Monarch Mastiffs
Hello, and welcome to Monarch Mastiffs. Since I get many requests for information each week, I decided to try and incorporate as much of it as possible in one place. My hope is that you will keep this as a reference when looking for a Mastiff pup and that some of the information will even be helpful when purchasing a different breed of dog. We have a lot of information to cover, below is a table of contents for your convenience, followed by a lot of the information.

INTRODUCTION

Owners

The owners of Monarch Mastiffs are myself - Linda Monroe, and my husband - Chuck Monroe. Chuck is a High School Teacher and part time Professor at a local College. I majored in Biology and minored in genetics and nutrition, but did not finish my degree. I own a plant nursery, Annie's Magic Garden with my partner Diane Geren. Prior to being independent, I worked as an Accountant for 15 years. Chuck and I have been married for 32 years and have two children, ages 28 and 31, and three grandchildren, ages 11, 3 and 2. We live on a 17 acre farm near Leming, south of San Antonio, Texas.

We do not breed anymore and are heavily involved in Mastiff Rescue - I am the Regional Coordinator for five states, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas and Arkansas - http://www.conceptsdesign.com/mastiff. I have created mailing lists for all the Districts of Rescue as well as the Regional Coordinators so that we may have faster communication, share ideas, and disseminate information to a larger number of people who are in positions to help a dog in need. For more information about adopting a rescued Mastiff or to volunteer to help, please go to MCOA Rescue. I believe that everyone should help in some way with Mastiffs in need, that are abused, homeless, displaced or otherwise need assistance. Mastiffs are becoming more popular and with popularity comes over breeding, puppy mills, those out to make a quick buck, and unscrupulous breeders who sell pups to the first person who comes along with money in hand. Many of these dogs end up in shelters, abandoned, and abused, and with luck, will be rescued by the MCOA Rescue Service, rehabilitated and placed in a loving home. It is my philosophy that if you donít help rescue, donít breed.

I am a member of the Mastiff Club of America (MCOA) PRA committee, dedicated to researching and disseminating information about Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Mastiffs. We are currently undertaking a Breeding Study to try to determine the mode of inheritance of this blindness causing problem.

I am the Chairperson for the MCOA Health Awards Committee. This committee is working on the criteria and guidelines for issuing Awards for those Mastiff owners who test and certify their dogs free of certain inherited defects such as hip and elbow dysplasia, and some eye problems. The goals of the Health Awards are to further publicize the importance of testing, and to recognize the efforts of owners who successfully use these important tools. It is a graduated system with different criteria for each level achieved - Bronze, Silver, and Gold, with Gold being the highest award.

MCOA Health Awards
I am very excited to see the MCOA take such a positive step toward eliminating health problems in Mastiffs, and am sure there will be more good things to come in the near future. For more information on obtaining a Health Award for your Mastiff and a list of Mastiffs who have qualified for an award, go to: http://mastiff.org/exhibit-hall/health/health-awards/.

I am a staff writer for the Mastiff Reporter and have been published in other Mastiff newsletters in Australia and Norway, the Mastiff Stud Dog Register, and I helped to write numerous sections of the Mastiff FAQ. You can find the Mastiff Reporter on line at: http://www.geocities.com/crestwoodmastiffs/.

I started two mailing lists on the Internet for educational purposes, the MastiffHealth list and the Natural-Giant diet list. The MastiffHealth list is devoted to discussions of health problems that plague Mastiffs and other giant breeds, and occasionally has guest speakers from various Universities and research facilities, as well as holistic practitioners. The MastiffHealth list is by invitation only, is moderated, and kept on topic. To join go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MastiffHealth

The Natural-Giant mailing list is for those who feed a natural diet, generally raw, and wish to correspond with others who feed natural, discussing diets, nutrition, sources, etc. Natural-Giant is an open list and you may join us by subscribing at: http://www.egroups.com/group/Natural-Giant.

Pets

Chuck and I currently own two Mastiffs. In addition we have 2 cats, 3 geese, one rooster and 3 rabbits. Over the years we have also had Great Pyranees and other breeds of dogs, rare cattle, hogs, goats, sheep, show rabbits, domestic mice and other assorted farm animals as well as exotic pets. The Mastiffs have captured out hearts and we will never be without at least one! Since we don't breed anymore, our next Mastiff will be a rescue.

THE MASTIFF STANDARD

The written standards for all breeds are controlled by each breed's national club, and the national kennel club. In our case, the national kennel club is the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the national breed club is the Mastiff Club of America (MCOA). The standard dictates what a Mastiff is supposed to look like, the temperament, and movement requirements. It also gives you the acceptable colors and lists what are considered to be faults. The standard can only be revised by a vote of the members of the MCOA. It is then submitted to the AKC for approval. The standard was last changed in 1991.

PREVIOUS MONARCH BREEDING PROGRAM

When we were breeders, the goal of our breeding program is to produce the soundest Mastiffs possible. That not only means physical soundness, but mental soundness as well. We believe that mental soundness, called temperament, is just as important as physical soundness and maybe even more so. Both temperament and physical soundness will always come before type, but I strive to produce all three as well as size. Without a good temperament, soundness and type doesn't amount to much. Our goal is to produce healthy Mastiffs of correct breed type, with intelligent, calm, self-assured temperaments. We expected them to have sound bodies, no health problems and live long active lives. I have found that you *can* have it all in the same dog by selectively breeding those with the qualities you are striving for, and not compromising any part of the dog!

The only way we know of to accomplish this goal is to breed only to tested Mastiffs. Our Mastiffs are x-rayed for hip and elbow dysplasia and evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA), have their eyes examined every year by a board certified ophthalmologist and registered with the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), thyroid tested annually by Michigan State University and von Willebrands tested at Cornell University. Also very important is to have their hearts and patellas certified by the OFA, and urine tested for Cystinuria by the University of Pennsylvania. The heart exam should be done by a board certified cardiologist.

QUESTIONS

We have prepared a list of questions that you should ask when looking for a puppy. This should help you to determine the true, caring breeders from those breeding unhealthy, untested Mastiffs, and those only breeding for money and not for the betterment of the breed. Please ask these questions of any breeder you are considering purchasing a pup from. Some breeders breed to popular stud dogs to produce "sellable" puppies without consideration for temperament or soundness or even if the stud is tested for hips, elbows or eyes.

CONTRACTS

These are the contracts we used when we were breeding and have left them here for you to see.

Please only buy a Mastiff from a breeder who provides you with a written contract and guarantees their dogs against genetic defects. Also, be sure the contract includes a clause that states that the breeder will take the dog back in the event that you can no longer keep it.

CONCLUSION

Other articles that we hope will be useful to you and help you to purchase the best puppy possible include:
Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine
Natural Holistic Pet Care
Dr. Tom Lonsdale B.Vet.Med.MRCVS
Natural Pet Care
Health Problems Found in Mastiffs
Health Testing
Choosing A Breeder

Linda Monroe's Home Page