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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #1 
I just read another thread and won't comment on it.

Much talk about the betterment of the breed, gossip, DNA testing vs. non-DNA testing.

When do you not breed?

MCOA says members cannot breed their bitches before a certain age.  Some members boast on their websites about their own ethics and how they follow the MCOA guidelines, yet they breed their bitches before 22 months and talk about those not following the MCOA guidelines or not belonging to the club as if their breeding program is not worthy.  I've seen some websites where suspended members still list themselves as MCOA members on their sites.  Some of these sites are from folks that have been members for a long, long time - or suspended for a long time and still have their tidy "MCOA Member" sign up.  I don't belong to the MCOA because I don't agree with their bitch breeding age and I won't join because I won't break rules.  Why do some get to be members and break rules just beceause they want to breed?  Again,  When not to breed?

We also have MCOA pushing really hard for testing, yet some of their members are breeding untested dogs and other  members own offspring from those dogs. 

When does it stop?  When are you supposed to stop breeding FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE BREED?  When do words translate into action?

How many offspring of untested dogs will continue to be bred?  How many will take the chance and wait until generation after generation have crappy OFA's, bad hearts, bad eyes, cystinuria?  I agree the testing for the latest health  problem being discussed is sketchy and the jury is still out for many on what this disease is all about.  But when does breeding stop - does it stop when there is an absolute test and continue when their is an unclear test?  According to the MCOA health committee it is supposed to be tested for and stop breeding upon a positive (period).  The posts are right here on the board. 

What I find really tragic about this disease in specific is that the bitches cannot be tested therefore there is a fall back for stud dog owners - they can blame it on the bitch and her lines, especially if the stud dog happens to have a negative after a diet change... if that is truly the case - that a diet change makes the difference.  If other dogs in a line have this disease such as another breeder experienced, you pull the plug - no - I mean it doesn't get much more genetic than 3 dogs in the same litter, right?  Isn't that too coincidental or is it just that that line has a hard time processing cystine?  I certainly don't know, but when is the plug pulled on breeding or are chances continued to be taken?  I'd be asking myself the same questions in this position - certainly a very hard and difficult time for breeders being faced with questionable health issues for which a solid test has not been formed.  Yet, I still wonder, when do we stop breeding?

I expect to either get no response or blasted here.

This is not gossip at all, it is scary and should be addressed for the betterment of the breed!




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Monica Coyle
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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #2 
That is a really good article Connie.


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Monica Coyle
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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
When should a stud owner stop using or promoting outside stud service of their stud who produced cancer?  Or using the grandson or son of a dog that died of cancer and had offspring that died of cancer (at young ages).


I'd stop as soon as I knew that it was not just a fluke. 

Interesting, because Cancer is much like the current chatter "cystinuria."  You don't know until much later, after breedings, sometimes many, have taken place.... and its well on its way thru the population of that specific breed.

I think its all very difficult and heartbreaking. 

The question remains tho - does a breeding stop with a less than DNA test or continue until they know for certain? 

If the answer for most is continue - and I'm assuming it is continue because of the lack of input by the majority - then everyone just needs to know what that might mean 5 years or less or more down the road when there is a DNA test - then what???  Does the culling happen now or then?


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Monica Coyle
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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #4 
LOL - we are posting at the same time.

So, from what I have read, and its complicated for me, so I could have misinterpreted:

With cystinuria a female (who can't be tested, really) who is a carrier has a higher chance of passing the defect onto her male offspring than an infected male has of passing it onto his female offspring..?   But you can't test the females to find out if they are carriers - and we all know females are the stock, much more females used than males.

Am I right on this or off? 


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Monica Coyle
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emarsh

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Reply with quote  #5 
Monica are you speaking about cystinuria ? I believe that other-thread-on-which-no-comment is not at all specific to cystinuria.

I think you have asked two very different questions in your post, and I think the answer is in those two questions:

"When do you not breed?"
"when do we stop breeding?"

I can only answer the first one.  I suspect you can only answer the first one.  Fortunately or unfortunately, neither of us can answer the second one, as there is no "we".  If there were true consensus, there would be no question. Each of us has to navigate by our own moral compass.  This you know is true of life, not just dogs !  Being a member of a club is not a guarantee of a well calibrated moral compass, but then neither is NOT being a member !
They say that we judge others by their actions, and ourselves by our intentions. Perhaps we should try to judge others as we do ourselves, on their intentions ?
Hope this fails to qualify as no response & blast. 
Erika M.



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Reply with quote  #6 
Monica,

Hurray, great post!!!!!!!  I guess for some breeding doesn't stop because it's all about the money, not about the betterment of the breed.   When people are charging $2000 to $3500 a dog.  People can say no my dogs do not have cystinuria, no my dog's do not have allegies, but yes they do and they still will hide their head in the sand and continue to breed.  Meanwhile, strapping the individuals that buy these puppies with expensive food, allergy shots, and medication.  Then saying no it was not in the contract.  I know no one can prevent everything, but when you have a problem, be honest.  Just say, I had all well intentions, but this litter is bad.  I would respect someone a heck of alot more than just bad mouthing the puppy buyer to make themselves look better.  No one can tell me that money isn't a part of that. 

The interesting thing to me is that MCOA is supposedly pushing testing, but where are they in supporting ethics.  They have a Code of Ethics, why not stand by it?  If these people are members and they are doing these things, they are not following the Code of Ethics, suspend them.  Take their name from the reputable breeders list.  Don't let new puppy buyers or old ones who truly love the breed step into the situation without warning.

If the MCOA isn't going to support the breed and the ethics of it, who will!
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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for the reply Erika - other perspectives ~with tact ~are what threads are all about :-)

Micona - the good (breeders not breeding for money) and bad (sad for the breeders and others who encounter problems) of it is that there are so many great breeders who are and will encounter issues at some point with their dogs that are not in this for money at all.  Their hearts and lives get wrapped around the dogs and when something comes in and threatens what they do everyday, it, I can only imagine, is life altering, depressing and extremely difficult. 

Admist such a storm, still the question remains (and I'll try to take the 'we' out of it) when there is an upset in a line or with a dog or a bitch, when does the breeding stop?

And I posted about the MCOA because I feel they have guidelines and the healthy committed pushes hard on certain issues that members do not follow (I truly do not get that part) so I guess I bulked that into this post...which is ending up being just a stream of thoughts and questions, from me anyway.

From a breeder's standpoint - no "good breeder" wants to send home  a pup with problems and if it arises I think every breeder handles things a bit differently.  Allergies is truly a tough one IMPO...

When a breeder may get knocked off their feet due to a defect or such in their line - puppy buyers need to know that the devasation for that breeder and the way they must feel would be multiplied by how much the problem has impacted their breeding program and not because of money but because its their passion and heart... still the question remains, when does the breeding stop?



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Monica Coyle
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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
"When do you not breed?"
  By this I mean not even start with a dog or bitch because there is question, no matter how nice that dog or bitch may be and no matter how many plans you had...

Quote:
"when do we stop breeding?"
  By this I mean you've been on a roll and now there is a snag - do you stop?

And cystinuria is just one of the things I brought up here, along with other health issues.  The reason I did not want to comment on the other thread is because it went right into personal attacks so quickly and I didn't want to get involved.   But I did want to post these questions regarding health of mastiffs  and "when not to breed" and "when to stop breeding."

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steveoifer

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Reply with quote  #9 

Quote:

Dr Bell's own words >>

If the only quality offspring is also a carrier, then breeders can use that offspring to replace the original carrier. The breeder has improved the quality of the breeding stock, even though the defective gene remains in the next generation. The health of the breed does depend on diminishing the carrier frequency and not increasing it. Breeders should therefore limit the number of carrier-testing offspring placed in breeding homes. It is important to carry on lines. A test that should be used to help maintain breed diversity should not result in limiting it.



In non autosomal instances, the carrier is also affected and therefore should not be used.

The X in the male can pass the gene onto the bitches in the next generation. The male does not carry two X chromosomes and therefore cannot inhibit the expression of the gene by another X offsetting the condition.

Quote:

Male mammals are never carriers of a sex-linked disease or trait. They are either affected or clear. Females, however, can be affected, clear or carrier.


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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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EXCMastiffs

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Reply with quote  #10 

Some members of this board have Mastiff Club of America as a keyword/key phrase multiple times so their websites come up when that is put in a search engine.

For someone who takes such issue with not joining, and is so concerned about what folks who choose to take an active role in their breed and are members - why might someone who chooses not to be a member for the MCOA have terms in a website that draw prospective Mastiff families to their site using key words like Mastiff Club of America and MCOA, and identifying as such?

I have no problem with serious discussion, but when accusations of this nature are made among "MCOA members at large" I don't think it's fair. 


Heather

*edited to be politically correct and with an attempt to offer my real concern about the issue and not point fingers at specific parties. 


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Reply with quote  #11 
The Mastiff Club of America is intended to promote the Mastiff breed.  Something we are all rather passionate about.  Most people join with the intention of getting involved and supporting the parent club for that breed.  They may/may not believe in all of the ideals and thoughts behind everything the club stands for - but the way to impact change certainly isn't to be on the outside worrying about it.  If there are folks who don't like certain aspects - why NOT join and work to provide data and support to change things that might not be working?

Heather

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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #12 
Heather,

My website clearly states that I am not a member of the MCOA and why - read my entire site and you'll find it - ITS VERY EASY TO FIND!!

My website was set up by a web-designer and they used those key phrases AND I AM GLAD THEY DID.

The MCOA has many good things to offer, I do not belong to the club for one reason and one reason only - because I do not want to be told when to breed my bitch and that is clear on my website.

I adhere to all otheer  COE's and am disappointed in things some members do - I would state that whether I was a member or not. 

Further, the MCOA link is on my website so that folks can go there, learn more about the standard, the breed, etc.

I am proud of my site and proud of the information on it.  I am proud of the links I post on it and the information I offer the public.  I am also happy that my web hosting company put the MCOA wording in my search profile so that folks will land on my site and be able to learn - I would not have it any other way and if they are not capable of reading my site fully to learn that I am not an MCOA member and why, then oh well - at least I've led them to the MCOA link - which is a place for folks to learn - LOL - misleading - ya, that's me boy, I am one big misleader LMAO!

Thank you for making your post so that I am able to explain just what I did - I truly appreciate it!!

If you have a personal vendetta against me - take it personal as I will not tolerate a personal bash of my website or me on this board.  I have not named anyone personally in this thread - not should you have done the above.  Makes you look incredibly nasty and defensive - thanks again for sharing my site - I am very proud of it!!

Quote:
Let she who cast the first stone be without sin?  Is this what a learning community is supposed to look like?  Do as I say, not as I do?


And whatever this means - ummmm - hey I test my dogs Heather and am just starting in this breed - with clean stock at this point.  Who BTW are you defending - WOW?


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Monica Coyle
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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
How many offspring of untested dogs will continue to be bred?  How many will take the chance and wait until generation after generation have crappy OFA's, bad hearts, bad eyes, cystinuria? 


How many offspring of tested dogs that fail will continue to be bred?????? Tested lines have just as many problems as the untested lines!!!! I find it very unfair that this is always thrown out there, the road is paved both ways!!!

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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
The Mastiff Club of America is intended to promote the Mastiff breed.  Something we are all rather passionate about.  Most people join with the intention of getting involved and supporting the parent club for that breed.  They may/may not believe in all of the ideals and thoughts behind everything the club stands for - but the way to impact change certainly isn't to be on the outside worrying about it.  If there are folks who don't like certain aspects - why NOT join and work to provide data and support to change things that might not be working?


You know what Heather to each his own.  The MCOA offers many great things on the breed.  The political aspect of the club - not for me!  Maybe it is for others but not for me at this time.  I see too many rules being bent and too much hypocrisy in certain areas and that's  not for me.  Freedom of speech tho does give me the right to voice my opinion in that regard.  I highly respect the folks that are members and work that rear ends off to make things right and stay connected when times are tough for them and do the right thing!

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Monica Coyle
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Micona

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Reply with quote  #15 
Monica, I agree with your post about there are good breeders and if you are doing everything above board and your heart is in it then things do happen.  That is so understandable and puppy buyers do understand that.  I am talking about the individuals who do not have their heart in the right place.  I would never think of owning another mastiff if i didn't believe there were good breeders out there trying to make things better.

I too am very passionate about our breed, and I am a member of MCOA and I have contributed both money and time, and I do very much care about the breed and the health issues that our dogs are facing, but when you see things over the years that are just not ethical you start to wonder where do people turn when they belong to the club and you see issues that are unethical. 


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Reply with quote  #16 
I agree with many of the points made above, by several different parties.

My post was not an attack Monica, not by any means.  What I wanted to illustrate was a counter point to something you had mentioned above. It seemed you were in essence stating folks liked the name recognition of the MCOA, and joined but then broke the rules - while still "holding their MCOA sign."

I guess the point that I didn't clearly make - and for that I apologize, was that doesn't seem to be much different from using the name recognition of the MCOA to draw folks using the words Mastiff Club of America or MCOA in a search engine to specific non member sites. 

Heather



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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks for the clarification Heather.

I don't proclaim to be a member, I state I am not, I do not have MCOA member on the front of my website.

I have landed on sites that talk about how folks should only go to breeders who follow the MCOA COEs' yet they break them themselves.  I have landed on sites where folks have right on the front of theirs "MCOA member" when they've been suspended.

These two things are wrong IMPO!!

My site does not "ride" on or mislead regarding MCOA membership - it clearly pulls folks in where they can link to the MCOA, read about the American Mastiff and anyone with a brain would go to the page where I discuss my position regarding membership.  My site couldn't be more honest and open and I can sleep at night knowing that!


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Monica Coyle
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Reply with quote  #18 
Hi ladies :>)
Well I'm a MCOA Member have been since around 92?
But I don't feel only MCOA Members have good healthy Mastiffs :>)

I do feel new People coming in to the breed ,when they read a Breeder is testing all of their breeding's ,that their Pups will never ever have a health problem .

And then feel that they ,have been lied to ,when the Pups do ,have a health  problem.

I think all breeders need to tell new puppy Buyers ,
That Sire and Dam have been tested , and it does not mean ,that their Pup will Not have any health problems .

Breeder did what it can do period ,no guarantee on How ,Pup can turn out .

But I think Some Breeders sell on that health testing theory

And that leaves New Buyers  ,upset when a health problem arises .
I also don't feel any one can say a pup will be a show pup .

Being a MCOA member ,truly guarantees ,you nothing :>) You still need to
ask questions ,and learn :>)

I'm sure that many Non Members ,carry out the same code of ethics ?

As the MCOA ??
Marge








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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #19 
I could not agree with your post more Marge.  Nothing is for certain.  I'll tell you what tho, if any of my puppies die or have to be put down before the age of 2 due to something genetic, that pup would be replaced for free!!  No one should have to suffer that, fluke or not.  Its just what I would have to do to make things right and if its not a fluke - well I'm either going to go broke or have to fix the non-fluke!

There are no guarantees, but if we are testing, at least we have some sort of template, even if we choose to breed on less than desirable testing, we have the template...and HONESTY/INTEGRITY is what matters more than anything lose that and I don't care how many years of this that and the next thing one has, you've lost IMPO!




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Monica Coyle
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Micona

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Reply with quote  #20 

Yes, honesty and integrity!!!!!!  My gosh is that too much to ask for these days!!!!  Thanks for starting the post Monica!

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Reply with quote  #21 
The Canadian Club adopted a new COE as of Jan this year.  While it is in no means perfect...one of the things that it does do is require certain testing and that the results be made public.  It does NOT require the passing of said tests...but that they be done.  And the results be made public record. 

http://www.mastiffcanada.org/Code%20of%20Ethics.htm

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Reply with quote  #22 
If breeders would be more honest about the problems they have had in their lines, and not ignore them and not continue to breed on them I believe this breed would be better off.  No matter how much testing is done, it is no guarantee.  Lets me also say that most of the things breeders test for and promote their dogs as being healthy because of these tests are not the conditions these dogs die from.  Cardiac testing aside,  we can not test for cancer,  bloat,  pyometria, etc....the things that cause the death of many of these dogs at a young age.  If breeders see these issues continuously coming up in their lines they should stop and think if they want to continue breeding on these dogs that seem to be producing the conditions that do cause death in the younger dogs.   Breeders need to be honest about the health problems they are seeing in the puppies they produce, and not just promote their dogs as healthy just because they have passed their hip, elbow and eye testing.  Dogs don't die young from these conditions...its the ones that are hidden by breeders, that can not be tested for that are hurting the health of our breed.

       LisaG

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Reply with quote  #23 

I agree, Lisa, just like a dog that has passed all it's health testing is not always a great representative of the breed and passing health testing alone is not a reason to breed said dog.


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Reply with quote  #24 
We don't want to breed Mastiffs that look like Chihuahuas, but passed their health tests with flying colors!

On the other hand, if health tests are available for certain maladies, I find it unconscionable if a breeder does not make use of them. It should be mandatory!

How can you build a reputable kennel name and continue to use certain "in house" foundation dogs and not test?

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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  #25 
I really like what Lisa had to say on the subject.  It is important to speak with those who own dogs related to yours and to get as much information as possible about the lines and dogs in the pedigree as possible to make sound breeding decisions.  Many of this information cannot be ascertained with the testing tools we have available and is important to have when making breeding decisions.

I am a certainly someone who values health testing as a tool for breeding.  I have had extensive health testing done on all Mastiffs I have owned that I considered for breeding.  I think evaluating what you have and finding all the information you can is a critical part of the process.  This is also true for structure, pedigree and what you feel that dog or bitch might have to offer the breed and your next generation.

To answer the original question - In my opinion, you stop breeding when the risks outweigh the positive contributions to the breed as a whole.  When the quality of life for the animals you are producing is suffering and there is no way out. 

That being said - genes and issues manifest themselves in so many different fashions, I believe we are only fooling ourselves when we think we can eradicate all potential risks and remove all potential problems from our breeding stock.  If there is not one issue, it is going to be another.

I do think breeders need to be honest with another.  Integrity and honesty are important values when making breeding decisions.  However - to me that doesn't mean all information needs to be posted to every message board with full disclaimers - it should be offered to those doing business with one another (purchasing puppies, seeking stud fees, legitimate inquiries to make sound breeding decisions).  Truth and honesty IS important - but I don't have a problem with people not shouting it from the rooftops to avoid the Mastiff world's feeding frenzy and public backlash and negativity as well.  There are people in the breed that unfortunately love nothing more than to spread malicious rumors and gossip that isn't always accurate. 

I think our biggest responsibility as breeders or those who are fanciers of the breed lies in gathering the information and doing the best by our animals with that information. 

Heather

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