Movement and Pacing

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Antonio Di Lorenzo: Neapolitan Mastiff Breeder (dell Alta Fiumara), International FCI All Breeds Judge, Lecturer, Author, (Extract from article written in 1981. Revised 2010): The movement of the Neapolitan Mastiff is quite unique. At walking pace he has a slow loose-limbed walk just like a bear & the scapulae go up and down alternately. When trotting he becomes like a large cat with a powerful push from the rear legs. He is not a galloper of long distances but he does irresistible rushes, reaching high speed in a few meters. Often he ambles, and this kind of walk has to be considered as a breed specific feature. The amble is a kind of pacing movement.

Signor Guido Vandoni: Neapolitan Mastiff Breeder (della Correzzana), International FCI All Breeds Judge, ENCI (Italian KC) Committee Member, S.A.M.N. (Societa Amatori Del Mastino Napoletano) Technical Committee Member, Lecturer, Author. (Extract from article written in 1986): After repeating the standard on movement states “some judges are excessively severe about movement of the Mastino which in reality, should be accepted since from time immemorial it is the characteristic, effortless gait common to many heavy animals (e.g. heavy horses amble). In any case the progress of the Napoletano should be smooth in its own typical way so that the level topline is not disturbed by erratic nor jerky movements of the limbs front or hind”. In the field of animal ergonomics pacing is considered to be the most effective energy saving & restful method of weight transference & a valuable asset for travelling long distances.

Dr Jean Clark: Neapolitan Mastiff Breeder (Kwintra), Exhibitor, Breed Specialist, Author: (Exract taken from Molosser Magazin 1987): One of the most difficult problems in England for the Mastini is the question of gait. Pacing, which is the easiest transference of weight, is the normal gait of the Mastino: which is supposed to be bear-like in its movement, the description is to amble like a bear. However many Judges in Britain do not even recognise the breed, let alone know what its standard is.

Mario Perricone: Member of the FCI Breed Standards Commission, International FCI All-breeds Judge, Author: (Extract from Article written in 1995): If the dog is walking at its slow and shuffling gait it appears indolent & lazy incapable of the explosive power needed for a guard dog which must be able to chase & bring down an intruder. At the trot especially in action such as patrolling the boundaries of its territory, the Neapolitan Mastiff becomes a different more determined & agile dog. The hindquarters have ample power to propel its considerate weight & the forelimbs stretch well forward. The Mastino movement is fluid & flat and the bones & articulating joints may be seen to undulate beneath the thick skin. It is more feline than canine, it seems to be a panther, capable of overcoming impossible obstacles to bear down on its prey. As a breed the Neapolitan Mastiff often paces and the bear like gait does not constitute a defect.

Douglas Oliff: Molosser Expert, KC Approved CC Judge, KC Approved Group Judge, Founder & President of The Neapolitan Mastiff Club (until his passing in 2008), Lecturer, Author:(Extract from Article1999): Because of the overall looseness of construction the breed has a characteristic movement which is rarely understood, it has been described as like that of a bear. A correctly constructed Mastino has the walking style of a stalking tiger with a precise, long & ponderous stride. Because of the length of stride while the legs appear to be moving very slowly, the distance covered with very little effort is great. The same applies to the breeds’ characteristic steady trot. It rarely gallops. They sometimes ‘pace’ which is not considered to be a fault under most experienced judges.

Arch Giuseppe Alessandra: Breeder (dell Albriz),International FCI All-breeds Judge, Founder & President of the International Technical Neapolitan Mastiff Association (A.T.I.MA.NA.), Lecturer, Author: (Extract from Lecture in 1997): The movement is another of the very important characteristics of the breed. Because the length of the body, the angle of the shoulder and the type of angle of the posterior which gives, in the Neapolitan Mastiff, the typical movement motion which is a step, that is sort of a glide, that makes it very similar to the motion of a lion. The movement of the Neapolitan Mastiff can be compared to the motion of large mammals, when he paces, he moves like a bear, and when he trots, he moves like a lion, even down to the movement of the shoulders and a little pigeon-toed. The dog does not gallop very often, but when he does, he looks like one of the large felines.

KC Breed Standard: (Last up-dated Oct 2009): Slow, free, bear-like, slow trot, long steps covering ground well. Rarely gallops.

FCI-Standard: (No 197 / 27.11.1989): Gait / Movement: This constitutes a typical characteristic of the breed. At the walk, the gait of feline type of lion steps is slow and resembles that of a bear. The trot is distinguished by a strong thrust of the hindquarters & a good extension of the forequarters. The dog rarely gallops, usual gaits: walk & trot. Pacing is tolerated.

E.N.C.I Standard: (As published in 2010(No specific date): Gait And Movement: This constitutes a typical characteristic of the breed. At the walk, the gait of feline type of lion steps, is slow and resembles that of a bear. The trot is distinguished by a strong thrust of the hindquarters and a good extension of the forequarters. The dog rarely gallops: usual gaits: walk and trot – pacing is tolerated.