2008 National Specialty Show Results

Sub-links for this page

 Links to results

Conformation Classes | General Specials | Property Classes 


In 2008 the Bullmastiff Club of Queensland were host to the 

4th National Bullmastiff Specialty Show 
Overview from Conformation Judge Mr Brittle (UK)


It is of course a great honour to be asked to judge anytime, but to be asked to judge a National is really something special and I would like to thank everyone involved for giving me this fantastic opportunity.

Britain is of course the home of the Bullmastiff, but clearly the breed is far more international than it was, say 20 years ago, and as we have learnt in the UK there are a number of dogs around the world who are clearly more than capable of competing with the best we have.  Over the past 10 years there have been a number of dogs that have come to the UK and taken some spectacular wins, and equally there has been less from the UK exported that have had the same impact. This is not an indication of fallen quality within the UK, but more an indication of the great strides that the rest of the world has made in improving the standard of their stock. In my opinion, this is clearly the case as far as Australia is concerned, where in a relatively short space of time the breed has made significant improvements in overall quality and type. Who would have though ten years ago for example that a Champion bitch from Australia would come to the UK and attain her UK championship with some ease? No easy feat, as the UK is probably the hardest country in the world to reach Championship status.

The real universal problem with breeding bullmastiffs is the sheer diversity that occurs. Look at any Doberman class, and unless you are a real expert they are all relatively similar. Compare that to any large class of Bullmastiffs where to most eyes appears to contain animals of wildly differing type, ranging from the Bulldog to extremely large Mastiff.  Remember that the two breeds were recognised at approx the same time. So therefore it is clearly extremely difficult for our breeders to attain the levels of consistent type that is vital. So for me it was really heartening that in the ten years since I last judged in Australia that I can  see a massive improvement in both type and quality with many of your leading breeders producing stock that is close to the breed standard common to both countries. It is a credit to those breeders who have taken the best the UK can offer and have worked tirelessly and with complete focus to produce animal after animal of similar type, construction and quality. This is something that was really evident to me throughout my stay. However as in the UK and every other country I have judged in there is a tendency by some to ignore the breed standard and produce Bullmastiffs, which may be aesthetically pleasing do not meet the blueprint of the breed. It must be remembered that the Bullmastiff is not an exaggerated breed, and excessive size, substance and features are not desirable.  A dog of 160Ib with head the size of a bucket and bone reminiscent of a Hereford Bull is about as far removed from the original standard of the breed as one could imagine, yet there seems to be a desire by some to breed bigger and bigger, with a complete disregard for the standard or health of the Bullmastiff. A large head is not necessarily a good head, and certainly some of the exhibits competing under me had none of the symmetry, balance or type that the breed standard demands, but seemed to be more the product of some sort of competition to breed the biggest and most extreme Bullmastiff. This is not a problem isolated to Australia but is a feature within the UK, Europe and the USA, and unless we are really careful, this lack of understanding and care will reduce the Bullmastiff to a caricature of the original breed. The standard is absolutely clear on the need for moderation and we ignore this at our peril.

Judging this fantastic entry I did not detect any prevalent or underlying defects that were a concern. Yes, there was the odd wry mouth, and poor pigmentation, but these faults were the exception. What was pleasing was the superb temperament and attitude of the dogs which is what we all hope for in Bullmastiffs. I suppose for me certain things grate more than others and gay tails and over exaggeration are two that I did penalise on the day. However I am very happy to see this fantastic breed in such capable hands and I thank you once again for this fantastic experience.  

Contact Details

Vicki Owen
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Phone : 0438 899 138
Email : [email protected]