Choosing and Purchasing a Puppy of Bullmastiff
A little or a grown one?
For a start, bullmastiff is a dog that matures late. At one year they still stay puppies.
On my mind, you must first of all reckon how much time can you spend on a puppy. In case if you are sure you can do it, no doubt, little puppy is better.
In case if you are short of time and you hesitate if you could raise a puppy well, because indeed there is enough hardship while raising, you may pay attention to grown puppies. A popular notion that good puppies are sold first is far from being always true.
Regardless of if the pup is little or grown one both choices are serious, because until 8-10 months nobody can give a total-lot guarantee the way the puppy will look when become mature.
A Dog or a bitch?
A dog is bigger and more imposing than a bitch, his body is more athletic and bony and musculature is more developed.
Bitches are usually smaller and graceful, with a lightweight skeleton. They are predisposed to obesity and in case of the latter look massive.
Twice a year a bitch has a hit. Many people suppose bitches need to be mated, take care of puppies and so on. Though to mate or not to mate is at an owner decision. If you sterilize the bitch in the first days, the only problem may appear during a period of hit is that you'll have to walk with the bitch on the leash avoiding places where you can meet many dogs.
Bitches are more calm and restrained as a rule than dogs, more affectionate and tidy, cleverer and slyer.
As for attitude to other dogs, bitches are less quarrelsome, or better to say, not quarrelsome at all, and it needs something special to happen to make them express their fighting abilities. As a rule, one can peacefully walk with them in a company of other dogs. Bitches are better as guards, because a stranger can hardly cheat them.
Now let's talk about dogs. They have a more expressed guard instinct. They are more willful and stubborn during training and often express their temper.
If there are already two or three bitches at your doorway, think thoroughly if it's reasonable to get a dog, since there's little pleasure to communicate with a dog that is always exited.
A bitch has hit only twice a year, whereas a male is always eager to continue his race. To divert him from this wish you need to spend many efforts. To cope with this problem you'll have to walk with him long in order to keep your pet always burdened physically and emotionally. A young, strong and active dog that doesn't mate must have some other useful occupation. In other words, one must train him much, load him physically (towage, etc.), enable him to guard. On the whole, the dog needs to be paid constant attention, to be let him release all his great energy. As for other dogs, males are much more aggressive than bitches, they fight (though almost never attack first) and are always ready to compete. So you'll have many problems especially at the age between one year and 4. At this age you are most likely to have no opportunity to walk together with other dog owners. In this company there will hardly be a chance to avoid conflicts.
If you feel you are able to cope with the difficulties mentioned above and to spend so much time and attention, you are welcome to get a dog.
According to standard three colors are allowed: fawn, red (any tones from light-red to brick-red) and brindle (the background is from fawn to bright red, stripes may be fine or spaced). That means that a dark-brindle (almost black) and a bright-brindle coloring is possible. Fawn and red-colored dogs must have a black mask. In case of fawn dogs each barb hair is bigger in diameter and longer; underhair is thick. Brindle dogs' barb hair is shorter, thicker and tightly fit to body. Red-colored dogs have very short and thin barb hairs.
Puppies are usually divided into two classes: a show-class (potential champions, i.e. a pup by this or that signs is considered to have more chances to become a winner) and a pet-class (home pet). Prices for these two classes differ greatly.
Say, you are absolutely sure you want to take part in shows and breeding work in Russia and abroad, and are ready to pay for quite an expensive pup, but you must also realize that you'll have to spend much patience and efforts, let alone money, to find such a dog. You must learn everything about the breed (and study the standard) and everything about the dogs that represent the breeding core in our country, about the best of them. You'll have to visit many shows, read many books about the breed, visit sites containing information about bullmastiffs, study all about dogs on English sites. England is the leader with regard to number of breed representatives and sets the standards and fashion in the world of Bullmastiffs.
It would be better if a couple you've preferred have already had litter so you can look at it. There'll be easier to imagine how your puppy will look like when will grow up. If you want to acquire a puppy from a certain male, you'd better look at his puppies from different bitches. If several puppies all have the same defects, your pup is very probably to have the same faults. Your main task is to find parents that have minimal amount of faults.
If you don't suppose to devote yourself to shows and breeding but just want to get a friend and a defender it would be much easier to choose a puppy. But here you also need to do your best, 'cause you are going to purchase a bullmastiff. This means that your pup should be in line with the standard. Don't consent to a very cheep pup if you want to get a healthy and good dog. A good and healthy puppy can't cost little. To make a puppy strong and healthy the breeder has to feed him with good and well-balanced food from the first days of pup's life, using high-quality foods and vitamins, apply vermifuges in time and vaccinate him with best vaccines, and so on.
Basic principles for choosing a pup
1. Never buy a puppy before comparing it with puppies from other litters. You might spend some more time for choice, but in return you get the opportunity to compare the degree of physical development of the puppy you're going to purchase with those of other pups, which will be of high importance in the future. Weak puppies bring many troubles not to mention financial waste. At the same time you'll better understand the breed qualities of the puppy you are choosing.
2. Focus your attention on the puppy's activity while making a choice. Bullmastiff puppies are very trusting and friendly - this is the first index of normal, steady mind. Therefore avoid cowardly and nervous puppies. Cowardice and aggressiveness of puppies are inadmissible in all ages. A puppy may be a little bit timid and cautios for the first minutes. Normally a puppy quickly gets used to new situation and new people.
3. At 1.5 months a puppy weights not less than 3 kg. At 2 months - about 6-8 kg. Don't take puppies with long, or tousled, or curly hair.
4. When you examine a puppy, put him on a horizontal uplifted surface. It will make it easier to inspect him and reveal drawbacks and inborn defects if any.
5. It's very important to check his legs. Since 1 month a puppy must stand firmly, at 1.5 months he is able to run and attemps to jump. If while he moves a puppy again and again tends to sit down and doesn't straighten hind legs to the full length that means that there's some disorder of hind limbs. Hind legs aren't X-shaped. Hocks aren't splay. Fore and hind limbs are strictly parallel to each other.
6. Tail low set suggests the rump is slantwise. Deformed tail (winding, bent) reveals a serious defect and often goes together with narrow pelvic bones.
7. Concentrate on the depth and breadth of chest between fore legs. The chest seems to be wide, the line of chest is parallel to the ground and doesn't arch upwards. The chest lifts down to elbows or lower if looking from the side, ribs are pronouncedly rounded and directed backwards. If a puppy has narrow and shallow chest, he will preserve it in adult age.
8. Eyes are dark, until 2-2.5 months they may keep blue tint, but the basic color is brown or dark-walnut. Greenish or light-blue color suggests that the adult dog will have light-colored eyes. Light-colored eyes are inadmissible. Eyes should not be set on high or close to each other - these are the faults that become more and more pronounced as the dog grows.
9. The head is most difficult to estimate, 'cause it develops longer than other parts of body. The head is the main evidence of the pedigree quality. It should be square, with a pronounced stop in the region between forehead and muzzle, and relief forehead. At age of 1.5-2 months a head should be massive, heavy and quite big. In the period between 5 and 7 months the trunk grows quickly and the head looks small on it.
10. If a puppy has a correct build his muzzle at any age corresponds with the proportions stated by the standard (the length of muzzle is about one third of the total head length, i.e. of the skull length). If the muzzle is long when the puppy is 1-3 months old, it will be always long. A too short muzzle is worse than the long one. The former entails bad undershot, disorders of heart function and respiratory system. The breadths of the bridge of nose and the base of upper jaw are almost equal to the breadth of skull. Muzzle is almost of the same breadth at the bridge of nose and at at its basal area. The lower jaw is wide along all its length. The correct bite is a scissors-like bite, a straight bite, or a tight undershot. A protruded undershot at the age of 1.5-2 months will increase as the dog matures, a straight bite most likely will turn into a tight undershot, a scissors-like bite - into a straight bite, a tight undershot - into a protruded undershot. Slight overshot most often transforms into a straight bite. An excessively jutted out lower jaw, long, plane and sharp muzzle, long and thick hound-like ears are faults that become more expressed with the time.
A size and color intensity of mask doesn't change with the age. Consider this while choosing a puppy.
Papers to be given at the purchase of puppy
According to RCF, the certification (litter description, checking of pedigree rejects and giving the puppy cards), as well as branding takes place on the 45th day after birth. After this procedure pups might be delivered to another owners along with the papers. If the puppy is 2 months old it should have the veterinary certificate with the record about the first vaccination (the name of vaccine, date of vaccination, seal and the signature of veterinarian are supplied). Puppy card according to new rules of RCF is valid up to 15 months. Don't forget to exchange it for a pedigree certificate.
The state of the bitch mother
While choosing a puppy pay an attention to the state of the mother bitch. She should be active, not too weak, with clean hair (a hair may intensively come off owing to nursing). Eyes are clean and bright. There is no eruption or abscesses on her skin. The bitch should not be depressed.