It wasn't just me filming at Discover Dogs. This grim footage and pictures of the Neapolitan Mastiffs were taken by RSPCA veterinary nurse Kate Price on Saturday.
The Kennel Club's justification for accepting/registering this breed was that it would be better under its umbrella than not. In other words, that once under the KC's auspices the KC could work to "improve" the breed. They haven't done much, though. Dogs with eyes this sore (in fact common to a lot of giant breeds) continue to win in the show ring.
FROM THE KENNEL CLUB BREED STANDARD
Some loose fitting skin over body and head permitted, not to be excessive.
Head and Skull
Head fairly large with broad short skull, broad across cheeks. Head proportion: skull length two thirds, to muzzle one third. Skull flat and parallel to topline of muzzle. Definite stop, nose should not protrude beyond vertical line of muzzle. Nose large with well open nostrils. Lips fleshy and thick. The upper lips form an inverted ‘v’ when viewed from the front. Muzzle deep and square when viewed from the front. Head has loose skin permitted but without excess.
Clean eyes, set forward, well apart, rather rounded. Rims tight without haw. Rim pigmentation to tone with nose colour. Free from obvious eye problems.
To be fair, the UK Breed Club does a pretty impressive job of putting people off them:
"Some Neapolitans naturally slobber more than others but they all slobber a lot after they eat or drink. Are you prepared for wiping down floors, walls and ceilings, several times a day after your dog has shook his head and the slobber has flown everywhere? Slobber towels, kitchen roll and newspaper around water bowls are a must, as is the weekly chore of washing dewlap and wiping down of folds. If you haven’t the time for daily or weekly rituals, then a Neapolitan is not the breed for you.
"Some Neapolitans also snore very badly, if you or your children are a light sleepers, a Neapolitan is not the breed for you.
"Veterinary fees will be more expensive for a giant breed due to their size and weight, so health insurance is also a must, as is a vehicle large enough to transport a Neapolitan. If you are not prepared for financial commitment then a Neapolitan is not the breed for you.
"As with all giant breeds, there can be health problems which can occur during the optimum growing period,... Neapolitans can be, because of their lowered immune system, prone to infections of the skin especially during periods of stress, which they are also prone to suffering from. Neapolitans can also suffer with eye problems like cherry eye, entropion or ectropion... all issues of health need to be considered, for the chances of your Neapolitan Mastiff living into old age having never suffered any health problems, is highly unlikely."
Now. Do you still want one?