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Monica

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Reply with quote  #26 
So when you say weight and muscle - are you saying this can be corrected?  What is your opinion?

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Monica
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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone~
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Reply with quote  #27 

Toplines in Mastiffs have always been a bit puzzling to me.  I have had the gammet of toplines from butt high, to sway-back, to table top. I haven't noticed any correlation to soundness or movement with regard to any of the three toplines in my dogs. 

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steveoifer

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Reply with quote  #28 

Typically, once the spine has bent, it's due to the vertebrae molding to the forces placed upon it. If weight is removed and if the latissimus dorsi & longissimus dorsi muscles can be strengthened, the condition can improve somewhat, but usually it will not totally recover to an optimal design.

In many dogs there is a genetic predisposition to this type of structure and laxity. The additional weight only intensifies the condition.

 

*Also see

 

http://www.shawlein.com/The_Standard/03_The_Middlepiece/The_Middlepiece.html


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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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goldleaf

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Reply with quote  #29 
I have a question about toplines and 8 week old puppies. My female has a steep croup and I wanted to correct that by breeding to a dog with a great topline. At eight weeks of age, all toplines looked beautiful just as I had hoped. The boy I kept still has a nice topline, but one of the other puppies ended up having a similar croup angle as his mom. Not as extreme, but it's still there. This was absolutely not noticeable at 8 weeks of age and I'm wondering if there's any other way to tell or should pups be held onto until they're 12-16 weeks. This was the age when it started becoming apparent. Thank you.

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giselle

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Reply with quote  #30 
Another question on toplines -- i posted pictures of my girl cider above. After having babies, it seems her topline issues corrected.  I'm happy but a little weirded out by this....I assumed her topline would get worse but in fact, it dramatically improved.  Has anyone else had this happen and what would cause this?

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Giselle
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madchemist

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Reply with quote  #31 
Is power transferred better through a dog with a level topline?

Is a level topline a cosmetic issue that the founders thought was "prettier"?

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Clinton Shuey
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nancyw

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Reply with quote  #32 
Giselle, I have had several bitches do the same as Cider and I can only say that maybe while they were pregnant they developed more muscle to hold up thier bellies and are still using that muscle after they whelp.

Nancy

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Monica

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Reply with quote  #33 
Thats an intersting question Clinton. I have often wondered how far a "show look" vs. "proper mastiff function look" thread would go. It seems what some feel is proper is not what goes over with the judges some days in the rings and what some judges choose is not always what the mastiff "type" breeders would deem "proper." I don't know if the thread would go anywhere. If anyone wants to start one - it would be interesting if there were participation.

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Monica
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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone~
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steveoifer

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Reply with quote  #34 
Giselle,

It's hard to tell in the movie that you posted, but in the photo stills, she seems to have a raised "ridge" down her spine. If I'm wrong on this observation then disregard the following............

If there was an "extra" amount of calcium in the dogs uptake and an inability to assimilate it, a slight calcium ridge could have formed, which the pups drew down from her as their bones formed in the uterus. In addition, whelping pups also reduce calcium levels in the host and could account for a better topline after those events. This is purely speculative.


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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  #35 
Clinton,

From the OEM standard:
"Back and loins wide and muscular; flat and very wide in bitch, slightly arched in a dog. Great depth of flanks."

*There is no mention of "level"!

Power is transmitted through the spine and a level spine, is the most efficient construct, in order to transmit that factor. Speed and other factors would require another construct, but the flow of power is best suited with a spine that is in line and has little aversive anomalies!

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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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Reply with quote  #36 
I've seen some funky topline stuff over the years with my own dogs.

Jann, it's been my experience with my own dogs and evaluating pups from other breeders' litters that what you see at 12-14 wks is what you get as an adult in terms of angles, structure, and oftentimes toplines (though there are always exceptions to this!). 

Giselle, like Cider, Bling's topline was off before she had puppies.  She was very high in the rear, and having pups has corrected her topline.  I've also had the reverse happen...Mimi had a board straight, perfecto topline until she had a litter.  After the litter, she had a very slight dip in her topline, and it remained this way for the rest of her life. 

I agree w/ Steve that toplines are genetic. 

Clinton, I think the jury is out as to what purpose a topline serves.  I've owned a Mastiff bitch who had beautiful angles front and rear with quite a dip in topline all the time.  This bitch could and can MOVE (this is my girl Claire that lives with a dear friend).  I've also had 2 Mastiffs with extremely high rears and straight stifles.  One has/had incredible front and rear movement w/ great rear drive, and one does not. 

It's like just about everything else in Mastiffs, they forgot to read the book!
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brandig

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Reply with quote  #37 

monica i have been trying to get that topic going for a while but it keeps getting overlooked. i too think that a slight soft topline is probably more natural to the dogs but a tabletop is what is nicer to look at so that is what we are going for.  and i think the natural shape of the dog is it's true correct conformation not the position that it is put in for showing to go by if you are going to try to breed something in or out of your program. what the dog does natural is what it will produce???!!! so why look at stacked pics to select for breeding??  i dont understand why they allow stacking. to see the correct conformation of the dog i think it should be in a natural stack.    i may be off. i dont really have any experience yet but this is my unexperienced opinion as of right now.  this may be a touchy subject with breeders. i dont know. hope i didn't step on any toes. like isaid enexperience talking.


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Hair? what hair? i dont see any hair!!
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Reply with quote  #38 
Brandi, you make such a great point about the stacking.
When I showed pigs I held out a piece of bait and called it good, my attitude was always 'if my pig is good enough it will win' and 7 times out of 10 (roughly) they did.

To me, when I am showing, and y'all know I am the biggest ditz in California when it comes to showing lol, it's all about the movement. They can stack pretty all day long but if they can't make it around the ring who cares?

Barrie
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steveoifer

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Reply with quote  #39 


African wild dog numbers are declining due to numerous threats.


Level toplines in nature, insures the most efficient transmission of power. For long walks, or close infighting, a level topline helps to conserve energy and in so doing
increases survivability.


__________________
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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Reply with quote  #40 
*prospective Mastiff puppy owner*

Greatly informative thread!

Q:
1- Kristin said:
Jann, it's been my experience with my own dogs and evaluating pups from other breeders' litters that what you see at 12-14 wks is what you get as an adult in terms of angles, structure, and oftentimes toplines (though there are always exceptions to this!). 

So, does this mean that:

A:
Most breeders wait until the pup is 12-14 wks, before selling them? Otherwise, how can they gauge which puppies will be show quality vs pet?

B:
That show puppy buyers should wait until the puppy is 12-14 wks old before I buy?

Q:
I'm still unclear, after reading this thread, whether or not exercise can help strengthen/straighten a soft topline. Can exercise help? Or is a topline 100% genetic, and nothing can be done to help it? (ie, I did read on this thread that some toplines changed after giving birth)

TY!
Pam
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steveoifer

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Reply with quote  #41 
Enhancing that which is already there, is always available to those who wish to promote good structure!

But make no mistake, genetics, at the end of the day, will supercede any and all reformations that are undertaken in the pursuit of corrective measures to produce an "ideal"!

In other words, we are what we were gifted and no matter how hard we try to correct for shortcomings, through alternative processess, we can never make up for genes that just aren't there!

__________________
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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