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Messages - rv581

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Sometimes it's absolutely **shocking** how much misinformation there is about AMs -- or the desperate measure certain OEM owners will stoop to, in order to malign a breed they're unfamiliar with.

AMs are bred in the States, have been around for about 20-years, and were started by experienced OEM breeders -- to correct certain problems that many OEMs have: excessive drool, joint problems, shorter lifespans, etc.  AMs tend to live pretty long for such a large breed; 12+ years (or even 15-years) aren't uncommon, and they have a tighter mouth to avoid those slobber woes.

One of the factors that led **my** family to deciding that an AM -- rather than an OEM -- was the right choice for my household was certainly the positive health improvements.. . but just as important was the care & kindness exhibited by the breeders.  They were screening me as much as I was screening them!  They've even set up an online forum to answer all our AM questions, from birth through the inevitable.  And that was very important to us.

My AM -- Leon -- just turned 30-weeks today, and has been even BETTER than we expected!  In addition to him having perfect health, he was housebroken at just 10-weeks, doesn't drool (except during excessive heat, or right after attacking the water bowl!), and has the size you'd associate with a traditional OEM (he's pushing 120-pounds now, is expected to reach 180-pounds at one year, and should max-out at around 220 - 260).  I couldn't be more pleased!

On top of that, the AM breeders have helped us stay in touch with other AM owners from around the country, to consult with, share stories, etc.  It's great!  And out of the numerous AM owners I know, I've NEVER met someone who had an aggression problem -- or had to return their puppy because of health problems.  NEVER.  EVER.  Furthermore, I'm deeply skeptical of any AM-bashing OEM booster who has a distant friend with something critical to say -- particularly when they won't even name which AM breeder they went to!  Sounds a bit too self-serving -- and since I know FAR more AM breeders, AM dogs, etc. than this other party -- and since those "problems" just haven't come up -- it makes me question their motives.

I love OEMs, along with loving AMs; OEMs are beautiful, wonderful dogs.  It's just a shame that certain OEM boosters would show such bizarre animosity towards such a similar breed...

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I can TOTALLY empathize with the desire to breed your dog.  I wanna breed mine, too!  My American Mastiff has so many qualities that I'm sure others would covet: superior size, perfect health, unbelievable temperment, etc. 

Plus, a good portion of the rationale behind neutering/fixing your dog strikes me as prima facia unfair.  Why should I mutilate the anatomy of a perfectly healthy animal... just because other people are careless with their dog's breeding habits?  Leon didn't do anything wrong.  He wasn't even alive when most of that careless breeding took place!  Why should he suffer for the negligence of others?  Hey, if someone told ME that I shouldn't have any children because the world's population is too high -- or there are already too many unwanted children in orphanages -- I'd tell that person that I'm gonna do whatever I want to do with my reproductive system -- and if they don't like it, well, that's just too bad!

But I fought through those impulses & had Leon neutered anyway.

There's an old legal principle that places MAXIMUM liability/ strict scrutiny on people who introduce a dangerous entity into the general population -- and I believe that not only is this a sound legal principle, but it's also a moral principle.  (And what this means is, you may have the *right* to build a careless fire in your backyard for a BBQ -- but if this fire gets out of control & burns down your neighbor's house, YOU are culpable for being willfully negligent towards the handling of a hazardous entity.)

The same principle applies to "dangerous" dogs -- legally, and I believe morally.

Mastiffs are BIG.  Leon is only 30-weeks old & already pushing the 120-pound mark.  He's expected to weigh about 180 at the end of his first year, and max-out at 220 - 260.  A dog with that size can do SO MUCH damage if not well-trained, socialized, and nurtured.  If motivated, a dog like that could kill a small child in the blink of an eye -- and kill an adult that lacks the strength or mobility to defend him/herself as well.  And while Leon personally doesn't have any history of violence or aggression -- nor is there any history of violence or aggression in his family tree -- I honestly don't know how his DNA would co-mingle with another's.  I also don't know how much of his temperment is environment or heredity.

There are lots of good reasons to breed -- and perhaps this poster has all the good reasons in the world.  But for me, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that without a more far-reaching rationale than merely hoping to pass along your dog's DNA to others.  JMO.

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Anything Non-Dog Related / Re: Woman over 30...damn straight!!
« on: August 07, 2005, 04:12:47 pm »
http://www.laststory.com/Ten%20Things%20That%20Change%20When%20You%20Hit%20Thirty.htm

(A little off-color, but a fun read nonetheless on the male perspective of turning 30:)

“Ten Things That Change When You Hit Thirty”

There you are, enjoying your 20s, minding your own business… when out of nowhere, the number 30 hits you right between the eyes, sending your hairline reeling and love-handles wobbling.  Until the cruel three-oh happens to you, there’s no way for you to prepare yourself for the psychological impact of the number.  However, one can live vicariously through others and learn through their pain and suffering.  Below are the ten ways you youngsters will see your life change as you inevitably approach the threshold of 30… but relax.  Not all of them are negative.  And don’t laugh too hard at my expense—every day, every hour, and every minute you too inch precariously closer to the death sentence of 30…

1)      Your fantasies change.  Upon hitting 30, you start to fantasize about sleeping alone.  “Ah, yes… my own bed!

2)      You start getting mad at MTV.  What’s with the c*&^ they’re playing anyway?  I’ve never heard of any of these bands before.  Nelly?  What’s a Nelly?  Whatever happened to all those great bands and singers I grew up with—guys like Sir Mix-a-Lot, Ugly Kid Joe, Motley Crue, Lita Ford, The Gin Blossoms,  Iron Maiden, Tone Loc, Cinderella, Quiet Riot, Ace of Base, N.W.A., The Spin Doctors, Def Lepard, and Megadeth?  h*ll, what happened to Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam?  Aren’t they still popular?  What’s a Nelly?

3)      Heartburn.  I used to see these Mylanta commercials when I was younger and not have a clue what they were talking about.  Now, I know.  Heartburn sucks.  It really is a pain in the, well, throat.

4)      The athletes on TV start all being younger than you.  This is an irrational  psychological thing, I know… but whenever I was in my 20s and watching sports on the weekend, I’d always think in the back of my head, “Gee, maybe if I lay off the nachos for a few weeks and start working out, I can get myself into shape and play in the NFL!  I’m still young enough!  I’ll have to learn how to punt, or something, but it could happen.”  Well, it can’t happen—you’re 30.  My Dad never liked Bill Clinton because Bill Clinton was the first president who was younger than him.  Now I know what Dad was grumbling about.  How could you possibly be expected to look up to someone who’s younger than you?  Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, George Bush Senior—those were all grown men.  Bill Clinton was a kid… and so are just about all the players in the NBA and the NFL now.  Thank God for some of the graybeards like Michael Jordan, Evander Holyfield, Emmitt Smith, Barry Bonds, Karl Malone, and Darrell Green…

5)      Drinking limitations.  Y’know, I used to torture my liver with gleeful immunity, knowing full well that I can...  Now, if I get drunk it really, really hurts.  It feels like Tony Soprano whacked my head around like a pińata.  And then, of course, the heartburn kicks in…

6)      The news.  No, I’m not talking about Sportscenter on ESPN—I’m talking about CNN, FOX, and MSNBC.  Somehow, politics and the financial markets became interesting to me.  Iraq, the White House, Wall Street—I wanna know what’s going on.  That and the weather… I constantly gotta know what the forecast is gonna be.  Don’t ask me why.

7 )      Perspective.  This is another cool thing about age.  I’m a member of Generation X, so I’ve seen things develop and unfold over the past 30 years.  Generations Y and Z have no memory of presidents other than Clinton and George W.  They view all the trends they see in fashion and music as permanent.  I know better.  N Sync (or however you write their name) will go the way of the New Kids on the Block, Britney Spears & Christina Aguilera will go the way of Debbie Gibson & Tiffany, Dawson will go the way of 90210, and those baggy pants will go the way of parachute pants.  All I gotta do is wait it out.  And for all you kids out there, here’s some fashion advice: You can’t go wrong with some Ray-Ban sunglasses, a clean t-shirt, and a pair of Levi jeans.  Trust me.

8)      Owning stuff.  Y’know, when I was in my 20s, if a hurricane hit my apartment and destroyed all my material possessions I’d be out… almost $40.  Now, I’ve got a nice TV (Sony), a DVD player, a stereo system, a good computer, a nice bed, some wooden furniture… and a car that stays together without a staple-gun or duct-tape.  It’s great!  I feel like a budding Donald Trump.

9)  Diminished idiocy.  No offense to the younger crowd...it’s not that your intellectual capacity is less than mine… it’s just that you’ve accumulated odd bits of information without learning how to determine what’s relevant and what’s not.  I don’t wanna sound overly preachy here, but you kids haven’t figured out that every current event doesn’t signal the end of life as we know it.  Still wrapped in me-first egocentrism, you have trouble realizing that not everything happening now is important.  Let it go.  Young people with a modicum of education are some of the most uncomfortably paranoid citizens in America.  Calm down and have some beer nuts.

See?  Not everything about turning 30 is negative.  A few positive curves can be found along the way.  They say that youth is wasted on the young (a statement undoubtedly uttered by some bitter geezer in a wheelchair), but despite any jealousy I might feel towards my younger brethren, I’m glad you guys are around.  After all, someone needs to bag my groceries and bring me my Big Mac…

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Old English Mastiff Discussions / Re: Are Mastiffs... STUPID?!
« on: August 04, 2005, 12:11:30 pm »
This is how another American Mastiff owner responded, when I posted this question on an AM board... thought this would be of interest:

"Coren is from my old university UBC and I've read his book.
The "intelligence" scores are based on a series of standardized tests
such as putting a blanket over the dogs head and seeing how long its
takes it to get it off.

I believe that those particular scores related to training the dog to
do the things you want it to do. For example, we would all agree that
it is easier to teach a poodle to do cutesy tricks than a mastiff.
Other dogs were rated on doing the things they love to do, like
herding. So again its easier to teach a border collie to herd than a
bulldog.

Are mastiff stupid? No. Are they headstrong (even a bit stubborn)? Yes

Its amazing to see how much easier it is to get Moya to do things when
there is a special treat involved (turkey breast, cheese, etc.)"

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Old English Mastiff Discussions / Re: Are Mastiffs... STUPID?!
« on: August 03, 2005, 02:08:02 pm »
That topic made me spit but juice all over the poor puter (yessssss I steel Jennifers bug juices hehe) 
You might want to edit that -- there's a WORLD of difference between bug juice and butt juice, I'm sure!  (Just bustin' your chops!)

Yeah, check out the links... I found out about this book in a news story about the S. Korean scientists who just cloned a dog (the book was cited in the article) and it really floored me how lowly the mastiff ranked... and obviously, given the dog that's napping besides my feet right now, it's not a ranking I find all that enthralling...

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Old English Mastiff Discussions / Are Mastiffs... STUPID?!
« on: August 03, 2005, 01:53:08 pm »
I had always heard that mastiffs have a well-deserved reputation for being among the most intelligent of canine breeds... but author, psychologist, and trainer S. Coren -- who wrote "The Intelligence of Dogs" -- thinks otherwise.  In fact, he has mastiffs listed among the most **stupid** of dogs.  Out of the 79 breeds he ranks in intellect, mastiffs clocked in at a lowly #72 (tied with the beagle).

Website:
http://www.petrix.com/dogint/

Info on Coren's book:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553374524/intelligenofdogs/103-5871936-3722231

(And FYI -- I own a mastiff (American Mastiff) myself, so PLEASE don't interpret this as me trying to lambast a dog breed.  I was just shocked at how low the mastiff was listed on that chart, as I had always heard that dogs that were bred to perform tasks -- like the mastiff, German Shepherd, etc. -- were, on average, more intelligent than breeds that weren't.)

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She likes them better without their balls, she finds them to be better listeners.
Well, with Leon's floppy ears, that shouldn't be a problem...

I think his parents were cross-bred with Prince Charles.

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Another...

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Another...

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Maia can't decide who she wants as her boyfriend now.
Well, if you want Leon to be her boyfriend, you better make a decision QUICK!  In about a month, the vet will be doing a "snip-snip" -- which will render one of the expected boyfriend-related duties HIGHLY problematic!

New pics, while in the hot Florida sun:

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American Mastiff Discussions & Pictures / Re: Goliath Pix
« on: July 08, 2005, 08:48:29 am »
Good looking boy!

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General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / The World's Ugliest Dog
« on: July 06, 2005, 07:42:02 am »

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I compliment your choice in dog, Chris, and I suspect that you'll be very happy!  We adopted an AM as well (male brindle) and have been absolutely thrilled with the new addition to our family!  We've never had a dog that was easier to train or was housebroken faster than our AM Leon!

For breeders, several of them post on a Yahoo message board; just join it, ask as many questions as you like, and see if they can help you out:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AmericanMastiffs/messages

Good luck!

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 I think that when trying to promote the American Mastiff, there are a lot of false accusation made toward the OEM.  
Not at all -- and not from my part (although I have noted an unpleasant elitist veneer from OEMs in regards to AMs).  Since AMs and OEMs share 7/8 of DNA, not liking one while loving the other would be the equivalent of gagging on Coke & finding Pepsi near-orgasmic.  Since I love AMs, I also love OEMs.

But the truth of the matter is that AMs were developed for a reason -- by experienced OEM breeders, no less.  And that reason was that OEMs are wonderful, magnificant animals -- but carry some unfortunate, highly problematic traits.  It's the hope of the AM breeders that the postive traits in OEMs would still remain, but that the negative traits (drooling, lifespan, health, etc.) would be minimized.  Whether or not you personally mind the negative OEM traits, or if your individual dog doesn't carry those negative traits in abundance, is another issue entirely... but when evaluating different breeds, it's important to note the rationale behind their origins.

All breeds -- and all dogs -- have positive and negative aspects.  For OEMs & AMs, their similarities are so similar, their positive & negative apects are also similar -- but with a few distinct differences, which I'm trying to articulate.

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I vote you get an Old English Mastiff but that is because I have one.  OEM are the original mastiff in which American Mastiff are a mix of.  
This is true.  AMs were developed because OEMs have so many truly magnificant traits & wonderful characteristic s... but unfortunately, a significant number of 'em carry painful problems that can greatly impede your quality of life while cohabitating with such a large animal... namely shorter lifespans, messy, incessant drooling, hip ailments, etc.  AMs were bred to have a tighter lip, so drooling isn't an issue (mine only drools when it's extremely hot -- or if he just woofed down half the water bowl!), and healthwise, they live as long as smaller breeds (12+ years).  The other positives are that they are just as big as OEMs (many are bigger -- one AM owner has a dog that's 275 lbs -- and still growing!), are docile, loving family pets, and highly intelligent.

Really, it's not about finding the right dog -- it's about finding the dog that's right for you.  OEMs have many positives that AMs lack (OEMs tend to be cheaper to acquire, there's less of a waiting list, you can enter them into all the canine shows, and undoubtedly there are more OEMs than AMs in your hometown).  So there are clearly positives & negatives...

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