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steveoifer

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MCOA / AKC Mastiff Conformation Standard

OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE MASTIFF

General Appearance
The Mastiff is a large, massive, symmetrical dog with a well-knit frame. The impression is one of grandeur and dignity. Dogs are more massive throughout. Bitches should not be faulted for being somewhat smaller in all dimensions while maintaining a proportionally powerful structure. A good evaluation considers positive qualities of type and soundness with equal weight.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Size - Dogs, minimum, 30 inches at the shoulder. Bitches, minimum, 27-1/2 inches at the shoulder. Fault-Dogs or bitches below the minimum standard. The farther below standard, the greater the fault.
Proportion - Rectangular, the length of the dog from forechest to rump is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. The height of the dog should come from depth of body rather than from length of leg.
Substance - Massive, heavy boned, with a powerful muscle structure. Great depth and breadth desirable. Fault-Lack of substance or slab sided.

Head
In general outline giving a massive appearance when viewed from any angle. Breadth greatly desired.
Eyes - set wide apart, medium in size, never too prominent. Expression alert but kindly. Color of eyes brown, the darker the better, and showing no haw. Light eyes or a predatory expression is undesirable.
Ears - small in proportion to the skull, V-shaped, rounded at the tips. Leather moderately thin, set widely apart at the highest points on the sides of the skull continuing the outline across the summit. They should lie close to the cheeks when in repose. Ears dark in color, the blacker the better, conforming to the color of the muzzle.
Skull - broad and somewhat flattened between the ears, forehead slightly curved, showing marked wrinkles which are particularly distinctive when at attention. Brows (superciliary ridges) moderately raised. Muscles of the temples well developed, those of the cheeks extremely powerful. Arch across the skull a flattened curve with a furrow up the center of the forehead. This extends from between the eyes to halfway up the skull. The stop between the eyes well marked but not too abrupt. Muzzle should be half the length of the skull, thus dividing the head into three parts-one for the foreface and two for the skull. In other words, the distance from the tip of the nose to stop is equal to one-half the distance between the stop and the occiput. Circumference of the muzzle (measured midway between the eyes and nose) to that of the head (measured before the ears) is as 3 is to 5.
Muzzle - short, broad under the eyes and running nearly equal in width to the end of the nose. Truncated, i.e. blunt and cut off square, thus forming a right angle with the upper line of the face. Of great depth from the point of the nose to the underjaw. Underjaw broad to the end and slightly rounded. Muzzle dark in color, the blacker the better. Fault-snipiness of the muzzle.
Nose - broad and always dark in color, the blacker the better, with spread flat nostrils (not pointed or turned up) in profile.
Lips - diverging at obtuse angles with the septum and sufficiently pendulous so as to show a modified square profile.
Canine Teeth - healthy and wide apart. Jaws powerful. Scissors bite preferred, but a moderately undershot jaw should not be faulted providing the teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed.

Neck, Topline, Body
Neck - powerful, very muscular, slightly arched, and of medium length. The neck gradually increases in circumference as it approaches the shoulder. Neck moderately "dry" (not showing an excess of loose skin).
Topline -In profile the topline should be straight, level, and firm, not swaybacked, roached, or dropping off sharply behind the high point of the rump.
Chest - wide, deep, rounded, and well let down between the forelegs, extending at least to the elbow. Forechest should be deep and well defined with the breastbone extending in front of the foremost point of the shoulders. Ribs well rounded. False ribs deep and well set back.
Underline - There should be a reasonable, but not exaggerated, tuck-up.
Back - muscular, powerful, and straight. When viewed from the rear, there should be a slight rounding over the rump.
Loins - wide and muscular.
Tail - set on moderately high and reaching to the hocks or a little below. Wide at the root, tapering to the end, hanging straight in repose, forming a slight curve, but never over the back when the dog is in motion.

Forequarters
Shoulders - moderately sloping, powerful and muscular, with no tendency to looseness. Degree of front angulation to match correct rear angulation.
Legs - straight, strong and set wide apart, heavy boned.
Elbows - parallel to body.
Pasterns - strong and bent only slightly.
Feet - large, round, and compact with well arched toes. Black nails.

Hindquarters
Hindquarters - broad, wide and muscular.
Second thighs - well developed, leading to a strong hock joint.
Stifle joint - is moderately angulated matching the front.
Rear legs - are wide apart and parallel when viewed from the rear. When the portion of the leg below the hock is correctly "set back" and stands perpendicular to the ground, a plumb line dropped from the rearmost point of the hindquarters will pass in front of the foot. This rules out straight hocks, and since stifle angulation varies with hock angulation, it also rules out insufficiently angulated stifles. Fault-Straight stifles.

Coat
Outer coat straight, coarse, and of moderately short length. Undercoat dense, short, and close lying. Coat should not be so long as to produce "fringe" on the belly, tail, or hind legs. Fault-Long or wavy coat.

Color
Fawn, apricot, or brindle. Brindle should have fawn or apricot as a background color which should be completely covered with very dark stripes. Muzzle, ears, and nose must be dark in color, the blacker the better, with similar color tone around the eye orbits and extending upward between them. A small patch of white on the chest is permitted. Faults-Excessive white on the chest or white on any other part of the body. Mask, ears, or nose lacking dark pigment.

Gait
The gait denotes power and strength. The rear legs should have drive, while the forelegs should track smoothly with good reach. In motion, the legs move straight forward; as the dog's speed increases from a walk to a trot, the feet move in toward the center line of the body to maintain balance.

Temperament
A combination of grandeur and good nature, courage and docility. Dignity, rather than gaiety, is the Mastiff's correct demeanor. Judges should not condone shyness or viciousness. Conversely, judges should also beware of putting a premium on showiness.

Approved November 12, 1991
Effective December 31, 1991


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For the betterment of the breed

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well." Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
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steveoifer

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http://www.mastiffassociation.com/Info/standard.htm


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For the betterment of the breed

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well." Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
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steveoifer

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http://www.mastiffassociation.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=64&Itemid=73

An Interpretation of The Mastiff Breed Standard by Betty Baxter & David Blaxter (Illustrated)

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For the betterment of the breed

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well." Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
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NancyE

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I read a great article in the Gazette a while back about why a standard (any breed's standard) is important. One of these days when I have the time I'm going to dig it up...

 It really explained very nicely why it's important for puppy buyers, even if they have no intentions whatsoever of breeding or showing, to read and understand the standard and search out a pup who conforms.

 Standards explain not only how a dog should look but also why, and most describe the ideal temperament as well.  


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goldleaf

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Nancy,
If you find that article, do you think you could send me a copy.  I get the Gazette also, but usually don't keep them for too long.  It would be a great article for puppy buyers to have.  Thanks.


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goldleaf

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goldleaf

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steveoifer

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For the betterment of the breed

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well." Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
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steveoifer

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Reply with quote  #9 

http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/mastiffmessageboard/vpost?id=2378184


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For the betterment of the breed

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well." Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
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TommyD

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Reply with quote  #10 
Steve, Where do you find this stuff? Incredibly informative!!! Thanks.

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steveoifer

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Reply with quote  #11 
It's a small part of a 30+ year effort in acquiring as much info on this breed as possible. 30 years ago there were very few sources of info on mastiffs and no internet to search for rare works.

Many of the pieces in my collection were literally hunted down through winding roads and many hours spent in that process.

There are a few other people on the planet that have rare photos and printed matter on this breed, but unfortunately hoard their "treasure".

I freely share whatever I have with the mastiff community and hope that a few souls gain some insight into the history of this breed in the process. At times my "radical" views are challenged, but usually those subjective views were based on a cumulative experience derived from a very broad spectrum of info gained over the course of time.

It's the natural outcome of digesting tons of evidence & insight into the epigenesis of this breeds formation.

__________________
For the betterment of the breed

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well." Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
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Pilgrim

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Reply with quote  #12 
Translation - Steve is a pack rat (J/K)



Steph

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Never argue with an idiot; People watching may not be able to tell the difference
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steveoifer

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Reply with quote  #13 

A selective pack rat!


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For the betterment of the breed

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well." Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
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