AMERICAN BULLMASTIFF ASSOCIATION, INC. Q&A
I think the best way to attract newcomers to our breed is to edu- cate them. Get them involved in breed clubs, attend dog shows or fairs. The more involved the breeders are with welcoming newcom- ers to ask questions or participate, the better adjusted the newcom- ers will be with the breed and the sport of exhibiting show dogs. My ultimate goal for the breed is to breed a dog consistently that adheres to the breed standard. We work diligently to produce a dog that not only fits our ideal for the breed, but also what the written standard calls for. There is much variance in the breed to date, and as a breeder our goal for the breed is to have continuous consistency in our line for the future and for generations to come. Our favorite dog show memory would undoubtedly be winning the Bullmastiff National Specialty 2018 with our own bred-by dog. As a breeder/owner there is no greater accomplishment and no fond- er memory in my many years in show dogs. The Bullmastiff overall is not just a big, impressive dog that draws a crowd because of his large outward appearance, but a sweet soul with enduring, loving eyes and a heart to match. This breed will always be a part of our household and lives because they are so much more than just a dog. They become a part of you and your life. I can’t imagine not having one or more in our lives long after the shows are in our past. JANE TREIBER I live in western Washington on a ten acre farm with a river. Outside of dogs, I love to plant and grow flowers. I walk everyday on the farm and in local parks with the Bullmastiffs and my Bor- der Terrier. I enjoy spending much time with my ”adopted” grandchildren and going to their school and sports events. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfortable with the placement? I do not want the Bullmastiff to become any more popular because it is not a breed for everyone. The numbers make it difficult to find majors in the show ring. However, it is not hard to find people that want to own the breed. With this, we also do not have as many “backyard breeders” as some breeds and not as many rescue dogs to place. How important are the head and body proportions in the Bull- mastiff? Regarding head and proportions, these two characteristics are the essence of breed type. Is there a color preference/prejudice in the show ring? The two colors most often seen are the fawn and red. However, the brindle is the original color (almost impossible for the poacher to see) and yet, they have a much harder time finishing. Serious breeders always try to keep the brindle in their lines. The biggest misconception about the Bullmastiff is that they cannot do performance events. A properly structured and correctly sized dog can compete. People also believe that because they are big, they are not safe to be with kids. Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? Most people immediately think that they are English Mastiffs. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? People think that rescuing a shelter dog is the right thing to do. They believe that purebred dogs, Bullmas- tiffs included, are just way too expensive. They fail to understand how much money goes into breeding a healthy litter and that along with that, they can have expectations of what the temperament and health of the puppy will be. In addition, Bullmastiffs do need exer- cise, so they need a yard, nearby parks or trails to ensure the physi- cal and mental health of a Bullmastiff.
At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I can see the potential at about seven to nine weeks. The most important thing for a judge to always remember is the head is a cube on a cube and that long is wrong! Judges are critical in welcoming new people to the breed and the sport. Most Bullmastiffs are owner-handled in our part of the country by young, new exhibitors. Remember, they are learning, and they love their dogs. A smile, a helpful hint and patience go a long way. Let them know that you are really giving their dog a fair assessment. My ultimate goal for the breed? I would like to see the ABA tackle more genetic testing. In addition, the ABA should recog- nize breeders that do health testing and get CHIC numbers for their dogs. My favorite dog show memory is of Bruin (BIS, MBISS Gold- GCH Banstock N Highpoint New Day Bruin at Kimo, ROM) taking a BIS under Houston Clark. The BIS photo is with Luke Baggenstos holding his baby son and his daughter standing beside Bruin. She slept with Bruin every night that he was at their home. The last thing that I want to share is that Bullmastiffs will pro- tect their families naturally. They do not have to be trained as the instinct is natural, particularly when it comes to children. Owners need to pay attention to the body language of their dogs as they are particularly aware at night and in new environments. They are cau- tious and watchful without making noise. This goes back to what they were bred to do: listen, find the poacher and protect the prop- erty and gamekeeper. TERI WINSTON
I currently live in the beautiful Pacif- ic Northwest about 35 minutes south of Portland, Oregon. I am a veterinar- ian and owner of a three doctor practice in Oregon City, Oregon. My practice is 100% companion animals (dogs and cats). I graduated from Kansas State University in 1997 with my DVM, then did a post-doc at Colorado State Uni- versity in 1998, and then a three year
Internal Medicine Residency with a Masters Degree in Pulmonary Immunology. I have been blessed to have worked at the same prac- tice for 18 years and owner for 13 years. Head and body proportions are the essence of the Bullmastiff and are central to describing their type. They are what you should recognize as a Bullmastiff if you only see a black silhouette. The “nearly square” proportions of the Bullmastiff differentiates the breed from the rectangular English Mastiff and the square Bulldog. A Bullmastiff that is long in the loin is incorrect as is one with a nar- row muzzle or scoop underjaw. Both traits are lending themselves too far in one direction or another to either of the parent breeds. The head is very well described in our breed standard so we should lend a great deal of weight to it in the show ring. The cube on cube description of the Bullmastiff muzzle and skull is what is recognizable as Bullmastiff. The small, triangular dark ears frame the square skull. The muzzle should have good bone fill under the eye and not just heavy wrinkle of skin. I like to really feel the boney structure of the head and muzzle to identify if there is correct struc- ture to the skull or if there are just pretty wrinkles making up for it. I feel the Bullmastiff is still relatively unknown to the general population. Most people will recognize them as some sort of Mas- tiff, but not specifically as a Bullmastiff. I have been asked if they are a Dane cross or a small English Mastiff before. I especially get questions when they are going through their awkward puppy stage where their heads are changing just as fast as their bodies are. That
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2020 | 155
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