Ridgetop Bullmastiffs | Olga Contant

Purebred Bullmastiff Breeder
Olga Contant - Ridgetop Bullmastif

 

Interview with Olga Contant, Breeder of Ridgetop Bullmastiffs

 

Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?

Olga Contant: I started to breed Rough Collies in Russia, in 1989, under the mentorship of esteemed Rottweiler breeder-judge Tatyana Popova of Tverskoi Dom. While in Russia, my best friend, Galina Taylor, and I started to breed Bullmastiffs.

In 1999, we moved to the United States. We started to breed and show Bullmastiffs in 2007 under the kennel name Ridgetop Bullmastiffs in partnership with Marconian Bullmastiffs. Recently, my family relocated to Tampa, Florida, from Bay Area, California. So, in total, I have been involved in showing and breeding for 30 years.

 

What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?

Olga Contant: My kennel name is “Ridgetop Bullmastiffs” which was inspired by the mountains where we lived in California. I currently keep five dogs on my property.

Ridgetop Bullmastifs
Ridgetop Bullmastiffs

 

Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?

Olga Contant: This is a tough question as we have had over 100 US champions and a number of Bullmastiffs that influenced the breed over the years.

Here are a few of our notable legends:

  • Baron,” BIS MBISS GCHG Baron Dye of Ridgetop was Best of Breed at the 2016 National Specialty, a Best in Show Winner, and the No. 1 All-Breed Bullmastiff in 2014.
  • Bruce,” BISS GCHG Marconian N’ Ridgetops Thunder Road was a Top 25 Winner and the ABA Sire of the Year for 2016, 2017 &2018. He is a Gold Level ROM. “
  • Matisse,” Marconian’N Ridgetops Head Of State Is Dvariskiu was the World Dog Show Winner twice in 2016 & 2018.
  • Hugo,” GCHS Ridgetop N’ Marconians Aventador is our current special and he is No. 1 All-Breed and No. 2 Breed (as of July 2022). He is exclusively owner-handled by myself and my daughter, Ronie Whittall.

 

Olga Contant with her Ridgetop Bullmastif dog
Olga Contant | Ridgetop Bullmastiffs

 

Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

Olga Contant: I would say that Bruce (GCHG Marconian N’ Ridgetops Thunder Road) was our strongest sire so far. He was the Sire of the Year for ABA in 2016, 2017 & 2018. He is also a Gold Level ROM. “Nikki,” CH Bullstock N’ Garroways Nikita, was our foundation bitch. She was the No. 2 Bitch in 2009 and she is a Copper Level ROM. “Ninja,” CH Marconian N’ Ridgetops Ninja Striking Out of the Shadows, has an ROM. “Petra,” CH Ridgetop N’ Marconians Happy Birthday to Marconia, also has an ROM.

 

Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?

Olga Contant: Our property came with a six-horse barn that we converted to an air-conditioned facility for our dogs. Our litters are whelped at home and are kept at home until they are old enough to be moved to an inside/outside set-up. When raising my puppies, I focus on socializing and desensitizing them. My daughter helped me to “kid-proof” the puppies for future families.

Ridgetop Bullmastiffs
Ridgetop Bullmastiffs

 

What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?

Olga Contant: I evaluate our puppies at 8 weeks. I consider their type, structure, and temperament. I will pick the puppy that has the best combination of all of these traits. (Pat Hastings videoPuppy Puzzle” is very helpful for those who want to learn how to do this).

 

How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?

Olga Contant: A puppy’s attention span is very short, so practicing must be fun for them. I do this by creating games to help them learn the basics of being shown, like standing still, correct placement of paws, showing expression, and being examined. We practice as much as we can with lots of praise, excitement, and rewards. There is not a lot of “special preparation,” as they have short and low-maintenance coats. The only preparation would be to condition and exercise the dog as well as a quick bath.

 

Ridgetop Bullmastiff puppies
Ridgetop Bullmastiff puppies

 

Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?

Olga Contant: Currently, we have many strong and healthy lines presenting exceptional dogs in the show ring. There are also some really strong handlers (both owner and professional) presenting these dogs. Our breed is also starting to receive more recognition in the Group ring, which is exciting.

 

Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?

Olga Contant: Cancer is a big health concern within any breed right now. It is hard to control through breeding as there are so many factors that can influence it (environment, food, genetics, etc.). As for nutritional needs, if the dogs have been diagnosed with different types of cancer, I keep them on a raw (keto) diet to prevent the growth and spread of cancer. Several breeders, including me, think that supplements also help: Renew by Cead (provides cellular support); Envigor by Valia (targets sarcoma or bone cancer); and Pau D Arco (targets lymphoma).

 

In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?

Olga Contant: Overall, our breed is in good condition. I have noticed that low tail sets and poor toplines are popping up in some dogs. I also feel that it is important for Bullmastiffs to be athletic in order to perform their given function.

Olga Contant running with a dog, on grass
Olga Contant | Ridgetop Bullmastiffs

 

Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?

Olga Contant: Yes! Bullmastiffs make amazing family dogs as they are gentle yet protective, low maintenance, and have moderate energy levels. Ironically, they make great apartment dogs. The best candidates to own this breed are families with kids.

 

Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?

Olga Contant: Yes, our breed is in good hands as we have some excellent breeders dedicated to preserving the type, structure, and temperament of the Bullmastiff.

 

For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?

Olga Contant: Life with a Bullmastiff is never boring, so there is an endless list of “amusing things.” For example, the breed is very humanlike and way too smart for their own good. It is more like living with another person than a dog. I also remember my foundation bitch, Nikki, became very protective of my daughter, and my daughter used to take advantage of her loyalty. I had a male at the time, and my daughter would play with him and make him very excited. She would then call for Nikki who would come running to my daughter and put my male in his place. Also, Bullmastiffs have a hard time swimming… a really hard time. If you try to teach them to swim, be ready to jump in and catch them. Trust me, I’ve had to jump in the water several times.

 

Olga Contant with her dog
Olga Contant | Ridgetop Bullmastiffs

 


 

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

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the brave Bullmastiff dog breed with articles and information in our Bullmastiff Dog Breed Magazine.

 

Bullmastiff Breed Magazine - Showsight

 

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