Old English Mastiff Breed Standard w.e.f 1st Jan. 2009
07 Jul 2009
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The version published here (from 10th March 2009) includes a correction to
the section on “MOUTH” which previously contained a typographical error.
We apologise for any confusion that may have been caused.
Copyright The Kennel Club.
Reproduced with their kind permission
MASTIFF BREED STANDARD
Published December 2008
Effective from 1st January 2009
A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics,
temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for
function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times
be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental
in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time,
certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect
dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the
Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is
desirable, it should only be present in the right measure.
Head in general outline giving a square appearance when viewed from any point.
Breadth desired and in ratio to length of whole head and face as 2:3.
Body broad, deep, long, powerfully built on legs wide apart and symmetrically set.
Muscles sharply defined. Size is desirable but only if combined with quality and if
absolute soundness is maintained. Height and substance important if both points are
Large, powerful, well knit frame. A combination of grandeur and courage.
Calm, affectionate to owners, but capable of guarding. Usually indifferent with
strangers; timidity is unacceptable.
HEAD AND SKULL
Skull broad between ears,
forehead flat but wrinkled when attention is excited.
Brows (superciliary ridges) slightly raised. Muscles of temples and cheeks
(temporal and masseter) well developed. Arch across skull of a flattened curve with
depression up centre of forehead from median line between eyes to halfway up
, and keeping nearly parallel in width to end of nose; Muzzle short, broad under eyes
truncated i.e. , thus forming a right angle with upper line blunt and cut off squarely
of face of great depth from point of nose to under-jaw. Under-jaw broad to end.
Nose broad with widely spreading nostrils when viewed from front; flat (not pointed
or turned up) in profile. Lips diverging at obtuse angles with septum, and slightly
pendulous so as to show a square profile . Length of muzzle to whole head and face5.
as 1 : 3. Circumference of muzzle (measured mid-way between eyes and nose) to
that of head (measured before the ears) as 3 : Whilst in repose, any exaggeration
of wrinkle or excess of loose skin is unacceptable in mature adults.
Moderate size, wide apart, Stop between eyes well marked but not too abrupt.
Colour: hazel brown, darker the better, . showing no haw Loose eyelids highly
undesirable, free from obvious eye problems.
Small, thin to touch, wide apart, set on at the highest points of sides of skull so as to
continue outline across summit and lying flat and close to cheeks when in repose.
Canine teeth healthy, powerful and wide apart;
incisors level or lower projecting
beyond the upper but never so much as to become visible when mouth is closed.
Slightly arched. Moderately long, very muscular and measuring in circumference
about 2.5 – 5 cm (1 – 2 ins) less than the skull before ears.
Shoulder and arm slightly sloping, heavy and muscular. Legs straight, strong and
set wide apart, bones being large. Elbows square. Pasterns upright.
Balanced and in harmony with hindquarters.
. Ribs arched and well Chest wide, deep and well let down between forelegs
rounded. False ribs deep and well set back to hips. . Great depth of flanks. Back and loins wide and
muscular; flat and very wide in bitch, slightly arched in dog
Topline level and maintained whilst on the move. Length of body taken from point
of shoulder to point of buttock greater than height at withers.
Broad, wide and muscular, with well developed second thighs, hocks bent, wide
apart and quite squarely set when standing or walking. Strength in hindquarters is
of paramount importance; cow-hocks in mature adults unacceptable.
Large, round and tight. Toes well arched. Nails black.
Set on high, and reaching to hocks, or a little below them; wide at its root and
tapering to end, hanging straight in repose . but forming a curve with end pointing
upwards, but not over back, when dog is excited
Powerful, easy extension, driven from the rear, fluent, sound, with ground-covering
strides. Absolute soundness essential. Tendency to pace is undesirable;
Short and close-lying, but coarser over neck and shoulders.
Apricot, fawn or brindle. In any case, muzzle, ears and nose should be black with
black around eye rims and extending upwards between them. Excessive white on
body, chest or feet is unacceptable.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the
seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to
its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the