our responsibility as breeders to breed for health. To me the judges have been given that same responsibility as to which dogs they give recognition for in the ring as the most correct. Overall a square, balanced frame is essential. The standard says slightly lon- ger than tall. Slightly is a very loose term. I would want a new judge to understand how a long back affects the function and health in terms of the rest of the body. A longer back may allow for adequate movement, but may also compromise the health of the dog’s joints long-term. For the balance aspect, understanding and recognizing correct 45 degree angles of shoulder and hip are essential as these angles are what allow the dog to have powerful reach and drive. This is essential to do their originally intended work of chasing down and knocking down a poacher. The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? I think there are many ways of attracting newcomers to the breed and sport. I have often found with my litters an interest by a future owner to get involved in showing and the desire to be mentored. These have been rewarding relationships that have also been long- term. The shows with “Meet The Breeds” have drawn new people to Bullmastiffs with the opportunity to see the dogs up close, interact with them, and be educated about our breed. My ultimate goal for the breed is to continue to breed healthy Bullmastiffs with loving dispositions that best represent the stan- dard of the breed. I hope that my work becomes a lasting positive contribution to the overall gene pool of the Bullmastiff world. My favorite dog show memories were with my heart dog, ROM GRCH. TNT’s Ground Breaker, “Kubota,” at Top 25 awards ceremonies. More recently, my favorite memory has been winning BOB and BOS at a double specialty. These honors were won showing my 14-month-old female CH. TNT’s Rise N Shine, “Kashi,” from the Bred-By Class. I had only been able to show her once as a puppy before this show. I did not show her again for about seven months until the American Bullmastiff Association National Specialty in 2018. We won Winners Bitch at both pre National Specialty shows and the National Specialty 2018. I’d like to express the importance of breeders to do all of their health clearances on breeding prospects. Heart tests are especially crucial for the continued improvement of good health in the Bull- mastiff breed. The ABA national club health research committee has been working very hard to address heart conditions in our breed. I personally would like to see all breeders do echo-cardio- grams for the future and longevity of Bullmastiffs. VICKIE PLATT & NICK HOLLAND We created NV Bullmas-
dogs in the early 1980s and have enjoyed the sport and how it has enhanced our lives for over 37 years. We hope to continue to be consistent in the breed and look forward to returning to a prosper- ous successful future in show dogs. We live in Waterloo, Wisconsin. I am currently semi-retired and enjoy the outdoors with my family and dogs. I currently work part- time for a Natural Dog Treat company, Nick owns his own busi- ness, Aggressive Metals, in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. The head and body proportions are vitally important in the breed as it creates the essence of a Bullmastiff, with the head type strong and defined, correct pigment, width in under jaw and a square on a square appearance. The body should be nearly square and balanced front to rear and appear to have substance and strength on the stand and moving. I believe the average person on the street can recognize a cor- rectly bred Bullmastiff if they are familiar with the different types of dogs in general. I have, unfortunately, noted a preference/prejudice in the ring when it comes to colors; light fawns to red/red fawns with black masks are much preferred to brindles in my opinion. I myself have seen very nice correct examples of the breed in brindle that have been disregarded in the ring, which is an unfair prejudice to color. The biggest misconception about the breed, I believe, is because they are large and can be intimidating due to their size, or they are regarded as guard dogs that are potentially dangerous and not preferred as a family pet. This goes along with the misconception I’d like to dispel about the breed. Bullmastiffs are wonderful companion dogs with gentle, sweet dispositions that are loyal, loving giants and dedicated pets to their human family members. Some of the special challenges breeders are facing now in our current economic and social climate are what the future will hold for exhibitors, whether or not we will be in controlled numbered environments as far as show sites are concerned. We also need to consider where the future of the breeder is when it comes to placing potential litters. Will the market for Show/Pet puppies be viable, or will our economy be so repressed we will no longer be able to function as before? Many, I feel, will just need to sustain their lifestyles and have to revisit whether or not exhibiting or breeding dogs in the future will be feasible or even possible. We are hopeful that some sort of Normal will return and I feel the long-term dedicated breeders will weather this storm. We evaluate show potential puppies at eight weeks of age. From there the next age of evaluation for show-worthy puppies will be between four to five months as this is the age the permanent teeth are coming in and will be a deterrent for show prospects if bite devi- ates too far from the standard. The next age if the pup is still show- ing positive signs of show potential would be around 10-12 months at this stage we would be looking for height and body density. For puppies that are being evaluated for show potential that the breeder is not keeping, the timeline is different as the breeder has to deter- mine more in a shorter period of time. Many times the litter will need to be evaluated on prior litters out of the same sire or dam, and if the breeder knows how their litters progress from eight weeks to adulthood. We look for puppies that are correct to the standard at eight to ten weeks of age that show the most show potential, and follow the puppies in their show homes to help evaluate from a distance. In my opinion, the most important thing for a new judge to keep in mind is to know the breed standard, and what it is about the breed that makes a Bullmastiff a Bullmastiff. A nearly square dog that is balanced from front to rear, correct clean head type, a strong dog that is well muscled and clean on profile or on the move. There should be no doubt that you are judging a Bullmastiff.
tiffs 20 years ago as a passion for the Bullmastiff breed. We have worked diligently to ensure that we bred and showed our dogs over the years to the best of their potential, with many recognizable accomplishments. I (Vickie Platt) started in show
154 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2020
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