Interview with Stacie Toft-Devore, Breeder of Corral West Kennels
Stacie Toft-Devore: I am married to my best friend, Jason Devore. We have been together since 1999 and have two kids. Our son is 17 years old and our daughter is 13 years old. We have four adult Bullmastiffs (a litter of eight Bullmastiff puppies), an Australian Cattle Dog, and a Chihuahua.
We also have quite a few horses as we are all very active in the horse industry. My husband and my son train team roping horses, and my daughter and I train and run barrel horses, and we all team rope. My husband is a professional team roper in the PRCA, and my children are both very active in junior high and high school rodeo along with various other rodeos in the state of Colorado.
When I am not riding my horses, I am usually at a dog show, showing my dogs. I have a 15-month-old puppy from my littler last year that I am working on finishing her championship, and then her brother who is following his Aunt Daisy’s footsteps and taking the ring by storm. He is already ranked in the Top 20 All-Breed, No. 27 Breed, and No. 11 Owner-Handled.
I love to show my dogs, and my ultimate goal is to produce top-quality, healthy family companions and show dogs. I am very thankful for my mom, Sherry MacLennan, for all of her influence, guidance, and mentorship. I wouldn’t be where I am today with my dogs and my handling skills if it wasn’t for her. She has taught me so much!
I also want to send a very special “thank you” to Sherry Boldt for allowing me the opportunity to own and love my Bullmastiff girls and the foundation for my breeding program!
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Stacie Toft-Devore: I live in Fort Lupton, Colorado. I have been in dogs for 35-plus years in a few different breeds; only nine years in Bullmastiffs. In the late 1980s, my mom had some of the first Chinese Shar-Pei in the country. That’s when we started showing dogs and I started showing in Junior Showmanship. In the early 1990s, we got into Australian Cattle Dogs.
We bred some top-winning Australian Cattle Dogs (ACD) and, in 1998, we had the first Red ACD to win the Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club. He was also the ACD National Best in Specialty Show dog, winning this honor from the Herding Titled Class. Since then, my mom and I have bred top-winning ACDs and another Best of Breed winner of the Westminster Kennel Club in 2015, with yet another Red ACD.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Stacie Toft-Devore: My kennel name is Corral West Kennels. I currently keep four adult Bullmastiffs and one adult Australian Cattle Dog. However, my mom still has quite a few adult ACDs that live with her.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Stacie Toft-Devore: It was in 2013 that my husband decided he wanted us to get a Bullmastiff. So, I asked a good friend of ours, Heather Johnson, if she knew of any Bullmastiffs available. I really hadn’t planned on showing or breeding them—we just wanted a pet. However, when I got “Timex” at a year old, she told me that he didn’t have the show “attitude.” That’s where my love of the breed began.
After I had had him for about a year, I told Heather that I thought he might show for me, and she said, “By all means, show him then.” So, there we went! I mean, I was already going to the dog shows, showing the ACDs, so I started showing Timex (CH Big Time’s Home Run). He finished his championship pretty quickly with very limited, local showing. (I had also had some downtime due to two back surgeries.)
When my elderly ACD ended up getting cancer and had to be laid to rest, I decided I really wanted to get another Bullmastiff; this time I wanted a female puppy. After being on a few great breeders’ lists, and then falling through, I found Mrs. Sherry Boldt with T’Boldt’s Bullmastiffs. She had a litter with brindles. I was so excited, and she ended up having a puppy available for me! So, when it came time to get my puppy, she gave me the choice between two puppies, a fawn and a brindle.
My mom and I were there for four hours trying to decide on which puppy, as I thought my husband would really like the brindle; however, my mom and I really liked the fawn. So, we decided on the fawn.
The next morning on our 12-hour way back home, we were about a mile from the exit when Sherry called and told me the sale on the brindle puppy had fallen through and she was now available. They said they really enjoyed us and thought that we would be a wonderful home… we had the option to take the brindle puppy as well!
So, I took it as a sign and went to get the brindle girl. We brought home T-Boldt’s Jessie’s Girl, “Jessie,” the brindle, and T-Boldt’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin, “Daisy,” the fawn girl. These puppies were both amazing and everyone at the shows just loved them. However, Miss Daisy took the ring by storm! Both girls finished their championships quite young; Daisy at 10 months and Jessie at 18 months.
Currently, Daisy has been my greatest-winning Bullmastiff. She earned her Championship at 10 months old, going BOS over Specials at a Bullmastiff Regional Specialty, then her Grand Championship at 13 months of age. At our National Specialty, at only 17 months old, she was awarded the First Award of Merit. She has always been owner-handled.
In 2019-2021 she was the No. 2 Owner-Handled Bullmastiff. She was awarded BOB and an Owner-Handled Working Group 3 at the National Owner-Handled Series finale in Orlando, Florida, in 2019. We have been invited back every year; however, I haven’t been able to make the trip back out with Daisy.
She is currently the 2022 No. 1 Owner-Handled Bullmastiff, and the #13 Owner-Handled of the Top 100 dogs overall (with very limited showing this year). She was the first Bullmastiff to achieve the NOHS Platinum status and she is the No. 1 Owner-Handled Lifetime Bullmastiff. Because I have always been the only one to show her, and I work full-time and have a family of four at home with about 20 head of horses, Daisy is only shown at a limited number of shows each year.
She has been awarded 18 Owner-Handled Bests in Show, three Owner-Handled Reserve Bests in Show, and in April 2022, Daisy was awarded a Best in Show with me as her handler! That was surely a dream come true! She was the first Bullmastiff in 2022 to be awarded a BIS, and is currently the only female Bullmastiff in 2022 to receive this great honor. And my most exciting part about it was that I was the one on the other end of her lead!
I can’t thank Mr. Dana P. Cline enough for finding my beautiful girl in such a lovely lineup of beautiful dogs. Daisy is currently the No. 2 All-Breed Bullmastiff and No. 17 Bullmastiff in Breed Points (with very limited, local shows mainly). In March, Daisy did win a Best in Specialty Show at a Regional Bullmastiff Specialty.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Stacie Toft-Devore: Puppies are always born via c-section. They start out their first few days in an incubator in my basement living room. Once they outgrow the incubator, they are in a whelping box until they are big enough to go outside for feedings and potty breaks. I have a nice, big, fenced yard, so the puppies get to hang out in the front yard in a small x-pen for about a week. Then they get to be loose in the front yard. At about 6 weeks of age, they are moved to the backyard which is a little bigger to run around in. They always sleep in the house in the whelping box until they go off to their new forever homes. They do not leave my house until they are at least 8 weeks of age.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Stacie Toft-Devore: My mom and I, and usually another mentor in the breed, will go over the puppies thoroughly, comparing each puppy to the breed standard. We usually evaluate them at 7 weeks of age; this is when they are the closest to what they will look like once they are mature.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Stacie Toft-Devore: I socialize them quite a bit by taking them to rodeos and barrel races (horse events), and to dog shows. I leash-train them at about 10 weeks old, and then work with them on learning to stack and stand for exam in my kitchen and by going to puppy fun matches. Mainly just a bath is needed for preparation and keeping their toenails clipped. There’s not any other grooming required.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Stacie Toft-Devore: I think there are a lot of beautiful dogs being presented. I am happy to see that it seems like, this year, the brindle Bullmastiffs are being recognized a little more than in previous years. It’s really quite sad that the brindle Bullmastiffs sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve, as the brindle was the original color of the Bullmastiff back in the mid-1800s.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Stacie Toft-Devore: Bullmastiffs can have some normal health concerns; however, we do test hips, elbows, heart, eyes, and thyroid. We also have started to do DNA testing to test for Autosomal Dominant Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Canine Multifocal Retinopathy (CMR1), and Degenerative Myelopathy (DM).
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Stacie Toft-Devore: Absolutely! They LOVE kids, and want to be couch potatoes! They are wonderful gentle giants! However, they don’t always know how big they are, and they can tend to use their weight to push on anyone who’s willing to pet them. They love to sit on your feet, and my dogs all want to sit in my lap. (I mean, who doesn’t love a 110-130 lb. lap dog?)
With training and discipline, they are great for anyone of any age. You just have to remember that they are big and strong, so they do need to learn respect. One of my puppies I bred in 2021 is a 125 lb. male that lives with my five-foot tall mother-in-law. He is her guardian and protector, yet loves everyone he should. Bullmastiffs are not super high-energy dogs, although they do like short walks and hikes. However, they are not big on long distances or in hot climates. They do tend to want to just hang out on the couch in the A/C all day.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Yes, I really do. The American Bullmastiff Association has quite a few wonderful preservation breeders.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?
Daisy loves to try to race my horse. I use my horse to get Daisy in shape for the shows (because she is such a couch potato). So, while I exercise my horse, Daisy goes alongside us… and when my horse starts to pick up her gait, Daisy thinks it’s time to race!
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
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