Friday, 11 March 2011

A parade of mutants

These pictures were taken today at Crufts.

This should be the moment the Kennel Club realises that if it wants to be seen to have any shred of integrity, self-respect - or humanity - that it has to ban the Neapolitan Mastiff.

This is cruelty.

No ifs. No buts. Ban them. Now.

(Add 13/3/11)

By ban I mean 'de-register' them. Giving this breed KC registration simply legitimises the suffering. The KC argument is that if you bring a problem breed under its auspices it can influence it but it's been plying this argument too long with this breed and it just doesn't wash. If people want to breed freaks, do it outside of the KC system - then, at least, the KC can be among the voices expressing disapproval which might just dissuade the public from buying them.

Belkeiminter Marquinn - Best of Breed
Makaevo Adalino  - Best bitch

Inisbua Valentino Rossi - unplaced Open Dog (but remember that all dogs have to qualify for Crufts)
Makaevo Adalnina  - Best bitch

Icaro de Cetobriga - 1st Post Graduate Dog & reserve best dog



Rayvonley Minos At Makaevo - 3rd Post Graduate Dog


Nisbua Diomedes - 2nd Open Dog

254 comments:

  1. See how "improved" they are! I'm sure all the wrinkles perform some kind of useful function...

    ReplyDelete
  2. What made me shake my head and sigh was the comment from Frank Cane tonight on Crufts.tv, when he described the BOB winner as being "free from exaggeration, which they should be, with only loose fitting wrinkles". What dog was he looking at?!

    Louise

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why ban an entire breed because there are some over the top examples at Crufts? It seems like such a knee jerk reaction. Why not encourage breeders to work towards breeding a more functional, healthy moderate type.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I first saw Neos in '95 or '96, at a rare breed show. They looked somewhat like a Cane Corso, only more heavily built and with some more wrinkling to the face. They looked NOTHING like any of these dogs.

    I wonder what it feels like when you have so much skin on your face that it pulls your eyelids down.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I did a Google search on Neapolitan mastiff health and the result was horrifying!

    Here is a sample:

    http://runestone.neapolitan.us/Health.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mrs Kisko in a radio interview with BBC radio Oxford two days ago said that dogs would be 100% healthy before entering the ring.
    Well you got that one wrong Mrs Kisko.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I despair!

    Who made the show ring more important than the dogs themselves?
    You do not make a dog look like this for anyother purpose!
    Why would anyone want to defend and uphold breed clubs out dated
    views that they are "Guardians" of their breeds, they refuse
    to acknowledge suffering, discomfort and health problems or just play them down.
    The Vizsla Club stands out from most other clubs in this respect!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree, this is not fair on these dogs. Absolutely unfair. I cannot imagine being stuck in a body with so much excess skin it affects my eyes, my mouth, my movement.

    Thank you Jemima for standing up and saying what needs to be said.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh this really upsets me so much,the poor dog's dont deserve this just look at the pics doesn't look like a happy dog to me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh dear, how uneducated some people are. May I suggest that before some people post further negative comments perhaps you do some much needed research into this beautiful breed. The Neapolitan Mastiff society have a great website which I urge anyone to view. I would also like to congratulate all the Neapolitan Mastiff winners at yesterdays crufts and Belkeiminter Marquinn was stunning dog.

    ReplyDelete
  11. having been at crufts yesterday and exibiting my mastino, can i just say that the way you portray the breed jemima is all out of contex, yes there were some bad examples of the breed there but there were also some very good examples, and the way that you sneakily go round taking pictures of the dog without asking permission from owners, why did you not take pics of the better dogs that were there??????????
    the judges did not do the breed any favours at all by choosing the dogs he chose (persanal preferance) low ear set which gives a domed look to the head.
    so why ban a breed for the sake of a few bad examples........

    ReplyDelete
  12. I wish breed people would not post as "anonymous". However you have so I have no choice but to ask "anonymous" about the website mentioned as I cannot find a Neapolitan Mastiff Society. Could you post the link please?

    If you mean the UKNM Club then I have to differ - I think it falls short of being accurate and informative. Not least it claims the breed suffers from hip dysphasia! Ok so that may just be a typo but health matters are very serious and should be taken so.

    Point us in the direction of some pictures of less exaggerated dogs please - that would be interesting.

    Thanks in advance

    Philippa
    www.thekarltonindex.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. they look fantastic to me....

    ReplyDelete
  14. Some cannot see the forest for the trees! It isn't about a few bad examples, it is about what has been done to the entire breed! The dogs have been lost for the ring sport.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You can't judge the judge for picking the extremes. THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO THE SHOW IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have no words... Pardon me, all you who own or admire this breed, but those dogs look awful...

    ReplyDelete
  17. May I just say: at a champ show if there were only 3 in a class and they were all bad examples of a breed it is up to the judge to place or withold! so if bad examples of a breed are placed at champ shows, by bad judging that is the only reason they end up at Crufts!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Some breed clubs and breeders are taking the health and welfare of the dogs they are responsible for very seriously. Kudos to them. However, there are whole breeds whose clubs and breeders are irresponsible by definition, no matter how luxurious the dogs' surroundings are, how good their diet is, how many tests for genetically transmitted diseases are done, and how pampered the dogs are. These groups set and maintain conformation standards that are inconsistent with good health, ability to function naturally and ability to live comfortably. Throw them out of all national dog clubs.

    For anyone who wants an interesting read on the relationship between conformation standards and health in pedigreed dogs, I recommend the following study involving the 50 most popular breeds registered with the UK Kennel Club. You can't blame the puppy mill people for these results as they are related to the standards set by the breed clubs.

    Journal: VETERINARY JOURNAL
    Vol/Issue: 182 (3), Date: Jan 1, 2009, Pages: 402-411
    Article: Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 1: Disorders related to breed standards
    Author(s): McGreevy, Paul D

    ReplyDelete
  19. The people who breed these and other dogs with similar health problems related to thier breed cannot call themselves animal lovers. It is cruel and causes no end of suffering for the animal. Breeding of ALL dogs should be banned!
    Just look at the amount of dogs in rescue and those euthanaised in council pounds due to over population.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Should elephants and hippos and other such wrinkly mammals be banned from existing too?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Elephants and hippos look like that naturally!
    What a pointless comment!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Journal: VETERINARY JOURNAL
    Vol/Issue: 182 (3), Date: Jan 1, 2009, Pages: 402-411
    Article: Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 1: Disorders related to breed standards
    Author(s): McGreevy, Paul D

    Unfortunatly unless you pay, I believe you can only read the abstract which dosn't give any real information as to what the findings acatually were. I would love to read the entire thing if available.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Many of these dogs will have been bred and indeed qualified for Crufts before the KC (and breeders?) made steps to reduce the exaggeration. As I have stated in other posts, breeding dogs is not like designing a car. You cannot simply 'bring out a new model'. It will take several generations and years to see a difference being made. Does Jemima have pictures of the younger dogs that were there, or are these photos of dogs that have been bred within the last couple of years?
    I don't think the KC is in a position to 'ban' a breed (even the Law fails in this respect) so I presume Jemima means ban from competing at Crufts? I suspect this might be more difficult that you would think.
    Remember that pictures can also be deceptive and it is possible to make any dog look bad in a photograph.
    Having said all that, I would have to agree this breed needs to improve as dogs which look like this should not be considered acceptable. (My apologies to the owners and breeders who I know love their dogs to bits, but some things have gone too far in the wrong direction.)

    ReplyDelete
  24. The KC cannot ban any breed. They could theoretically de-register them, but that would hardly stop people keeping and breeding the dogs. Neapolitan Mastiffs are not my idea of an ideal dog and they certainly aren't a picture of robust health and ideal breeding practices, but they are reasonably popular and lack of KC registration wouldn't make a whole lot of difference.

    "Ban them. Now." is an awfully catchy soundbite though, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  25. i am a breeder and exhibitor and this is disgraceful! sorry but on this occasion i am totally with you Jemima they should be banned from the show ring. Pitbulls were banned for attacking people and these dogs should be banned due to the very cruel exaggeration!

    ReplyDelete
  26. An earlier comment said that irresponsible breeders should be thrown out of the breed clubs? Well that would be great the Neapolitan Mastiff Club refuses to do this... Ask them why...

    ReplyDelete
  27. "low ear set which gives a domed look to the head."

    LMAO i think that is the least of these dogs problems!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Julia said...
    Many of these dogs will have been bred and indeed qualified for Crufts before the KC (and breeders?)..............................

    Why on earth did anyone let it get to this in the first place??

    ReplyDelete
  29. A comment was made about taking photos of the young Neapolitans, but these dogs often don't develop the exaggerated features until they reach physical maturity at 2.5 - 3 years old. By then they may well already have been bred from.

    ReplyDelete
  30. My point was, that things take time to change. Simply because if you have bred a feature in for generations you cannot breed it out overnight. I do agree anonymous, why did it get to this stage in the first place, but is has and there cannot be an instant improvement.

    Anonymous 20.05, with the younger dogs, I was wondering if there was any difference appearing in type, although I take your point about maturity. As with all the breeds where the standards have seen marked changes, it will obviously be the younger dogs where these will start appearing.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Margaret Carter12 March 2011 at 21:42

    Look at the close-up of the eyes.
    Every day must be be a day of pain for these dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  32. These Neapolitans look to be the worst looking examples in the world. They look zero like the Mother Country Italy has or USA or South America whose are completely different than these extremely bad examples.
    It is a sad day in the breed when this pile of horse manure are being selected to appear and then place or win on National TV at one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world. SAD SAD SAD

    ReplyDelete
  33. To the last comment...WHATEVER..Have you ever looked at a Neapolitan in ITALY, South America or USA? All of you have lost your minds!!!! The number one dog with HIP DYSPLASIA is a PUG! Many dogs have eye problems, hips, elbows, BLOAT, skin issues... Open your eyes people!!! Quit being a BREED RACIST! If you dont like it dont watch! Theres MANY Breeds I do not like, but you dont see me bitching about them and taking pictures to get people to jump on my BANDWAGON! Sounds like a bunch of PETA QUACKS! Find something else to do!

    ReplyDelete
  34. With all the hard work that Neapolitan mastiff breeders are putting into this breed to comply to the new standard I feel there are far too many negative comments. All breeds have their standard so why ban them for looking as set.
    Many breed are extreme in looks and not to everyone's liking.
    One man's meat is another man's poison

    ReplyDelete
  35. http://retrieverman.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/how-the-neapolitan-mastiff-became-extreme/

    ReplyDelete
  36. zomg, I just read that link posted above talking about health problems in this breed. If you have to not allow your puppy to play rowdily, go up or down stairs, go down hills, or run around freely lest he permanently damage his joints...why on earth would you breed dogs like this??? Thats only related to the "loose joint" problem, thats not even addressing the skin issues...seriously people, how can anyone think this is OK?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello to all who breed,show and love dogs. Im very taken back at how all of you who call yourselfs "proffesionals" and lovers of any breed would attack any other breed. I have to ask for those of you who on the stated comments state " HOW IT MUST FEEL EVERY DAY OF PAIN WITH THOSE EYES OR THAT LOOSE SKIN" comon really.

    1.Do you own any neapolitan mastiffs.

    2. How much education do you have about a breed that you do not own or have any direct ties to.

    3.you make refference of the reason the "pit bull was baned from show and beacuse they attack people" pretty uneducated.

    Listen folks there are likes and dislikes about every breed, why would you not comment on the bulldogs, great danes, german sheppards,bullmastiffs, mastiffs etc. all of these beautiful dogs are without their own issues in health. I my self own 7 neapolitan mastiffs. you talk about the "exagaretion" of loose skin, however not all mastinos as we call them are excessive in type, there are many proffesional and reputable breeders who are working and have been working for years to improve certain traits and atributes in this breed. have we recognized some of the isuues within our breed absoloutley, so beacuse you seem to have a negative opinion of this particular breed we should just ban them all toghethere and disolve the neapolitan mastiff which can be traced back tousands of years.. hmm well maybe we should get rid of the bulldog who cant breathe properly, or how about the crumble croker spaniel who also has eyes which droop and you can see the red underlining in the eye. oohhhh wait how about the german sheppard who tends to go deaf.. comon really. why not give a positive opinion and support with tye work that breeders and fanciers of this breed have been attempting to do for years before i began with the breed.

    the neapolitan mastiff is a beautiful breed maybe not your type of k9 but in order to have one you have to love everything about them the drooling the snoring and so forth. maybe if there is an issue with the mastinos being at such glamorous shows you should form a panel and take it uo with the judges, some judge thought they were good enough to be there.

    I hope that you remain with an open mind and not so negative about our breed.

    www.neapolitanworld.com

    you can see how "we" the cruel people with the breed strive to educate everyone and work toghethere to better the breed.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Blame us. The breeders in England for so many English mastiff crosses and looking to win with exagerated wrinkling.I prefer massive dogs with good bone and less wrinkling and no eye problems or displasia.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The Neapolitan Mastiff club of the UK (http://www.uknmc.org.uk) has made great strides towards improving the health of the breed... just visit the Mastino Health Foundation (www.neapolitanhealth.org).

    If you ban one breed eventually all pure-bred dogs will be banned... followed by all domesticated animals... I love my pets I do not want to see them gone!

    Just say NO to the fringe minority that talk loud and want to eliminate our right to have pets!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I know what you all mean in a way, you lot slagging off a breed you know naff all about and stooping as low as name calling, without any fact explanation or reasons as to why you are resorting to calling an animal a 'mutant' and a 'pile of horse manure'. It must be hard and heavy and painful every day for you to each carry around such a big long knob on your heads, dangling over your forehead and messing your hair up, swinging about and poking you in the eyes every two minutes. Why oh why do we let thick ugly morons keep breeding like this, producing these genetically modified frankenstein-esque cretins....I don't want to have to keep covering my kids' eyes up every time we walk past a knob head in the street...how did the world let it get to this stage??? Let's only allow beautiful educated humans to breed from now on so that we can breed perfect people instead of producing all these ghastly unsightly knob heads. It's cruel letting them live with just a pair of bollocks for brains!!

    By the way, I am not a breeder of Neapolitan Mastiffs - infact I have no interest in dogs at all really, but my partner does and we currently own 3 of these Mastiffs, so I have had no choice but to educate myself on all aspects of their history, temperament, health and welfare, and so on. Our 3 dogs are not unhealthy, miserable and in constant pain, riddled with ugliness and unsavoury features, or anything of the sort. They run for miles, they play all day long in their house and their share of the garden outside, they serve their purpose as vigorous guard dogs and devoted protectors of both me and my partner. They eat well, easily and as they are supposed to..they sleep at night and wake up around the same time early each morning - they are normal loving pet dogs with their own personalities, just like any other kind of dog you can think of. And we entered one of them into Crufts 2011 and were indeed there with all the other Neapolitan Mastiffs in the photos on this blog, the ones above who you are so rudely slating based on one poor picture taken by an amateur with a misleading agenda. If you caught me on a bad day with a camera I am sure I could make Mother Theresa look like Myra Hindley, if I had such a vindictive angry raging persistent vendetta against her, which I don't. I wouldn't want to misrepresent or encourage ganging up on anyone or anything. Let's see your photos of the things you love, and let me write a blog ripping them to bits, see how you flaming well like it you horrible malevolent finaglers! And if there was an option to upload MY photos of our dogs onto this bucketful of verbal diaorrhea believe me I gladly would cos not even you nasty gets could slag my dogs off.

    Knobheads. Get a hobby and stop interfering with everyone elses that you know nowt about. Google is free you know, even to erroneous sandbaggers and fallacious obscurantists like yourselves!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I like how you only allow comments through that you approve first...classic sign of someone arguing for a cause that has no facts, evidence or substance...when you don't allow anyone to argue back if they have valid points that show your campaign up to be drivel and opinion based with zero facts, truth, evidence or honesty!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Maybe some ill-informed idiots should get off the internet and go meet some of these dogs in person and their owners/breeders. Don't talk unless you know what you are talking about. And don't believe everything you read online. What percentage of you posting saying that you feel horrible for these dogs really know anything about them???? And what about the incredibly stupid author who is just trying to promote their own agenda? What do they know??

    Funny thing is that what many of you consider "healthy" breeds really have just as many health issues as this breed. They just don't have a physical appearance that attracts so many people.

    Do your research people. You all sound like a bunch of morons! You want to sit online and make comments but won't take the time to actually meet with people and see this breed hands-on.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Jemima, why won't you let everyone's responses be seen? Rather than just allowing those that agree with you and only allowing a few that conflict with you through? You are being completely dishonest with your readers when you tip the scale so far to one side.

    Are you afraid of people knowing that you are a nut with nothing better to do than cause trouble?

    ReplyDelete
  44. You know that it is said that beauty are in the eyes of the beholder. I thought the Neapolitans you have posted were beatiful. If you don't like the breed then don't look at them.

    ReplyDelete
  45. At least the Dosa (Korean mastiff) isn't in the KC show ring...or at least isn't as far as I know.

    What a shining example of function. Care for a profile shot of the head?

    With that said, I too agree that banning is not the answer, as disgusting as these poor dogs appear. I am no fan of them and am just as repulsed by their appearance...which is sad, because they probably can be great dogs with good temperaments.

    As for the snarky commentary on "banning elephants and rhinos," that's not even in the same ballpark as these breeds of dog. Yes, there is some loose skin involved, but not to the extent seen here. I might stoop to comparing Neos and Dosas to Shar-peis with the amount of extra skin that needs removed. But to stoop to comparing them with elephants? Spare me.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I think it far better to keep Neos within the KC fold - at least this way some influence can be brought to bear to make the changes that really do need to be made - changes to a breed can only happen slowly and I would not expect significant differences to be seen for a few years yet - but this is a breed that is highlighted for change and with the present status quo it is at least able to be assessed by those outside of the breed and their influence towards less exaggeration wil gradually have an impact - perhaps the answer is for Neos to be judged mainly by all rounders for the next few years ? - banning a breed from exhibition in KC shows will not stop the demand or indeed stop them being exhibited OUTSIDE of KC shows - it will simply mean that the push for change will be less and such over exaggerations tolerated and more likely to be rewarded.


    I don't think most pedigree breeders and exhibitors would deny that this is a breed that needs help - but we need to be working with the breed club and breeders instead of trying to ostracise them - thats the bullying tactics of the playground - " you can't be in my gang "


    "you horrible malevolent finaglers!" ....sorry Ijust loved this new addition to my vocabulary - can anyone tell me just what a finagler IS ??

    ReplyDelete
  47. Dear Ms Harrison,

    I actually warned exhibitors in advance to be on their guard of any Animal Rights activist with hidden agenda loitering around the benches at Crufts with the aim of taking the most unflattering and emotive pics they possibly could and what a surprise, here they are!

    My name is Kim Slater and am actually the Breed Health Advisor to the UKNMC, heavily involved and influential in the World Mastino Health Foundation, and commited to promoting the health and welfare of the breed both here and abroad by means of education and obtaining breed specific data on known issues of health, which are actually not as many as one may think, when you have researched as I.
    I am an owner and small time breeder and actively encourage visitors to meet me and my free living dogs here in the Welsh Valley particularly prior to purchasing one. I have for more than a decade, written articles on the Neapolitan Mastiff which have been published all over the world and am a contributing editor for www.neapolitanworld.com. So, am quite high profile and well known in this small minority breed. If you, Ms Harrison had the slightest interest in obtaining relevant information from an educated source, or indeed being proactive in assisting me with ensuring breed improvement (and indeed, no race including humans are immune from genetic disease and illness) by way of support, education and raising funding for health study, then I am a very easy person to speak to. Yet I have never, ever, been approached by someone I have the distinct impression of as a self promoting and sensationalist person with absolutely no interest in the future wellbeing and improvement of the Neapolitan Mastiff, unlike myself, and many other committed people here throughout the world, putting both their hard earned money and time into the breed.

    Thank you, Ms Harrison, for proving me absolutely right with your entirely predictable actions and should you ever wish to educate yourself properly before standing on your soapbox next time, my door is always open and then, you can at least do it from a position of indepth, breed specific knowledge.

    Best regards

    Kim Slater
    Breed Health Co ordinator to the Neapolitan Mastiff

    (contact details may be found from the KC or UKNMC Secretary)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Åse Rönnblom Gsson13 March 2011 at 10:36

    As the breedstandard say, they shall have wrinkles, they shall have alot of loose skin on/around the neck/throat - but of corse they shall be able to see and i guess they shall be able to bite an intruder as they are guarddogs, without biting them selvs!
    Even if the breed not is used as guarddogs today, don't forget what they were created for!

    PRESERVE BREEDS with their origin in mind!

    Sad to see this examples of the breed as there are others looking much healthier. Even worse to read breeders defend those pictured examples pictured as good (exellent) examples.
    As long as judges will put up examples looking as those do the breed will go on looking like this or even worse.

    ReplyDelete
  49. To all who made supportive comments to Ms Harrison without knowledge,

    Beware of seemingly well meaning people such as Jemima Harrison. Today the target is an easy one, a minority breed relatively unknown by many. Ban them, what next?

    The agenda of all animal rights activists is to bring down organisations like the Kennel Club and ban the breeding of pedigree dogs entirely, one breed at a time.

    Then politically lobby for widespread neutering and breeding bans, finally for ownership bans.

    They rely on the support of the general public to create an outcry....look at those 'poor dogs'

    I have given my name here (Kim Slater, Wales UK). I do not have a website, or Kennel Affix. But I do have a facebook page where there are a lot of photographs of my dogs being dogs.

    If anyone has the slightest interest, take a look and tell me if they appear to be 'poor unhealthy creatures' or big unusual looking dogs living normal dog life.

    In my albums are also pix of my past dogs so you can also judge if my dogs of today have moved in the right direction from dogs of the past.

    THEN return here and post your views when judging average pix of dogs in a natural home environment against those above, taken with a specific agenda in mind.

    People, please be more astute and aware. Do you really promote a 'Holocaust' of dogs where Neapolitan Mastiffs are Jews who must be eliminated from society? Think deeply about this!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Yvonne, did have to find the meaning too! The new addition to your - and my vocabulary is a synonym for a con man (US colloq.) :D

    Thanks to many of the posters, such a true treasury to expand anyone's vocabulary! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Kim Slater wrote: "I actually warned exhibitors in advance to be on their guard of any Animal Rights activist with hidden agenda loitering around the benches at Crufts with the aim of taking the most unflattering and emotive pics they possibly could and what a surprise, here they are!"

    WHY did you come up with the thought to warn exhibitors??? Do they have something to hide?
    I don't think anyone in the healthcommitté of (for example) Flat coated retrievers, Elkhounds or Schipperkes would come up with that idea.

    WHY Kim Slater, why? Do you your self think there is something wrong with the breed? Do you think it looks unhealthy?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Kim, as the breed health co ordinator, would you say the above dogs have "clear eyes"?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Dear Kate,

    I would not comment on any of the pictures above other than to say they were taken with an agenda in mind to project the Neapolitan Mastiff in the worse possible light.

    But what I would say that the eye of the Neapolitan Mastiff is a recognised area where improvements are ongoing and as the saying goes 'Rome Wasnt Built in a Day'

    We are currently looking at the BVA eye testing scheme in order to adapt for the specific needs of the Neapolitan Mastiff, as currently this tests for conditions not prevelant in the breed such as glaucoma and does not test for things that are, such as predisposition to 'cherry eye'.

    So, there is work to be done, but it has to be achieved through a position of knowledge, based on breed specific research.

    Therefore, my role as Breed Health Co ordinator is to encourage owners and breeders to contribute to all the health surveys and to test their dogs so we can collate meaningful data to move forward.

    A recent American initiative was able to collate stats on cherry eye from both the Neapolitan Mastiff and its close cousin the Cane Corso. This contained very interesting results relating the the perception of display of 'haw' and occurrence of cherry eye.

    Not all is as it seems to be, hence the importance of scientific study and making improvements via breeding combinations from tested dogs.

    I hope my reply is satisfactory,

    Best regards

    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  54. 'Anonymous' Unless you actually belive everything you read in the News of the World to be the gospel truth, then you should understand the need to warn innocent people enjoying a day with their dogs at Crufts about those with agenda like Ms Harrison.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I have looked at some of the links posted here, the first one, www.neapolitanworld.com, is acatually pro ear cropping on the basis that it is an ancient Roman tradition. There are lots of reasons why tradition is often good to preserve, but I can't honestly agree feeding people to lions or ear cropping is one of them. It's not exactly a website which is reassuring to the outsider that the dogs' welfare is priority. This is not a UK website though.

    The following is an extract from advice about living with a NM, taken from the uknmc website:
    "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, but again these problems can occur in other breeds like the Bloodhound, Bassett Hound, Sharpei
    & Bulldog and there is no real evidence to suggest that Neapolitans are any more prone to these conditions than other breeds.
    However, 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. Have you considered all issues of Health?"

    It would appear that the club accepts the breed suffers from some pretty extensive health/welfare issues. As with the comments here, the main argument given seems to be "other breeds are just as bad" rather than any admission that perhaps the breed needs to refocus away from extremes. The last paragraph is perhaps particuarly telling.

    Now I disagree with Jemima that the KC should refuse to allow regestrations etc. I don't think it would help at all. I don't know very much about this breed, I freely admit, but I would like to see some reasonable comments by Mastino folk on here; do you think the breed does have issues; what are you trying to do about it; if you do think the breed should continue to be bred unchanged, what justification can you make? This would be far more constructive than name calling and detracting other breeds.
    Unfortunatly these days it is not feasible to ignore public concern. Several supporters of the breed have said critics don't understand the breed enough. Those in other breeds who are being critical are perhaps rightly concerned that this breed (and others) are bringing the whole hobby of showing dogs into disrepute, (as PDE proved so well.)
    So fans of Neapolitan Mastiffs, please enlighten the rest of us as to whether you think the breed in it's current form is acceptable and sufficiently healthy. If not, what is being done to improve matters?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Ok then Ms Slater and others trotting out such trite as rome wasn't built in a day. It is true that changes cannot be made instantly in the appearance of any animal. Judges bear a great responsibility here which they seem to be failing on. But these are not extreme examples. The neo that won his best in group was just as exaggerated. An before you say you have to know the breed to comment - answer me this. What do these dogs benefit from having such folds of skin??

    ReplyDelete
  57. RACHEL GREENWOOD13 March 2011 at 13:24

    I have two neapolitan mastifs who are currently lying flat out in the garden enjoying the sunshine as so many people have commented that THESE dogs are ill and in pain I DON'T THINK SO . I have a four year old bitch who last year gave birth to 9 healthy happy puppies with no assistance from a vet. other than being for her yearly booster she has had no vet treatments and has never had cherry eye or any hip problems. they get fed better than some humans having chicken,liver, tuna/sardines and mince at every meal time and there kennels are also cleaner than some peoples houses.I wonder why you didn't take photo's of my 17 month old bitch who had a long day and was very happy until gone 6.30 in the evening when we left to have her photo taken and having loads of people coming up to speak to her.DID ANY OF YOU SMALL MINDED PEOPLE GO AND VISIT OUR BREED STAND AND TAKE ANY OF OUR RESEARCH LEAFLETS ???????

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thank you for replying Kim.
    It's always great to hear about breed club health schemes.
    However, I think the whole point here is that nobody is on a secret mission or hidden agenda to deliberately give the breed a bad name. The dogs above are at Crufts. They got there by winning their way up. They therefore represent the best in the breed do they not?
    Professor Bateson's report clearly suggested that the show ring could be used as a positive force, leading by example. Well in some of the pictures above, the dogs clearly fail the revised breed standard which states that the haw should not be seen, no excess wrinkles and clear eyes.
    So something is going wrong.
    I'm all for people having a nice day out. I understand some people liking certain breeds and disliking others, but the whole point is that this is not about US. It's about improving dog health.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Kim hello this is cesare. I believe what you write as a breeder expert. I also agree about the healthy problems our breed has. I do not believe the best way to solve the health problems is going AGAINST a few mastinos show at Crufts!!! I do believe this is the best way to generate a contorversy that will not do any favor to the selective breeding of our breed.
    Before giving your opinion about a breed we should understand it's evolution and its genetics problems. Just like humans. Should we kill ourselves because of people with aids?? Should we promote photos of people with aids sickness and very dramitic photos of them to say that we should ALL go against Homesexuals and lesbians because the are a populuation with more reisk to get the aids disease????!!!!
    Poeple think wisely and try to be more humane when you try to look at a breed its history and its genetic problems.

    Keep up your hard work KIM helping the breed with its health problema.

    CESAR PERDOMO
    MASTINO LOVER FROM COLOMBIA SOUTH AMERICA.
    I have 22 mastinos living with me... very very healthy by the way.

    Please take a look at last year WESTMISNTER BOB 2010 MULTI CH CONAN BARBERIAN TEXAN OF THE OAKS.

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  60. I dont usually comment on forums as I find them of little use , to be honest it just generates ill feeling.I am aware of the issues raised both for and against.However there are a multitude of problems here.I know Kim Slater personally and can tell you that we are honoured in the breed to have a health co ordinator who is striving to improve our breed vigourously.The UKNMC are also working tirelessly,but I note that comments towards Frank Kanes description of our BOB has been commented on.Frank said this breed should not have excessive wrinkle,did he say the BOB had excessive wrinkle no! did he say this was a perfect specimen of the breed no!I know the owners of this dog who are exemplary people who love their dogs,again better than some people love their own siblings.I had my own views on the judging yesterday to which I will not share on an open forum but actually discussed it with the exhibitors themselves,Risky but hopefully done in a democratic way,we are all striving to improve.What I have seen this year is this! The kennel club giving us guidelines on how to allegedly improve the breed , yet their own appointed judges causing us many problems, you can withold you know !.Also owners buying from breeders expecting a show dog at the first time of asking,perhaps the breeders need to be more honest when selling their pet quality puppies.In some cases the new to the breed owners having to accept that they have paid rather alot of money for a pet and may and I say may, believe they have a show dog.I am a Kennel club judge and have been in dogs for over 25 years.I have now been in this breed for 12 years bred one litter.I am about to judge this breed at open show level and if the specimen under me is not of an acceptable quality I will with hold,even at Open shows.Lets get together show how educated we all are and improve things,I do have issues with photographs being taken for a negative purpose and I am sure this could have been dealt with in a more positive manner by sharing each others wealth of experience,there were many good examples of the breed shown yesterday healthy free moving and free from excessive wrinkle.Did they win ? did they deserve to win ? perhaps you need to attend the next championship show and find out for yourselves,after all we just pay our money and take our chance.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I am shocked and appalled that again the Neapolitan Mastiff has been highlighted to the point of slander,any breed of dog can have a poor picture taken and if i had bred or owned any of the dogs pictured above i would be taking legal advice,without breed experience of knowledge you have again shown your ignorance of dogs and mastiffs ,mastiffs being one of the most ancient of breeds .. if you took the time to learn about the breed rather than appear very misinformed ..or even owned any of the mastiff breeds you would know there is not an issue with the skin of a mastino this is what gives the ancient breed its type,they are also very sound and agile,we have owned Neapolitan Mastiffs for 10 years now and over the last decade the breeders and breed club have improved the breed health.. the breed club has worked tirelessly to inform and educate ,Kim Slater being the Health representative and very experienced and knowledgeable worldwide within the mastino breed is by far more informed to comment than yourself..the point of you posting the pictures is what ? health testing for any breed is a must but to provoke and insult as you have done here do you now suggest a health test for excess? how ridiculous!... Sarah Luff

    ReplyDelete
  62. My my Jemima just proving all those Champdoggers right arnt you. Why dont you better your time with informing people looking for puppies, instead of slating a breed. The examples that won were a lot less exaggerated than some i have seen.

    ReplyDelete
  63. these poor dogs look awful. they shoul ban these collars also!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Jemima,Im very dissapointed to look your way to solve something what is problem to you.
    You have no experience of this breed and the way you put ”problems on the table” is not correct.
    Why did you not ask promission of dog owners when you took the pictures, you was hiddening behind your camera and only point to get attention to your mission is bad pictures. Is not correct.
    I have had a honour to follow UK breeders for years and all thise people who I call my friends are putting lot of work, knowledge and passion for their breeding, choising very carefull what specimen they put together to continue breeding. Breeders in UK could be a good example for many countries, they follow the issues of health, they are examing their dogs and are shareing problems with their breeding and don’t hide information and are doing very much co-operation with another breeders in another countries and also follow the breed in Italy, what is breeds home country.
    In Italy, in Atimana has been excellent lectures of mastinos healthy issues and most of UK leading breeders have been there and continue the information in UK to those who was not there.

    Im sure breeders would give all information of their loved breed, if you only bother to ask. Blindess and having only one truth is the narrowest way to make things better.

    I have had mastinos since 1989 and I have followed this breed since and my respect goes to breeders who really care what they breed and they breed with knowledge.

    Jemima I wish you open your eyes and you will learn, world is not so black and white, is full of different coulours and in this case, different breeds.

    Regards from Finland
    Katriina Hägg

    ReplyDelete
  65. to the mastino owners who have commented here....which is it? all your websites outline the health problems in the breed, they all state to be on guard because your dog is almost guaranteed to have issues, in fact the one breeder site psted states that ALL Mastino's have joint problems and lowered immune function etc.. etc... and yet every last one of you who has commented here has raved about how healthy your dogs are! so who is lying? yourselves or....yourselves? you cant have it both ways.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Firstly sorry for my English.

    For the curious like me, you can find pictures of old Neapolitan Mastiff here :

    http://midgardkennels.wordpress.com/1156-2/

    Difference is amazing. This is the ancient breed type.

    Thanks for this very good post and thanks for the dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Are there any breeds that the KC has refused to register on health grounds? I'm not asking to be snarky - I genuinely would like to know (and whether it has made any difference to the dogs being bred/imported to this country).

    The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy does refuse to recognise certain breeds of cat on health grounds - notably the Scottish Fold (basically a comparatively normal cat with ears that flop instead of standing upright) and the Munchkin (cat with the short-leg mutation you see in the Basset and Dachshund).

    I'm not very clear why they seem to think very flat-faced Persians (Peke equivalent) or hairless breeds are not a problem.
    http://www.gccfcats.org/health.html

    ReplyDelete
  68. cant even be bothered to honour this ridiculous article with a meaningful response.
    My only suggestion would be that you live with a breed before making rash, ill educated judgements based on poor information gathering.
    You dont know, indeed have no idea how these dogs are, because you havent spent time getting to know them as breed. Might I make a simple suggestion that before you make knee jerk, off the cuff sensationalised stories to an open forum, that you do much more background research.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Would the health rep for the UK club please confirm how many dogs have been health-tested? There don't seem to be many results for neos on the KC website.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Jemima,
    What is your problem?
    There are good and bad in every breed, I saw plenty at Crufts, believe me, so why are you so focused on trying to destroy our beautiful breed, why do you not spend a day with one of us reputable breeders, ask your questions, spend time with the dogs, etc,????
    Or do you have a personal vendetta against a particular person within the breed, maybe you were turned down for a puppy? I do not know, but what I do know is that the things you are saying about the breed are totally outrageous and grossly blown out of proportion, why not take a few minutes to think about all the genuine people within the breed, speak to them.
    I am sorry but thank heaven you were not born a dog, you would be a very dangerous one to have around, give me a beautiful loyal mastino any day.
    Anita.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Like anonymous posted above, all you Neo lovers: I get why you are offended by the article but let's put on your common sense hat. You are involved in a breed that you acknowledge has a myriad of health issues...every breeders website and you national breed club talk about the prevalence of joint issues, skin issues and eye issues. How is this OK? Compare the original dogs linked to above with today's dog. What is the value in the difference? How does this make your dogs better? Take a step back and think about this in a rational light.
    Yes, many animals can have health problems, but there are not so many breeds that need to have puppies not play rowdily (as all puppies do) as not to permanently disable them.
    You call Jemima an "animal rights" person and vilify her for "picking on show breeders." If you think shes AR, you need to educate yourself on what AR really is, because you will realize she is not AR but instead Animal Welfare. By breeding these extreme dogs with health problems, you are giving the AR idiots actual, viable ammo to attack all dog lovers. If you don't think John Q Public thinks there's a problem with pedigree dogs, you are mistaken. Wake up and smell the coffee! You alone have the power to stop the insanity and demonstrate that you care more about the dogs than your egos, and stop creating genetic train wrecks in the name of "purity" and aesthetics. Then, when the real AR whackos come after you, they won't have a leg to stand on. As it stands now, they can point at you and say: "look how those dogs suffer!" and not be wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Interesting that the breeders keep stating 'Oh, you know nothing about the breed, shut up!'

    I may know nothing about Neos. However, like all dogs, they have eyes, and mammalian eyes are shaped the way they are, to function in a certain way. You will not find any wild animals with excess skin that pulls the eyelids down like that. This is because eyelids sweep the eye when the animal (or human!) blinks, to keep the eye clear of debris. The eye tears to remove the debris collected by the eyelids. That is why even very wrinkly animals with loose skin like Elephants have eyelids that fit closely to properly clean and protect the eyes.

    http://images.letsbuyit.co.uk/original/92/09/close-up-of-indian-elephant-eyedomestic-kaziranga-national-park-assam-india-photographic-print-23-x-30-5640992.jpeg

    These dogs have eyes that cannot function properly due to the loose skin. Period. There is no doubt of that. IMO, a breeder with any knowledge of how form follows function would be working to breed tighter skin to improve the function of the eye. I find it ironic (pun not intended)that the health chair for the breed club talks about tests for eyes diseases, when simply breeding for tighter skin would eliminate most problems with ectropion, entropion, and dry eye right there.

    The Neos I saw in the mid-nineties looked like the one in the furry collar from 1977 in the above link. Note the eyes. No working dog could function with eyes like these modern dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I find a lot of the negative comments here very illinformed and very insulting. It appears that the anti Mastino Lobby are a lot less open minded than the breeders. I own and adore 3 neapolitan Mastiffs. They live freely with 2 acres to run around and they play with rough and tumble like any other dog.If we are getting into prejudice against a breed, to me the German Shepherd pastoral group winner looks much worse to me with a hump on his back and crippled looking back legs.
    I have 3 small children from 7 years down to 2 ant they are the most gentle giants you could ever imagine. My kids pull and wool out of them and they lie back and love it.; I am a professional dog groomer and regularly see worse eyes on St. Bernards, worse skin on West Highland terriers, hip and knee problems with Bernese Mountain dogs and regular agressive behaviour from Cocker spaniels.
    Now I would never advocate having one of these breeds delisted.If we are getting into prejudice against a breed, to me the German Shepherd pastoral group winner looks much worse to me with a hump on his back and crippled looking back legs.
    Should I be denegrated for owning one of my beautiful dogs..... NO. My dogs have a great life and offer my family all that we want and more.
    Paraic Sheridan, Ireland

    ReplyDelete
  74. I just can't understand how you can improve a breed that is so broken!

    ReplyDelete
  75. "i am a professional dog groomer and regularly see worse eyes on St. Bernards, worse skin on West Highland terriers, hip and knee problems with Bernese Mountain dogs and regular agressive behaviour from Cocker spaniels."

    lol remind me never to buy a Neo if this is a list of the problems they face!!!

    ReplyDelete
  76. My point was that you can not single out one breed for health problems. I was not listing Neapolitan problems. Anonymous if you can only see the negative then why bother !!
    Paraic

    ReplyDelete
  77. It is very easy to be critical when you have not done anything to solve a problem. Very very easy to shoot some pictures and be quite arrogant asking for solutions. I still believe aids is the perfect example. It has not been solve yet. Drugs addiction, not as well being solve.
    Does this means ALL human race is a made of drug addicts homesexuals and lesbians ?????

    I do believe not. First of all drug addicts gays and lesbians are also human beings and deserve ALL the respect from everybody.

    Now concentrating on the point of discussion..
    Does ALL mastinos have inmune problems and hips problems NO NO NO !!!!!!

    Does ALL Mastinos Have EXCESSIVE skin ... NO !!!!

    What happens when a Breeder anounce that this breed is capable of presenting low inmune system, hip and joint problems, eye problems.
    He is just being honest !!!!

    This is true and we should work together to minimize the impact on future generations of the mastino population. But listen to my words people that do not know the breed.

    There are a lot of healthy mastinos all over the world..

    A Solution to mastino health problems is not going against the breed, just as the solution against aids and drugs is not going against mankind.

    Regards.

    CESAR PERDOMO
    DI CESARE MASTINO
    COLOMBIA SOUTH AMERICA

    ReplyDelete
  78. once again lets all jump on the band wagon neos this, neos that!!what about all the other breeds english bull dogs having more and more trouble breathing.Pugs the same, king charles caverliers having epilespsy and i could go on,what about staffs being the new status dog for young yobs.Neos just like any other breed we have our problems but we have improved this breed over the years to be more healthy, less problems and a longer life span so get off your high horse you jumped up little prat!!!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Lets all jump on the band wagon, neos this, neos that! What about all the other breeds?! English bulldogs having more and more trouble breathing, same as pugs, king charles caviliers having epilepsy and the same as boxers, sausage dogs having back problems same as the basset hounds and i could go on! Good breeders of the neo who you have slated have done wonders for this breed, with health and temperament i.e. Hip displasia, eye problems and life span.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Looking at the results from last year's championship shows it seems to have been nearly impossible to fail to qualify a Neapolitan Mastiff for Crufts last year. Show entries are appallingly low - most classes having 3 or fewer dogs present so all dogs automatically qualifying for Crufts.

    Disappointing that no overseas mastinos seem to have come to Crufts this year - it would have been interesting to see how they compared to what is available in the UK

    ReplyDelete
  81. I don't think this lady is very well educated, as it goes to show these dogs are suppose to be big boned and have wrinkles,like bover has said, good breeders of the neapolitan mastiff have done wonders for this breed!take a look at the basset hound, they have changed over the years becoming longer bodied causing them to develop back problems or the German Shepard with its hind legs being slanted causes there legs to go on them. So before you go round taking pics, i think you should get your facts right. Take the hint DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Gosh I hope no-one from the Dog Advisory Council is reading this , not the best advert for breeders, in fact its the best advert ive ever seen for taking a trip to Battersea or Dogs Trust.

    ReplyDelete
  83. This is a very good example of what I call "breed blindness." It what happens when people get so indoctrinated into what is "correct" for the breed that they lose all sense of good judgment.

    I am honestly laughing that anyone would compare the eyes on these dogs to an elephant's. Elephants do not have exposed haws. The do not have such heavy wrinkles around their eyes that the skin pulls on them.

    This is a breed that was totally ruined by breed blindness. I have actually seen photos of what these dogs looked like in the 1950's. Those dogs looked like something one would want guarding an estate. If I were an intruder, I would have worried about those dogs.

    The current dogs have been horribly distorted because of bizarre romantic delusions. Your dogs are not descended from gladiators. They are descended from the working mastiff of Southern Italy. There is not one drop of genetic evidence that these dogs are ancient.

    But if you believe that absurdity, you'll commit atrocities through bizarre breeding.

    The truth is the dog dealers of Naples ripped off as many German and American dog fanciers as they could by selling them the most extreme dogs they could breed. And Germans and American fanciers were stupid enough to buy them and base their whole concept of the breed on them.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I think if the average person, who hasn't been indoctrinated by the Neapolitan mastiff fancy, took a look at some of the comments here, they would be aghast at the vapidity and callowness.

    Hippos and elephants do not have eyes like that!

    What a bizarre comment!

    ReplyDelete
  85. The American dogs are even more extreme than these:
    http://aboutzoo.net/dogs/en/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/121899247311.jpg

    These dogs are in definite need of a standard revision.

    How would you like it if you had that much skin pulling down on your eyes? You would in constant discomfort. You'd be whining to see physician immediately. But dogs are stoics, and they put up with this their entire lives, which, in this breed, are often tragically short.

    About half of all Neos in the US have dysplastic hips. http://www.offa.org/stats_hip.html

    This is, no doubt, the result of breeding for so much bone on the dog's frame.

    Hip dysplasia is very painful, and it is something that person in Southern Italy who needed a good guard dog would have selected against.

    These dogs were like the English bullmastiff in terms of function.

    It's very sad that breed blindness has caused so much misery.

    This is a classic example of what the Germans call Qualzucht, which translates as "torture breeding."

    ReplyDelete
  86. I enjoy the comment that says these dogs didn't have "contex" [sic] and that you were "sneaky" about taking photos of them, as if the whole point of a show ring isn't to SHOW the dog off. These dogs are sick [sick]. I'd say that breeds like this are evidence that the fancy has a bad case of Munchausen By Proxy: Causing disease in another lifeform to get attention for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  87. OK where is the blog on Poodles should be banned for not looking natural due to those stupid haircuts and a law against people who dye them with food colouring.
    How far do people go with biased opinions.
    Obviously with the thousands of dogs in the world I think many breeds have health problems but I believe more humans have issues if they are allowed to alter the dogs look by snipping away and altering the natural look and they should have the book thrown at them for being sad for treating their dogs like humans.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I think that most breeds still can be "saved" But we better start saving them soon!

    ReplyDelete
  89. How silly, niave and just stupid of you Jemima to be commenting on a breed you know nothing about. I have had this breed for over 15 yrs and have always had long lived, healthy happy dogs who share my house with me.
    I was absolutely disgusted to see your comments " Ban the Neapolitan Mastiff" who are you to make these comments? are you a breed expert or specialist vet? The world will be a boring sad place when you and you cronies try to ban a lot of breeds so everyone only has a choice between labs and great dane,s and your boring flat coated retriever, by the way who freinds of mine have had and both have died before 5 of bone cancer. Why dont you look into the serious problems Danes have with DCM etc ??
    You are a dangerous uninformed person to be making claims such as " BANN" !!

    Thinking your picking a minority breed and high lighting rediculous picks such as the one with the dog with a little bit of sleep in its eyes.

    Maybe we should get some pics of you first thin g in the morning when you have woken up with a bit of sleep in your eye, what a cheap shot !!!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Cesar, if you genuinely believe that a blood-borne virus which is often sexually transmitted is the best analogy for the problems which some examples of pedigree breeds face (rather than, for instance, the well-documented medical history of the Habsburg dynasty), then you don't seem to be very well qualified to talk about genetic health issues.

    ReplyDelete
  91. What absolute rubbish. if health problems are a concern then why not ban all breeds of dogs because like Neo's they all have specific health problems for their breed, its not just Neo's that CAN suffer from hip dysplacia, Danes, Cane Corso, English mastif etc can all suffer from it. Ban the shamefull act of shaving poodles and dying them because that is definately something that should be considered animal cruelty, why not ban hairy breeds because they have their own set of health problems relating to hair. Any dog can suffer from any health problems. And doesn't all this depend on the owner? if someone is really dedicated to owning this kind of dog then they would be expected to be able to afford the extensive care and efford involved in owning such a breed. I am an animal carer and have a certificate in animal care and all of the animals I studied all have health problems that only that kind of breed are susceptible to. Why ban a breed that has literally been around for centuries, far longer than any of you or I, you simply cannot ban a breed completely, its absurd, it definately wont stop backyard breeding etc. I am definately not willing to let anyone take my dog off me, she is a Neapolitan/cane corso x english mastif, and she has just the right amount of wrinkles for me :).
    Wrinkles may cause some health problems but if the owner is willing to take the time, money and effort to prevent the problems then I dont see a problem, there are some gorgeous and healthy looking Neo's around so you simply cannoy condemn one breed just because of the few you have seen.

    :) JMO

    ReplyDelete
  92. I posted this earlier:
    "The following is an extract from advice about living with a NM, taken from the uknmc website:
    "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, but again these problems can occur in other breeds like the Bloodhound, Bassett Hound, Sharpei
    & Bulldog and there is no real evidence to suggest that Neapolitans are any more prone to these conditions than other breeds.
    However, 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. Have you considered all issues of Health?"

    I'm still not seeing anyone in Mastinos answering whether they consider the breed has significant health/welfare issues and if any steps are really being made to reduce the problems mentioned above. I do not think that simply saying "other breeds are as bad/worse" or "people also have disease" carries any weight when defending your breed. Nor does saying "try living with the breed" or "we keep our dogs very well" which is also being frequently repeated.
    I'm not attacking Neapolitans, far from it, but an awful lot of people, memebers of the public, those in other breeds, vets etc (not animal rights people)are wondering how the breed in it's current form can be justified. To those who breed or own NMs, are your dogs able to lead 'normal' lives comparable with other giant breeds? Are they living longer than the average of 8 years? Have your dogs lived into 'old age' without suffering any (of the listed breed related) health problems?
    If you want to alter the perception of your breed, then we need some really good solid defense, rather than personal attacks.

    ReplyDelete
  93. OK Likesdebate
    I own 4 Neapolitan Mastiffs and have never taken them to the vet for anything other than annual injections.
    OK one for a snake bite and he survived.
    If he had a weakened immune system he would of died (vet's words).
    Some breeders over the years are doing health checks, some keep the records for themselves and if they breed they inform buyers of those results.
    The rules were changed, the breeders is trying to comply but its seems this Jemima was not satisfied with the changes and expected change over night.
    Be realistic here a breed cannot be banned because one woman writes a blog, stirs up every do good person on the planet and sits back and laughs.
    And her job must be pretty thin on the ground to feel the need to go on a mission with this breed or any other breed and should write about positive things which can improve all breeds of dog.
    But that would be smart, something worthwhile and her employer looking for the next sap to take her place.
    This is about her wages and limelight she probably doesnt even own a dog

    ReplyDelete
  94. Shouldn't all dogs be bred "Fit for Purpose"
    These dogs can't possibly do a days work.

    ReplyDelete
  95. To all the na say'rs out there about the beloved Neapolitan mastiff. I own 3, one will be 7 in August,1 is 5, another 5 in a few months. ZERO entropian out of the whole bunch. One cherry eye out of 6 eye balls between them all. ZERO skin issues!!!!

    As others have stated here, photos can ALWAYS be subjective. I have some clean eye dogs that if you SHOT a photo at the right time they look like EVEN they cannot see!!!!

    Any dog with ANY amount of loose skin on their head will have flucuation when moving... to include dogs with HAIR over the eyes!!!! EVEN most cute sweet puppies -- ANY BREED

    Shouldnt we waste our time, money and HARD work on heart problems, CANCER in our K9's instead of this type of RUBBISH!!!!!
    1000's of people just lost their lives in Japan, there is even a better one to waste your time with.

    If you are not being postive and offering REAL solutions that are part of human kind then you are part of the UGLY NASTY PROBLEM Ms Jemima Harrison.

    ReplyDelete
  96. @ yvon!!!!!!!!!!! and any other nob head do you even no what this breed was made for ( they wasent made to work at k.f.c they was made for war. to be gard dogs a job they do very well to What about all the other breeds?! English bulldogs having more and more trouble breathing, same as pugs, king charles caviliers having epilepsy and the same as boxers, sausage dogs having back problems same as the basset hounds and i could go on! Good breeders of the neo who you have slated have done wonders for this breed, with health and temperament i.e. Hip displasia, eye problems and life span.

    ReplyDelete
  97. @ yvon!!!!!!!!!!! do you even no what this breed was made for ( they wasent made to work at k.f.c they was made for war. to be gard dogs a job they do very well to What about all the other breeds?! English bulldogs having more and more trouble breathing, same as pugs, king charles caviliers having epilepsy and the same as boxers, sausage dogs having back problems same as the basset hounds and i could go on! Good breeders of the neo who you have slated have done wonders for this breed, with health and temperament i.e. Hip displasia, eye problems and life span.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Bover can you explain why the NM is in the WORKING group?
    With regards to hip dysplasia, the NM ranks 6th within the highest breed mean scores. Only two out of 109 registered dogs were scored in 2010 and it is not a requirement or recommendation to hip score NM under the accredited breeder scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Neo's were bred to fight in Roman wars and in the Colosseum, in modern times they guarded the estates of their Italian owners. The Neo is a guard dog by breeding and is protective by nature. These dogs are generally not hyperactive as, perhaps one might characterize a boxer, and are usually content to lie at the master's feet . Do not, however, think of the Neo as a slow moving dullard. When it or it's master is threatened, this dog can move with alarming speed and energy! Whereas another breed of dog might bite the arm of a perceived assailant, the Neo might leave with the arm. My Neo is able to jump our 6ft fence! so they are definately not an overly lazy breed, it just depends on the activeness of the owner. Most people think that Neo's are lazy, hard to handle dogs but in all reality if cared for correctly and enough time spent in hygiene they have less of a chance of developing these problems. Those of us who love Neo's or own Neo's will fight to defend them till the end, theres no doubt about that. But it seems like the people who are for banning the breed mainly dont like them because of the way they look, I base that assumption on the thought that most of them are only going by pictures and no actual experience with the breed itself. I love my Lucie and am willing to do everything to make sure she doesnt have these problems.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I have sat on my response to this blog over the weekend to allow me to fully digest some of the comments/issues raised. Jemima, you firstly entitle your post ‘A parade of mutants’ By definition the word mutant stands for something that looks different which clearly a Neapolitan mastiff does from other canines, or, its other definition relates to genetic mutation which many highly educated people view as a natural occurence and an integral process of evolution. You also use the word ban although you have since added by this you mean de-register them from the KC System, but what would this achieve if you take away a regulatory body who is trying to work with breeders to improve health?

    I personally was at Crufts on Friday where my young 11 month old Neapolitan Mastiff took best puppy although doesn’t feature in your pictures above. I’m new to the breed although I have been round dogs all my life, and personally find your arguments in many area’s to be sensational to say the least, whilst I have seen no evidence of a real motive to improve the lives of this historical breed.

    Don’t get me wrong there are definitely issues that need improving within the breed as with all breeds. But to achieve this, it takes serious effort, discussion, evidence based research and most importantly a true love of the subject - in this case Neapolitan Mastiffs. And yes of course there are some within the breed who will shy away from there responsibility to do this, however there are many like Kim Slater who work tirelessly towards these goals, but it takes time!!!

    For all those who are for or against the Neapolitan Mastiff please help me, and provide me with evidence of your case:

    If the Neapolitan mastiffs eye is unhealthy due to the haw please provide me with sound evidence to prove this, if it is healthy then again provide the evidence.

    If these dogs are healthy/unhealthy in terms of structure - again provide the evidence use tools such as hip & elbow scoring

    My Neo does 3-4 miles a day up and down sand hills 3-4 times a week, and then comes home and plays with my children, despite his large frame - Is this really an unhealthy dog?

    Jemima please contact me and visit my two Neapolitan mastiffs, you can video the visit as will I, and we can have an honest and open debate to improve the health of this breed - which you claim is your main objective to end cruelty. As for those who are lovers of this most wonderful breed - your infighting does nothing for the good of the breed, the judge at Crufts was no different from each one of us, in that he had his own opinion, and that opinion may at times differ from ones own. What is clear is we must unite our passion with those we call friends and those seen as enemies and work to improve the health of this mighty breed.

    One final note: I had the pleasure of having both my dogs on the Neapolitan Mastiff stand at Discover Dogs on Sunday afternoon, and the feedback about them was very positive from the general public regarding there overall condition, with many amazed at their coats despite not being bathed in preparation, many enjoyed being photographed with the ‘mutants’ as they sat and received slobbery kisses, they received honest and open advice regarding health issues alongside steps being taken to overcome them, receiving a balanced view of the breed rather than a one-sided argument.

    Look forward to arranging your visit Jemina, best regards Chris Cooper

    ReplyDelete
  101. I am gutted to be reading such nonsense here from most people. Have you ever owned this breed? I assume not by the utter rubbish you are talking about. If this is the case regarding breeds being banned, shall we ban others i.e. Sher Peis because they also have a lot of rolls and suffer bad eyes. Or how about a little breed like the Chiuahuha? Do you think they enjoy being carried around in a handbag? Or half the dogs in the world that have hair longer than their legs (wouldnt that be irritating for them?). Lots of dogs suffer with problems, shall we just ban them too? Makes it a lot easier in your eyes. Yes, some are more extreme than others, but im sure their breeders are doing all they can to ensure they are healthy and happy. I own two myself and my youngest is perfect, she isnt too flabby, she hasnt suffered with bad eyes, she loves exercsing - no health problems at all!! I could name so many breeds that if we are going to be childish and ban one, we may aswell ban them all! Then what have we got left? I think aslong as they are healthy and are not suffering what is the problem???? And to say Kim i think your fab, your dogs are amazing and i for one wouldnt change them for the world! All the simple-minded people who dont like the breed - i urge you to spend a couple of hours with mine and your opinion will totally change!

    ReplyDelete
  102. It seems many people are using the argument "I've seen worse in (insert breed ) or what about the problems in (again insert breed) I feel these people are missing the point by a country mile.

    The point is ALL breeds should be looked into and health issues worked towards being resolved. Be it hips, eyes, wrinkles, back, skin or whatever. If a temporary suspension for a year or so on exhibition would bring about faster compliance, then that device should be used by the Kennel club to kick certain breeds into taking action.

    It is pointless looking at other breeds and thinking "Well that is worse than mine so I can carry on." That is akin to negligently causing a car crash where only one person is injured and justifying yourself as a good person because it wasn't two people! It beggers belief.

    Many breeders (and not just of dogs) are just far too defensive of what they already have, without stepping back and looking critically at their chosen breed to see what the rest of the world is seeing.

    Oh and before anyone says I know nothing about breeding animals - I've been involved in livestock breeding and showing for 50 years so do know both sides.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Cruel exaggeration? Wow im getting worked up here!! My babies are absolutely beautiful, they are not in pain, they are very happy AND CAN SEE!! Maybe read a little of the breed before you go slagging them off? Pitbulls were taken off because they were vicous. Neo's are not vicious, they are loving and loyal. I would like to meet you people and show you that you are totally wrong. How can they be in pain from their saggy skins? You've seen fat people havent you? Do you think they are in pain? People are very much over exaggerating here. If you dont like the breed.. fine. But dont comment on here saying things which are so untrue. Lets have a look into other breeds - small dogs, do you think they like being kept in handbags? No, maybe we should ban them! What about the Shar Pei? They have the loose skin and eye problems - lets ban them too. So small-minded....

    ReplyDelete
  104. Please view this page on the history of this breed, it makes interesting reading.

    http://www.bandogmastiffs.blogspot.com/2006/06/modern-history-of-neapolitan-mastiff.html

    ReplyDelete
  105. When people make claims about the ancient origin of any breed, one should be skeptical.

    I have not seen a single piece of genetic evidence that Neapolitan mastiffs are among the ancient breeds. There have been several studies that have identified the most ancient breeds of dog, and not a single breed of mastiff-- except for the Tibetan-- has been recognized as ancient.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Pharaoh hounds are given that name because they supposedly resemble dogs that appear on Ancient Egyptian artifacts. However, they have been found to be only a few hundred years old, and they should-- because they are the national dog of Malta-- be called the Maltese hound. Many years ago, it was believed that a spitz-type dog that was dug out a bog in Norway and dated to the Bronze Age was the same dog as the modern Norwegian Elkhound. It turns out that Norwegian elkhounds aren't that old either and are derived from relatively recent wolf hybridization.

    All of the claims about Neapolitan mastiffs being ancient are based upon the same sort of evidence that claims Norwegian elkhounds and Maltese hounds are ancient-- they superficially look like dogs from earlier times. But dog phenotype is very easily manipulated by selective breeding. It is very easy to create similar types from unrelated stock, which is much more likely in the southern Italian mastiffs.


    The sighthound phenotype has evolved at least thrice from three different unrelated stocks, with greyhounds, wolfhounds, deerhounds, and borzoi deriving from the same ancestors as herding dogs. The Salukis, the Taigan, the Tazi, and the Afghan hound are ancient breeds-- we have clear genetic evidence of this. And the sloughi and azawakh are derived from African dogs. To our eyes, they would all appear to be closely related, but they aren't.

    These are all reasons why you cannot make the big assumption that Neapolitan mastiffs are ancient because of some ancient depictions of dogs that look like them.

    For example, you'd think Newfoundlands would be closely related English mastiffs. They aren't. They are very closely related to retrievers, which makes sense if you know a little breed history.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Over exaggeration in any breeding of any animal will eventually give rise to health issues. If for nothing else but the fact that this over exaggeration comes from the fixing of genes within the future generations. The way this 'fixing' takes place is by mating together animals that 'look' similar or carry characteristics that compliment one another...this is often seen in a specific 'line' (family) and as such breeders often do select more closely related stock to breed from, and as such (because of the likely hood that both will carry the desired trait in their genetic make-up) fix the 'outside' appearance of the animal. Unfortunately...it can also fix undesirable hidden genes too!

    From the point of view of someone who is an animal breeder concerned about this kind of over exaggeration (regardless of the species - never mind the breed), it does worry me that there are several breeds of dog that have been bred to extremes for the sake of 'fashion.' I am not saying that this is the case in NM's (IMO I do think that the skin folds are excessive - but that is the opinion of an uninformed reader) as I do not know the breed well enough, but it is obvious from all the comments (both educated and not) above, that this breed (along with several others out there) has some very serious health issues. To deny this is lunacy and sadly, will be to the detriment of what should be a majestic animal.

    I do feel though (as a semi-professional photographer), that is a little 'naughty' to say the least, to go along to a dog show and take photographs of a breed that you then intend to use to slate the breed, the breeders, the owners and not least the UK Kennel Club itself for not 'banning' it from their registration scheme - do the kennel club know you have been doing this? Much better I feel, to have gone to the breed club stand and discuss what you intended to do with the photographs you had taken and asked them for an opinion...I also agree that it is relatively easy to take a 'bad photo' of an animal (I have taken many in my time! lol) and pass it off as 'the norm.' Although (in my vague attempt at riding the fence here), I do see the excess skin on this breed as being too much...and I was at Crufts in the flesh so used my own eyes before anyone has a go at me...

    I breed whippets. I do not show them, I work them. I do not heavily line breed as I am not looking for a dog that will win shows, I am after a dog that will win a race with a rabbit! But I feel that an animal that has been domesticated for a particular purpose aught to be able to complete the purpose it was bred for. I therefore expect my dogs to be fats, agile, alert, healthy and have stamina that allows them to 'do the job', and be 'fit for purpose.' Therefore, my last two litters were complete out-cross matings that many show dog breeders would say was too much and insane! But, the pups from these litters are very much 'fit for purpose,' and doing the job they were intended to do. I selected the sire by going out with its owner on a lamp and catching rabbits, then going to a warren with them and catching daytime rabbits and finally by going to the Southport drains and killing as many rats as we could in the day. He fitted the bill, so I used him. I was lucky he is a handsome chap too and his litters were beautiful!...Ian

    ReplyDelete
  107. So...a few questions that everyone breeding NM may like to ask themselves...could a NM still go to war and do the job fit for purpose? Or has fashion got hold of this breed (and produced dogs with excess skin folds that would hinder the dog in times of war if for example it were to be expected to pin a man to the ground, or run at a speed greater than that of the human it pursued for any length of time) and sent it down a different road? If so, then perhaps a little out-crossing may help! I am not in any way trying to slate breeders out there reading this, I am just saying perhaps its time to take a real hard look at those excessive folds of skin and think about reducing them by using dogs on your bitches that simply don't have it, or at the very least, have less...if this were the case, and it was worded as such in your standard, I recon it would not take too long at all in the grand scheme of things before you were producing dogs no one would have room to talk about...;-) Ian.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Morphology is a very poor way to classify dogs, which is what you all are doing when you say that Neapolitan mastiffs are ancient.

    When early naturalists used morphology to trace the origins of domestic dogs, many of them argued that the dhole was the dog's ancestor. If you ignore the dhole's teeth, the skull is very similar to the average, mid-sized dog. Dholes are more readily tamed than modern wolves are, and dholes are red, as are so many "primitive" domestic dogs. Great theory. One problem: Dholes cannot interbreed with domestic dogs. Wolves can.

    Morphological analysis led tor error.

    The same goes for a rumor that circulated on the 'net a few years ago about how chihuahuas were derived from fennec foxes. They look alike, don't they? Of course, that ancestor is even less likely than the dhole. At least dholes have the same number of chromosomes, and actually should be classified as members of the genus Canis if black-backed jackals and side-striped jackals are.

    Both of these are good reasons why you cannot use such superficial analysis that says "Well, these mastiffs look like the ones they had in ancient Rome, so they must be the same." Dog morphology is very malleable, and you cannot use it to trace descent with any degree of accuracy.

    ReplyDelete
  109. I absolutely agree with the comment above! I once read a very wise statement from a man who bred dogs...Give me a Greyhound and ten generations...I will give you an Italian Greyhound back!

    Very very easy to selectively breed for a characteristic 'look' you want in an animal. Especially those that breed quickly...like mice, hamsters, guinea pigs and poultry! It would not take a genius to create a very large, heavily skinned mastiff type dog if you gave him the right two animals to start with...

    About twenty years ago, I owned a red staffordshire terrier and afriend of mine had a rottweiler bitch that he said was 'boring.' He kep tbull terriers previous to this...so, we mated my Stafford to his Rottweiler...he kept two dogs from it...one was red in colour, the same size and shape as a Rotty, they other was black and tan like a Rotty and the same kind if size, but the same shape as a Stafford...ONE generation. ;-) Ian

    ReplyDelete
  110. I have had 'mutants' for nearly 20 years now and all I feel that 'if its not a Neo it's just a dog'. You have to live with these guys to truly appreciate what they are and how different they are from other breeds.

    ReplyDelete
  111. At least some intelligent comment has finally made it's way here. Well said Ian The unfortunate thing about blogs like this is that people who have never seen Neo's in the flesh and IMO some of the above never seen one before they looked at these photos which were selected to portray Mastino in the worst possible light.
    I have a few quick comments then I'm leaving this alone.
    My neos are almost feline in their movements. They can easily clear 5 feet. I had to put up a bigger gate.
    They can out walk and out run me. Mind you I am no Olympian, however I do not expect them to be either.
    I agree with fit for porpose dogs, however very few dogs kept as pets are required to be anything other than companions and a welcome addition to the family.
    As a relatively scarce breed it will not be that quick to change the apperance and ensure they keep the tempermant and other qualities desired.

    I love my dogs the way they are and make no apologies for that. A little less wrinkle on top of the head would be ok, but I don't want a big Lab or a small Dane.
    I agree less line breeding would be a help. There is a small gene pool and it can not happen overnight.

    I believe health should be discussed accross all pedigree breeds, and neo breeders should not be singled out for insult and derision.

    Anyone with a semblance of common sence knows there are 2 sides to every story, and for the rest they have probably forgotten they posted ther nonsence comments already.

    Paraic Sheridan

    ReplyDelete
  112. I think any sensible person out there who owns a pedigree dog of any breed should in fact be very worried about this crazy women, I just came back from a big dog show here where in fact our Neapolitan Mastiff won runner up best in group against 24 other dogs, the judge commented "what a beautiful, functional looking dog I was moved watching you exhibit him" this is the type of feeling a Neapolitan Mastiff is meant to stir up inside "true dog fanciers" not some media nut picking a so called easy target to make her next pay check taking unflattering pics and over dramatizing the uneducated and mis informed general public.
    I actually think she should be ashamed of herself, where is her proof of actually having her hands on this breed??

    Be careful other dog breed owners , pugs, basset hounds, poodles,Saints,dobermans, etc she will try to get her next pay check rubbishing these breeds soon also.

    Get a hobby !

    ReplyDelete
  113. tommyc2004
    Thank you, that is the sort of reasoned, constructive comment which has done more to defend your breed than virtually everything else on here. I wonder if Jemima will take you up on your offer?

    ReplyDelete
  114. To give scientific proof on the brittish stock you actually have to start hip scoring your dogs..

    Here in Sweden I must say that the Mastinis are very "moderate", with less excessive skin than other in countries. The Swedish bred ones are very moderate compared to the imports. This is a country where health is usually a higher priority in the breed clubs and a couple of mastinos are HD and AD scored, the majority are obviously from breeding stock.

    Unfortunately hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are VERY common in the breed. Actually it is more common to have a low hip score than a good one. It is also very common that dogs with really low hip scores are mated to each other, which generally tells you that there's not a lot of other material to use in the breed. The breed only lives 6-10 years, and that is NOT on average, a normal breed has 10 years as *an average age*.

    So here's your scientific proof from a breeding stock focused on health and moderate dogs. They do suffer from HD/AD/eye problems/skin problems etc. even if you try your best. There is a severe need for outcrossing and focus on health and function rather than exterior. There is no need for a ban but the breed club needs to start focusing on more moderate dogs that actually look like the old beautiful type (that not even the current swedish moderate dogs look like).

    ReplyDelete
  115. "How can they be in pain from their saggy skins? You've seen fat people havent you? Do you think they are in pain? People are very much over exaggerating here. If you dont like the breed.. fine. But dont comment on here saying things which are so untrue. Lets have a look into other breeds - small dogs, do you think they like being kept in handbags? No, maybe we should ban them! What about the Shar Pei? They have the loose skin and eye problems - lets ban them too. So small-minded...."

    I find it very odd that to illustrate your justifying "saggy skins" you select "fat people" where health concerns are well known. And yes, a lot of fat people do experience a great deal of pain. One would think a better example to defend wrinkles would be elderly people LOL!

    Seriously though, the Shar Pei breeders have done a lot to reduce the welfare issues associated with the wrinkling in that breed, because they first accepted that there were problems and that action needed taking. It seems a lot of folk commenting here are somewhat in denial and are not wanting to even consider the possibility that changes could be neeeded. Can you, hand on heart, honestly say your dogs would not be better off with less wrinkling and tighter eyes?

    ReplyDelete
  116. Even if they had of compared Neo's to elderly people someone would have had something to say about health

    ReplyDelete
  117. From a Neapolitan mastiff rescue in the UK:


    "Rough housing with a pup, either by children or older dogs, can lead to permanent injury to the hips and elbows. If you think that your dog should go on long runs with you, get a different breed. Most breeders will even recommend against frequent trips up and down the home stair case."

    http://www.bullmastiff-rescue.org.uk/neapolitan-health-issues.shtml

    There's something wrong with that.

    Puppies should be able to play.

    ReplyDelete
  118. To condense a subject as complex as genetic health and disease of living organisms for the purpose of a discussion on an 'approved comment' blog such as this is not really feasible.

    But for those interested parties, I have spent the past 15 years studying all aspects of the Neapolitan Mastiff. Travelling extensively, seeing thousands of dogs, studying, interviewing many old and new breeders, educating myself via medical professionals both here and abroad and only in the past five years I can say I have reached an acceptable level of total awareness.

    No one is denying that testing in this breed is in its infancy, but breeders are now starting to understand the benefits and put yet more of their hard earned money and time to undertake it. Admittedly we are lagging behind many more well established breeds at the moment but continued education via the breed club magazines, seminars and all available forums where people can be encouraged to progress, will continued to be utilised effectively.

    Now I am sure this kind of detail doesnt make for exciting reading on a blog, boring tales of people working their guts out for years to make baby steps forward and then have to endure interference from the hysterical Ms Harrison forcing two steps back.

    Do you really believe all owners and breeders of Neapolitan Mastiffs here in UK are cold hearted uncaring individuals getting some kick out of living with ill and deformed dogs? That we are insane or delusional with endless supplies of money to burn at the vet? That we do not care about the dogs we bring to the world? No, we love our dogs, we are devastated as all other owners when they get sick or if one is lost before its time. Therefore we are just as committed to ensure they stick around for as long as possible with a good quality of life, just like all other normal owners. We just like a dog of the unusual and rare variety but striving to make sure their present and future is a good one. In order to do that, is necessary to understand their (more recent) past.

    By the way, since my original post there has been no response from Ms Harrison. I dont expect it, as she clearly has no interest in learning anything at all. Her opinion based on seeing less than 50 dogs in her lifetime, being hands on with none to my knowledge and never met any in a natural environment. Yet she is more of an 'expert' any of us!

    Yes, this person is very much an animal rights activist. If she cares primarily about welfare her attention would be completely engulfed by the many thousands of dogs the length and breadth of the country locked up in sheds 24/7, tied with rope or chains to line posts in overgrown gardens next to the garbage bags, in high rise flats, locked in rooms with floors swimming in their own faeces and urine, never taken to to the vet. A problem that needs her media attention to attempt to change, leaving scarce time to worry about a handful of Neapolitan Mastiffs at a dog show, you would think. But as I have said before, here is a person with ulterior motives and agenda, trying to portray themselves as someone entirely reasonable and caring.

    As an aside, my own 'mutant' dogs are trained and exercised daily by myself and my husband, a professional sportsman and Olympic sprinter. We both believe that correct character, type, health and soundess are all equally important elements to make a breed what it should be.

    Best regards to all,

    Kim Slater

    ReplyDelete
  119. So Jemima Harrison your solution to a breed problem is ban them. What sort of person are you. You are no animal lover. All dog breeds have there problems and all responsible breeders try to eliminate these problems. I am glad you are not in any position regarding the human race as anyone with cancer, eye diease, HIV or any of the other thousands of dieases humans suffer would have to be banned as well. Do you know how stupid you sound. So have you received the response you as a writer, director and editor, journalist are looking for. How low does a person have to stoop to make money? The people who are responding by saying nasty things about other dog breeds problems are no better then you. How many pictures did you take of the Neos on the day Jemima Harrison, lots I expect but you only posted ones that try to distort the way naive people see these beautiful dogs. I expect you your family and friends all look good in every picture that is taken of yourselves. I dont think so. Why dont you post a few of those pictures so we can all judge you and see if you should all be banned. If you were really trying to help dog breeds over come problems you would be in sensiable discussions with the breeders. Look outside the square Jemima Harrison and be realistic.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Jemma everyone has an absolute right to express thier personal opinion and I agree with some of your observations and as you profile yourself as somewhat as a pedigree dog expert I welcome your comments on the photos contained in the album below:
    http://img689.imageshack.us/g/sdc11120jt.jpg/

    these are my dogs and I invite you to express openly and honestly your expert opinion on this forum.Please be honest I have broad shoulders and will not retaliate in an abusive manner no matter the nature of your comments ,good or bad.

    Andy Uk

    ReplyDelete
  121. To whoever said you can take a bad picture of any dog--I would challenge you to take a picture of my collies that would make anyone who looked at it cringe in horror. You couldn't do it. These Neapolitan mastiffs look HORRIFYING. They look SO unhealthy and it's not just the wrinkles--their body conformation is TERRIBLE. Anyone who thinks otherwise is in serious denial. And you know what? These pics are no different from the pics you see on Neapolitan breeder websites. THIS IS WHAT THE DOGS LOOK LIKE. How dare you attack Jemima for raising public awareness of these FREAKS OF NATURE that actually are freaks of mankind...nature has NOTHING to do with them!!

    And when you factor in the hip dysplasia (50% of x-rays submitted to OFA are dysplastic--and we all know people don't even bother submitting the worst x-rays); the demodex, the entropion; the cherry eye; the heart disease; and everything else...I think it's very reasonable to suggest that maybe this breed should just be put out of its misery. Assuming none of its breeders are willing to consider an outcross. Which I would be willing to guess they aren't.

    ReplyDelete
  122. I dare to attack Ms Harrison 'anonymous' as I LIVE WITH my dogs on the mountain here in Wales, run in the field, by the river, plough through the recent heavy snow and wrestle with the tyres I have hanging from the trees around here. I watch them patrol my boundaries. I get pleasure seeing them interact in the family group and live a great natural dogs life. Better than most pets incarcerated in houses bored out of their brains whilst their owners trot off to work or take the kids to football.

    As for how cruel we are to puppies not allowing rough house play, its true you cannot take a giant breed pup like a Neapolitan Mastiff on a 10 mile hike or allow him to leap around indiscriminately, but that doesnt mean they do not exercise or enjoy normal interaction. It means you have to put more care and thought into how you do it than with a smaller breed.

    As Breed Health Co ordinator I test my dogs, as I also imported on Pet Passport Scheme the results of those tests are not available on the KC website, but I am more than happy with hip scores much lower than the BVA means score for the breed. The last one was RH3/LH3,6, my lowest yet.

    I had one dog with localised demodex in all these years which appeared when he got sick, 7 out of my current 9 dogs have never had a cherry eye, none with ec/entrian surgery, in all these years of ownership I lost only 1 dog before his 8th birthday (the one who got demo) my oldest lived to 11.5. So, I dont believe my dogs should be 'put out of their misery'

    Outcross?? If you knew anything about the recent history of the Neapolitan Mastiff you would realise what an ignorant and laughable statement that is.

    Whats encouraging is some of the sceptic posters from here have taken the time to check out my Facebook page and I have received many compliments on my dogs as a result. Obviously, not all are as narrow minded as some so its been a worthwhile venture to post here.

    For that I can thank Ms Harrison for providing another (unlikely) platform where its been possible to provide some education on the Neapolitan Mastiff.

    Kim Slater

    ReplyDelete
  123. Why do people want to brand these dogs as "FREAKS OF NATURE" in caps like Anonymous. I call you all predjudiced and racist. Have you ever owned one of these dogs? Who appointed you as the All Mighty know it all? All breeds have their exeptions and have their own challenges. Who cares about your "perfect collies", for people like you the world should be filled with Collies, poodles and spaniels as the rest of dogdom is either stupid, ugly or unhealhy.

    ReplyDelete
  124. as the owner of 3 happy healthy Neapolitan mastiffs i am appalled at the comment "to be put out of their misery"
    I would strongly urge anyone of that opinion to educate themselves a little bit more about Neo's before jumping to such an outrageous opinion
    I am highly insulted that my wonderful pets are considered to be "freaks of nature" just because someone who knows clearly nothing about the breed does not find them aesthetically pleasing
    I am proud to be an animal lover and under no circumstances would i ever keep an animal in pain or discomfort or make them endure any illness so i do also take exception to the opinion to the tone that to own/breed Neos is considered to be an act of cruelty
    Mutants-????? what are you- twelve years old??
    I would urge you to get your facts in line & perhaps familiarise yourself with some mutant freaks of nature before you continue to show everyone how little you know

    mutants!!! -
    Ita M G

    ReplyDelete
  125. This discussion has just proved the truth in the old saying "you can't judge a book by it's cover". It is so easy to be judgemental given a sensationally presented topic (something which Jemima specialises in). There are always at least two sides to every situation, even one which appears to be cut and dried.

    This has also demonstrated very well how attack, as a means of generating change, is rarely sucessful. Jemima critisises the Kennel Club for continuing to allow the regestration of Neapolitan Mastiffs, but their approach is working with breeders to resolve problems with a breed rather than antagonising those who are in a position to make a difference and then expecting them to be cooperative in implementing new initiatives. This is the whole issue with PDE and Jemima's approach- while it makes for good headlines, it does not really help in the long run. Something dog trainers have realised, better results are gained from reward based methods than harsh punitive ones.
    Nevertheless, a bit of self-examination once in a while is no bad thing!

    I'll admit this breed is not for me and the pictures do look very depressing but I am heartened to read some of the more recent comments by NM breeders/owners. I'm sure there is a positive future in store for this breed.

    ReplyDelete
  126. im here now with my "mutants"
    They are so gentle & kind & so so very intelligent
    im still totally outraged at how ignorant can be & i think its pretty clear that Neo Breeders/Owners will not accept that the breed be spoken of like this
    My dogs,may not be conventionally beautiful, but to me ( & the hundreds of strangers who have stopped to admire & pet them) are nothing short of amazing & noble, people are in awe of their gentle nature & their friendly happy disposition & "beautiful dogs" is avery common discription
    They are not mutant freaks, they are simply Neapolitan mastiffs & anyone who has ever had the privillege of owning one will tell you what a truly wonderful companion they are.
    Ita Matthews-Gilbourne

    ReplyDelete
  127. Thank you Julia for your compassionate and understanding words. Rest assured, we will continue to strive to produce Neapolitan Mastiffs in UK that enjoy normal lives, able to perform their function and also enter the world of show should their owners choose, and continue to work to eliminate hereditary weaknesses (prevelant in all breeds) by means of study and making educated decisions when breeding.

    I agree with you, Ms Harrison specialises in sensationalist propaganda in a democratic society enjoying freedom of speech. But this is actually the first time she has completely singled out a breed for attack. Before this they have been part of a collective group.

    I come from a legal background and am currently researching to see if any legal precedent has been set anywhere in the world for breed discrimination without any real scientific data to support the slanderous comments that Neapolitan Mastiffs are mutants that should be banned.

    Its the type of thing in America that would have a heavy duty class action lawsuit stamped all over it. In UK we tend to be far less legally aggressive over these kinds of issues.
    However, I suggest Ms Harrison and her supporters do the same homework on this. A few pictures and an uneducated biased opinion does not qualify as factual evidence. Any decent reporter knows they have to have evidence to be able to justify what they write about, or it can bankrupt them.

    ReplyDelete
  128. There's a turn of phrase I've always liked, used when describing a being who is happy, in command of himself, not anxious, self-fulfilled:

    "At home in his own skin."

    It never occurred to me that human beings would deliberately create an animal -- one they purport to "love" -- to whom that phrase could literally never apply.

    Years ago I trained a Neo bitch who was -- well, beautiful on the inside. Lovely temperament. I thought she was extreme, physically. That was naive. Sofia was a panther compared to these dogs. But she was born a decade or more ago. She hadn't been sufficiently "improved."

    "Mutant" is both technically and colloquially correct. The genes that govern skin development and connective tissue in these dogs are deleterious mutations. "Deleterious" -- a nice technical-sounding word for "bringer of pain and sickness."

    I've been watching video from both Crufts and Westminster. The dogs trying to move. Trying to start. Trying to catch themselves falling in front because they are so downhill. Testicles hanging to the hocks because of the connective-tissue weakness. Those who have abused and debased the German shepherd genome chasing after ribbons have got nothing on the Neo breeders.

    Have you no shame?

    ReplyDelete
  129. i have been seriously considering purchasing a neo pup can anyone out there catagorically prove that these dogs are unhappy or un heatly in any way? or are you just imposing how you would feel if you looked like that on the world! ban a breed how stupid i remember another occasion when some bloke decided that a certain culture needed to be erased! 1939-1945 ring any bells?

    ReplyDelete
  130. Heather Houlahan I would like to reply to a couple of your points you have raised. You mentioned a Neo Bitch ‘Sofia’ who moved like a panther. Whilst you may not have interpreted the movement of the neo’s in the videos you watched, the Neapolitan Mastiff on the whole does resemble the movement of a large cat. Something that is commented on greatly by those involved in other breeds when I take my young boy to dog training. And in my short time within the breed, I have seen the majority of Neapolitan’s move in this way, although as with any breed and humans, some will move far better than others.

    Secondly you raise the issue of breeding and ‘improvements’ made to mastino. Of course it can be argued that man has had a detrimental impact on the breed, as with all breeds and many other animals. However what is not clear is what ‘natural’ evolution would have occurred? I won’t lie or make excuses about the fact that some people have done the breed an injustice and bred inappropriately. But this can be said again about all dog breeds surely.

    Without doubt some mastino are overdone, with litters producing a wide range of varying puppy’s, but if we are to view those that aren’t quite right as mutants as you suggest, then historically these puppy’s would have been disposed off, so are you suggesting we do this? Do we not need varying characteristics within the gene pool in order to maintain a breed?

    You talk about weakness in tendons and joints, the vast majority of mastino I have seen are strong and fit, and move freely. As I posted earlier mine regular run 3-4 miles up and down sand hills - yet for many in the breed they say his back end appears weak. I can assure you he is far from weak, as he chooses to go up and down them rather than the easy path around them!!! If you understand the back end of a dog you would be aware conditions such as ‘cow-hocked’ are for the whole a cosmetic description and do not represent a weakness in the back end, as most german-shepherd breeders will tell you. What is your thoughts on those that do health-screen there dogs, I know breeders who hip score, worked tirelessly to breed out conditions such as cherry-eye with success. Where is your praise to congratulate them for their hard work, rather than damning them with the now smaller minority who mistreated the breed?

    ReplyDelete
  131. "Secondly you raise the issue of breeding and ‘improvements’ made to mastino. Of course it can be argued that man has had a detrimental impact on the breed, as with all breeds and many other animals. However what is not clear is what ‘natural’ evolution would have occurred?"

    Here's the deal: Modern dogs are not subject to natural selection or evolution. At all. Humans pick which dogs get to reproduce and who they do it with. In the olden days, breeders picked dogs that would produce the dogs you see from 1965 (or whenever.) Breeders have picked the dogs that produced the animals pictured in this post. They did not 'evolve' more wrinkling than they had twenty or forty or however many years ago. They were selected for it. If they had not been selected for it, they'd still look like the dogs from twenty or forty or however many years ago. In any case, no animal subject to natural selection would evolve such excessive skin around the eyes.

    I am curious to know whether any of the outraged Neo owners on this thread actually own dogs with more moderate skin and wrinkling and if they do, why not post links to pictures?

    ReplyDelete
  132. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bosscat69

    ReplyDelete
  133. "Do you really believe all owners and breeders of Neapolitan Mastiffs here in UK are cold hearted uncaring individuals getting some kick out of living with ill and deformed dogs?"

    No, of course not. I believe most of you just like owning a fancy-looking special dog that looks different from all the rest, and don't mind the fact that your dog has some serious health problems thanks to its unique look. Just like the shar pei people, or the English bulldog people, or the pug people.

    I'm sure you can perform all kinds of mental gymnastics to justify this to yourself, but the fact remains that your breed *is* deformed, its function severely limited and its lifespan reduced - all thanks to the fact that you happen to like the fancy, massive, wrinkly look and don't care about the consequences.

    I'm sure your dogs are nice companions and they don't howl in constant pain, but seriously: hip dysplasia is NOT normal, skin infections are NOT normal, reduced lifespans are NOT normal, eye problems are NOT normal... why pretend otherwise? Why decide to own and breed dogs with a seriously increased risk of these things?

    I don't know what's worse: the pictures here or the attitude of the breed "fanciers" in the comments.

    Finally, a question to tommyc2004 regarding his comment: "I know breeders who hip score, worked tirelessly to breed out conditions such as cherry-eye with success. Where is your praise to congratulate them"

    Well, indeed. Such breeders deserve some thanks at least. So why exactly are you here criticising Jemima and defending these dogs that most obviously were not bred by a breeder who worked tirelessly to eliminate cherry eye (and so on and so forth) and most obviously were not judged by a person who cared about such things? These are the highest-placed neos in the UK show world, and they look like that. Should we all shout cheers? Where are your dogs that do not have cherry eye? Why were they not placed?

    ReplyDelete
  134. http://www.carlyquinn.com/#/playing-with-mastiffs/4532139211

    ReplyDelete
  135. http://s168.photobucket.com/albums/u165/bosscat69/DISCOVERY%20DOGS%202011/

    ReplyDelete
  136. http://s168.photobucket.com/albums/u165/bosscat69/EYES/

    ReplyDelete
  137. http://s168.photobucket.com/albums/u165/bosscat69/EYES/#!cpZZ1QQtppZZ20

    ReplyDelete
  138. A little tidbit from the AKC:

    "The Mastino's type, its unique appearance, was created in the Neapolitan countryside by years of inbreeding. As a result, the traits that make the Mastino an unusual dog: its wrinkles, dewlap, loose skin, enormous bone, and distinct lumbering gait, are created by an accumulation of recessive genes. To breed a sound dog with these attributes is truly an art...and a challenge."

    http://www.akc.org/breeds/neapolitan_mastiff/history.cfm

    If it's an art, then it's a black art.

    I've never seen those words uttered anywhere in the dog world. Normally, inbreeding issues are kept hush-hush when promoting a breed to the general public. But not AKC Neapolitan mastiffs. Their breed club brags about inbreeding and selecting for such bizarre recessive traits that one would have to do a lot of very tight breeding to maintain type.

    http://i1.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/590/draft_lens7912741module66972351photo_1257447387quality.gif

    Check out these two photos, and read the caption. An objective person would have to say that the captions on those photographs would have to be a sign of madness.

    Particularly when one can find dogs just like the one on the right in photographs of the foundational dogs in the breed. The foundational dogs, you know, the ones that actually guarded estates.

    The Neapolitan mastiff that has been created since this is a monstrosity based upon romantic fantasies.

    I just don't understand why breeding such exaggeration can ever been deemed a positive for any animal.

    It's not even eugenics. It's malgenics.

    ReplyDelete
  139. I think there is a way to empirically test which conformation is best fit for function.

    Let's take the "inferior" Neos take them out on all day hike. 4 or 5 miles, no exertion, just a regular hike in normal weather. Then we can have vets examine the dogs for body temperature and blood-oxygen content.

    Then let the dogs rest one hour, and see which ones are ready to go again.

    I think I know which type will have better ability to deal with the heat and which one will be ready to go again.

    3 miles is nothing for a large dog. I have a dog of an entirely different breed that can go three miles, rest for an hour, and go again with no problems. Of course she's of a much more moderate breed whose fanciers have attempted to have a standard based in objective reality. Her body is Darwinian in a sense. Unlike these dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  140. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=120082&id=533865494#!/photo.php?fbid=10150297605435495&set=a.46581100494.120082.533865494&theater

    This is not a pure Neo, but I think my baby is gorgeous and is just the right kind of mastif for me (she is 10 months old in this picture) she is a Neo/cane corso x english mastif (just a note: she has a few more wrinkles now at just over 1yo)

    She is a gorgeous colour, beautiful build and very energetic, with no eye, hip or skin conditions.

    Im not comparing this to a Neo though, I just wanted to post her as I believe she is of perfect nature and health.

    ReplyDelete
  141. (pleats) in relation to the comment from the lady with the collie's. I would like to ask how many off this breed you have had your hands on to make such a remark that there conformation is bad!?!? as i myself have shown NM's and had 1 on 1 contact/hands on experience with many of this breed and have found there conformation very pleasing fitting the "original" breed standard before change by the K.C very nicely (even fitting the criteria of the new standard) i'm not in any form of denial as i would willing stand up and acknowledge my dogs pros and cons!! i have been astounded by the conformation/tempermant off many other breeds as you have the neapolitans i find the breed very loyal and gentle!!,, my own 3year old nephew is very hands on with my own NM and never worry about him being harmed!! i think that if people are not willing to be educated on the breed and/or the issues surrounding the breed then they should just keep there ill-informed comments to there self!! why argue a point which you are not fully educated on!?!? small minded ignorance is a major issue here and not purely these dogs. If people took a positive interest in this breed as they have a negative one!! surly this would benefit the breed far better then righting them off as needing to be "banned" or effectively "destroyed" as that is what is being portrayed by such comments as stopping the demand for these dogs!! if you stop the sale/demand of a breed in time i will be none existent! would you wish death upon somebody's WHWT,, as you thought that its skin condition was offence to the eye!?? the answers no!! or tell someone to seize breeding there chosen breed because you don't care for the way they move/look!!,,Purely because off the bad press and SLANDER from people like ms Harrison this breed has received people have a pre-conceived idea to the cause and cure of this breeds issues!! i watched the exhibiting of the NM's at crufts and did see alot of strong bodied/well moving dogs/bitches including the BOB!! not to mention there is already a noticeable difference in the breeds health and conformation from when i started showing them 7years ago!! these problems will not be corrected in just a day and i no off many breeders who are having hips etc done and making improvements to there chosen line's ,, buying in! from abroad and narrowing the amount they stud said dogs out to stop the problems being made worse!! and have NM's with extremely clean clear VISIBLE eyes and type at the same time!!,, this breed is neither MUTANT! a FREAK OF HUMAN NATURE,, or in need of being banned from the K.C,, however i believe there are certain people should be banned from K.C events as these show are for people to enjoy aswell as compete without fear of being victimized or WRONGLY accused of animal cruelty!!. Many of the dogs exhibited at crufts including the res best bitch/BOB are by far easily capable of carrying out long walks joyfull playing and a generally happy life as easily as any other dogs/breeds i no!! i have worked in top show kennels and am happy to say that this breed are just as normal/healthy/happy/pain free as any other breed i have came across!! you can't tar the whole breed with the same brush!! as i no from experience that there are just as many other breeds in just as bad health/conformation/temperment as there are NM's ALL breeds none exempt have their health issue and publicity issue's!! we should all be focusing on the breeds we have and not be making useless comments against other people's work!,,

    ReplyDelete
  142. Stephen,

    The dogs pictured here are mutants. I don't need to be "fully educated"--I have eyeballs that can see, and I know what a healthy, normal dog looks like. And I'm sorry to tell you--these aren't it. If you like breeding freaks, keep on breeding freaks...because that's what they are. (When I say "put them out of their misery" I don't mean euthanize them, I mean stop breeding the poor things.)

    Incidentally, as far as I can tell almost no pet owners buy these dogs--it's mostly breeders selling to other breeders? It reminds me of the alpaca craze that went on here in the U.S. several years ago. I can't imagine why anyone would choose to own one of these MUTANTS as a pet. I've experienced the heartache of owning a very sick purebred dog--a dog whose sire and dam never should have been bred together--and I sure wouldn't deliberately make that choice again.

    ReplyDelete
  143. You are very bold arent you, Bold, stupid and just plain rude, I feel dumber for just reading your opinion. Just because you dont like the look of a breed it should be "put out of its misery", shame on you, I am an animal carer, and I own a neo, and would own another if i could. They are beautiful dogs, loyal, loving, intelligent (more so than some humans) eg above.

    Best dog I have ever owned and wouldnt own any other breed.

    The saying 'if you dont have anything nice or constructive to say dont say anything at all' definately applies to your statement.

    Atleast some people who are against the breed actually have an arguement, you just dont like the look of them, shallow, stupid and definately not an animal lover. Because any true animal lover wouldnt condemn them just because of the way they look.

    ReplyDelete
  144. One of the biggest problems the neo breed has is that it has too many puppy millers that just happen to have a passion for dog shows.
    Some example has to win Best male and Best female EVEN at Crufts.
    It is like that in many breeds but in the neo breed it seems commonplace.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Surely the easy answer is for the JUDGES to be re-educated and award the prizes to the healthy, stable mastiffs instead of those who clearly have problems due to over-exaggerating some points. Then the breeding of unhealthy dogs will cease and those with a responsible amount of wrinkles and with clear eyes will become more prevailant.

    ReplyDelete
  146. And these are Italian ones. I repeat the question; are the UK ones less extreme? I would say so.

    http://www.delgheno.com/atena.htm

    (Not expecting these comments to be posted)

    ReplyDelete
  147. Superb images which really drive home the issues. Well done, both for the TV programme, and for keeping the issues alive.

    ReplyDelete
  148. To All,

    Today another piece in the jigsaw puzzle has been put into place. As I personally had walked the show benches at Crufts and noted all dogs were with infection free eyes. Then above I see a picture of one displaying a small prolapse so have been trying to figure out which dog it was and now I know! It is a pic of a rescue female, who has only the one eye! She was part of the 'meet and greet' Discover Dogs exhibition, not any dog show. Her owner decided to bring her with his other two Mastini, rather than leave at home and thought it would be nice for her to enjoy a fuss from the public seeing as she has such a sweet temperament. What a cheap shot, Ms Harrison. I hope you feel very proud.

    Retrieverman,

    From your post is appears you have no real experience in rearing or living with any giant breed of dog.

    Lets take the worlds fast man, Usain Bolt, out for a 4 or 5 mile run and compare him to a Kenyan distance runner a quarter of his size (both of African descent) Lets then take the pair of them to run over 100 metres. Which one has the better conformation?? Or is it simply 'horses for courses' my friend?


    'Anonymous'

    Why do you see not many pet people buying Neapolitan Mastiffs as a negative? I see it as entirely positive, because they do not make good pets for many people who live in standard houses and work full time. They are large, smelly, no matter how much you bath them. They eat a lot, they poo A LOT, are demanding, very vocal and need a lot of attention. If they dont get it they do very bad things to wooden and plastic objects. They are stubborn, strong willed and very devious.

    It is a breed best left to those who have a large outside space or those who dont mind living in a house overtaken by their dogs. It took us in UK over 10 years to recover from the damage done by the Harry Potter movie when a lot of people decided it was a good idea to own 'Hagrids dog' and a lot of fly by night breeders decided it was a good get rich quick scheme.

    Jess, the pix you are looking at from 1950s and 60s are not a tue reflection of the breed. It was a bad time in the breeds history where they were almost left extinct after the end of the 2nd world war and were virtually reconstructed by a man called Piero Scanziani. If you look at the dogs he himself started and ended with you will see a vast transformation and as he was a noted historian, you would assume he would have had a clear picture in his mind as to the original type dog he was trying to recreate. I have visited many of the museums and ancient monuments in Southern Italy and its possible to see bas reliefs and statues of very heavy boned dogs with loose skin and double dewlap.

    The evolution you talk about has many factors, the world of show primarily, but also husbandry and socialisation is a world away from what were guard dogs living in very rustic conditions and fed scraps with no human contact apart from their owners. All factors that impact heavily on outward appearance

    Best regards.

    Kim Slater

    ReplyDelete
  149. Kim, the dog with the obviously bad eye was very definitely photographed at the show benches, not at Discover Dogs. I also have a shot of her/him in profile facing the other way and you can see the left eye. Certainly the socket is not sewn up as would be expected if the eye was missing. I have looked at the DD pix - I do not think it is the same dog.

    Jemima

    ReplyDelete
  150. To answer rantahiekkaa said... “Finally, a question to tommyc2004 regarding his comment: " why exactly are you here criticising Jemima and defending these dogs …Where are your dogs that do not have cherry eye? Why were they not placed? “

    Jemima Harrison said the breed should be banned, the breed not just the unhealthy ones but all of them. Do you not find it strange Jemima Harrison has not taken myself or Kim Slater up on our invites? As for cherry eye - none of the dogs there displayed cherry eye. Instead what you can see is Haw, which under the Italian Breed standard their country of origin, was a requirement. Below are links to pictures of my own young Neo who took Best puppy and I would love to know peoples thoughts.

    Now someone has criticised my boy because he does 3-4 miles exercise 3-4 times a week. Well I personally believe that is good exercise for him as he is only an 11month old developing puppy. Come the summer he will be out walking the Lake District with me, and I haste to add after his 3 miles he comes home and plays with my other puppy and my 3 children, no sleeping in his bed unless he chooses to, which isn’t very often.

    I have spoken honestly about the breed (read my posts) there are some issues, there are some bad breeders, there are good breeders and there are improvements being made to the health of these dogs. Slagging the breed of and calling for it to be banned or dropped by the KC will achieve what? If dropped by the KC what regulatory power will there be to try and work with breeders to improve things?

    Please look at the photo’s and debate them, don’t just offer criticism without sound opinion or justification. Of course opinions differ and mine did from the judges, as some like the breed and others don’t.

    http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad135/tommyc2004/l1.jpg

    http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad135/tommyc2004/snow1.jpg

    http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad135/tommyc2004/a1.jpg

    http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad135/tommyc2004/a2.jpg


    http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad135/tommyc2004/photo3.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  151. It seems to me that the answer is not to ban a breed. It is to start seriously rewarding dogs that meet the standard -based on working, health , etc. If the old dogs looked like this:
    http://midgardkennels.wordpress.com/1156-2/
    then why not inform judges that this is the standard? why not require the dogs to demonstrate that they can, indeed, fulfil the function for which the breed was created? (property protection)? REWARD those dogs that meet your old standard (ie, using the dogs from the 1970s or earlier as the standard for appearance). It seems strange that in a world where positive reinforcement is a common byword, so little of it is used regarding encouraging breeders/exhibitors to present dogs that are healthy, sound and capabable. Instead of harping about "banning" a breed, perhaps more effort should be made to provide awards to those who have Neos that resemble those of the past both in looks, health and capabilty?
    P.Richter

    ReplyDelete
  152. P. Richter--Those pictures of the old time Neapolitans really say it all. This used to be a beautiful, functional breed. How depressing what has been done to these dogs, and how depressing that the breeders themselves can't see it. I guess that is what you might call extreme "kennel blindness"?

    ReplyDelete
  153. "Jess, the pix you are looking at from 1950s and 60s are not a tue reflection of the breed. It was a bad time in the breeds history where they were almost left extinct after the end of the 2nd world war and were virtually reconstructed by a man called Piero Scanziani. If you look at the dogs he himself started and ended with you will see a vast transformation and as he was a noted historian, you would assume he would have had a clear picture in his mind as to the original type dog he was trying to recreate. I have visited many of the museums and ancient monuments in Southern Italy and its possible to see bas reliefs and statues of very heavy boned dogs with loose skin and double dewlap. "

    Kim, I have a breed, the Afghan hound, that has been completely changed by the show ring and Western breeding practices. I have done extensive research into the original dogs imported into the West, and as much as I can about the dogs in their native Afghanistan, and Pakistan. I've learned a number of very interesting things, but the number one thing I've learned is that show fanciers such as yourself are very often full of crap.

    Your dismissal of the old fashioned dogs as inferior is extremely typical, and very telling. The 'recreation' of the breed from one person's imagination of how such dogs might have looked, directly parallels the direction taken by early Afghan hound fanciers based on the appearance of one dog, Zardin, who was not a typical representative of the breed by any means. This resulted in Western Afghans becoming an entirely different type of dog from their native progenitors. Because the fanciers who had actually seen these dogs in the flesh in their native countries were so arrogant they felt that *they* knew better what an Afghan hound IS, than a native breeder.

    So, excuse me if I cannot share your absolute faith in your breed's 're-creator.' Dogs with so much skin they cannot see properly and have to have special care to the keep the wrinkles clean and dry must have been very intimidating to the enemies of the Roman legions.

    Let's have some pictures of these statues that show dogs with so much skin that they cannot see, shall we?

    ReplyDelete
  154. From Kim: "The evolution you talk about has many factors, the world of show primarily, but also husbandry and socialisation is a world away from what were guard dogs living in very rustic conditions and fed scraps with no human contact apart from their owners. All factors that impact heavily on outward appearance"

    This is, quite frankly, bullish!t. How the dogs are raised has almost no impact on their appearance, other than some on size and substance due to better nutrition. I own not one, but three different breeds, the Afghan, the Saluki, and the Azawakh, that still have county of origin populations that are raised in rustic conditions; they live outdoors, are fed on scraps, bread and what they can catch on their own, and are born and raised outside. I own Azawakh that are one generation away from Africa, know many people with COO Salukis, and have a friend in Pakistan with Afghans. I also own a Tazi bitch whose mother is Kazakh. These dogs are selected, always, for function first and foremost. And I can tell you right now that the phenotypic changes wrought in any breed over time are due *not* to bringing the dogs into the house out of primitive conditions, but as a direct result of SELECTION BY THE BREEDER FOR THOSE TRAITS.

    DO NOT LIE. The dogs that have so much skin that they cannot see did not evolve that way, they were bred for that appearance. Such extremity rarely occurs by accident. Another commenter stated that puppies with all degrees of skin and wrinkling are born in Neo litters. I believe it. What becomes of the pups with less skin? Petted out, aren't they? Because they aren't 'typey?' Your specious defense of such breeding gives the animals rights activists so feared by other commenters *plenty* of ammunition. What has gotten you so upset is that you can't just exist with these dogs in your own little corner of the universe any more, among people who excuse this type of exaggeration. The public eye is on you, and you cannot even come up with a defense that sounds plausible to the general public. When it comes time to decide whether there should be government oversight of dog breeding, who do you think legislators listen to? The outraged public? Or a tiny minority of dog breeders? Sounds like it's time for the Neo club to hire a PR firm.

    I pity you. I pity you not only because you have such a bad case of cognitive dissonance that you can't see what a deep hole you're digging for yourself, but I pity you because you're like the woman that comes out of the bathroom with her skirt tucked into her pantyhose and her derriere hanging out for all to see. You have no idea how ridiculous you look.

    I also pity myself, because people like you are one of the reasons that dog breeding is no longer a respectable hobby. After reading this thread I am ashamed to call myself a breeder, lest I be lumped in with people who have no respect for the living beings whose appearance they so blithely manipulate.

    Oh, and Kim? I used to keep Great Danes. A giant breed. Mine were moderately sized and not exaggerated. They were perfectly capable of being very active, even as little pups, and not doing permanent damage to themselves. In other words, they were allowed to be dogs. Too bad for some Neos that they don't have even that pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  155. tommyc2004, I wouldn't consider your dog to be too extreme. He appears to have good structure, and not so much wrinkling and skin that he cannot see. If your exercise regime is forced and not free choice for the dog, I would be careful. That type of forced exercise in a young large breed dog can cause severe damage if undertaken before the growth plates have closed.

    ReplyDelete
  156. This thread has been absolutely fascinating. Here are my favourite defences of the indefensible that I’m hearing over and over again:

    1. You don’t know anything about mastinos because you don’t own one. (Maybe one of the reasons we don’t own one, or a dog like it, is because we’ve done the research that shows these dogs are a tragedy in terms of their health and ran in the opposite direction.)
    2. If you look at one of our website you’ll see how wonderful these dogs are. (We are then directed to a website that clearly states the dogs are a tragedy in terms of their health. Talk about pulling the rug out from under your own feet.)
    3. My dog is fine. (Therefore the breed is fine? There’s a huge leap in logic here, commonly found in Dog World, that indicates an inability to distinguish between individuals and population. Also, I refer anyone who uses Argument 3 about their own mastino to the website mentioned in 2 above. Clearly there is a problem.)
    4. My dog has a great temperament. (How is this related to health-compromising breed standards?)
    5. Other breeds are worse. (So what? How does this help the breed in question?)
    6. Responsible breeders are working hard to improve the health of the breed. (So who got these wretched dogs into this mess in the first place? What were you thinking? And why are you trying to convince the world there’s nothing really so very wrong when your own websites say the opposite?)
    7. We’re working on eliminating the hereditary health problems. (How? By screening for genetic problems and thus removing more genes from an already diminished gene pool? i.e. We’ll use more of what caused the problem to solve the problem?)
    8. It’s the judges’ fault (And who chose the judges? And how they get to be judges?)

    The faulty logic exhibited by the defenders of mastinos is often accompanied by the concept that abuse is equivalent to argument. This is unconvincing. It also confirms my suspicion that too many people involved in Dog World do not have enough education to play God, because that’s what breeders do.

    The information is out there. The real science has been done and continues to be done. Unfortunately it is true that while some of it is open-access, too much of it is still published in journals that the people who most need it (breeders) do not have free access to. Access is also difficult even if you do get the articles because in many cases, the science is challenging for those of us who are not specialists in the field. However, if you want to be a responsible breeder, there is some obligation to educate yourself properly on the topic and if you have to pay for a few journal articles from properly peer-reviewed, science-based sources, it seems to me to be a business expense you should be prepared to pay. And if the science is too difficult and you can’t understand it or find someone to explain it to you, you’ve no business messing about with an animal’s genetic and structural conformation using out-dated pseudoscience derived from dodgy and discredited social theory. And while we’re at it, could someone please explain to me what it is exactly that conformation people mean when they say they ‘improve’ a breed. They clearly do not generally mean health and ability to perform a function and I am not sure what’s left.

    ReplyDelete
  157. I have a friend that works for DEFRA after seeing this blog and this story in particular they are now looking into this - WELL DONE JEMIMA :)

    ReplyDelete
  158. When will all of you muppets wake up to the real agenda?? Your Breed IS NEXT.
    Of course this post won't make it but at least the instigator of this abuse will get to see it before she hits the delete button.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Although it may suit you to think otherwise, my 'campaign', if it is such, is driven by the desire to safeguard the future of pedigree dogs by ensuring that they are as deep-down healthy as it is possible for them to be and for those who profess to be their guardians to do right by them.

    Calling for the Neo to be de-registered is prompted by the absolute frustration that more has not been done to put right the problems in this breed in the 10 years or so since it has been registered.

    I do not find it acceptable for people to want dogs with excess wrinkling and flesh because it fulfills some warped aesthetic (particularly when earlier versions of the dog simply didn't have it); or to argue that exposed haw is fine because some idiot in Italy who clearly knew nothing about healthy eye anatomy thought it should be a "requirement". And I cannot even begin to comprehend how anyone could command £1500 for a puppy that has eyes like this:

    http://www.k9puppy.co.uk/PuppiesforSale/NeapolitanMastiff12185.aspx

    All the pictures that have been linked to here in an attempt to show healthier Mastino have been of young dogs, many of which have not yet developed their full wrinkle.

    Sure, the youngsters may play and some may even mannage a three-mile walk (which is really nothing in dog terms - even my 13-yr-old half-blind spaniel manages that every day and my younger dogs do up to 20 miles a day) but where are all the oldsters?

    Dead, I imagine.

    According to the KC/BSAVA survey, the breed mean age of death was just 2.33yrs. And, yes, it was an incredibly low sample size but where's the health survey that has monitored lifespan since? There is nothing on the Club website (which has as its logo an illustration of a dog with cropped ears - something that has been banned in the UK for over 100 years).

    And why were only two Neos hip-scored last year - and only 36 scored in total in the past 10 yrs when a breed mean hip score of 29 and a rolling five year mean of 45 clearly indicates (as you would expect in such a heavy dog) that joint problems are an issue.

    And why, when eyes and hips and I imagine elbows are so obviously problems isn't there a single required health test for the breed under the KC's Accredited Breeder Scheme?

    It's clear from the video links etc posted that many of you love your dogs but conformationally this dog is a disaster and it needs to be re-thought. Quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Jemima, I am amazed you write such sensational rubbish. I totally agree with you more Neo owners need to hip & elbow score and health test, But what would this prove?

    For you it would prove that genetically there hips are poor?
    Rubbish hips are only 1/3 genetic They are 2/3 affected by development/environment. So for me hip scoring is only of use to help plan care / treatment for a dog if issues are identified for later life.

    Comparing a spaniel to a neo in terms of exercise is just pure rubbish. So you want me to allow my young neo to do more, that would be cruelty you silly woman, I said I would be building it up as gets older and his body/joints can take it.

    Here is a question for you Jemima, Post your scientific evidence!!!! Because everybody else take note there is none. Neo owners you must do more and screen to show Jemima is wrong!111 Jemima you base have your crap and yes it is crap on Prof Crisip regarding the Neo eye. In your interview with Prof Crispin she says she based her statement on internet pictures. Not by being hands on with a single neo - that’s amazing. How is that scientifically proving something.

    If I did similar in human health I would be struck off, because everying should be scientifically proven. As for wanting the KC to deregister Neo’s Im happy for that, I can live without showing, my dogs are pets first and foremost. I support you in that for too long the KC and many breeders got it wrong - change is now coming but slowly. But I think Kim Slater is right and actually you don’t care much about the health of dogs and instead have a hidden agenda. Bring your Springer and your Dalmatian and visit me, because I honestly believe I can prove many of your points wrong through honest debate. But you won’t, so far you haven’t, yet many on here even your followers want you too. Come on Jemima do it. I will even submit a piece to the UKNMC on your visit and an open transcript. I have nothing to hide about my dogs or the breed and am 100% honest with no hidden agenda, can you say the same?

    ReplyDelete
  161. "Crap on Prof Crisip" re the Neo eyes?

    You mean Professor Sheila Crispin, internationally-known canine eye expert - Professor of Comparative Ophthalmology at Bristol University, author and co-author of several textbooks on veterinary ophthalmology and a past president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons?

    Just so you know who you are dissing.

    ReplyDelete
  162. Jemima and " Anom" uneducated comments with no proof or substance are making you look foolish.

    A REAL jounalist would study the facts and take up the offer of actually getting there hands on a subject before making wild, hysterical claims about a dog breed they know nothing about.

    I tried to email you also but your contact information seemed to be incorrect.

    Be warned you are on a slippery slope to a pending lawsuit .

    ReplyDelete
  163. Sarah said...

    This thread has been absolutely fascinating. Here are my favourite defences of the indefensible that I’m hearing over and over again:

    1. You don’t know anything about mastinos because you don’t own one. (Maybe one of the reasons we don’t own one, or a dog like it, is because we’ve done the research that shows these dogs are a tragedy in terms of their health and ran in the opposite direction.)
    2. If you look at one of our website you’ll see how wonderful these dogs are. (We are then directed to a website that clearly states the dogs are a tragedy in terms of their health. Talk about pulling the rug out from under your own feet.)
    3. My dog is fine. (Therefore the breed is fine? There’s a huge leap in logic here, commonly found in Dog World, that indicates an inability to distinguish between individuals and population. Also, I refer anyone who uses Argument 3 about their own mastino to the website mentioned in 2 above. Clearly there is a problem.)
    4. My dog has a great temperament. (How is this related to health-compromising breed standards?)
    5. Other breeds are worse. (So what? How does this help the breed in question?)
    6. Responsible breeders are working hard to improve the health of the breed. (So who got these wretched dogs into this mess in the first place? What were you thinking? And why are you trying to convince the world there’s nothing really so very wrong when your own websites say the opposite?)
    7. We’re working on eliminating the hereditary health problems. (How? By screening for genetic problems and thus removing more genes from an already diminished gene pool? i.e. We’ll use more of what caused the problem to solve the problem?)
    8. It’s the judges’ fault (And who chose the judges? And how they get to be judges?)
    THE UK CLUB ACTUALLY ADVISES JUDGES WHAT TO LOOK FOR.

    The faulty logic exhibited by the defenders of mastinos is often accompanied by the concept that abuse is equivalent to argument. This is unconvincing. It also confirms my suspicion that too many people involved in Dog World do not have enough education to play God, because that’s what breeders do.

    16 March 2011 22:22

    Best post so far.

    ReplyDelete
  164. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=272437691033&set=a.272431791033.156148.722316033&theater
    This dog lives on 30 acres and lives most of the year with the temperature around 30c and she runs all day with my other dogs and does not stop playing.
    She can chase a Quad bike for over 700 metres running along side it and loves every minute.
    Yes she will rest for a few minutes like any other dog but as soon as you drive off she is up again in a flash.
    This dog only ever sees the vet on annual check ups and she always get a clean bill of health.
    She is imported from Italy
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=443596776033&set=a.443588666033.244571.722316033&theater

    ReplyDelete
  165. (pleats) i had my NM eye tested at a K.C show and have the paper to prove there is nothing wrong with his eyes! and the breeder also took dogs for eye testing at the same show also passing with the vet saying he was very happy with the eyes of these dogs!!,, its common knowledge that not everyone agrees with the amount of haw on show with a NM's eyes but as was said by tommyc2004 no matter how experienced this Professor Sheila Crispin may be with out her having her hands on a size-able figure of dogs from this breed how can she categorically state any findings on the health of the breed's eyes!??,, scrolling through a few pictures is not research nor is it in any way shape or form a scientific study on the health behind a breeds eye problems!! it is purely you switching a camera on and recording this lady's un-researched opinion!!(no dis respect intended) granted she may be very intelligent and and extremely respectable figure in the veterinary world but with out a correct scientific study her ~OPINION~ can not be taken as fact!! Although i can easily see why you would take such an opinion and portray it as fact as this seems to be the principal on which you work ms Harrison!! very little research and lack of fact and a heavy dosage of slander and bad-mouthing!!,, if your true interest is in to the health of this breed why not put the same amount of passion in to actively working with the UKNMC as i am more than happy to say our secretary ms D.Bucknell is not just easily approachable but would be more than forth coming with the ways in which you could help the breed!! but its a shame to say that your work is purely one sided and you dont care to come out from the sad trouble causing existents you have created yourself behind your computer screen and camera!! i dont understand why so many of the comments on her appear to feel so strongly on the matter at hand yet dont actually care to do something about it or work with us to benefit the breed!! how can you say that its the dogs which you feel sorry for and its our fault yet your saying they should be put out of there misery!?? surely that is far crueler than putting a healthy/HAPPY dog down!! so many times ms Harrison has light heartedly threw around the phrase "ANIMAL CRUELTY" yet the recordings on her very own program were of dogs actually having sezures/fits! which some would say is due to the fact the dogs were TAKEN off there medication so ms Harrison could film them at there worst!!! so i for one shall NOT be taking ms Harrison's word for what is animal cruelty!! as i dont care for the words of a hypocrite!! lastly i add this breed do not live in pain or misery!! u say this dogs in pain as they could possibly one day get bad hips!! if your child/ family member was to fall down the stairs and push there hip out would you fly them to a country were you could legally put them out of misery!!?? NO!! of course not you would take all medical routes available to solve the problem!! a dog is not just a pet or a show dog!! nor are they just breeding stock!! they ARE a member of the family!!!!! which is why people are defending them so strongly and so adiment on even diseatfull creatures like ms Harrison coming to there homes and seeing there dogs happy and healthy! but your own stupidity has brought you to trying to condemn the much loved MEMBERS of another persons FAMILY!!! granted as in any breed there are unhealthy examples!! but we don't post blogs slating your breed and saying that you should seize breeding!!

    ReplyDelete
  166. (to continue from the last comment),, (pleats) i believe that this is all a pointless debate as no-one so strongly opposing to the breed is going to take up any offers on learning further about the side of the breed we are defending!! we are not stupid and no that there is a problem with certain health aspects of the breed but are working towards resolving these to the best of our ability!! no breed will ever be completely free from illness or heredity issues!! all breeds have there clauses! would you so readily jump on the band wagon if there was such a direct and abusive uproar on your chosen breed!!!!! i would never dream of doing or saying such things on other peoples breeds!! its despicable!!

    ReplyDelete
  167. Dear Jess,

    Wonderful, re your Afghan Hounds and the amount of research you have undertaken. I cannot comment further as I know nothing of the breed.
    You know nothing about me, ie show fancier and therefore 'full of crap'. Quite the contrary, I have a reputation as a very bad show person, known to prefer to take the dogs to the beach in my free time than attend dog shows. I have been heavily criticised for not showing and allowing people to see my dogs in that forum. So, now make the effort, not least because in the face of all this negative attention, its really easy for me to take out some dogs with good skin, eyes and conformation to make up the numbers. I undertook the role of Health Co ordinator for the same reason. Its my duty to the breed I love, warts and all.

    Read again my post, evolution has occurred PRIMARILY from show selection, I believe I said, but was simply pointing out its not the only factor. I understand perfectly well without your vitriolic style explaination that when selection becomes imbalanced in any area its to the detriment of a breed. My own ethos is always to consider all aspects as I have stated above and maybe I can have a little influence on others, you think? At least I am proactively doing something instead of pointing the finger without sufficient knowledge to be able to point.

    Imagine in the workplace if you were working your guts out and had a boss who was saying to you all the while 'thats rubbish, not good enough, you'll be sacked', but they offered no solutions, no retraining or support? Youd have a good case against that boss for harassment and discrimination wouldnt you? Think about that in your world of black and white.

    Because thats what each and every one of you knockers are doing, the same as that boss.

    No one said this breed was perfect. No one said everyone is doing everything they should, no one said things couldnt be better. BAN THE MUTANTS NOW is not the way to help.

    Because there are a lot of very nice Neapolitan Mastiffs in the UK that most unbiased folk would call impressive and healthy dogs and its down to those of us who care to keep plugging away so the future is better than the past. There are those committed to achieve it.

    And there are those who prefer to slander instead of help.

    ReplyDelete
  168. First of all, let me say that I have been threatened with lawsuits by dog breeders and it is a complete joke. You have nothing to worry about Jemima. Wear those threats as a badge of honor--you have succeeded in threatening their myopic worldview and they are scared.

    Secondly, excuse us for assuming these dogs pictured at Crufts are accurate representations of the breed. From what all the Neapolitan breeders on this list are saying, it would appear that these pictures actually depict the WORST of the breed, and every Neapolitan who is not at Crufts is a much healthier, less exaggerated dog than these? Well, I also would love to see some pictures of what a "normal" Neapolitan mastiff looks like (apparently nothing like the ones I've seen on all the breeders' websites, since they look exactly like the ones at Crufts).

    I couldn't access the Facebook pictures someone posted--it said I did not have permission to view them.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Hi Kim
    with all the focus on your breed at the moment, and being the health coordinator for your breed, can you tell me what the breed club believes can be done (if necessary) to improve the breed or the breed's image?

    ReplyDelete
  170. lorraine simpson17 March 2011 at 19:48

    puppys. if you go to good breeder of any large breed, they tell you not let it go up and down stairs,let it play when it wants and let it sleep when it wants. i wouldn't walk any young pup for 3/4 miles aday or week. the puppy needs to grow. I have 1 neo and 3 bullmastiffs my youngest bullys are 9 months and have just started going for proper walks, why do people keep going on about walking miles every day with neo's. they are not a gundog and dont need miles every day at any age. this isn't to say this breed at a more sound age of 1 1/2 onwards isn't capable of doing such distance!! just highlighting the fact that people are using spaniels afghans and whippets etc as a guideline! this breed is low energy!! the pics that are on this website was hand pick to wrongly portray the breed. tommyc2004's dog was there that day no pic, also other heathly examples of the breed which are not displayed on this site. the dog who was given best of breed may not be to everyones taste but is healthy and a sound mover. The jugde that day is NOT on the UKNMC jugding list. my opinion is that MR PINTO didnt do a good job with SOME of his placings that day, and there was better movers/constructed dogs/bitches who were over looked.

    ReplyDelete
  171. jess, Having read all of this I doubt you need to pity Kim, She seems perfectly capable of putting forward her argument.
    You have an opinion, You are entitled to it, but that does not make you right, nor does it enpower you to assume what others are thinking.

    Kate, People need to get real. This is not some supreme court where Jemima has been appointed judge, Jury and executioner., The neapolitan mastiff is Not on trial here nor are their breeders. People have simply reacted because of the emotive and biased initial comments which to be fair to Jemima, provoked the required response.
    I was at Dublin Celtic winners show today where My neapolitan Male was admired by countless members of the general public in attendance. All age groups fell in love with him and he basked in glory and has a smashing day. A frind of mine commented that he had never seen such a response to a dog.
    He won best of breed but that was incidental to the day out. I will support my dogs as I would support and stand up for my children. People need to get a little less sanctamonious.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Dear Kate,

    Im not UKNMC committee member but an advisor. This was important from my point of view, to be able to speak freely on such forums as this one and be an independant voice to both the breed club and The Kennel Club.

    So how to improve our image? Basically Kate, a strategy by myself and the UKNMC, of support and education. Encouraging people to health test in greater numbers. Results so far are encouraging, both the scores and the increased number of breeders undertaking, but we need more!

    I think we can offer recommendations to begin with rather than requirements and try to educate people as to the benefits. This is something of a culture change and important it comes from within the breed itself.

    Test, screen, study, learn, attend the seminars provided (the last in November 2010) Educate oneself with regard to diet, living environment and an exercise regime to keep your dog in good health. Too many large breeds are perceived as 'couch potatoes' and this undoubtably affects general health and wellbeing.

    It goes without saying that any evidence on genetic weakness should be used to influence future breeding practices and this can only be a massive positive. I suppose the breeds 'image' will be enhanced when the fruits of our labour become visable not only at the top of the tree but at the bottom.

    The Kennel Club also have their initiatives as 'watchdogs' on which I am sure you are already aware. I can understand the theory of The Bateson Report that you mentioned earlier, but to my experience, nothing motivates someone to want to do better for a breed than have a young dog die in their arms. It happened to me once and I would move hell and high water to never go through that ever again.

    If only now we can be given some much needed time without this sensationalist propaganda style aggravation. Such as the complete 'yesterdays news' stats posted above by Ms Harrison gleaned in 5 seconds online. Any passionate interested individual in such a numerically challenged breed has to work far harder to obtain the bigger picture and I sure you can understand why any of that would be made freely available to someone who has a history of twisting everything to suit their aim. Such as with the above pic of a pet rescue dog with cherry eye being made to look like a top show dog at Crufts!

    ReplyDelete
  173. Surely this discussion is demonstrating the very real need (as stated in the Bateson Report and above) for some hard data to accuratly assess what the situation is. I am really trying to remain impartial in this debate, as I said earlier there are always at least two sides to every story. I don't know enough about the breed (only ever met one NM)or clinical issues, to sit in judgement purely based on asthetics.
    So far, we have been presented with some pictures of dogs accompanied with commentary which states in effect the dogs are suffering. 'Suffering' is difficult to quantify, but is usually percieved as pain. Are these dogs in pain? I would honestly not like to say, simply based on photographs. Are they needing significant and continuous medical intervention to exist? From many of the comments posted it would seem not. Other sources suggest otherwise. However, this does seem to be currently an almost entirely subjective argument. Those who do not own or 'like' the breed are shouting 'cruelty', those who are defending it are stating firmly that their own individual dogs are healthy and fit. What is the truth? What is the real situation? Evidence is needed to support either claim, otherwise we are simply wallowing in personal opinions, which is not ever going to be particuarly helpful. That the breed has health issues is accpeted, but the prevelence and impact of these on the population and individual is seemingly unrecorded. Attacks and tirades, while allowing the writer to let of steam, do very little to enhance the reputation of the poster!
    Jemima mentioned that the breed has only been KC registered for around 10 years. That is a very short timeframe to expect 'improvements' to be made, only 2-3 generations. In addition, when a breed is imported from its native country, the breed type is that of the country of origin. What point is there in going to the time and expense of introducing a new breed, if only to drastically alter it? This is apparently a breed which has recently 'arrived' in it's current form, to all intents and purposes. The developement of the breed occured on other shores. Presumably the same discussions regarding type vs welfare are going on in Italy? What concusions have been reached? This is not simply a UK issue. The breed is here in sufficient numbers that it is likely to remain, KC registered or not. If it continues under the auspices of the KC, far more can be done, both here and abroad, if changes are deemed necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  174. “Jemima Harrison said...
    "Crap on Prof Crisip" re the Neo eyes?

    You mean Professor Sheila Crispin, internationally-known canine eye expert - Professor of Comparative Ophthalmology at Bristol University, author and co-author of several textbooks on veterinary ophthalmology and a past president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons?

    Just so you know who you are dissing. “

    Jemima yes Professor Shelia Crispin who told you the NM eye was faulting and she came to this opinion via looking at images on the internet rather than examining dogs in the flesh.

    Yes Jemima Professor Shelia Crispin past president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons who recommend dogs are vaccinated yearly despite evidence of health risks in doing so and the drugs company’s themselves saying there is no need too.

    Yes Jemima Professor Shelia Crispin leading veterinary opthalmologist with the BVA who do not feature the NM on any of their eye schemes, as a breed who need this test to look for genetic eye faults/conditions.

    Yes Jemima Professor Shelia Crispin former Royal College of Vetinary Surgeons, whos organisation has to my knowledge never made the recommendation that NM’s need a compulsory hip screening.

    You really are a one sided journalist or should be that animal rights activist? Surly you should critical analyse resources you use. One minute your saying images provided are of pups who are not developed and therefore not yet mutants to then criticising pictures of puppies.

    Please people I’m not saying you have to like Mastino but read carefully Jemima’s arguments which are constantly changing as she meets defence!!

    Can you blame NM owners from testing if as Jemima points out the expert - Vets have said there is no need, but made it compulsory for others? Don’t get me wrong I think there should be for all breeds buts that my own opinion!!!

    I’m still waiting Jemima for you to arrange your visit and for us to video it for the world to see as I have nothing to hide, no altering images, just straight forward openess and honesty , from me anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  175. Well said Julia. Amazing how a little detachment can make a differance to the debate..

    ReplyDelete
  176. I think its amazing just how stupid these people are who have never spent a day with the breed commenting like they are all of a sudden over night experts !!

    Really do you know how ignorant, silly and just plain stupid you are coming across as to the rest of the world .

    You really need to know a subject properly and be hands on to be claiming such rubbish.

    To those Anonymous people commenting on a breed you know nothing about here based on a few "cheeky" pics, grow up and get a life !!

    The Neapolitan Mastiff is an awesome breed of dog, you would be amazed if you could see what a few of mine could do such as rounding up cattle , jump five feet vertical, happy healthy robust dogs, that would guard me and my family with there life.

    Learn thoroughly about your subject before making useless , stupid comments you fool!

    ReplyDelete
  177. Hi Kim
    you say you encourage people to health test, and that results are encouraging.
    There are no recommended KC health tests for your breed. What tests are you referring to and where can one access the results?
    Only two NM's were hip scored in 2010? Why so few?
    Can you see the breed club introducing hip scoring for the breed under the ABS in the near future?

    ReplyDelete
  178. Maria Arnold
    I don't know about UK, but there are breed clubs all around the world. You can check in Europe ( Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, etc) USA, South America (Mexico, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, etc)ATIMANA is the main Breed Club, it is the mother of all. I am from Portugal, I have 4 Neos, I intend to have as many as I can. I love this breed and I won't change it for nothing. Can't you just let us to be happy?

    ReplyDelete
  179. To all Neopolitan Mastiff breeders who are here defending their breed of choice (although I'm not sure why since they don't seem to hold Jemima in any sort of regard anyway -- no offense Jemima!)

    Is this true: the breed is prone to: "HD/AD/eye problems/skin problems"

    Is this also true: they do not make good pets for many people who live in standard houses and work full time. They are large, smelly, no matter how much you bath them. They eat a lot, they poo A LOT, are demanding, very vocal and need a lot of attention. If they dont get it they do very bad things to wooden and plastic objects. They are stubborn, strong willed and very devious. " ?

    If so; I would suggest NOT worrying about any damage (perceived or otherwise) that you seem to feel is being done by Jemima; and start on some serious PR for the breed; because those statements above ^^^^ do not attract me towards a Neo at all; never, and I own a mastiff; a working mastiff, who doesn't have these special Neo issues.

    Oh and I think you'd all like to accuse Jemima of LIBEL (slander is for the spoken word), but only if her written word is FALSE or MALICIOUS -- which if you noted the number of posters who also think the Neo pictures are of Mutants and the defenses for Mutant-dogs are ridiculous; I think you'd realize there was very little false or malicious about them. The only real claim here would be if someone chose not to buy your Neo due to Jemima's statements -- and apparently by the postings of those with exaggerated dogs at expos; GQP is still very interested in "large, smelly, no matter how much you bath them. They eat a lot, they poo A LOT, are demanding, very vocal and need a lot of attention. If they dont get it they do very bad things to wooden and plastic objects. They are stubborn, strong willed and very devious."

    Jen and Dora (the functioning South African Boerboel)

    ReplyDelete
  180. Kim, the dog with the obviously bad eye was very definitely photographed at the show benches, not at Discover Dogs. I also have a shot of her/him in profile facing the other way and you can see the left eye. Certainly the socket is not sewn up as would be expected if the eye was missing. I have looked at the DD pix - I do not think it is the same dog.
    says the author..

    sigh..

    taking a photo of a dog.. and posting it.. not knowing which dog.. or what sex.. or even knowing exactly where the photo was taken.. the sign of a true journalist..? no. what happened to the basic code of journalism.. who , what, why, where and when? a bit too much for our author..
    as for the Neo's.. while not everyone's "cup of tea" I do have to say.. the owners and breeders are passionate..I didn't think anyone could out post the bully group.. ( ps.. to whom ever posted about "pit bulls" being violent.. BITE ME and get a life..)
    BUT.. to Little Miss Zed.. thanks for the best post I have ever read..absolutely wonderful.. please let me use " erroneous sandbaggers and fallacious obscurantists like yourselves! " it will certainly come in handy.. both in writing and verbally..good to see people defending their dogs.. and the right to breed them..gosh for was while there I thought the author had been out for tea.. or something.. or perhaps "taking the piss"

    Author.. let us know how those visits go.. looks like there is more than one opportunity to report back on the Neo breed and their owners.. I am sure you can not refuse such an opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  181. Dear Jen and Dora,

    You are missing the point. If people STILL wish to own a Neapolitan Mastiff or Mastino (forgive me but Neo is such an 'americanism' and incorrect abbreviation as the spelling is NeApolitan) after reading my description above, it means they will probably be a good owner and suitably prepared. A lot of dog to have around the place who simply do not lie on the rug or have the soft demeanor their outward appearance suggests.

    If you are the owner of a Mastiff without these issues, then wonderful. I have owned several Mastiff breeds and none like a Mastino, they do have a very unique character and of course, the physical aspect which is the highlight of this thread.

    I have a rescue dog here at the moment who was bought on a whim, left inside a house for 12 hours a day and then beaten within an inch of his life when his owners returned home to find what he had been up to in his absence. He was 20 kilos underweight for his age, hit the deck every time a voice was raised and had no social skills around people or other dogs. Dogs like this one are the result of indiscriminate breeding and selling pups to unsuitable folk and its a problem people in the breed take responsibility for. Therefore, an anti PR campaign highlighting the negatives of Mastino ownership has always been the stance taken by owner/breeders

    My very good friend in Holland has both Mastini and Boerboels at her farm and so I do know something of the breed and how they function. A dog I imported a few years ago did his pet passport there and so I visited a lot...both her Boerbels and Mastini were sufficiently active and 'full on' to make me eat dirt!

    Kate,

    You are correct there is very little on Mastino health on the KC website. With regard to ABS, Imet with Mr Bill Lambert (Im sure you know the KC ABS co ordinator?) following the Breed Health Seminar at the end of November 2010. KC members were there, judges and other interested parties which unfortunately did not include Ms Harrison!. Mr Lambert then wrote to the UKNMC committee with a list of his recommendations which was discussed at their recent meeting and a positive response returned. I think I have already covered thoughts as to why these should be recommendations rather than requirements at this stage in an earlier post.

    I myself am a member of the ABS which you can see on the KC website. I am committed therefore to testing my dogs for hips, eyes and the other things I do as all good owners, as a matter of course during annual health checks. I lead by example in my role, yes?

    I am also the UK contributing member to the Mastino Health Foundation, a panel of people in USA who include medical professionals and they will be releasing their own list of recommended screenings shortly. When they become public I will share but can tell you they are very similar to those agreed between myself and Mr Lambert.

    The MHF also has a magazine (available to purchase online) called Mastino Pulse, a health driven initiative with input from all over the world. The next edition due in May/June focuses on eyes. UK owners continue to contribute to the latest survey comparing the predisposed condition of cherry eye in NMs and their close cousins, Cane Corso, who also suffer the condition, but who's eyes display no haw.

    Julia, once again you are very insightful in your accurate observations. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  182. Jen and Dora

    Forgive me, I forgot your question as to the truth of HD/AD/eye problems/skin problems in the breed.

    The honest answer is sometimes, just as Boerboels CAN suffer from wobblers syndrome, weak immunity, allergies, poor eye confomation and vaginal hyperplasia. But of course, probably not your funtional ones, right?

    ReplyDelete
  183. A little off topic here but just to respond to an earlier comment:

    "The information is out there. The real science has been done and continues to be done. Unfortunately it is true that while some of it is open-access, too much of it is still published in journals that the people who most need it (breeders) do not have free access to. Access is also difficult even if you do get the articles because in many cases, the science is challenging for those of us who are not specialists in the field. However, if you want to be a responsible breeder, there is some obligation to educate yourself properly on the topic and if you have to pay for a few journal articles from properly peer-reviewed, science-based sources, it seems to me to be a business expense you should be prepared to pay. And if the science is too difficult and you can’t understand it or find someone to explain it to you, you’ve no business messing about with an animal’s genetic and structural conformation using out-dated pseudoscience derived from dodgy and discredited social theory."

    Sarah, the research to which you are referring is frequently being quoted by those who wish to critisize purebred dogs and the dog show community (worldwide -not just the UK). For those who are interested the cost is $31.50 which is almost £20. That is not exactly cheap, especially in these times of austerity. You say it is a 'business expense breeders should be prepared to pay', however the majority of those who breed for the show ring are doing it as a hobby, not a business. Those who regard breeding dogs as a 'business' are generally not going to be interested in the research anyway.

    I think from reading the abstract, that some of the 'disorders' mentioned include coat and colur. An excess of coat, while perhaps a welfare issue if incorrectly maintained, can hardly be classed as a 'disorder'. As for colour, I am fairly certain what is being referred to, and it is only an issue if two animals of the same colour are bred together, even then the outcome in not certain to be disaster. It is also far from a 'disorder'.
    My point is that this type of research provides detractors with a nice headline. "Every one of the 50 most popular breeds has a disorder relating to the breed standard" but it is likely that some of the 'disorders' will have very little, if any, relevence to the majority of dogs in the breed.

    Furthermore, what you regard as "out dated pseudo science" has in the past served all types of animal breeders very well indeed. It is mis-application of the principals by people who are not versed in the subtleties, knowledge and expertise (which the stockmen and women of the past had in abundance) which causes the most problems. The current thinking suggests that the only way to breed animals is by numbers. The recent developements in science are certainly most helpful but even they will not make a significant difference if not combined with a good level of that old-fashioned, dwindling concept - stockmanship.

    Who would breed the better dog, the scientist who selects the sire and dam based on their 'numerical fitness' or the experienced breeder who has the knowledge gained over many generations? The scientist's dog may look better on paper but have a horrendous temprement because the two parents he chose come from lines which are incompatible. Dismiss the expertise and knowledge of good breeders at your peril!

    ReplyDelete
  184. Oh for the love of.. Julia: The difference between a geneticist and a breeder is that the geneticist knows that just the paper WON'T be enough, whilst a breeder can somehow believe that knowledge of lines will be enough.

    Give me ONE well educated geneticist that says breeding is only a matter of paper and numerals and I will eat my shoe! NO ONE is denying the fact that there are other things than just the genetic tests and breed coefficients that make a good breeder. But you CAN'T just pick one piece of this giant complex puzzle and think it'll be fine- you need EVERY SINGLE TOOL to be a successful, responsible and skilled breeder. This INCLUDES health testing, coefficients, predictions a.s.o. But it also includes a large social network, knowledge of what lines can be bred to each other, knowledge of dog anatomy & physiology & breeding, skill and a touch of luck.

    Without all of these components you'll be nothing but a person who produces dogs. Breeding is so much more than that; it's the advancement of our breed and its future we're protecting. You may be successful in the show ring but that does not necessarily mean that it is what's best in longterm for the breed. That's what we always have to ask ourselves. Testing our stock, being open about their faults and the breed health issues, being cautious and making changes in the breed standard is a lot better than just running around screaming bloody murder when people criticizes your breed. Unless you start testing your stock and proving that they have no health issue you have no evidence of the UK stock being healthier than the Swedish one.

    It's NOT enough for some breeders to say that the dogs sitting in their lap currently have nice hip scores- if the breed mean is bad it means that the breed doesn't have much breeding stock with clear hips to use. I have my proof from a tested stock where health is a primary issue and still the hip and elbow scores are bad and skin problems & eye infections are a problem.

    Kim Slater: since you're so well read up on the breed you must be familiar with the Swedish breeding stock? You would also know that they do test their stock and take priority in health issues. Yet you do still say that there is no evidence for low hip scores in the breed. Frankly it is silly of you to overlook this and pretend it doesn't exist or isn't valid. These dogs are continuously imported and bred to a less extreme variant and still they have a large amount of health issues.

    ReplyDelete
  185. Slater: Actually a Cane Corso can also have eyes similar to Mastinos'. .

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_0BuvID10bgY/TFcwPbb0f4I/AAAAAAAACqU/keJHqtQ4Gr0/s1600/georgia_soft.jpg

    As I have understood it from talking to breeders there are different types of CC's that vary in how heavy they are. Some are closer to Mastinos and others are a bit more.. "boxer-ish slim". This also means that their eyes will differ depending on how heavy they are and how much excess skin they will have.

    ReplyDelete
  186. Julia, are you suggesting that:

    1) a "scientist" (by which I assume you mean someone who isn't suspicious of science) would not take temperament into account when choosing what dogs to breed, or

    2) putting two dogs with wonderful temperaments together could somehow create puppies with "horrendous" temperaments, and only a breeder who doesn't believe in science would be able to predict this outcome?

    I disagree strongly with your suggestion that breeders of the past were somehow superior to breeders today. Breeders have always used the same methods, and those methods slowly and inexorably led to the problems we see in purebred dogs today. A change in philosophy is needed in order to move towards a healthier purebred dog.

    ReplyDelete
  187. Julia
    please pay 20 pounds and read the article. It's quite a shocking read.

    ReplyDelete
  188. FIT FOR FUNCTION:

    For thos not sure how to access the links:

    1. Press left side of the mouse at the beginning of the link,keep held down
    2. Run the mouse over the link until the whole of the link is highlighted in blue (only ther link itself)
    The right click the mouse and a menu will appear
    3. select "copy"
    4. Open a new explorer window/tab and click in the address bar at the top till it goes blue

    5. right click on your mouse and select paste then press enter.

    http://www.carlyquinn.com/#/playing-with-mastiffs/4532139211

    Above is a link where you will be taken to a site of a woman I met while out exercising my Neos,a woman of some repute in the world of English Springer Spaniels Helen Cokell.We met while she was exercising her 5 spaniels and I my 3 Neos.Any doubts of functionality of this breed will be put to rest if you take the trouble to view the link and see my Neos running around with the spaniels also note the last picture at the top of the page I my male neo flying throught the air.

    Andy UK

    ReplyDelete
  189. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVL-avI3yr0

    another link of an adult male neo playing and keeping up with a very lively old english sheep dog


    Andy UK

    ReplyDelete
  190. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGzW70OFGcw

    another link of an adult female and male neos rough playing

    ReplyDelete
  191. I think my above post demonstrate in real time the function a neo is capable of ,no descriptive words,actual video footage

    Andy UK

    ReplyDelete
  192. Heather Houlahan I would like to reply to a couple of your points you have raised. You mentioned a Neo Bitch ‘Sofia’ who moved like a panther.

    No, darlin', I did not.

    I said that Sofia (no scare quotes required, it really was her name) was "a panther" compared to the pathetic lumbering messes in the show-ring videos. It was a bit of tongue-in-cheek hyperbole-in-metaphor.

    Never said anything about the way she moved.

    In fact, Sofia was a shuffling, lumbering beast who, nevertheless, held herself together and moved better than any of the champion dogs in the videos. For example, she never, that I noticed, tripped and caught herself just trying to walk on level ground.



    Whilst you may not have interpreted the movement of the neo’s in the videos you watched, the Neapolitan Mastiff on the whole does resemble the movement of a large cat.

    You do not spend very much time in the company of cats, do you?



    Secondly you raise the issue of breeding and ‘improvements’ made to mastino. Of course it can be argued that man has had a detrimental impact on the breed, as with all breeds and many other animals. However what is not clear is what ‘natural’ evolution would have occurred?

    "Natural" evolution of the dog, uncontrolled by human whimsy, leads to a 40-pound leggy pariah with pointy ears, a long nose, a short double coat, and brilliant survival skills. Except in very cold regions, where the dogs are larger and furrier.

    Without doubt some mastino are overdone, with litters producing a wide range of varying puppy’s, but if we are to view those that aren’t quite right as mutants as you suggest, then historically these puppy’s would have been disposed off, so are you suggesting we do this? Do we not need varying characteristics within the gene pool in order to maintain a breed?

    "Varying characteristics" do not include crippling exaggerations of form, painful eye conditions, hip dysplasia (which you people actually are somehow defending in this thread?) and an inability to walk normally.



    If you understand the back end of a dog you would be aware conditions such as ‘cow-hocked’ are for the whole a cosmetic description and do not represent a weakness in the back end, as most german-shepherd breeders will tell you.

    I believe you mean to invoke "most" SHOW German shepherd breeders.

    Yes, they will tell me many things, all of it delusional.

    Those of us who actually employ German shepherds in demanding work have a slightly different take on it.

    But thanks for the lesson on "understanding" the "back end of a dog."


    What is your thoughts on those that do health-screen there dogs, I know breeders who hip score, worked tirelessly to breed out conditions such as cherry-eye with success. Where is your praise to congratulate them for their hard work, rather than damning them with the now smaller minority who mistreated the breed?

    Who all just happened to show up to Crufts and Westminster with their champions?

    ReplyDelete
  193. Hi Julia,

    Yes this is a little off topic but here’s Part One of my response to your response.

    1. ‘You say it [paying for access to science-based, peer-reviewed articles] is a “business expense breeders should be prepared to pay”, however the majority of those who breed for the show ring are doing it as a hobby, not a business’.

    This is semantics. People breeding dogs for the show ring sell their puppies and stud services for a healthy price. They may not be out to earn a living from their hobby, or even make a reasonable profit, but presumably the high price is justified because in order to pay for their ‘hobby’ they want to cover the costs of entrance fees, travel costs to and from shows, veterinary services, stud services if the breeder does not own the stud, transportation costs of getting the bitch to and from the stud, equipment and so on. Are you really arguing that the cost of educating yourself does not belong here?

    2. ‘I think from reading the abstract, that some of the 'disorders' mentioned include coat and colour’.

    I can only say that I think you have misread the abstract. It neither says nor implies anything about coat and colour. The disorders related to conformation are broken down into the following categories: cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, immune, integument, musculoskeletal, nervous-sensory, respiratory and urogenital. There is a brief, one paragraph discussion of coat and colour in an article running over nine pages (yes, I can count – there is an entire page devoted to the over fifty peer-reviewed references). The abstract does say that ‘[f]urther research on prevalence and severity is required to assess the impact of different disorders on the welfare of affected breeds’ but that in itself does not prove the prevalence is low any more than it proves that the prevalence is high. However, the fact that the disorders found are related to conformation standards that all dogs of that breed are supposed to conform to leads me to suspect the disorders are fairly prevalent, but I have no proof of this and you may beg to differ. We will have to await further studies on prevalence.

    3. ‘My point is that this type of research provides detractors with a nice headline. Every one of the 50 most popular breeds has a disorder relating to the breed standard’.

    Well, I’m sorry if the research provides ‘the detractors’ with fodder but I can’t help that. I can only suggest that you present me with some peer-reviewed science that supports pedigreed dog breeders’ practices. For the record, the ‘detractors’ that I know are interested in the health and welfare of dogs, not headlines.

    ReplyDelete
  194. And here's Part Two:

    4. ‘Furthermore, what you regard as "out dated pseudo science" has in the past served all types of animal breeders very well indeed’.

    Possibly, but given the evidence of conformation related disorders, genetic disorders and inbreeding depression, I would argue that it has not served the animals well. The interests of one group (breeders) and the other group (animals) are not necessarily the same.

    5. ‘It is mis-application of the principals by people who are not versed in the subtleties, knowledge and expertise (which the stockmen and women of the past had in abundance) which causes the most problems’.

    That dog-breeding principles are strongly related to the social theory of eugenics is well-established. The ‘scientific’ principles that developed from it are problematic, whether correctly or incorrectly applied, regardless of subtleties, knowledge and expertise. They run counter to good practice if you are interested in the maintenance of good genetic health. Period.

    6. The current thinking suggests that the only way to breed animals is by numbers. The recent developements in science are certainly most helpful but even they will not make a significant difference if not combined with a good level of that old-fashioned, dwindling concept - stockmanship. 

Who would breed the better dog, the scientist who selects the sire and dam based on their 'numerical fitness' or the experienced breeder who has the knowledge gained over many generations? The scientist's dog may look better on paper but have a horrendous temprement because the two parents he chose come from lines which are incompatible. Dismiss the expertise and knowledge of good breeders at your peril!

    Actually, if you read what I wrote previously again, you will see that I was not suggesting that scientists start breeding dogs. Nor was I suggesting that breeder knowledge and experience be thrown out of the window in their entirety. I was suggesting that breeders better educate themselves with real science and by inference suggesting that they abandon what are increasingly understood to be poor practices. These are very different propositions.

    I repeat, breeders are playing God when they mess around with genetics and they have no business playing at it as a ‘hobby’ if they do not fully understand the implications of what they are doing at the level of population as well as the individual or if they are unwilling to accept science-based evidence that what they are doing is problematic. I stand by everything I wrote previously.

    ReplyDelete
  195. Sorry, another long comment but just to clear up a few things:

    Regarding my comments about the scientist breeding a litter, it was meant to be a hypothetical scenario. Hopefully no scientist would in reality be daft enough to breed without taking into account the temprements of the parent animals! What I was trying to illustrate is that experience of previous generations, knowledge of the bloodlines etc is as important as how a mating appears on paper.

    Regarding the fact that stockmanship is dwindling, Professor Bateson remarked in his report that people these days are becoming increasingly detatched from the natural world. I do sadly know of working breeds where some breeders are uninterested in the original function of their breed and the purpose of the distinctive features. I think this is one of the reasons that 'over exaggeration' is creeping into many breeds, more isn't always better.
    Breeders in the past used similar methods for all our domestic livestock. Would you say that the creators of the shire horse were wrong, or the Berkshire pig, the Fresian cow, the Romney Marsh sheep?

    Kate, you have obviously read the paper in its entirety. I realised after posting that while I was thinking of a specific colour issue, there are others of possibly more significance. I am curious though and wonder if you could enlighten me; Border Collies for example, have to be one of the top 50 breeds and I am struggling to come up with anything which could seriously be considered as a conformation related disorder for this breed, also the popular hunt, point and retreive breeds.

    Getting back to the subject in hand, does it get to a point where any deviation from 'wild type' is considered as detrimental? I sometimes wonder with what I have read (not just here). We are being told that too small, too big, too hairy, too naked, too fat, eyes too small, eyes too big, ears too long, tails too curly; are all 'bad'. Where does it end? I agree that over exaggeration of certain features is an issue but how on earth do you define 'over' exaggeration? At what stage is an 'exaggerated feature' deemed acceptable?

    Is the only satisfactory dog a medium sized, medium coated, pricked eared, busy tailed example? This covers very, very few of our pure breeds so are we simply to aim for a homogenised type of dog? One unfortunatly which would probably not appeal or indeed be suitable for the majority of owners. The reason purebred dogs are so popular is not that people want a status symbol, it is because the huge variety of breeds means there will be one to suit just about everyone. My breed suits me, my friend's breed suits her. We love each other's dogs but she wouldn't want to own mine and I wouldn't want to own hers.

    I think this post is so compelling as it is not simply about the wrinkles on a Neapolitan Mastiff. It is about the coat on an Afghan, the height of a wolfhound, the face of a Japanese Chin etc etc etc. Jemima favours posting pictures of breeds as they were 100 years ago, but would a return to that point be acceptable, desirable or even beneficial? I think the real concern is that while show breeders may be accused of taking dogs too far in one direction, might not the 'reformists' be as guilty in going too far in the opposite? It is important to have some kind of agreement reached as to what the eventual outcome should be. Healthier breeds or no breeds at all?
    A lot of questions I'm afraid but ones I believe it is important to have answers to before a possible Pandora's Box is opened.

    ReplyDelete
  196. In reply to Sarah

    "I can only say that I think you have misread the abstract. It neither says nor implies anything about coat and colour. The disorders related to conformation are broken down into the following categories: cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, immune, integument, musculoskeletal, nervous-sensory, respiratory and urogenital. There is a brief, one paragraph discussion of coat and colour in an article running over nine pages (yes, I can count – there is an entire page devoted to the over fifty peer-reviewed references)."

    I'm only going on what is listed under 'results'. Coat and colour is clearly listed under 'Conformation-related conditions' and 'Inherited disorders indirectly linked to conformation', along with head, forequarters, hindquarters etc.

    I'm not questioning the research by any means, more what is being defined as a 'disorder'.

    I can only assume from what you have said that it is the process of breeding for a certain conformation rather than aspects of the conformation itself which is under scruitiny. Eg, selecting for a certain colour/texture of coat may result in a 'disorder' but the feature itself is not an issue. I can see that some characteristics, shortened muzzles, protruding eyes etc are going to cause problems, but in the 'unexaggerated' breeds, where confirmation is pretty natural, the only other external issue I could think of was coat/colour.

    I appreciate the reasons, but if the intention was to educate dog breeders by providing new ground breaking information to assist in avoiding 'disorders', it seems a great pity that the research is going to reach a limited audience.

    ReplyDelete
  197. I don't know if anybody else from the United States has posted here. Having been to the UK four times, Crufts twice and knowing UK mastinari, an attack like this on the mastino is beyond belief for me!
    Attention Ms Harrison: A Neapolitan Mastiff has won BEST IN SHOW, more than once, in the USA!!!
    Yes, this a Mastino of type and substance!
    And several Mastini have WON MANY WORKING GROUP PLACEMENTS!!!!! The AKC welcomed them in 2004.
    And "horror of horrors" we still crop and dock!!!
    Suzanne Storms

    ReplyDelete
  198. 150 comments! Listen, Mastino lovers: You all can yap yap yap with good language and polite internet skills all you wish. You all can (rightfully) claim that Jemima is not the judge and jury of all pedigree dogdom. You can tell us all you want that you have healthy happy dogs living with you and use that as definitive proof that Mastinos are just fine.
    It doesn't change the simple fact there is no reason for the overly excessive skin folds, the heaviness that results in "loose joints" and the breeding practices that result in Neos having all kinds of other issues...no reason except that you have decided that aesthetically, this is how they should look. Let me repeat myself: There is not one reason for these dogs to look like this, and have the health problems associated with their looks except YOU as breed fanciers decided that the trade off of some significant health issues for all that skin and bone was acceptable. Its time you take your heads out of the sand.

    You don't need a lot of "health committees" DNA tests to fix your breed...the answer is common sense: quit breeding for aesthetic extremes and the breed will resolve itself into greater health. No, its NOT normal to not allow puppies to climb stairs and play in a yard greater than 10x10. Seriously. Select dogs with a little skin as was intended to protect them in fights, eyes without "haw" (people, just naming it something special doesn't make it ok...no animal could call eyes that sag like that normal and healthy!) and skeleton size that allows for health, problem solved.

    ReplyDelete
  199. What about a scientist who breeds and shows Neapolitan Mastiffs, we have one of them in the breed, his dogs are magnificent and would out run , out hustle and bustle any German Shepard of today !

    Are you serious trying to put out a case there for German Shepard's they are in way more trouble as a breed over all than Neapolitan Mastiffs ever are, they are a sad pathetic beast of the dogs they once where.

    Lets start getting some facts and figures together on the German Shepard dog problems, and the flat coated retrievers carrying a recessive gene for cancer.

    Start pointing the finger at one breed and all breeds will follow suit .

    ReplyDelete