Foxglove's Big Ben

1995 – 2005
Height: 31"
Weight: 197lbs

Ben was bred by Laura & David Hagey, two highly respected American Kennel Club Judges, longtime members of the Mastiff community and founders of Foxglove Mastiffs; and was in Laura's words, "The best combo we had in 25 years of mastiff breeding. It made for many healthy, happy dogs that lived a long time & had very few problems compared to most mastiffs". In fact, many of the dogs in Ben's pedigree have lived into their teens, with the majority making it to the age of 10. Definitely a bonus, when you consider that the average lifespan of a Mastiff today is anywhere from 5-8 years.

Ben comes from a long line of Mastiff Club of America Hall of Fame dogs, including Best in Specialty Show, Best in Show, Best Veteran in Specialty Show & Award of Merit (in Specialty) winners. In fact, Ben’s siblings and grandparents are the grand & great-grandparents of MBIS MBISS Am.Ch. Southport’s Sherman, HOF – the most ‘winning’ mastiff of all times, with over 29 Best in Shows, 2 National Specialty Best in Shows, 2 Westminster Best of Breed wins, a Eukanuba Best of Breed win, and many other top honours. Ben's 1/2 brother, MBISS Am.Ch. Regal Hills Sudden Impact, HOF (aka Willie) is Sherman's grandfather!

Even more important than Ben's illustrious pedigree though, is the impeccable temperament and "go with the flow" attitude he had. Ben comes from multiple generations of Temperament Tested & Therapy Dogs who provide love & reassurance to palliative patients and terminally ill or abused children; they attend schools, hospitals, senior's residences, mental health facilities and anywhere they're called to assist. Ben himself, was a licensed Medical Assist & Service Dog for his co-owner's father who had Parkinsons and was in a wheelchair for many years. Ben used to pull the chair around and give the gentleman support when he had to get up for any reason. He was extremely laid back about everything and very tolerant of all things. Laura says she "never once saw, or heard of him being anything but perfect in temperament". Ben was also a great traveller and went everywhere with his owner - Laura jokes that "... she got away with so much with Ben in tow!" Ben thought showing was kind of stupid and went along with it, but Laura knew he didn’t see the point of it all. Ben's favourite reason for going to the shows was to be mauled by kids and anyone that would pet him; and he was always so gentle with everyone!

He was fully tested for his era and was clear on all things. Ben had a scissors bite, incredible pigment, nice ears, was very sound coming and going, and very powerful in motion. He wasn't a big eater & didn’t carry a lot of weight, but was dead sound at all times and very athletic. Ben was incredibly healthy his whole life, and was put to sleep at an old age - almost 10 years old - due to bloat. His co-owner made the horribly difficult decision not to do an incredibly risky, major surgery on a dog of Ben's age. Ben was loved by all who met him, and is still missed to this day by many.
Meet Ben's Parents!
(click on the above link to see their page)

Health Testing

While Ben didn't have all of the health testing done that we would expect to see on a mastiff that is alive today, he was tested to the level commonly accepted in his day & age. He also had his eyes CERF'd, unfortunately his co-owner never sent the form in. Laura was there for the exam though, and stated that there were "No issues whatsoever with Ben's eyes." Both of Ben's parents were CERF'd multiple times & recieved "normal" results every time.

In fact, Laura & David were among the first breeders to actually have their dogs eyes CERF'd - at a time when many breeders felt there was no reason whatsoever to test a dog's eyes! Although Ben himself was not tested for PRA, many of his siblings (& a few grandparents) were, and they all tested "clear" for the PRA gene.

HIPS - Fair - OFA MF-3327F34M
ELBOWS - Good - MF-EL1049M34
CERF - NORMAL - 2000

Ben's Family