by Tracy Ferrick


When you plan to purchase a puppy, no matter what breed it is, you should always research the breed thoroughly before you bring a new pup into your home. Read as much as you can and talk to as many breeders as you can to get the whole picture!

There are several arenas for purchasing a puppy.  Commercial breeders or puppy mills, and pet stores should not be considered. The animals that are used for breeding from these facilities are usually poor specimens of the breeds they represent and very rarely are any health checks done on  the breeding pair(s) before they produce a litter.  These animals usually start their breeding life at 6-9 months of age, and are bred every 6 months, until they die.  They live in extreme filth and are usually underfed and undernourished.  The media does not exaggerate when they run exposes on these hovels.

Purchasing a puppy from a pet store is funding these commercial breeders and puppy millers!  They may offer a health guarantee, but what does that guarantee?  Sure they offer to take the dog back for a full refund, but those poor animals are then thrust back into the breeding pool and their defects are continued on for future generations.  

Purchasing a puppy from a BACK-YARD BREEDER is even worse!!!!!   These are people who want to 'make a little money' or "want to have a litter so the kids can see the miracle of birth' so they breed their unregistered pets who were most likely sold on MUST SPAY/NEUTER contracts thinking that NO ONE will ever know.  These dogs have NOT had any HEALTH CLEARANCES and are most of the time substandard representatives of the breed.   If they were sold as a pet or compaion quality, then they should NEVER be bred.

Buying from a reputable breeder who is recognized by its breed parent club, will be your safest  way to purchase a puppy who will live with you and be your companion for many years. Reputable breeders offer you a wealth of information on the breed and on the heritage and health of your dog and will be there for you during the whole life of your dog, not just for the 10 minutes it takes to complete a monetary transaction. Through the new AKC Breeder of Merit program you will most likely get the best puppy you can.  These breeders have been dedicated to bringing forth the healthiest best representatitves of the breed they can.  They are now being recognized by the AKC for their accomplishments!

Your breeder should health check the breeding pair(s) before breeding.  These health checks may include, OFA(Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, screening for both hips and elbows, Thyroid testing, screening the eyes for degenerative macular changes in breeds with known eye disorders, hearing screening in breeds that are prone to deafness, and general bloodwork panels to let the breeder know that all is well with the prospective parents.  Most breeders temperament test their breeding animals at early ages to make sure they are sound and will not pass on any dangerous traits.

Breeders usually do not breed a female before18 months of age, and preferably not until after 2 years of age, when the entire dog and its health can be evaluated.  Some males are used at earlier ages, as they mature faster sexually. Back Yard Breeders start breeding their dogs before they are 1 year of age and breed them every 6 months, until they DIE!!!!!

In the Bullmastiff breed, where c-sections are about 75% required, only 3 c-sections can be safely performed without a lot of risk.  As the female ages, c-sections become more risky. Most Bullmastiff breeders, breed their females a maximum of 2 times, and always a year apart. This allows the female to heal inside. Once a female has had 2 litters, she is then spayed. Some breeders then place those females in family homes where they are completely spoiled by their new family and are still young enough to enjoy life in a new home!!! Some breeders only have 1 or 2 females, so those females stay with them.

The puppies should be health checked before they leave for their new homes and should be  microchipped. We prefer the Home Again Animal Recovery System.   If your new pup is not microchipped, ask your veterinarian to do this.

Never buy a pup sight unseen!!!  Ask for pictures of the parents and the entire litter. Also obtain documentation on the parents, such as AKC registration papers, OFA Certifications, and health certification for the pup from a veterinarian. Most breeders utilize a purchase contract. This protects the integrity of the breed and the puppy itself and most contracts will include a clause to protect the breeder from third party liability.Responsible breeders will also stipulate that the pups be spayed or neutered idf they are not goig to be entered in Dog Shows.

In the Bullmastiff breed there is a group of people who are mixing the Bullmastiff with other breeds, such as pit bulls and Labrador Retrievers.  They call these dogs "Working Bullmastiffs". These are NOT AKC registered Bullmastiffs, but mutts.  This group offers registration in the "American Bullmastiff Club" and the "Working Dog Club of America".  These are two entities that are non existent.  Designer breeds are NOT purebred breeds and buyers should be aware of all potential health issues that are involved with each breed used to develop these designer dogs.  Individuals who breed these designer breeds have no care for what they are doing, just for the almighty buck they can make!!! 

The only recognized registry in America is the AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB.  The AKC exists today as it has for many years to assure the purity of the dog breeds it represents.

We are members of the AMERICAN BULLMASTIFF ASSOCIATION and have been for over 21 years!   We are also members of the California Bullmastiff Fanciers club.               




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Updated 3/21/11

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