A Perfect Description

"I happen to love dogs. I love being around them. I love working with them. I love watching a puppy grow up and discover its potential. I love having the privilege of experiencing a truly great dog in its prime. I love sharing supper with my dogs, playing with puppies, and watching their personalities develop. I never mind losing sleep when they get sick, and work myself unmercifully to care for them. I spend almost all of the money I have on them. My heart breaks when they die. I have a dozen lifetimes worth of beautiful memories."- unknown

Empire State Mastiff Fanciers Supported Entry

Thank You Judge Robert Caswell for placing our boy WD/BOW. Thank You Breeder Judge Betsy Harvey for placing our boy WD for his first major win and Thank You Judge Helene Nietsch for placing our boy WD for another major win at the ESMF supported entry show. Thank You Courtney Norris & Jack Secrest for professionally presenting buddy and winning back to back majors. Last but certainly not least, Thank you Empire State Mastiff Fancier Club members for supporting this show.

Long time mastiff breeders

I always find it interesting to talk with mastiff breeders that have been around for decades. I think they have a rather refreshing view and seem to be much more humble. I have learned from most of them that I will never know everything. I think they have learned from me that I'm rather content with not knowing and I would rather continue to learn. A few weeks back, I met with a breeder named Diane Tribby from Lionsire mastiffs and through a discussion with her I realized how different each breeder is but also how similar they are as well. This lady had gentle blue eyes and a pleasant disposition. She made me feel very comfortable as she talked of her past dogs with great pride. It was a long trip for her from Virginia but much to my advantage and I appreciate it. I'm looking forward to learning so much more.

A much needed breather

I haven't updated this blog in over a year but lately I'm just amazed at how helpful some people can be and very proud of my mastiff family... human & canine!

Rough Road

The last 6 months have been the hardest months that we have faced since we started in mastiffs several yrs ago. We lost the battle with epilepsy for brewster but have not given up the fight for all other mastiffs. I took a course in DNA replacement therapy that I found to be very interesting for humans & animals. The mastiff community lost a fellow breeder Eileen Durante of Celestial Mastiffs and our sincere condolences are extended to anyone lucky enough to call her a friend. I know that she loved her mastiffs despite being allergic and wanted nothing more than improvement for the breed. We have had so many personal disappointments and failures that we have set new goals with hopes that in time we can achieve the highest of standards. We also added a new addition and we owe a huge Thank You to Don & Marti Linfert and Mike & Heather Reid for such a pretty puppy. I would also like to extend a special thank you to someone who had no idea he was helping me and teaching me so much. Thank You Scott Phoebus for just being you!

King Hills New Year

Wow... this year has flew by and we can now look back and see we have learned a tremendous amount during the time. We started the year with high expectations and ended with several lessons. We tried to breed Lucy twice and although we went above and beyond she did not conceive. Our lesson is that mother nature will decide when and if the time is right. We welcomed Rio into our home and we are very happy that he is growing so nice and healthy. Rio went to his first show and did great for such a young puppy. We watched Smooch mature into a very sound & beautiful mastiff with an impeccable temperament. Last but not least, we learned that coping with brewster's epilepsy (although it's not an easy task) can be done with a sense of pride and perseverance. We thank everyone that has stopped to chat, asked questions, gave advice or simply became a new mastiff friend. We have grown one more year wiser during 2011 and are looking forward to the future. Happy New Year from all of us!

Rio's First Show

Rio went to his first show and he was such an excellent boy. He was very well mannered and the hustle and bustle of an indoor show did not even seem to phase him. He did fantastic in the show ring and we were happily surprised that at just seven months he looked great in comparison to others. The judge gave him lots of nice compliments. At the end of a show day it's not about always winning but more importantly who most fanciers think is the better dog. Smooch also came along and as always it was a pleasure to show her. She was very happy and she is definitely in a league of her own.

Lucy Breeding

Our Lucy has grown up, she is starting to look and act very mature. She has never had a single health problem and we are very pleased with the way she has turned out. We feel fortunate to share our lives with this beautiful girl and are proud to announce that she has been bred to an amazing male whom I've watched grow and have loved since he was a puppy. Otis is a one of the largest boys I've seen and His temperament is exemplary. We are very excited for this litter.

King Hills Rocky Creek CGC

Last week Rio took a CGC test and I'm proud to say that he passed it very easily. He is such a gentle, loving mastiff and he enjoys being the center of attention. I'm very pleased with his temperament, looks and health. This boy is going to have a beautiful head when he fully matures.

Star Puppy

Rio received his AKC Star Puppy Award and he was the youngest puppy in his class. He improved each week and was following all the requests very quickly. He is such a sweet boy that has perfected the sit and lay down commands. We are proud of our little star puppy.

Rio is a Big Hit

It has been one month since Rio joined our family and he instantly adjusted very well. He is gentle with the children and very inquisitive. Our other mastiffs are smitten with this little pup and Smooch has taken a special interest. Rio is exactly as we expected and we are thrilled to have him. I hope that he keeps that topline and movement!

It's a Boy!

We have waited several years to add another male to our family and now the timing seemed perfect. Our new addition Rio is going to be very spoiled. His color is so rich that I'm not sure I've ever seen a darker brindle in person. His face reminds me of Brewsters as a pup and god knows that has stolen my heart. He has made himself comfortable right away and we know he will be here forever. We will continue to watch him mature in hopes of a future show career but until then we will enjoy every minute of his puppiness.

Bucks County

Every year there are a few shows that peak our interest as mastiff fanciers and we enjoy attending with or without show dogs. This year we went to Bucks county and the mastiff entry was 148. A large number of huge dogs in the same place is a great event. We had a wonderful time meeting new people and chatting with old friends. I do have to say that the mastiffs presented this year seem to be much nicer in comparison to the last few years. If you ever get a chance to attend a dog show I would highly suggest this event.

Life is Good!

Sometimes there are huge pitfalls and great expenditures in mastiffs but sometimes things just work out perfect. One thing we all need to remember is your approach doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing strategy. Don't be overly self-critical or paranoid just because you're human. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy earthly pleasures while you can because Life is Good!

Interesting Quotes

"An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language"~ Martin Bruber
"The question is not Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but rather, Can they suffer?"~Jeremy Bentham
"To err is human, to forgive, canine."~ Unknown
"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful". ~Ann Landers
"The dog is the god of frolic".~Henry Ward Beecher

Words Of Wisdom

Some times I feel the need to reflect on some great advice that I took from a long time, well known and established mastiff breeder. "Don't let dog shows or the opinions of other breeders affect your decisions as a breeder. Stay true to the standard and stay true to your goals. Don't give up when the going gets tuff."

Smooch Show Debut

Smooch went to her first show and thanks to her handler having wonderful skills paired with lots of patients smooch received Best of Winners and her first point. She was the youngest puppy there and we were proud to hear many people compliment on how sweet she acted. We are thrilled that she had such a wonderful time and enjoyed her first experience in the show ring. Thank You Courtney & Jack!


Smooch received her first title and she is now a Iron Hill Built to Last CGC. The Canine Good Citizen Program lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events. We will now move forward to Rally Novice and work towards her Therapy Dog title. She is such a wonderful puppy and she enjoys her visits with the developmentally disabled adults.

Starting Off the New Year

Many things have happened here at King Hill mastiffs over the past few months. We have been striving to make a difference for all mastiffs that suffer with epilepsy and working closely with Cornell Animal Hospital. We have been taking puppy classes and we also have been making future breeding plans. Currently, we are putting together a regional basket to represent The ESMF club at the Mastiff National Specialty. Our beautiful puppy Smooch has received her Star Puppy Award from the AKC. Many thanks goes to her CGC class instructors for making the weekly classes so much fun. We are also very excited that Smooch will attend her first dog show this month with her new handler. The ESMF will be supporting the entry at Rock Wall Winter Classic. We wish all of are friends fun times & good luck!

Happy New Year!

As the year comes to an end we reflect on our accomplishments, failures, friendships and future. We believe 2010 has laid the foundation for courage, compassion and great things to come in 2011. Hopefully we will see you at future dog shows, events, or classes and if you haven't already met us, please introduce yourself. Cheers to 2011!

Health Testing

Lucy had her OFA health testing done today and I'm very pleased to report that the hip xrays looked excellent, her heart was perfect, her elbows were normal and her patellar and thyroid were normal. I was very concerned having this testing done while she was in season however every thing came out great. She is a healthy, happy mastiff!

A Pets Ten Commandments

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Dont be angry with me for long and dont lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I dont understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps Im not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you cant bear to watch. Dont make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

New Addition

We welcome our new addition "Smooch" to our mastiff family. She has had an easy transition and fits in just perfectly. She is making all of us very happy and I can't wait to see how she matures. There is nothing like a puppy to lift your spirits and make you smile.

Contracts / Purchase Agreements

BEWARE of any "Special Programs" or "Breeders Contract" offered for the purchase of a mastiff puppy. I signed a contract that ended up costing me about $35,000 and my beloved pets life! Any contract that requires breeding right to be retained by the breeder is not in your or the dogs best interest.
Show Contracts- NO One can guarentee a show quality dog. Some breeders require that a Championships title be obtained by a specific age but how can they make a requirement without offering a guarentee?
Health Warranty- Are you going to return your loving pet after 2yrs if the health is not 100%? Do you think a breeder can predict the future health of a dog? If your dog is sick do you want a replacement pup from the same breeder? I hope your answer to these questions is NO. What good is a warranty on a irreplaceable, unrepairable family member.
Co-Ownerships- Would you Co-own a child or a family member? Would you Co-sign a loan with a stranger? What happens if you disagree with the co-owner of your mastiff. There is alot of gray area in this type of arrangement that should be considered before entering any co-ownership contract. The AKC recommends that co-ownerships be avoided.
Beware of conditional sale contracts, contract that do not protect best interest of the mastiff breed and contract that generates an income for anyone. The Bottom Line is, any contract or purchase agreement should be in the best interest of all the parties. It has been my experiance that purchasing a dog "outright"is preferable.

The AKC Mastiff Standard General Appearance

The Mastiff is a large, massive, symmetrical dog with a well-knit frame. The impression is one of grandeur and dignity. Dogs are more massive throughout. Bitches should not be faulted for being somewhat smaller in all dimensions while maintaining a proportionally powerful structure. A good evaluation considers positive qualities of type and soundness with equal weight. General Appearance The Mastiff is a large, massive, symmetrical dog with a well-knit frame. The impression is one of grandeur and dignity. Dogs are more massive throughout. Bitches should not be faulted for being somewhat smaller in all dimensions while maintaining a proportionally powerful structure. A good evaluation considers positive qualities of type and soundness with equal weight. Size, Proposition, Substance Size--Dogs, minimum, 30 inches at the shoulder. Bitches, minimum, 27½ inches at the shoulder. Fault--Dogs or bitches below the minimum standard. The farther below standard, the greater the fault. Proportion--Rectangular, the length of the dog from forechest to rump is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. The height of the dog should come from depth of body rather than from length of leg. Substance--Massive, heavy boned, with a powerful muscle structure. Great depth and breadth desirable. Fault--Lack of substance or slab sided. Head In general outline giving a massive appearance when viewed from any angle. Breadth greatly desired. Eyes set wide apart, medium in size, never too prominent. Expression alert but kindly. Color of eyes brown, the darker the better, and showing no haw. Light eyes or a predatory expression is undesirable. Ears small in proportion to the skull, V-shaped, rounded at the tips. Leather moderately thin, set widely apart at the highest points on the sides of the skull continuing the outline across the summit. They should lie close to the cheeks when in repose. Ears dark in color, the blacker the better, conforming to the color of the muzzle. Skull broad and somewhat flattened between the ears, forehead slightly curved, showing marked wrinkles which are particularly distinctive when at attention. Brows (superciliary ridges) moderately raised. Muscles of the temples well developed, those of the cheeks extremely powerful. Arch across the skull a flattened curve with a furrow up the center of the forehead. This extends from between the eyes to halfway up the skull. The stop between the eyes well marked but not too abrupt. Muzzle should be half the length of the skull, thus dividing the head into three parts-one for the foreface and two for the skull. In other words, the distance from the tip of the nose to stop is equal to one-half the distance between the stop and the occiput. Circumference of the muzzle (measured midway between the eyes and nose) to that of the head (measured before the ears) is as 3 is to 5. Muzzle short, broad under the eyes and running nearly equal in width to the end of the nose. Truncated, i.e. blunt and cut off square, thus forming a right angle with the upper line of the face. Of great depth from the point of the nose to the underjaw. Underjaw broad to the end and slightly rounded. Muzzle dark in color, the blacker the better. Fault snipiness of the muzzle. Nose broad and always dark in color, the blacker the better, with spread flat nostrils (not pointed or turned up) in profile. Lips diverging at obtuse angles with the septum and sufficiently pendulous so as to show a modified square profile. Canine Teeth healthy and wide apart. Jaws powerful. Scissors bite preferred, but a moderately undershot jaw should not be faulted providing the teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed. Neck, Topline, Body Neck powerful, very muscular, slightly arched, and of medium length. The neck gradually increases in circumference as it approaches the shoulder. Neck moderately "dry" (not showing an excess of loose skin). Topline--In profile the topline should be straight, level, and firm, not swaybacked, roached, or dropping off sharply behind the high point of the rump. Chest wide, deep, rounded, and well let down between the forelegs, extending at least to the elbow. Forechest should be deep and well defined with the breastbone extending in front of the foremost point of the shoulders. Ribs well rounded. False ribs deep and well set back. Underline--There should be a reasonable, but not exaggerated, tuck-up. Back muscular, powerful, and straight. When viewed from the rear, there should be a slight rounding over the rump. Loins wide and muscular. Tail set on moderately high and reaching to the hocks or a little below. Wide at the root, tapering to the end, hanging straight in repose, forming a slight curve, but never over the back when the dog is in motion. Forequarters Shoulders moderately sloping, powerful and muscular, with no tendency to looseness. Degree of front angulation to match correct rear angulation. Legs straight, strong and set wide apart, heavy boned. Elbows parallel to body. Pasterns strong and bent only slightly. Feet large, round, and compact with well arched toes. Black nails preferred. Hindquarters Hindquarters broad, wide and muscular. Second thighs well developed, leading to a strong hock joint. Stifle joint is moderately angulated matching the front. Rear legs are wide apart and parallel when viewed from the rear. When the portion of the leg below the hock is correctly "set back" and stands perpendicular to the ground, a plumb line dropped from the rearmost point of the hindquarters will pass in front of the foot. This rules out straight hocks, and since stifle angulation varies with hock angulation, it also rules out insufficiently angulated stifles. Fault--Straight stifles. Coat Outer coat straight, coarse, and of moderately short length. Undercoat dense, short, and close lying. Coat should not be so long as to produce "fringe" on the belly, tail, or hind legs. Fault Long or wavy coat. Color Fawn, apricot, or brindle. Brindle should have fawn or apricot as a background color which should be completely covered with very dark stripes. Muzzle, ears, and nose must be dark in color, the blacker the better, with similar color tone around the eye orbits and extending upward between them. A small patch of white on the chest is permitted. Faults--Excessive white on the chest or white on any other part of the body. Mask, ears, or nose lacking dark pigment. Gait The gait denotes power and strength. The rear legs should have drive, while the forelegs should track smoothly with good reach. In motion, the legs move straight forward; as the dog's speed increases from a walk to a trot, the feet move in toward the center line of the body to maintain balance. Temperament A combination of grandeur and good nature, courage and docility. Dignity, rather than gaiety, is the Mastiff's correct demeanor. Judges should not condone shyness or viciousness. Conversely, judges should also beware of putting a premium on showiness.

Canine Epilepsy

Jessica Staker BZ479 November, 27 2007 Most studies on the topic of canine epilepsy estimate that approximately 55.7% (Patterson et al, 2005) of dogs are affected by epilepsy; up to 14% in some breeds of dogs (O'Brien, 2002). This is astonishingly high number of affected individuals when compared to populations of other species such as humans where only .5% of individuals are infected. Over 20 breeds of dogs are especially prone to canine epilepsy (Brewer, 1997). Research currently being conducted is trying to determine what genes are responsible for the genetic inheritance of canine epilepsy. There is more than one type of canine epilepsy but idiopathic canine epilepsy, the primary inherited canine epilepsy, is where the most concern lies. The mode of inheritance and the genes that affect each breed are different are not fully understood and research is being done on several breeds to try and determine these specific genes. The effects of epilepsy, repeated seizures, can be physically and mentally debilitating for an affected animal and is emotionally and financially difficult for the owners of these affected dogs. Epilepsy is a manageable condition with medication and other environmental modifications to control the frequency and severity of seizures. For breeders of breeds with high prevalence of epilepsy having dogs with epilepsy can negatively affect their reputation and they can inadvertently be breeding dogs that will pass the disease on. If these genes are discovered it will not only help regulate the inheritance of this disease when breeding but dogs will also serve as a model for human treatment since dogs and humans have many of the same diseases and genes responsible for the diseases

Soft launch of Website

With our good friend and web programmer Bruce Wrighter CEO of wrighter.com we are launching King Hill Mastiff's first website which will allow us another venue to share our love of Mastiffs with you. So enjoy our site and visit often to see what's new. See you soon! Rob McKnight

2010 MCOA National Specialty

See you at the MCOA National Specialty!