During history Mastiffs , almost completely different in regard to general character , have been not only praised by the fancy but also prized by the judges as in their eye those Mastiffs corresponded respectively to that full image of - ‘a large , massive , powerful , symmetrical , and well-knit framed canine ‘ , complemented by an array of specific breed points , each one attained in a certain degree . Photographic outcome thereto may be astonishing .
Take par example WK Taunton’ ch Beaufort , born 1884 , versus Mr & Mrs Oliver ch Hellingly Joseph , born 1925 . Beaufort recorded as 29 ½ I (ca 75cm) at shoulder weighing 165 lbs (75 kg) vs Joseph 33i (ca 84 cm) at shoulder weighing 13 stone (182 lbs or 82 kg) . Here below an approx ‘scaled’ comparison , ie – as if both specimens (of a completely different era) were standing life , next to each other .
Breed standard 1883 General description of body ~Massive , broad , deep , long , powerful built , on legs wide apart and squarely set. Muscles sharply defined . Size a great desideratum if combined with quality . Height of less importance than substance , but desirable , if both points are proportionately combined .
The height vs length proportion is for a breed as heavy as a Mastiff a very important feature ; if the proportional length is too short than it may present a cobby Bull-Mastiff-like image lacking the grandeur of a large guard whereas a proportional length too long may cause the perception the dog in question carries an extra burden of gravity forces off the back as fore- & aft supports (resp pads) are way too far from each other in order to supply appropriate comfort in stance & motion ; at older age annex lesser muscle tone such lengthy & heavy specimen may become victim of spinal discomfort , not to say chronic pains .
The 1883 breed standard asks for a long body , so it's not unfair to assume the length of body must exceed the height at shoulder ; extensive measurements into the Mastiff breed population present an outcome of averagely 113/100 (note - females proportionately slightly longer than males) . Now , here below is presented a first-class Mastiff of the Victorian era and he does match that average score of 113/100 ; the red help lines indicate that the balance of this dog corresponds to the Golden Ratio (an antique proportio utmost pleasing to the eye) in two ways , ie 1) height at shoulder vs distance between tip of nose to tail , 2) distance between tip of nose to centre of fore-leg vs distance between centre of fore-leg to hock joint . In order to make things more clear - below here there are three presentations of the same dog , from left to right - the dog' image 10% shortened , the dog' image in the original proportion & finally the dog' image 10% lengthened .