THE AKC STANDARD: OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE BULLMASTIFF
“THE DOG COMBINES THE RELIABILITY, INTELLIGENCE AND WILLINGNESS TO
PLEASE REQUIRED IN A DEPENDABLE FAMILY COMPANION AND PROTECTOR.”
White markings are a fault in all Bullmastiff standards and should be penalized to the extent of the marking. A large amount of white is a larger fault, but unless extensive, it should never be con- sidered with the same severity as splayed feet, cowhocks or a rever- sion to the Bulldog. GAIT Free, smooth and powerful. When viewed from the side, reach and drive indicate maximum use of the dog's moderate angulation. Back remains level and firm. Coming and going, the dog moves in a straight line. Feet tend to converge under the body without crossing over as speed increases. There is no twist- ing in or out at the joints. The gait described is the simple, correct movement expected from a working dog with moderate angulation and a compact, nearly square body. Occasionally a Bullmastiff will single track but the breed should not be expected to do so. The single tracking Bullmastiff should not be confused with a dog that crosses over in its movement. This view differs from the current Canadian standard which asks Bullmastiffs to track in two parallel lines and makes no mention of convergence or single tracking. Many novice owners mistake speed for good movement. A smooth, moderate trot reveals much more about a dog's soundness and struc- ture than the racing speed often seen in the show ring. As a judge, I am always skeptical when a dog is presented at what I consider excessive speed. Although good movement should be prized, it should receive no extra recognition if it comes as a benefit of a fault of type. Specifi- cally, a Bullmastiff should get no extra credit for outstanding move- ment if it lacks the essential compactness and nearly square outline or if it achieves that exceptional movement as a benefit of incorrect type and structure. TEMPERAMENT Fearless and confident yet docile. The dog combines the reliability, intelligence and willingness to please required in a dependable family companion and protector. Fearless and confident yet docile. To put it in very simple terms, a Bullmastiff must own the ground it stands on. Docile means to easily teach or manage, not dull or spiritless. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Geraldine Shastid is a lifetime member of the American Bullmastiff Association, an international judge and a breeder/ owner-handler of National Specialty Best of Breed/All-Breed Best in Show/Register of Merit Bullmastiffs. Gerry was a member of the standard revision committee in 1992 and serves as a parent club approved mentor. Along with her late husband, Jack Shastid, she is an author, historian and devoted fancier of over 50 years.
FOREQUARTERS Shoulders— Muscular but not loaded and slightly sloping. Fore- legs— Straight, well boned and set well apart; elbows turned neither in nor out. Pasterns— straight, feet of medium size with round toes well arched. Pads— thick and tough, nails black. HINDQUARTERS Broad and muscular, with well developed second thigh denoting power but not cumbersome. Moderate angulation at hocks. Cow- hocks and splay feet are serious faults. Although these opposite ends of the dog are treated separately in the standard, they must be considered together to achieve the proper bal- ance and symmetry. Shoulders are slightly sloping to go with the strong, straight pasterns and the moderate angulation at the hock. It is reason- able to assume that if the hocks are moderately bent, the stifles will be moderately angulated as well. Cow hocks and splay feet are designated as serious faults and should not be tolerated. Although splay feet are men- tioned under the heading of hindquarters, they are an equally serious fault on the front feet. Similarly, thick, tough pads and black nails are not just requirements on the front feet. The dog is the sum of its parts and the way they fit together. COAT Short and dense, giving good weather protection. A short, dense coat is less likely to collect mud and debris and is less exposed to the elements than a longer, slightly open one. The British penal- ize long, silky and woolly coats in their standard and require the hair- coat to lie flat against the body. The AKC standard simply states what is acceptable and expects common sense to exclude the occasional longhaired Bullmastiff from the show ring and the breeding program. COLOR Red, fawn or brindle. Except for a very small white spot on the chest, white markings are considered a fault. Although brindle was the color preferred by early gamekeepers, for many years brindle dogs were at a disadvantage in the show ring. But in the past decade, many serious breeders have made concentrated efforts to produce outstanding brindle Bullmastiffs. As a result, they are seen in increasing numbers every year. Solid fawns and reds should ideally have clear, even colored coats. BIS BISS Ch. Ladybug’s Lady Caitlin, TD. Pictured winning her second national specialty under the late Jack Shastid.
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