The video arrived via Facebook Messenger. And almost as soon as I clicked, the bedlam began.

Sumerian dog from 2100 B.C.E., courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum. Can dog breeders -- better yet, should dog breeders -- try to replicate this ancient Molosser?
Anyone arguing for authenticity in purebred dogs is asking for a perch atop a slippery slope – and then a good shove from behind.
Sometimes when you are trying to figure out what you are, it helps to decide what you are not.
Standards are, by definition, about exclusion. As breeds evolve and solidify, they begin to tighten the noose of type.

"The Old English Mastiff Club Show at the Crystal Palace: Taking a Photograph Under Difficulties," 1890. Some things never change!
"Can you help us show a dog?" Sure, I thought, what could go wrong? Let me count the ways. 1) He wasn't a table dog. Actually, he sort of was, in that he was as big as a table.
My passion for dogs started in 1982, when my uncle gave me a Collie. From that moment, I started to study that breed with great commitment.

Sumerian dog from 2100 B.C.E., courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum. Can dog breeders -- better yet, should dog breeders -- try to replicate this ancient Molosser?

"The Old English Mastiff Club Show at the Crystal Palace: Taking a Photograph Under Difficulties," 1890. Some things never change!

New and Noteworthy

NEW AND NOTEWORTHY

Color counts when it comes to longevity, according to a study that says brindle Cane Corsos live longer.  

  • Bullmastiffs with very foreshortened muzzles, such as this puppy, are not in keeping with the standard.
    In the face of bans against breeding snub-nosed dogs, Helene Nietsch reminds that the Bullmastiff is not a brachycephalic breed.
  • Dogo breeder and hunter Kassi McLaughlin describes the ideal — and often misunderstood — Dogo Argentino temperament
  • Enrico Drudi of Tisama Tosa Ken kennel in San Marino shares three decades of experience with the Tosa Inu, Japan's answer to the mastiff.

  • Cartoon from Punch magazine in 1846 depicting Bill George's famous Canine Castle dog dealership.
    London dog dealer and Mastiff breeder Bill George was famous for his canny ability to find a good dog no matter who bred it.

AKC-registered Boerboel must have pedigrees that pass a litmus test.
Can you get your South African-bred Boerboel registered with the American Kennel Club? It depends on what's in that pedigree.

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