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Mr Christofer Habig

As the year 2009 draws to a close, I regard it as an honour to send you my first year-end message and outlook for the next year as President of the Welsh & West of England Bullmastiff Society.

Some of you already know, that my approach to the world of dogs in general and the well-being of the Bullmastiff in particular, is not always conventional or politically correct, but hopefully always motivating, encouraging and thought-provoking. Allow me to highlight two thoughts:

Firstly, never stop believing in your own enthusiasm, passion and convictions as far as the "Grandezza" of the Bullmastiff is concerned! No breed should ever lose the support of its fraternity, especially in times when not all the players on the field seem to honour the true values of some of the most unique breeds, such as the breeds of the Mastiff family. I personally do not believe in changing breed standards - and certainly not in my role as the new Vice President of the FCI, the world's leading global organisation for dogs - but, on the contrary, I do believe that, as far as the Bullmastiff is concerned, the breed standard perfectly upholds the heritage, profile and characteristics of this unique British breed. After all, as Douglas Oliff constantly pointed out, the Bullmastiff is a part of the national heritage of Great Britain. The breed standard asks for fit and healthy, agile dogs, physically as well as mentally, so breeding according to the original ideas behind the standards is the best thing you can possibly do to guarantee a safe future for this impressive, grand breed.

The second thought is that the world closely observes how Britain looks after its national breeds. As there are thousands of enthusiasts outside Britain, who have the well-being of the Bullmastiff at heart, the Welsh & West of England Bullmastiff Society has the privilege of building on a very special heritage, connected, as far as I have always understood it, with the name of Douglas Oliff. That is to say, it should be a place of lively discussion among devotees to the breed, of an international exchange of ideas, of doing the right thing - which might not always be the most popular one, when seen in the light of conventional wisdom or political power. Therein lies the credibility of the breed club and the breed specialist, who put the well-being of their breed at the top of the agenda.

As a final thought, Bullmastiff people are a unique folk, who should always lead with a positive and brave attitude and if we all pay attention to the physical and mental fitness of the breed, then the Bullmastiff will have a bright future.

I wish you and your families all the best for 2010. Good health for you and your dogs and the stamina of our breed to conquer the challenges ahead.

Christofer Habig