Joe and Carla Sanchez began their long and dedicated journey with the breed in 1982 because of a promise they made to one another: once they purchased their first home together then they would get a dog. That dog was their first Mastiff, CH Stonebrook Southports Byron, who not only introduced Joe and Carla to the the world of Mastiffs but to conformation as well. They became Southport Mastiffs. They bred their first litter and began their very first campaign with a Mastiff special (Byron) in 1985 and have been active in the breed ever since.
Carla has dedicated her adult life to the preservation and protection of the Mastiff breed. She was active in mastiff rescue and the MCOA Health Committee. One of Carla’s most treasured accomplishments is her work with the MCOA PRA Committee and Dr. Acland from Cornell University that led to the discovery of the PRA gene in Mastiffs. The discovery of this gene not only proved that there were no PRA carriers (a widely accepted notion) but allowed for the development of a simple blood test that could detect PRA which was more efficient and effective than the CERF exam.
In the conformation ring, Southport Mastiffs has strived for success and excellence. Joe and Carla’s vision was to help any deserving Mastiff take his rightful spot as a top dog in the Working Group. Carla has had the honor of loving, owning, and breeding some of America’s top Mastiffs- including MBIS MBISS CH Southports Sherman, the top winning Mastiff in breed history. Joe and Carla have had multiple MCOA National Specialty winners, Westminster Kennel Club Best of Breed winners, REMC Specialty winners, and All Breed Best in Show winners.
Carla Sanchez has served as the MCOA Secretary, MCOA Vice President, and MCOA Board Member, is an MCOA Judges Education Mentor, and a John Brill Award Recipient. I know Carla is honored to judge Breeder’s Cup at our National Specialty and is excited to see the beautiful dogs our club members have produced.
Written by Dani Sanchez Hall