Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why isn’t my Mastiff very big?... and Other Questions About Why My Purebred Looks Different Than Yours...

This might seem like a silly topic, but I get asked by alot of people who meet my dogs why the Mastiff they have is so much smaller than mine.  I’m always as careful as I can bein my response as to not offend them, but the fact is that more than likely they have a poorly bred dog. 

Genetics determine size as well as appearance, build, type,etc.  Many people assume that a purebred dog with ‘papers’ means their dog is bred to fit the standard.  99% of the time this is an incorrect assumption.  Puppy mills sell AKC registered dogs with papers, back yard breeders do to, as well as the guy down the street with two ‘purebreds’ he assume should be bred because they have these magical things called ‘papers’.  No reputable breeder would sell a puppy to someone with full breeding rights to it if it was not a quality dog.  This means that the people with these dogs acquired them from breeders who were not on the high end of being reputable.  I’m not saying they weren’t nice people, but they shouldn’t be producing living creatures on purpose without doing a little more research.

"baby' Brinkley the lap dog at 11 months and 150lbs
So how do I explain to someone without offending them that more than likely they got duped and didn’t do enough research when buying their beloved pet?  We’ll, I still haven’t figured that one out yet.  I guess the real I-don’t-care-who-I-offend answer is that you more than likely got your dog froma less than reputable breeder who is breeding sub-standard dogs.    If this is the case, and you don’t care about the quality of the dog, only the prestige of owning a ‘purebred’ dog, Iwould encourage you in the future to rescue or adopt.  There are thousands of purebred dogs in shelters and rescues that need saving.  Most of these purebred dogs are produced by these irresponsible breeders.  So what’s the difference?  Might as well save a life right? 

Sorry, so sugar coating here. I’m still working on the sugar coated, non-offensive version!

If you are set on purchasing a puppy PLEASE do your research.  Find a puppy from a breeder who health tests their breeding dogs for relevant breed specific disorders (FYI - a vet check is NOT the same as health testing).  Find a breeder who shows their dogs to prove they are what a purebred is supposed to be. Find a breeder who does not make thier main point of advertising that their dog has 'papers'.  If you chose to do the right thing and get a healthy dog from quality lines you will thank yourself over many times throughout the life of your dog.


  1. Great explanation. I'm learning so much from you. Love the new site design!

  2. Hoping on over from Keep the Tail Wagging. What a beautiful baby! I've subscribe so I can learn some more!

  3. To go further on the subject beyond looks, temperment and character traits are frequently an issue as well. Having spent many years training working dogs, I have encountered countless owners who bought a dog because the breed was labeled as having certain traits. They would purchase a puppy from a breeder simply because there were "papers" involved or the word "champion" had been dropped. Needless to say, many were disappointed with how their dog was behaving in the context of the given training.

    Many working breeds have lost their working temperments and abilities simply because generations after generations have not been tested and subsequently bred for those temperments and abilities. Knowing what you want is key!

    If you want a dog to look a certain way, research and purchase from a breeder consistently producing those looks.

    If you want a dog to act a certain way, research and purchase from a breeder consistently producing those behaviors and traits.

    If you just want a happy, healthy, 4 legged family member....RESCUE!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Yes yes yes! This is another whole article in itself. Temperament is just as genetic as it is environmental. Great points KD.

  4. LOl....yes it is! I've spent a lot of time with Boerboels, Corsos, and a few EM's and the variety in genotypes within the respective breeds is astonishing...

    great article!

  5. May I ask what you feed your dogs and how much per meal?

    1. I actually have fed raw for nearly 5 years now. That's why I refer people on to when they start asking my opinion on specific foods, I don't really even know whats on the market anymore. I will say that my dogs are way healthier than they ever were even on the top quality kibbles. Raw is the only way to go in my personal opinion. You just need to make sure you keep it balanced, have a variety of proteins and keep your ratios correct.