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Books / Video's

A message to aspiring Breeders & Exhibitors:

 A consistent combination of soundness AND type should be your goal as a breeder. It is paramount that you criticize your own stock relentlessly, and never show an unsound dog.

I love books. A good book is always a good book.  With continuing advances in technology it stands to reason that much of the information in reference books may become obsolete.  The more you read and understand, the more you can absorb as you continue your research, and of course, you must remember that....just because you see it in print does not make it fact.

I have an extensive library of reference books and videos ranging from the latest in print to those "goldmines" now long out-of-print.  Anyone who aspires to become a Breeder should be required to read the following titles:



He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

- Unknown

Mastiff titles:

There are many books on the Mastiff Breed with more being written as the Breed gains in popularity.  I deem these to be among the best of those currently available:

bulletThe Mastiff, Aristocratic Guardian,  by dee dee Andersson, 1998 Doral Publishing
bulletThe History and Management of the Mastiff, 2nd Edition, by Elizabeth J Baxter & Patricia B. Hoffman, , 2004  Dogwise Publishing
bulletMastiff Images, by Hans Rosingh, 2003 BBPress (Netherlands)

Mastiff Images should be required reading by any aspiring breeder purely for the collection of photographs of TRUELY TYPEY Mastiffs of all ages, engaged in all activities. So many breeders today think they have the "true Old English type" but if their dogs do not possess the proportions, bone and substance of many of those pictured in Mastiff Images (say, pages 64,65), they are kidding themselves. I wish ALL my dogs looked that way.

bulletAKC Breed Video, The Mastiff, is an excellent reference for breeders, exhibitors and judges.


  About Mastiffs

There are already so many excellent sites of information on the breed available through the internet that I will be brief here.

If you are not sure if the breed is for you there are a few basic things you must know before you decide. Please check out the links and sources I have provided from some of the excellent information available through the efforts of others.

Genetics; The nuts and bolts:

I feel these three books should be required reading. The simple Mendellian genetics introduced in the average dog breeding book is not enough.

bulletControl of Canine Genetic Diseases, by George A. Padgett, DVM, 1998 Howell Book House
bulletA Breeder's Guide To Genetics, by Ingrid Wood & Denise Como, 2004 published by Authors
bulletFuture Dog, by Patricia J. Wilkie, 1999 AKC Health Foundation
bulletGenetics, An Introduction for Dog Breeders, by Jackie Isabell, 2002 Alpine Publications

  Living with a Mastiff

This is a gigantic dog! Pretty much the biggest breed of all. Many people confuse the Mastiff with the Bullmastiff, which is much smaller. A Bullmastiff is about the size of a Rottweiler, while a Mastiff can easily be 100 pounds heavier!

Mastiffs are incredibly loyal and sensitive. They are naturally protective, but not aggressive. They are house dogs! They are not backyard or kennel dogs, and they do not do well in temperature extremes. Cold climates need heat, and hot climates need A/C.

Mastiffs are generally quiet and well behaved in the house and usually get along well with other pets. The majority will stick close to home and prefer to watch their humans at work or play, rather than roam the neighborhood.

Structure & Movement:

All of these titles have their place and should be required reading but since they venture into a field of continuing discovery they occasionally contradict one another. The most important thing to learn is that you must never stop learning.  In fact, the more you learn, the more you can learn.

bulletAn Eye For A Dog, by Robert W Cole, 2004 Dogwise
bulletDogsteps, A New Look, by Rachel Page Elliot, (3rd edition 2001) Doral Publishing
bulletThe Dog In Action,  by McDowell Lyon, (Original copywright in 1950; 18th printing 1988)  Howell Book House
bulletThe Dynamics of Canine Gait, by Leon Hollenbeck,  1971, published by Author
bulletK-9 structure & Terminology, by E.M. Gilbert,Jr. & Thelma R. Brown, 1995 Howell Book House
bulletDog Locomotion and Gait Analysis, by Curtis M. Brown, 1986 Hoflin Publishing
bulletDogs, A Profession or a Hobby (Vols 1 & 2) by Catherine (Casey) Gardiner & E.S. Gibson , 1975 Canine Consultants Publishing
bulletPrinciples of Conformation Analysis (Vols 1,2 & 3), (Equine discipline), by Deb Bennett, PhD, 1989 Fleet Street Publishing (avail through Equus Magazine)

        I wanted to include this last title because it is the best publication I have found that teaches you "how" to see;  How to find quality in an animal.


  A Mastiff does not require acres to run on. In fact, those people who claim a big dog should not live in the city are those people who depend on a large yard to make up for the personal love and attention they can’t be bothered to give. Just as it is for yourself, regular, light exercise is good for your Mastiff.

As can be expected with such a large dog, food and veterinary expenses may be higher than for a smaller dog, and you will require a suitable vehicle for transport. The open back of a pick up truck will not do.

Mastiffs drool, some more than others. The drool happens mostly if the dog is eating or drinking, or if it is especially hot. Some Mastiffs snore, and some are flatulent.

Jerry Shulman photo
Breeding as an Art:

All the books listed so far represent the tools you need to "run" your breeding program. The following books challenge you to "confirm" your goals and plans as a Breeder.

bulletBorn To Win Breed to Succeed, by Patricia Craige (Trotter), 1997 Doral Publishing
bulletSolving the Mysteries of Breed Type, by Richard Beauchamp, 2002 Doral Publishing
bulletTricks of the Trade, by Pat Hastings, 2000 Dogfolk Enterprises
bulletThe Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog, by Ann Seranne, 1980 Howell Book House

The Joy of Breeding... I have to say is mostly standard and elementary but it does contain a good section on Breeding Systems and Pedigrees.



In his book, The Mastiff, author John M. Becknell   describes the Mastiff in a nutshell:



















The Science of Breeding:

Mastiffs rarely conform to the "norm" when it comes to breeding and whelping.   Even something as simple as the temperature the new pups require in their whelping box, or when to wean them is different.  Nor can you rely entirely on your Vets unless they have extensive experience with Mastiffs.  For your first breeding, a good mentor will be essential.  For these reasons I don't have a list of books to recommend, except for the ones dealing with; Veterinary intervention, C-sections, Cytology, Artificial Insemination, etc.

bulletThe Dog Breeder's Guide to Successful Breeding and Health Management, by Margaret V. Root Kustritz, 2006 Saunders / Elsivier Publishing
bulletCanine Reproduction, by Phyllis A Holst, MS, DVM, 1985 Alpine Publications




Training titles:

There are 100's of training methods out there.  Many, I'm sorry to say, will leave you with a very untrained dog.  Good Owners, Great Dogs is the best all-around book on dog obedience that I have ever read.  Not only is the content superb, but the layout is enticing and lavishly illustrated. This book goes beyond basic obedience - it teaches the reader how to LIVE with a dog.

bulletGood Owners, Great Dogs, by Brian Kilcommons, 1992, Warner Books
bulletChildproofing Your Dog, Kilcommons
bulletDr. Ian Dunbar - (I do not own a title to recommend but I agree with many of his training practices that I have read).
bulletUrban Puppy Tool Kit  (urbanpuppy.com)
bulletCesar's Way (2006) & Be The Pack Leader (2007), by Cesar Millan, Three Rivers Press

Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer) does not teach "obedience", but rather the tools you need for a healthy human /dog relationship, enabling you to get the most out of your dog.


  If you think the Mastiff is right for you, this site will tell you a little bit about my Mastiffs. (Mastiffs of Resolute)

Must See Mastiff Links

These are  "must see" links (already noted on my links page). Warning, you could spend all day.

bulletMCOA FAQ – Answers to frequently asked questions about Mastiffs from the Mastiff Club of America.
bulletMastiff Stud Dog Register –  Excellent articles on health issues and a stud book complete with photos.
bulletGreat Sites To Visit – A mere fragment of dee dee Anderson’s webpage with an exhaustive list of dog-related topics.


I suppose my top picks for a well - rounded scholar in canine essentials from the perspective of a Breeder are:                    
  1. Born to Win, Craige (Trotter)
  2. Future Dog , Wilkie AND/OR Genetics, Isabell AND/OR A Breeder's Guide, by Wood & Como
  3. K-9 Structure & Terminology, Gilbert & Brown    (a fairly complete work that contains much of the general information you should know but unfortunately is laid out in a confusing manner)
  4. Dogsteps, A New Look, Page Elliot   (an elementary introduction to movement yet essential to the neophyte).
  5. An Eye For A Dog, Cole  (takes you beyond Dogsteps to really help you develop your "eye" for quality in dogs)


Most of these books are available through Dogwise. (and no, Dogwise is not paying me for this plug)

Next... I shall have to compile a list of good articles, such as Fred Lanting's writings on Angulation in the Working Dog.