Luca at 10 years young and in great health,
with owner Deanna.
  

We've been very successful in producing top quality Mastiffs that do well in both the show ring, as well as the working ring. We've also been very successful at reducing the incidence of hip dysplasia to zero, since 1990. And we've never had a case of elbow dysplasia. We have never had PRA in our dogs, and will continue to test for this disease, as well as breed only to clear dogs. (Touch wood!) We believe fully in diligent health testing.

I am currently taking a hiatus from breeding, and am unsure at this time as to when I shall be returning. I became concerned with some of the health issues appearing in my dogs, despite the fact that I was practicing excellent ‘animal husbandry’. So right now, I am concentrating on taking various courses about health issues and alternative medicines and methods of healing. Our dogs need our help in surviving this world of chemicals and pollution. I believe we have to change our previous traditional way of raising dogs.

All the accolades in the world mean nothing if you're not breeding healthy dogs. Of primary importance, here at Banda, is that all puppies go to a good home, whether for pet or show. Anything extra that you do with your puppy, while it reflects well on a Banda dog, also indicates to us that you have a rapport with your dog, and are enjoying each other to the full! Most people think of abuse in terms of starving or beating their dogs. But, there is another kind of abuse, known as passive abuse, which is packaged in neglect. Chronic ear infections; goopy eyes; urinary tract infections, etc. - you have a responsibility to get to the bottom of the problem - not just shrug and put the dog on another round of antibiotics! Also, dogs with no manners soon end up in the pound and then euthanized - no one wants them and few have the time to correct the bad behaviours. Take the time to train your dog, and turn him/her into a well-adjusted member of the family and neighbourhood! You would be surprised at how many 'nice families' fall into this category! We don't want those types of owners.

We are focusing on 3 main areas:

Temperament
All our girls have their CGN or CGC - Canine Good Neighbour/Canine Good Citizen. The first is the Canadian title, and the second is the American title. In order to gain this title, the dogs have to go through a series of tests. We are looking to breed to males with like temperaments and titles. We are also looking into the connection between temperament problems and vaccines.

Immune Systems
In speaking to other breeders, this seems to be an increasing problem in all dogs - all breeds - even mixed breeds. Small innocuous problems can suddenly become systemic and life-threatening. Odd, never before seen illnesses are becoming apparent. Due to the huge growth of Mastiffs, good nutrition is absolutely vital. We send you home with a complete feeding guide, and recommend raising your dog naturally. As well, we are always here to provide advice for the life of your dog.

Longevity
When I started out in this breed, in 1978, the average lifespan was 10 years. Many Mastiffs only live to 5 years, with the average dropping to about 9 years now. Mrs. Hyacinth Mellish of the famous Heatherbelle Mastiffs once told me that she was a 3rd generation Mastiff breeder and the average age for their dogs was 16! They fed their dogs a raw diet. We are seeing some Mastiffs living into their teens, and are focusing on these dogs, and these lines, and, along with better immune systems, we are hoping to increase the life spans of these wonderful companions.