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American Mastiff

By reportedly introducing the Anatolian Mastiff into the bloodline of their English Mastiffs in the late 1980's, the Wagner family of Flying W Farms created a handsome large dry-mouthed dog, supposedly superiour to its parent breeds in terms of health, agility and guarding abilities. However, the actual outcross was more likely an Anatolian Shepherd, a popular working dog readily available in the United States, unlike the Turkish breed known as the Anatolian Mastiff, of which there are no known representatives to be found outside its native region, let alone in America and especially 20 years ago. After breeding English Mastiffs for many years, Fredericka Wagner of Ohio decided to improve the health of her stock through an appropriate outcross, settling on a "recipe" of 7/8 English Mastiff and 1/8 Anatolian blood. Happy with the results of her breeding programme, but aware of the fact that her dogs could no longer be considered true English Mastiffs, she decided to market her creation as a separate breed, given the moniker of American Mastiff. However, this isn't the only American mastiff breed, so for easier distinction from various bandogges and other creations bearing this name, the Flying W Mastiff label is commonly employed for the Wagner dogs. In 2002, the American Mastiff Breeders Council (AMBC) was formed to protect, promote and regulate the breed, since a number of dogs suspected of being Great Dane, Bullmastiff and Pit Bull crosses have reportedly been marketed as American Mastiffs, some of which had poor temperament and health issues, affecting the reputation of the Wagner breed. Although the American Mastiff is recognized by the CKC and bred to a written Standard, it is oftentimes dismissed as just another designer breed by quite a few detractors, but this new addition to the Molosser category is slowly gaining popularity in America and around the world.

This large property guardian is quite territorial, but it reportedly posesses a sound temperament and is said to make an excellent family dog, thanks to its devotion to humans and love of children. Intelligent, trainable and easy-moving, the American Flying W Mastiff is a massive, wide-chested and broad-shouldered Molosser, with a strong neck, straight back and moderately loose skin, quite similar to the English Mastiff, apart from having tighter lips and longer legs. The head is wide and rectangular in shape, with rounded, high-set ears and a strong, medium-sized muzzle. Although standardized, the breed still shows a fair ammount of variety, with some examples being quite lean and having narrow heads, while others tend to be more massive and overall closer to the English breed in appearance.

Even though some longer-coated specimens can be seen, the dense flat coat prescribed by the Standard is short in length and comes in common Mastiff solid colours, like apricot, fawn and brindle. Black mask should always be present and some white markings are acceptable on the feet, chest and even on the chin. Average height is around 32 inches, although taller dogs are preferred.

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