Interview with Cheryl Pike, Breeder of Amulet Bullmastiffs
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Cheryl Pike: We are located in Billerica, Massachusetts, and have 27 years in dogs; 24 years as a breeder.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Cheryl Pike: Our kennel name is Amulet Bullmastiffs. We currently keep 4-5 Bullmastiffs.
Which show dogs from the past have been your noteworthy winners?
Cheryl Pike: My noteworthy winners are my ROM (Registry of Merit) dogs and my Best in Show dogs (I have three to date), and always my Specialty winners.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Cheryl Pike: My most influential sires and dams are CH Amulet’s Naughty But Nice, CH Amulet’s Girl In Tight Genes ROM, GCH Amulet’s My Cousin Vinny ROM, GCH Amulet’s A Walk To Remember, and CH Nv’s Guns N Roses.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Cheryl Pike: Our home is our facility; all of our dogs are raised inside. Puppies are whelped in the living room/kitchen. We hand-raise our pups right in our living room, alongside their mom. As they grow they are moved to a large play area in the busiest part of our home—the kitchen. Here they smell, hear, see, touch, and feel all kinds of sights and sounds.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Cheryl Pike: After 25-plus years in this breed, I’m pretty good at picking our show potential pups very early on. As they grow and get up on their feet, I spend several hours observing movement, temperament, and getting to know each individual puppy. I usually have my eye set on a few and will finalize my decision between 7-9 weeks.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Cheryl Pike: I get my pups ring-ready by doing lots of stacking, leash walking, socializing, and training classes. They are a wash-and-wear breed. Weight should be good and nails trimmed accordingly. (Some do remove whiskers.)
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Cheryl Pike: The breed as a whole has come a long way, with Group placements and Best in Showwins. Several top dogs are owner-handled and they do fairly well in that arena. As far as conformation goes, we could use more shoulder layback, rear angulation, and better bites over all.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Cheryl Pike: Well, we do hip and elbow testing, echocardiograms, and DNA genetic testing as well as thyroid and eyes. (Our parent club requires these for a CHIC number, etc.) A Bullmastiff requires a quality low-protein diet. Some breeders prefer to feed raw.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Cheryl Pike: The breed is in good condition overall. I think, like any breed, there is certainly room for improvement. Personally, I’d like to see wider jaws, and better shoulders and rears accompanied with a solid topline.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Cheryl Pike: The Bullmastiff is well-suited to be a family dog. They make a great addition to most households but do require owners who are willing to train and socialize; obviously with experienced owners. They do best living with the family vs. a kennel. I like to place my pups in homes that have at least one family member at home most of the time; a family that respects the needs of a Bullmastiff and is willing to correspond with me for advice on health, socialization, training, etc.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Cheryl Pike: Yes, I do.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?
Cheryl Pike: Oh, boy, that’s hard. There are several that come to mind: Grandkids dressing them up for Halloween; painting their nails, then learning to open the door by turning the door knob; and swimming too far out in the lake, leaving me to go in after them—fully dressed.
Are you looking for a Bullmastiff puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Bullmastiff dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Bullmastiff Dog Breed Magazine
Read and learn more about the brave Bullmastiff dog breed with articles and information in our Bullmastiff Dog Breed Magazine.
Bullmastiff Breed Magazine - Showsight