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By Steve Jones
Welcome to the wonderful world of the Molosser, here we are going to take an in-depth look at what I consider to be the most impressive dogs in the Molosser world, some you would have heard of and seen on a daily basis others you would have never heard of and due to the draconian laws of the United kingdom will never get to meet but before we look at them as individuals let’s look at the Molosser as a group of dogs.
Molossos is on the Greek mainland opposite the island of Corfu, It was Named after Molossus the king of Epirus and was the location in Greece were Alexander the Great kept his world renowned kennels, this is were fighting dogs and battle dogs were produced in great numbers for military and sport use throughout the conquered world by the Molossi people, here is where historians think the name Molosser originates from. In time Alexander and the Greek empire declined and were replaced by the Romans who also adopted the idea of "The battle dog" but in addition to these Molossers being "war dogs" they were also called upon to herd and protect the cattle the Roman legions travelled with.
As these ancient Molosser dogs were exported to West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, and North Africa, they soon adapted to their surroundings and interbred with local dogs resulting in offspring with shorter, differently colored coats but retained more anatomical morphology traits like height and massive heads with short muzzles.
The dogs were considered valuable in Babylon, and are mentioned in cuneiform in the 4th century BC. A large Mastiff-like dog is shown on the ancient terra cotta by Birrs Nimrud. The dog is 90 centimeters (35 in) tall at the withers, has a stocky head and powerful hind quarters. The dogs were used for hunting in ancient Assyria.
Archeological digs of the Ashurbanipal palace (7th century BC) revealed pictures of dogs felling wild horses and donkeys. Assyrian Mastiffs were also used for military purposes and for protection. The ancient Mastiffs would later be imported from Assyria and Babylon to Egypt and Asia Minor. Xerxes I of Persia led predatory wars to enlarge the borders of his empire, taking with him large war dogs in his Army. Mastiffs were used to fight in the Roman amphitheater against lions and may have been used in lion hunting. They are the root of many Shepherd and Mountain dog breeds.
The Alans kept Mastiff-like dogs taken from Eastern Europe which acted as retrievers, guard dogs, and fighting dogs. The name associated with these dogs is Alaunt, or in Spanish, Alano. The Mastiffs were used in unison with sighthounds to hunt wisent, aurochs, and bear. Groups of Alanian tribes came to Europe during the Migration Period, fighting on the territory of modern Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and North Africa, taking with them their dogs. The Alanian Mastiff then spread to the British Isles. The Mastiffs of the Alps, the Alpine Mastiff, was a progenitor of the St. Bernard and contributed to the modern English Mastiff. Now Together let’s explore there varied origins and how they reached the pinnacle of today’s canine world, this is not only a look into the history of the Molosser but a look into the history of mankind because as long as there has been civilized humans on the face of the earth the Molosser has been at there side performing a multitude of tasks
In contemporary culture they are also known as Mastín (Spanish), Dogue or Dogo (Romance languages), and Dogge (Germanic). The common denominators in these dogs are that Molossers typically have heavy bones, pendant ears, a relatively short and well-muscled neck, and a short muzzle.
Despite being very exciting and at times awe inspiring everything we know or think we know about the early Molossers is speculation (including the above) the truth is the breeds origins are cloaked in mystery, we don’t even know what the original Molosser looked like but can be fairly sure it was close in appearance to the English Mastiff which played a major part in the production of the Molossers we see today (DNA from the EM has been found in over 80% of today’s Molossers) another major player in the expansion of the Molosser is Turkey, the Turks have through a need to have large dogs that can perform a multitude of tasks expanded several branches of the Molosser and produced some impressive animals.
Who knows perhaps one day we will see a Molosser Crufts were we can bring all the variations and types together under one roof for the public to view, that would be one dog show I would run through fire to attend.
So here goes folks, my top Molossers, they are in no particular order each one is as impressive as the next and all have earned the respect needed to be called A MOLOSSER.
The Kangal (pronounced, khan-ghahl) is a breed of large livestock guardian dog, originating from the Sivas city in Turkey. It is of an early Mastiff type with a solid, pale tan or sabled coat, and with a black mask. According to the official Kangal organizations in Turkey - Cytology Federation Of Turkey (KIF) and Ankara Kangal Derneği (ANKADER) Kangals in may also be brindle or recessive black tan pattern; with or without a black mask; and/or with white markings. While the Kangal is often referred to as a sheep dog, it is not a herding dog, but rather a flock guardian that lives with the flock of sheep to actively fend off wolves, bears and jackals. The Sivas Kangal Dog's protectiveness, loyalty and gentleness with small children and animals has led to its growing popularity as a guardian for families as well, as it regards people as its "flock" and guards them with extreme devotion.
While similar in appearance, the Kangal is a separate breed from the Anatolian Shepherd.
The name Kangal derives from the name of the central Anatolian town Kangal of the Sivas Province and is probably from the same root word of a Turkic tribe called "Kangly".
There are subtle variations given in the standards used by different countries when describing the height and weight. In the Kangal’s homeland of Turkey, the only measurements desired are quoted by KIF as a height at the withers of 65 to 78 cm (26 to 31 in) with a two cm tolerance either way. KIF does not differentiate between male and female statistics. Although other standards internationally are fairly consistent with each other, they are at odds with KIF as their guidelines are for a larger dog. In the UK, the Kennel Club interim standard states the height at shoulders should be males 74 to 81 cm (29 to 32 in) with females at 71 to 79 cm (28 to 31 in) without specifying any weight guidelines. The New Zealand Kennel Club quotes height for males as 76 to 81.5 cm (29.9 to 32.1 in) with a weight of 50 to 63 kg (110 to 139 lb) and a bitches height as 71 to 78.5 cm (28.0 to 30.9 in) weighing 41 to 59 kg (90 to 130 lb). In America, the only agency to recognize the breed is the UKC and its standard gives 30 to 32 in (76 to 81 cm) for males, weight 110 to 145 lb (50 to 66 kg) and 28 to 30 in (71 to 76 cm) for females with a weight of 90 to 120 lb (41 to 54 kg).
The Kangal Dog is not as heavy as some other Mastiff breeds, allowing it greater speed and agility than larger dogs. Kangal dogs can reach speeds of up to 50 km (30 miles) per hour. The under-layer provides insulation against both severe Anatolian winters and the fierce summer sun, while the outer-layer repels water and snow. This combination of coat allows it to regulate its core temperature more efficiently, while the coat is dense enough to repel rupture from wolf bites. Further differences between the KIF standard and those used internationally are found in the guidelines for coat and color. The registered Kangal organizations in Turkey, Cynology Federation of Turkey (KIF)—to an extent—and Ankara Kangal Derneği (ANKADER) do not regard coat color as a breed defining feature. Brindle, recessive black tan pattern, white markings and a longer coat are regarded as Kangal and are not usually indicative of cross breeding, as the KIF standard as significant restrictions on accepted color and is more restrictive with respect to white markings than any of the other international standards, as white markings are only accepted on the chest and on the tip of the tail, whereas standards from other kennel clubs allow white markings on the feet and legs. Rather it is head structure and morphology that differentiate Kangal from other Çoban Köpegi. In contrast other kennel clubs describe coat and color as perhaps the most visible traits that distinguish the Kangal from the Akbash and Anatolian. The coat must be short and dense, not long or feathery, and of a pale fawn or tan color with varying amounts of sable guard hairs. All Kangal Dogs have a black facial mask, and black or shaded ears. White at certain points (chest, chin, toes) may or may not be allowed, depending on the standard. Some heavily sabled Kangals also have darker legs and chests. Most importantly, the coat should not be broken, brindled, or spotted. Cropping of the ears is done for several reasons, including the cultural demonstration of ownership vice feral dog, for appearance and for protection, as long ears can be vulnerable in a physical confrontation with a predator. It is also believed that cropping improves the dog's hearing because sound can travel into ear easier. It should be noted the cropping of ears is illegal in the UK.
The Kangal dog is calm, controlled, independent, powerful and protective. They may be aloof towards strangers, but a well-socialized Kangal Dog is friendly with visitors and especially children. They must never be shy or vicious. A well-trained Kangal is sensitive and alert to changing situations, responding to threats with judicious warnings and courageous action if necessary. They make good guardians of livestock and humans alike, but they may not be suitable for inexperienced dog owners, as the independent intelligence of the Kangal makes for a difficult pupil.
A working Kangal on duty will station itself on a high vantage point overlooking its flock. On hot days, the dog will dig itself a hollow in the ground to keep cool. Novices learn by staying close to older dogs. The dogs will work in pairs or teams depending on the size of the flock, taking up positions around the sheep and changing their positions as needed. The intensity of their patrols around the sheep increases at nightfall. When suspicious, a Kangal will stand with its tail and ears erect and give an alarm call, inciting the sheep to gather around it for protection. The Kangal’s first instinct is to place itself between the perceived threat and the sheep or master. Once the sheep are safely behind it, the Kangal confronts the intruder. When faced with a wolf, the Kangal sometimes is successful in intimidating the enemy, but it will resort to a physical confrontation if the predator stands its ground. Specialized wolf killers are known as "kurtçul kangal" in their homeland.
The Adronicus mastiff
The Andronicus Mastiff is the mystery dog of the Molosser world, and there are very few facts known about it. According to Molosser Dogs.com, this rare Mastiff was developed by Cary Mejia of California. Mejia has kept secret about the breeds used to develop the Andronicus, but interested parties speculate that the following dogs were used as the foundation for the Andronicus.
American Staffordshire terrier
Since so many breeds have possibly contributed to the Andronicus' genetic make-up, there's a lack of uniformity in their appearance. Some look like super-sized American Staffordshire's, while others have a more traditional Mastiff look. The one aspect they all have in common is that they are powerfully built and have strong jaws. The breed mainly consists of Mastiff types, which give it an excellent temperament, which is good with children, loving, devoted and a sweet disposition.
The Adronicus Mastiff is so exceptional in its qualities that if only a few of these alleged features are true then I hesitate to call this incredible animal a "dog". Many of the personal protection dogs have a tendency to be headstrong, some even attempting to establish dominance over their owners. This dog has a brain and understands your authority. This amazing canine is more than a dog and will most definitely make you more than a mere dog owner. Many have commented on their stealth appearance and cat-like gait comparing them to panthers. You will own a truly exotic rare breed that will most certainly have every head turning your direction.. With their owners they desire to be with you, and as some have commented, they seem to be almost mystical in their devotion to you, it is a primitive breed. The rarest of the rare, the king of all canine's!
The Adronicus Size:
Male: large 100-140 lbs.
Female: 80-110 lbs.
This is a mastiff family protection dog and a primitive breed that is very rare. The Adronicus is one of the strongest mastiffs in the world pound for pound. Strength blended with gentleness is a very rare quality. Remember the Adronicus is not a timid animal and although not a fighting breed they will protect you and themselves when threatened. The Adronicus Mastiff takes about three and a half years to fully mature. They will go through awkward growing stages. The adult height is generally reached around fourteen months and they will continue to fill out with time. Training can begin as early as eight weeks. These dogs as puppies should be fed premium large breed puppy formula. Average lifespan is around 12 years.
The Adronicus Mastiff is a very expensive exotic rare breed. Because of the rarity, few people will ever even see one and fewer will ever own one. In fact no females are currently available to the general public for breeding as the world’s only breeder says he does not want the public to ruin what has taken him years to perfect. This is the Rolls Royse of designer dogs but buyers must beware because this is a breed in its infancy so not enough is known about this breed to say for certain there are not going to be some serious health or even behavioral issues in the future.
Alangu and Bully Kutta, now these breeds of Molosser have really had a bad press over the last few years but speaking as someone who has had first-hand experience in the training arena with these breeds you can take it from me guys they are amazing dogs and not at all like they are portrayed by some people and the press, like most Molosser types all these dogs need is time and patents, there is absolutely no reason why your bully Kutta can’t be made into a stupid lapdog and an excellent asset to your family home.
These two Mastiffs are one in the same and are in fact variations of the same breed. Alangu is the name they mainly go by in India, where it is believed they originated, while Bully Kutta is the name given to them in neighboring Pakistan. These dogs have ancient roots, and they may even have been used as dogs of war by Alexander the Great who is believed to have brought them into Pakistan. What is known for certain is that they have been used as hunters and guard dogs for centuries. They have even been used as fighting dogs due to their great strength and naturally aggressive nature.
According to Sarah's Dogs.com, the Alangu looks quite similar to a typical Mastiff. It's powerfully built with a massive, squared head and incredibly fearsome-looking jaws. The overall impression of this dog is that it looks majestic and intimidating.
Additional physical characteristics of this dog include:
Height - Approximately 29 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight - Approximately 150 pounds for either sex
Coat - Short, flat double coat
Colors - Brown, fawn or brindle, with various markings
Images of these dogs are difficult to come by, but here are photos of an Alangu and a Bully Kutta.
The Alangu's temperament is described as being:
A natural guard dog
Viciously aggressive under the right circumstances
A threat to other pets in the home due to its strong hunting instincts
This dog is In need of strong leadership from its owners and a great deal of socialization and training from puppyhood.
The Pakistani Bully Kutta (Pakistani Mastiff) is a powerful Mastiff. They are also known as the "Beast from the East." They are a very intelligent and noble breed. This is an extremely dominant dog and is only recommended for experienced dog owners. They can be very difficult to handle if placed with the wrong owner. Pakistani Bully Kuttas are very trainable. They are loyal and protective of their master and property. With proper exercise, leadership, socialization and training, the Pakistani Bully Kutta can make an amenable companion for responsible and knowledgeable owners. Well raised Bully Kuttas are good with kids, very loving and playful. In their homeland they are mostly used for protection and guarding purposes, but are sometimes unfortunately used for dog fighting, and raised to be aggressive toward other dogs, aloof, not tolerating strangers. This Mastiff will not listen if it senses that it is stronger minded than its owner. Owners need to possess a natural air of authority to their demeanor. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader; lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success. When owners make it absolutely clear they are alpha over the dog in a calm, but very firm manner, and the dog is well exercised, trained and socialized they can be very good family companions.
The Komondor (in Hungarian the plural for Komondor is komondorok), also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, is a large, white-colored Hungarian Molosser breed of livestock guardian dog with a long, corded coat.
Sometimes referred to as 'mop dogs,' the Komondor is a long-established powerful dog breed that has a natural guardian instinct to guard livestock and other property. The Komondor was brought to Europe by the Cumans and it was mentioned for the first time in 1544 in a Hungarian codex. The Komondor breed has been declared one of Hungary’s national treasures, to be preserved and protected from modification.
Komondors were brought to Hungary by Cumans, the Turkic speaking, nomadic people who settled in Hungary during the 12th and 13th century. The name Komondor derives from Koman-dor, meaning "Cuman dog". The breed descends from Tibetan dogs and came from Asia with the Cumans, whose homeland might have been near the Yellow River. In the late 10th century, Mongols began to expand their territories at the expense of the Cumans, forcing them to move westwards. Fleeing from the Mongols, they reached the borders of Hungary in the 12th century.
Cumans were granted asylum and settled in Hungary in 1239 under Köten Khan. Komondor remains have been found in Cuman gravesites. The name "quman-dur" means "belonging to the Cumans" or "the dog of the Cumans," thus distinguishing it from a similar Hungarian sheepdog breed which later merged with the Komondor. The name Komondor is found for the first time written in 1544 in the History of King Astiagis by Kákonyi Péter, in Hungarian. Later in 1673 Amos Comenius mentions the Komondor in one of his works. Today the Komondor is a fairly common breed in Hungary, its country of origin, unfortunately not many of us will ever get the chance to see one of these magnificent dogs up close because they are a dying breed.
The Komondor is a large dog (many are over 30 inches tall), making this one of the largest breeds of Molosser dog. The body is covered by a heavy, matted, corded coat. The dogs have robust bodies, strongly muscled, with long legs and a short back, with the tails carried with a slight curl. The body, seen sideways, forms a prone rectangle. Length of body is slightly longer than the height at the withers, approximately 104% of the height at withers.
The Komondor has a broad head with the muzzle slightly shorter than half of the length of the head, with an even and complete scissor bite. Nose and lips are always black. People unfamiliar with the breed are often surprised by how quick and agile the dogs are.
The minimum height of female Komondors is 25.5 inches (65 cm) at the withers, with an average height of 27.5 inches (70 cm). The minimum height of male Komondors is 27.5 inches (70 cm) with an average height of 31.5 inches (80 cm). No upper height limit is given. Komondor females on average weigh between 88–110 lb (40–50 kg) and Komondor males weigh on average between 110–132 lb (50–60 kg).
The Komondor's coat is long, thick, and strikingly corded white coat, about 20 – 27 cm long (the heaviest amount of fur in the canine world), which resembles dreadlocks or a mop. The puppy coat is soft and fluffy. However, the coat is wavy and tends to curl as the puppy matures. A fully mature coat is formed naturally from the soft undercoat and the coarser outer coat combining to form tassels, or cords and will take around two years to form. Some help is needed in separating the cords so the dog does not turn into one large matted mess. The length of the cords increases with time as the coat grows. Shedding is minimal with this breed, contrary to what one might think (once cords are fully formed). The only substantial shedding occurs as a puppy before the dreadlocks fully form. The Komondor is born with only a white coat, unlike the similar-looking Puli, which can be white, black, or sometimes grayish. However, a working Komondor's coat may be discolored by the elements, and may appear off-white if not washed regularly. Traditionally the coat protected the Komondor from wolves' bites, as the bites were not able to penetrate the thick coat. The coat of the Komondor takes about two and a half days to dry after a bath.
The Komondor is built for livestock guarding. The Komondor's temperament is like that of most livestock guarding dogs; it is calm and steady when things are normal, but in case of trouble, the dog will fearlessly defend its charges. It was bred to think and act independently and make decisions on its own.
It is affectionate with its family, and gentle with the children and friends of the family. Although wary of strangers, they can accept them when it is clear that no harm is meant, but is instinctively very protective of its family, home and possessions. The Komondor is very good with other family pets, often very protective over them, but is intolerant to trespassing animals and is not a good dog for an apartment.
The dog is vigilant and will rest in the daytime, keeping an eye on the surroundings, but at night is constantly moving, patrolling the place, moving up and down around the whole area. The dogs usually knock down intruders and keep them down until the owner arrives. Hungarian Komondor breeders used to say that an intruder may be allowed to enter the property guarded by a Komondor, but he will not be allowed to come out again.
The breed has a natural guardian instinct and ability to guard livestock. An athletic dog, the Komondor is fast and powerful and will leap at a predator to drive it off or knock it down. It can be used successfully to guard sheep against wolves or bears. It is a big, strong dog breed, armored with a thick coat. The coat provides protection against wild animals, weather and vegetation, the coat of the dog looks similar to that of a sheep so it can easily blend into a flock and camouflage itself giving it an advantage when predators such as wolves attack.
The Komondor is one breed of livestock guardian dog which has seen a vast increase in use as a guardian of sheep and goats in the United States to protect against predators such as coyotes, cougars, bears, and other predators.
The Chongqing Dog
Continuing our stroll around the world of the Molosser we arrive in china, The Chongqing Dog is a medium sized dog with a deep brown/mahogany color in a thin coat. Its ears are erect and teeth should meet in scissor bite or be slightly undershot. The teeth should not be visible when the mouth is closed in a natural position. Males should be muscular and well defined, whereas females tend to be more streamlined with an air of femininity.
Temperament The Chongqing Dog is noble, alert, intelligent and dignified. It is good with respectful children, but can be aloof with dogs it is not familiar with. Proper leadership and canine to human communication will resolve this. Socialize this working breed well as a puppy with other dogs and non-canine pets. The Chinese Chongqing Dog is fearless, powerful and muscular. They are natural non-canine pets. The Chinese Chongqing Dog is fearless, powerful and muscular. They are natural guard dogs with high drive but are not suitable for competitive or police bite work. If its owner is not with it and a stranger approaches, the Chongqing Dog will heighten watchfulness and make its presence known. If its owner is present, and it sees the stranger is friendly, it will drop its guard even if the owners leave. They are independent and can be a little standoffish with strangers at first but are extremely devoted to their family. Since the Chongqing Dog is an evolutionary breed and not “manmade,” their natural instincts are extremely keen and require a dominant owner that isn’t heavy-handed. They do best with an owner who is calm, but firm, confident and consistent with the rules. Height, Weight Height: Males 16 - 19.5 inches (40 - 50 cm) Females14 - 16 inches (35 - 40 cm) Weight: Males 44 - 54 pounds (20 - 25 kg) Females 33 - 44 (15 - 20 kg) Health Problems because the dog's coat is very short and sparse, some Chongqing Dogs can develop skin problems, but it is not common in this breed. A premium diet, preferably human grade, will significantly reduce the chance of skin problems. Natural selection has successfully eliminated undesirable traits in the breed. Furthermore, there has been no inbreeding among the Chongqing Dog. Therefore, no known major health problems exist in the Chongqing Dog. Living Conditions The Chongqing Dog will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised, but it isn’t ideal. Breeders in the U.S. usually won’t sell to anyone living in an apartment. This is a dog of medium size; it does not need a large space, but it does need regular exercise and loves a nice, grassy yard. The Chongqing Dog tends to prefer quieter moments when at home with its family and will not do well in a “rowdy” household. Exercise this breed needs at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day. They make good jogging and hiking companions or at least need to have a daily, brisk, long walk. Whether you are walking or jogging it is important that the dog is made to heel beside or behind the human holding the lead. Never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. The Chinese Chongqing Dog is a natural hunter and should never be allowed to roam without supervision.
Life Expectancy has been registered at 18 years in many cases but this does need verifying.
Grooming this breed does not require a lot of grooming. Bathe only when necessary.
The Chinese Chongqing Dog is an ancient and unique breed, thought to have been in existence since the Han Dynasty in China. The origin of this breed is Chongqing, located in the southwestern region of China. Chongqing Dogs are used for hunting (scent hound) and protection of the home; they are good working dogs and family companions. Few people know the breed in the world. It is even rare in China.
The Armenian wolf hound
The Armenian wolf hound is a breed of livestock guardian dog native to the Armenian Highlands and in my opinion one of the most spectacular molossors out there. The Armenian Gampr as it is also known was bred by local people using primitive selection. Though not recognized by notable kennel clubs or fancier organizations such as a selective, pedigree dog breed, they are a distinct land race, which has been the subject of intense genetic research.
The modern Gampr has changed little within the history of its existence in Armenian Highlands. It is one of few natural breeds not subjected to hard selection by phenotype. They preserved the genetic variation that other dog breeds had initially. This genetic variation was promoted by spontaneous and, in some cases, intentional periodic mating’s with locally indigenous wolves (still present). Gamprs differ by their vital capacity, independence, mind, strong self-preservation instinct, ability of the trustworthy defense and protection of livestock, and exclusive friendliness to humans.
This mountain dog's head is large, well-outlined and well-developed but lacks prominent cheekbones. The back is wide, straight, muscular and strong. At the withers, the height in male dogs is 65 centimeters (26 in) or more, and in female dogs is 62 centimeters (24 in) or more. Weight corresponds to the total size of the dog, and usually varies from 45 to 60 kilograms (99 to 132 lb).
The Armenian Gampr has a well-developed undercoat, in order to protect it under harsh conditions. Depending upon the coat length, there are two types: long-haired, with long top hairs, and short-haired, with dense, relatively short hair. A brown or piebald coat is undesirable according to the breed standard.
Character and behavior
Gampr dogs are not trained, instead performing the necessary functions naturally. The Armenian word "Gampr" means "watchdog", but the same breed may instead be called a "gelkheht" (from "gel" - "wolf" and "khekhtel" - "to choke") if it is pre disposed to be used as a wolfhound; a bear-hunting dog is known as "archashoon" ("bear-dog"); an avalanche dog is named "potorkashoon", and a shepherd dog is named "hovvashoon". The Gamprs are very tied to people, especially those dogs that live in human houses, because they feel themselves a family or pack member.
Kennel club recognition
The Armenian Gampr is not recognized by any of the major kennel clubs or other fancier organizations around the world.
In April 2011, a new organization called the International Kennel Union (IKU), that acts in 17 countries, including Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and others, officially recognized the Armenian Gampr as Armenia’s national dog breed.
In Armenia Gampr dogs are bred by "Gampr", Tiknapah", Aralez" and "Aspar" Clubs, as well as "Amasia" Kennel that carry on the breeding to preserve the phenotype and working traits of Gampr dogs.
Only dogs without any inclusions of non-Gampr (i.e. CAO, Alabai, Kochee etc.) bloodlines shall be bred as Gampr, in order to keep the breed pure. There are two strains of gampr, the palace guardian type and the livestock type. The livestock type tends to be smaller, tireless, and slightly more volatile. The palace guardians are generally taller, more square-built, and fairly congenial but still very protective. They have a tendency to be more sedentary, and to stay in one location. During the invasions of Armenia over the last several hundred years, the palace guardian type dogs have been dispersed, with a few remaining in remote villages, but many were taken out of the country and used in the development of the breeds elsewhere, such as the CAO, and in the Red Star Kennel in the USSR.
Gampr is supposed to be unique by its genotype, because of belonging to the haplogroup of dogs of other parts of the Armenian Highlands that cluster only with the dogs of Spain and Scandinavia
The geographic and cultural coexistence of the Caucasian Ovcharka and the Central Asian Ovcharka, and its use as a standard, is itself seen as an issue threatening the continued existence of the Armenian Gampr dog landrace. The Armenian Gampr Club of America states: "The gampr is not: An Alabai, a Caucasian Ovcharka, a Kangal, an Anatolian, an Akbash, a Karakatchan, a Central Asian Shepherd, a Koochee, a Tornjak, a Sharplaninatz, or a cross of these."
The Great Dane
And now to one of my personal favorites of the Molossor world and a breed I had as a child, The Great Dane is a large German breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) known for its enormous body and great height. The German name of the breed is Deutsche Dogge, or German Mastiff.
The Great Dane is one of the world's tallest dog breeds. The world record holder for tallest dog was a Great Dane called Zeus (died September 2014; aged 5), who measured 112 cm (44 in) from paw to shoulder. Great Danes are known for seeking physical affection from their owners.
Extremely large boarhounds resembling the Great Dane appear in ancient Greece; in frescoes from Tiryns dating back to 14th–13th centuries BC. The large boarhound or Molossian hound continues to appear throughout ancient Greece in subsequent century’s right up to the Hellenistic era. The Molossian hound, the Suliot dog and specific imports from Greece were used in the 18th century to increase the stature of the boarhounds in Austria and Germany and the wolfhounds in Ireland.
Bigger dogs are depicted on numerous rune stones in Scandinavia, on coinage in Denmark from the 5th century AD and in the collection of Old Norse poems, known in English as Poetic Edda. The University of Copenhagen Zoological Museum holds at least seven skeletons of very large hunting dogs, dating from the 5th century BC going forward through to the year 1000 AD.
In the middle of the 16th century, the nobility in many countries of Europe imported strong, long-legged dogs from England, which were descended from crossbreeds between the English Mastiff and the Irish Wolf hound. They were dog hybrids in different sizes and phenotypes with no formal breed these dogs were called Englische Docke or Englische Tocke - later written and spelled: Dogge - or Englischer Hund in Germany. The name simply meant "English dog". After time, the English word "dog" came to be the term for a molossoid dog in Germany and in France. Since the beginning of the 17th century, these dogs were bred in the courts of German nobility, independently of England.
The dogs were used for hunting bear, boar and deer at princely courts, with the favorites staying at night in the bedchambers of their lords. These Kammerhunde (chamber dogs) were outfitted with gilded collars, and helped protect the sleeping princes against assassins.
During the hunt for boar or bears, the Englische Dogge was used after the other hunting dogs to seize the bear or boar and hold the animal in place until the huntsman killed it. When the hunting customs changed, particularly because of the use of firearms, many of the involved dog types disappeared. The Englische Dogge became rare, and was kept only as a dog of hobby or luxury.
In the 19th century, the dog was known as a "German boarhound" in English speaking countries. Some German breeders tried to introduce the names "German Dogge" and "German mastiff" on the English market, because they believed the breed should be marketed as a dog of luxury and not as a working dog. However, due to the increasing tensions between Germany and other countries, the dog later became referred to as a "Great Dane", after the grand danois in Buffon's Histoire naturelle, générale ET particulière in 1755.
The Great Dane is a large German breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) known for its giant size. As described by the American Kennel Club:
The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance, dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. It is one of the giant working breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well balanced that it never appears clumsy, and shall move with a long reach and powerful drive. The Great Dane is a short haired breed with a strong galloping figure.
In the ratio between length and height, the Great Dane should be square. The male dog should not be less than 30 in (76 cm) at the shoulders, a female 28 in (71 cm). Danes under minimum height are disqualified.
From year to year, the tallest living dog is typically a Great Dane. Previous record holders include Gibson, Titan, and George; however, the current record holder is a black Great Dane named Zeus who stood 112 cm (44 in) at the shoulder before his death in September 2014. He was also the tallest dog on record (according Guinness World Records), beating the previous holder, the aforementioned George who stood 110 cm (43 in) at the shoulder.
The minimum weight for a Great Dane over eighteen months is 120 lb (54 kg) for males, 100 lb (45 kg) for females. Unusually, the American Kennel Club dropped the minimum weight requirement from its standard. The male should appear more massive throughout than the female, with a larger frame and heavier bone.
Great Danes have naturally floppy, triangular ears. In the past, when Great Danes were commonly used to hunt boars, cropping of the ears was performed to make injuries to the dogs' ears less likely during hunts. Now that Danes are primarily companion animals, cropping is sometimes still done for traditional and cosmetic reasons. In the 1930s when Great Danes had their ears cropped, after the surgery two devices called Easter Bonnets were fitted to their ears to make them stand up. Today, the practice is common in the United States but much less common in Europe. In some European countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, parts of Australia, and in New Zealand, the practice is banned, or controlled to only be performed by veterinary surgeons.
The Great Dane's large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature. They are known for seeking physical affection with their owners, and the breed is often referred to as a "gentle giant".
Great Danes are generally well disposed toward other dogs, other non-canine pets, and familiar humans. They generally do not exhibit extreme aggressiveness or a high prey drive. The Great Dane is a very gentle and loving animal and with the proper care and training is great around children, especially when being raised with them. However, if not properly socialized then a Great Dane may become fearful or aggressive towards new stimuli, such as strangers and new environments.
Great Danes are a breed recommended for families provided that they get trained early and onwards, regarded by animal experts due to their preference for sitting on and leaning against owners as "the world's biggest 'lapdog.
A giant member of the Molossor world and a dog that i am sure needs no introduction The Rottweiler, this is a medium/large size breed of domestic dog. The dogs were known as "Rottweil butchers' dogs" (German: Rottweiler Metzger Hund) because they were used to herd livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat and other products to market.
The Rottweiler was employed in its traditional roles until the mid-19th century when railways replaced droving for herding livestock to market. While still used in herding, Rottweilers are now used as search and rescue dogs, as guide dogs for the blind, as guard dogs or police dogs, and in other roles.
Although a versatile breed used in recent times for many purposes, the Rottweiler is one of the oldest of herding breeds. A multi-faceted herding and stock protection dog, it is capable of working all kinds of livestock under a variety of conditions.
The breed's history likely dates to the Roman Empire. It is likely that the Rottweiler is a descendant of ancient Roman drover dogs, a mastiff-type dog that was a dependable, rugged dog with great intelligence and guarding instincts. During their quest to conquer Europe, the Roman legion traveled in large numbers across the continent. The non-existence of refrigeration meant the soldiers had to bring herds of cattle with them on their excursions for food. These drover dogs were not only used to keep the herds of cattle together, but to guard the supply stock at night. Around 74 A.D. the Roman army travelled across the alps and into the southern part of modern day Germany. For the next two centuries the Roman drover dogs were continually used in herding and driving cattle for trade even after the Romans were driven out of the area by the Swabia’s.
A town in this region was eventually given the name Rottweil. It became an important trade center and the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs proved their worth by driving the cattle to market and protecting the cattle from robbers and wild animals. The dogs are said to have been used by traveling butchers at markets during the middle Ages to guard money pouches tied around their necks. The dogs eventually came to be called Rottweiler Metzgerhunds, or butcher dogs. As railroads became the primary method for moving stock to market, the need for the breed declined, as did the number of Rottweilers. The number of Rottweilers diminished so severely that by 1882 in a dog show in Heilbronn, there was only one very poor representative of the breed.
The buildup to World War I saw a great demand for police dogs, and that led to a revival of interest in the Rottweiler. During the First and Second World Wars, Rottweilers were put into service in various roles, including as messenger, ambulance, draught, and guard dogs.
The Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub (DRK, German Rottweiler Club), the first Rottweiler club in Germany, was founded on 13 January 1914, and followed by the creation of the Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub (SDRK, South German Rottweiler Club) on 27 April 1915 and eventually became the IRK (International Rottweiler Club). The DRK counted around 500 Rottweilers, and the SDRK 3000 Rottweilers. The goals of the two clubs were different. The DRK aimed to produce working dogs and did not emphasize the morphology of the Rottweiler.
The various German Rottweiler Clubs amalgamated to form the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK, General German Rottweiler Club) in 1921. This was officially recorded in the register of clubs and associations at the district court of Stuttgart on 27 January 1924. The ADRK is recognized worldwide as the home club of the Rottweiler.
In 1931 the Rottweiler was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. In 1936, Rottweilers were exhibited in Britain at Crufts. In 1966, a separate register was opened for the breed. In fact, in the mid-1990s, the popularity of the Rottweiler reached an all-time high with it being the most registered dog by the American Kennel Club. In 2013, the American Kennel Club ranked the Rottweiler as the 9th most popular pure breed in the United States.
The Cane Corso
The Cane Corso, pronounced kha-neh kor-so [ˈkaːne ˈkɔrso] from Italian Cane (dog) and Corso (either meaning courtyard or guard) is probably one of the best known Molossers out there.
The head of the Cane Corso is arguably its most important and impressive feature.
The Cane Corso is a large Italian Molosser, which is closely related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. In name and form the Cane Corso pre dates its cousin the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is well muscled and less bulky than most other Mastiff breeds. The breed is known as a true and quite possibly the last of the coursing Mastiffs. The official Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) standard expects ideal dogs to stand 58–70 cm (23–28 in) at the withers, with females in the lower range (58–66 cm (23–26 in)) and males in the higher (62–70 cm (24–28 in)). Weight should be in keeping with the size and stature of these dogs, ranging from 45 to 50 kg (99 to 110 lb) for males and from 40 to 45.4 kg (88 to 100 lb) for females.
The overall impression should be of power, balanced with athleticism. A Corso should be moderately tight skinned; however, some dewlap on the neck is normal, and the bottom of the jawline should be defined by the hanging lip.
The head of the Cane Corso is arguably its most important feature. It is large and imposing. The forehead should be flat and convergent to the muzzle. The muzzle is flat, rectangular (when viewed from above), and generally as wide as it is long; approximately 33% the total length of the skull (a ratio of 2:1). The eyes are almond in shape, set straight and when viewed from the front, set slightly above the line of the muzzle. Darker eyes are preferred; however, the color of the eyes tends to emulate the shade of brindling in the coat. Traditionally the ears are cropped short in equilateral triangles that stand erect, however, as cropping is no longer legal in many jurisdictions, Cane Corso with ears are becoming more common, and should hang smoothly against the head, coming to at or slightly below the level of the eyes.
The tail of the Corso is traditionally docked fairly long, at the 4th vertebra. Again, with trends in cosmetic surgeries for dogs changing, many Corsos now have full tails, which should be carried erect, but never curled over the back.
Cane Corso appear in two basic coat colors: black and fawn. This is further modified by genetic pigment dilution to create "blue" (grey, from black) and frumentino or formentino (from fawn, where the mask is blue/grey) colours. Brindling of varying intensity is common on both basic coat colors as well, creating tigrato (black brindle), and Grigio Tigrato (blue brindle). White markings are common on the chest, tips of toes, the chin, and the bridge of the nose. Large white patches are not desirable.
The average life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.
The Cane Corso is not recommended for novice dog owners. As a puppy, it requires strong leadership and consistent training and it is highly encouraged to begin socialization as soon as possible. Ideally the Cane Corso should be indifferent when approached and should only react in a protective manner when a real threat is present.
The Cane Corso is a descendant of the canis pugnax, dogs used by the Romans in warfare. Its name derives from cane da corso, an old term for those catch dogs used in rural activities (for cattle and swine; boar hunting, and bear fighting) as distinct from cane da camera which indicates the catch dog kept as a bodyguard. In the recent past, its distribution was limited to some regions of Southern Italy, especially in Basilicata, Campania, and Apulia.
The Cane Corso is a catch dog used with cattle and swine, and also in wild boar hunts. Cane Corso were also used to guard property, livestock, and families, and some continue to be used for this purpose today. Historically it has also been used by night watchmen, keepers, and, in the past, by carters and drovers. In the more distant past this breed was common all over Italy, as an ample iconography and historiography testify.
As life changed in the southern Italian rural farms in the 20th century, the Corso began to become rare. A group of enthusiasts began recovery activities designed to bring the dog back from near extinction in the late 1970s. By 1994, the breed was fully accepted by the Italian Kennel Club (ENCI) as the 14th Italian breed of dog. The FCI provisionally accepted the Corso in 1997, and ten years later was fully recognized internationally. In the US, the American Kennel Club first recognized the Cane Corso in 2010.The popularity of the breed continues to grow, ranking in 50th place in the United States in 2013, a jump from 60th place in 2012.
The Neapolitan Mastiff
Every time I meet a Neo I say to myself "one day" I absolutely adore the breed despite someone once telling me "they are straight out of the gates of hell" The Neapolitan Mastiff is one of the Molosser type of dogs, which probably descend from a common stock; whether this was the Molossus attested in antiquity is controversial.
Despite centuries of popularity throughout Europe, this type of dog was almost lost after World War II. Soon after the war, Italian painter Piero Scanziani established a breeding kennel to turn the Mastiff-type dogs of Italy into a formal breed which was then named the Neapolitan Mastiff and English Mastiff was used to help in this process.
Neapolitan Mastiffs were also trained to bait bulls, bears and jaguars.The Neapolitan Mastiff or Italian Mastiff, (Italian: Mastino Napolitano) is a large, ancient dog breed. This massive breed is often used as a guard and defender of family and property due to their protective instincts and their fearsome appearance.
Size and proportion
According to American Kennel Club (AKC) standard, male Neapolitan Mastiffs should measure 26–31 inches (66–79 cm) at the withers, weigh 130–155 pounds (60-70 kg), while females should measure 24–29 inches (61–74 cm) and weigh 110–130 pounds (50–60 kg). The Neapolitan Mastiff is a giant dog breed, with the largest males reaching over 130 kg (290 lb). Body length should be 10–15% greater than height.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is fearless and extremely protective of its home and family. They prefer to be with their family. The Neapolitan Mastiff rarely barks unless under provocation, renowned for sneaking up on intruders as opposed to first alerting them of its presence.
Neapolitan Mastiffs, as a breed, are extremely intelligent dogs with a tendency to be independent thinkers. They learn quickly, which is both good and bad, since this guardian breed needs extensive proper socialization to learn to accept strangers, especially within the home; without proper early socialization and training, these dogs are likely to become aggressive towards strangers and unfamiliar dogs.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for most people and certainly not a dog for beginners. Neapolitans must be well socialized with people (especially children), as they are large, powerful dogs and do not always know their own strength. Additionally, young children have young friends, and even with extensive socialization and training, Neapolitans will be wary of strangers and protective of their family, which can be disastrous for small children. Most of the time, they will protect their owners with their lives.
Additional protection training is unnecessary because they are natural guard dogs and always have been. As with every breed, obedience training is very important. The Neo is very tolerant of pain due to the breed's early fighting background and the fact the skin is loose on the body, so it is important to routinely check for health problems, as a Neo may not behave differently when injured or ill. They also are renowned for drooling especially after drinking or if they get excited.
I was about 6 years old and her name was Penny, it was love at first sight and she broke my heart.... sounds like the start of a very shit novel doesn’t it guys but it’s all true, Penny was my first ever dog, she was a brindle boxer and she laid the foundation for a love of the breed that will last my whole life. The Boxer is a breed of medium to large-sized, short-haired dogs developed in Germany. Their coat is smooth and tight-fitting; colors are fawn or brindled, with or without white markings, which may cover the entire body, and white. Boxers are brachycephalic (they have broad, short skulls), have a square muzzle, mandibular prognathism (an under bite), very strong jaws, and a powerful bite ideal for hanging on to large prey. The Boxer was bred from the Old English Bulldog and the now extinct Bullenbeisser, and is part of the Molosser group. The Boxer is a member of the Working Group.
Boxers were first exhibited in a dog show for St. Bernard in Munich in 1895, the first Boxer club being founded the next year. Based on 2013 American Kennel Club statistics, Boxers held steady as the seventh most popular breed of dog in the United States for the fourth consecutive year.
Again we see with this Molosser that the head is the most distinctive feature of the dog. The breed standard dictates that it must be in perfect proportion to the body and above all it must never be too light. The greatest value is to be placed on the muzzle being of correct form and in absolute proportion to the skull. The length of the muzzle to the whole of the head should be a ratio of 1:3. Folds are always present from the root of the nose running downwards on both sides of the muzzle, and the tip of the nose should lie somewhat higher than the root of the muzzle. In addition a Boxer should be slightly prognathous, i.e., the lower jaw should protrude beyond the upper jaw and bend slightly upwards in what is commonly called an under bite or "undershot bite".
Boxers were originally a docked and cropped breed, and this is still done in some countries. However, due to pressure from veterinary associations, animal rights groups, and the general public, both cropping of the ears and docking of the tail have been prohibited in many countries around the world. A line of naturally short-tailed (bobtail) Boxers was developed in the United Kingdom in anticipation of a tail docking ban there; after several generations of controlled breeding, these dogs were accepted in the Kennel Club (UK) registry in 1998, and today representatives of the bobtail line can be found in many countries around the world. However, in 2008, the FCI added a "naturally stumpy tail" as a disqualifying fault in their breed standard, meaning those Boxers born with a bobtail can no longer be shown in FCI member countries. In the United States and Canada as of 2012, cropped ears are still more common in show dogs, even though the practice of cosmetic cropping is currently opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. In March 2005 the AKC breed standard was changed to include a description of the un cropped ear, but to severely penalize an undocked tail. The tail of a boxer is typically docked before the cartilage is fully formed, between 3–5 days old. This procedure does not require any anesthesia or sutures when performed at this young age.
The Boxer is a short-haired breed, with a shiny, smooth coat that lies tight to the body. The recognized colors are fawn and brindle, frequently with a white underbelly and white on the feet. These white markings, called flash, often extend onto the neck or face, and dogs that have these markings are known as "flashy". "Fawn" denotes a range of color, the tones of which may be described variously as light tan or yellow, reddish tan, mahogany or stag/deer red, and dark honey-blonde. In the UK and Europe, fawn Boxers are typically rich in color and are often called "red". "Brindle" refers to a dog with black stripes on a fawn background. Some brindle Boxers are so heavily striped that they give the appearance of "reverse brindling", fawn stripes on a black body; these dogs are conventionally called "reverse brindles", but that is actually a misnomer—they are still fawn dogs with black stripes. In addition, the breed standards state that the fawn background must clearly contrast with or show through the brindling, so a dog that is too heavily brindled may be disqualified by the breed standard. Boxers that resemble flashy traits are referred to as "flashy" plus the other colour that they have such as brindle (ex: flashy-brindle). The Boxer does not carry the gene for a solid black coat colour and therefore purebred black Boxers do not exist.
The Irish Wolfhound
I defy anybody to be in the company of this the biggest breed in the world and a Molosser to not be awe struck by its sheer size, The Irish Wolfhound (Irish: Cú Faoil, Irish pronunciation: [ˈkuː ˈfˠiːlʲ]) is a breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris), specifically a very large sight hound from Ireland. The name originates from its purpose (wolf hunting with dogs) rather than from its appearance. The breed was originally developed from war hounds to one used for hunting and guarding. Irish Wolfhounds can be an imposing sight due to their formidable size; they are the tallest of all dog breeds.
The breed is very old; there are suggestions it may have been brought to Ireland as early as 7000 BC. These dogs are mentioned, as cú (variously translated as hound, Irish hound, war dog, wolf dog, etc.) in Irish laws and in Irish literature which dates from the 5th century or, in the case of the Sagas, from the old Irish period - AD 600-900. The word "Cu" often became an added respected prefix on the names of warriors as well as kings denoting that they were worthy of the respect and loyalty of a Cu.
Ancient wood cuts and writings have placed them in existence as a breed by 273 BC. However, there is indication that huge dogs existed even as early as 279 BC when the Tectosages and Tolistobogii Celts sacked Delphi. Survivors left accounts of the fierce Celts and the huge dogs who fought with them and at their side. They were mentioned by Julius Caesar in his treatise, The Gallic Wars, and by 391 AD, they were written about by Roman Consul, Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, who received seven of them, "canes Scotici", as a gift to be used for fighting lions, bears, that in his words, "all Rome viewed with wonder".
Wolfhounds were bred as hunting dogs by the ancients, who called them Cú Faoil. The Irish continued to breed them for this purpose, as well as to guard their homes and protect their stock. Cúchulain, a name which translates literally as "hound of Culain", gained his name when as a child, known then as Setanta, he slew the ferocious guard dog of Culain forcing him to offer himself as a replacement.
During the English Conquest of Ireland, only the nobility were allowed to own Irish Wolfhounds, the numbers permitted depending on position. They were much coveted and were frequently given as gifts to important personages and foreign nobles. Wolfhounds were the companions of the regal, and were housed themselves alongside them. King John of England, in about 1210 presented an Irish hound, Gelert to Llewellyn, a Prince of Wales. The poet The Hon William Robert Spencer immortalized this hound in a poem.
In his Histories’ of Ireland completed 1571, blessed Edmund Campion gives a description of the hounds used for hunting the wolves on the Dublin and Wicklow mountains. He says: They (the Irish) are not without wolves and greyhounds to hunt them, bigger of bone and limb than a colt. Due to their popularity overseas many were exported to European royal houses leaving numbers in Ireland depleted. This led to a declaration by Oliver Cromwell himself being published in Kilkenny on 27 April 1652 to ensure that sufficient numbers remained to control the wolf population.
References to the Irish wolfhound in the 18th century tell of its great size, strength and greyhound shape as well as its scarcity. Writing in 1790, Bewick described it as the largest and most beautiful of the dog kind; about 36 inches high, generally of a white or cinnamon color, somewhat like the Greyhound but more robust. He said that their aspect was mild, disposition peaceful, and strength so great that in combat the Mastiff or Bulldog was far from being an equal to them. The last wolf in Ireland is thought to have been killed at Myshall, Co Carlow in 1786 by a pack of wolfdogs kept by a Mr. Watson of Ballydarton. The remaining hounds in the hands of a few families who were mainly descendants of the old Irish chieftains, were now symbols of status rather than hunters, they were said to be the last of their race..
Englishman Captain George Augustus Graham is responsible with a few other breeders for reaffirming the dogs' existence. In 1879 he wrote: "It has been ascertained beyond all question that there are few specimens of the breed still left in Ireland and England to be considered Irish wolfhounds, though falling short of the requisite dimensions. This blood is now in my possession." Captain Graham devoted his life to ensuring the survival of the Irish wolfhound. Owing to the small numbers of surviving specimens outcrossing was used in the breeding programme. It is believed that Borzoi, Great Dane, Scottish Deer hound and English Mastiff dogs all played their part in Graham's creation of the dog we currently know. The famous English Mastiff Garner’s Lion was bred to the Deerhound Lufra, and their offspring Marquis enters Wolfhound pedigrees through his granddaughter Young Donagh. Graham included "a single outcross of Tibetan Wolf Dog". This was long assumed to have been a Tibetan Mastiff. However, a photograph of "Wolf" shows a bearded, long-coated dog—what would now be called a "Tibetan Kyi Apso" or "dokhyi apso". In 1885 Captain Graham with other breeders founded the Irish Wolfhound Club, and the Breed Standard of Points to establish and agree the ideal to which breeders should aspire.
The Irish wolfhound is sometimes regarded as the national dog breed of Ireland but in fact no breed has ever been officially adopted as such. The Wolfhound was historically a dog that only nobles could own and was taken up by the British during their rule in Ireland. This made it unpopular as a national symbol and the Kerry blue terrier was adopted by Republicans such as Michael Collins. However, in recent years, the Wolfhound has been adopted as a symbol by both rugby codes, which are organized on an All-Ireland basis. The national rugby league team is nicknamed the wolfhounds, and the Irish Rugby Football Union, which governs rugby union, changed the name of the country's A (second-level) national team in that code to the Ireland Wolfhounds in 2010.
The Irish wolfhound was bred for long solitary hunts based solely off of the dog's ability to visualize its landscape and perceive, unlike scent hounds (such as Bloodhounds and Beagles) who rely on scent rather than sight. For this reason, the neck of an Irish wolfhound should be long with the head held high the majority of the time. The Irish wolfhound should also appear to be longer than it is tall. Once used to hunt wolves, an Irish wolfhound’s structure should appear as if it is “fast enough to catch a wolf, and strong enough to kill it”.
The American Kennel Club allows "any other color that appears in the Deerhound". The size as specified by the AKC is "Minimum height for mature males: 32 inches, females: 30 inches. Minimum weight: 120lbs for males, 105 lbs for females. It is not rare to see modern day female hounds reaching the minimal height requirements of those of male hounds; most females are well over 30 inches and in most AKC conformation shows a wolfhound’s height is looked at with as much importance as the hound’s head and face structure. Great size, including height of shoulder and proportionate length of body is to be aimed at, and it is desired to firmly establish a breed that shall average (minimum) from 32-34in. in dogs". The height/weight standards in Ireland and England are slightly different.
Irish wolfhounds have a varied range of personalities and are most often noted for their personal quirks and individualism. An Irish wolfhound however, is rarely mindless, and despite its large size, is rarely found to be destructive in the house or boisterous. This is because the breed is generally introverted, intelligent, and reserved in character. An easygoing animal, Irish Wolfhounds are quiet by nature. Wolfhounds often create a strong bond with their family and can become quite destructive or morose if left alone for long periods of time. An Irish wolfhound is not a guard dog and will protect individuals rather than the house or the owner’s possessions. However independent the wolfhound is, the breed becomes attached to both owners and other dogs they are raised with and is therefore not the most adaptable of breeds. Bred for independence, an Irish wolfhound is not necessarily keen on defending spaces. A wolfhound is most easily described by its historical motto, “gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked”. Despite the need for their own people, Wolfhounds generally are somewhat stand-offish with total strangers. They should not be territorially aggressive to other domestic dogs but are born with specialized skills and it is common for hounds at play to course another dog. This is a specific hunting behavior, not a fighting or territorial domination behavior. Most Wolfhounds are very gentle with children. The Irish wolfhound is relatively easy to train. They respond well to firm, but gentle, consistent leadership. However, historically these dogs were required to work at great distances from their masters and think independently when hunting rather than waiting for detailed commands and this can still be seen in the breed.
The Wolfhound of today is far from the one that struck fear into the hearts of the Ancient Romans. Irish Wolfhounds are often favored for their loyalty, affection, patience and devotion. Although at some points in history they have been used as watchdogs, unlike some breeds, the Irish Wolfhound is usually unreliable in this role as they are often friendly toward strangers, although their size can be a natural deterrent. However, when protection is required this dog is never found wanting. When they or their family are in any perceived danger they display a fearless nature. Author and Irish Wolf hound breeder Linda Glover believes the dogs' close affinity with humans makes them acutely aware and sensitive to ill will or malicious intentions leading to their excelling as a guardian rather than guard dog.
The Rhodesian ridgeback
Now this is a Molosser whose whole history revolves around a lie.... the ridge-back was never a lion killer despite what you might have read, the ridgeback was used for lion hunting in packs and how it worked was a stroke of genius, the pack would surround the lion with several in front and one behind who would nip at the lions rear when the lion turned another would nip it again, by doing this they could keep the lion occupied long enough for the hunter to arrive and dispatch the beast, in a one to one fight the ridgeback would have been sent to the bridge in seconds so please don't call the ridgeback a lion killer because it wasn't, but they are temperamental buggers, i used to go out with a woman who had one and the dog was almost as psychotic as she was The Rhodesian ridgeback is a dog breed developed in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe. Its European forebears can be traced to the early pioneers of the Cape Colony of southern Africa, who crossed their dogs with the semi-domesticated, ridged hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi.
In the earlier parts of its history, the Rhodesian ridgeback has also been known as Van Rooyen's lion dog, the African lion hound or African lion dog—simba inja in Ndebele, shumba imbwa in Shona—because of its ability to keep a lion at bay while awaiting its master to make the kill.
The original breed standard was drafted by F.R. Barnes, in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in 1922. Based on that of the Dalmatian, the standard was approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1927.
The Khoikhoi people who occupied the Cape Peninsula when the Dutch began trading with the area during the mid-17th century, had a hunting dog which was described as ugly, but noted for its ferocity when acting as a guard dog. This dog measured approximately 18 inches (46 cm) at the withers, with a lean but muscular frame. The ears have been described both as erect and hanging, but the most distinctive feature was the length of hair often growing in the reverse direction along its back. Within 53 years of Dutch settlement in Southern Africa, and the origins of the wagon-trekking Dutch boers (farmers in Dutch), later known as Afrikaners, who converted vast stretches of wild veldt into farmland, hunted for meat and defended their cattle herds, staff, and homesteads from lion, the Europeans were using these local dogs themselves.
By the 1860s, European settlers had also imported a variety of mainly European dog breeds to this area of Africa, including such dedicated hunting dogs as great Danes, bloodhounds, greyhounds, and terriers. These breeds were bred with the indigenous African dogs, including the dog of the Khoikhoi people, which resulted in the Boer hunting dogs, generically called names such as boerhund (Boer hound) in Dutch then its descendant language of Afrikaans, which are the chief forerunners to the modern Rhodesian ridgeback. Other breeds came from Arabian traders around the Horn of Africa and with Asian immigrants, particularly into the Cape Colony, and jackal coursing introduced from British India brought lurchers from England and Ireland and the borzoi or Russian wolfhound, and before the era of standardized modern breeds, several breeds may have more rarely have contributed to Rhodesian ridgeback genetics. Although there are few currently feral or domesticated dog breeds which feature ridgebacks, there is not much speculation that either the Phu Quoc ridgeback from Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam nor the Mah Thai Lang Aan or Thai ridgeback, the royal dog of Thailand has contributed to any significant degree, if any, to the KhoiKhoi ridgeback's primary trait ancestry for the dorsal hair pattern in the Rhodesian ridgeback.
Reverend Charles Helm (1844 - 1915),] son of Reverend Daniel Helm of the London Missionary Society, was born in the Cape Colony, joined the London Missionary Society himself, and moved from the Zuurbraak (now Suurbraak) mission station just east of Swellendam (modern Western Cape Province, South Africa) to the Hope Fountain Mission in Matabeleland, Southern Rhodesia, travelling from October 1874 to December 1875, then bringing two ridged dog bitches from somewhere between Kimberley (modern Northern Cape Province, South Africa) and Swellendam with him to Hope Fountain in 1879 en route to becoming, as it would turn out, a political advisor to King Lobengula, house-host to hunter-explorer Frederick Courteney Selous, postmaster of Bulawayo and well-appreciated tooth-extractor. At Hope Fountain, now part of the city of Bulawayo, fellow South African transplant Cornelius van Rooyen (b. 1860, Uitenhage, modern Eastern Cape Province, South Africa), a big–game hunter, was married to Maria Vermaak of Bloemhof by Reverend Helm in 1879 the same year Helm brought his two rough-coated grey-black bitches to the Mission. Van Rooyen saw Helm's pair of bitches and decided to breed his own dogs with them to incorporate their guarding abilities. Maddeningly, we are not sure these two first direct ancestors of Rhodesian ridgebacks had dorsal hair pattern ridges themselves, but they founded the Rhodesian ridgeback bloodline, so either carried the trait or it was added from other Boer dogs and hybrids with Khoikhoi ridgebacks which van Rooyen bred into his lines over many trials then generations.
After trying pointers and Airedales, crossing with collies gave van Rooyen the best lion hunters, as his son Cornelius Jr. tells us. Pointers, bulldogs (perhaps boerboels, which were actually mainly larger mastiffs) and greyhounds are generally credited in the European core of this mix, with larger terriers such as Irish terriers and perhaps great Danes. Modern Rhodesian ridgeback breeders speak of some of their ridgebacks being too 'mastiffy' though it is uncertain what extent, if any, of actual mastiff heredity may have entered, as from the boerboels and their descendants prevalent in these territories. After initially greyer, rough-coated litters originating from Helm's dogs, van Rooyen's subsequently crossed offspring turned to redder coats, incorporating the KhoiKhoi landrace dog's ridges already carried in Boer dogs within his genomes. They became the foundation stock of a kennel which developed dogs over the next thirty five years with the ability to bay lions: that is, a pack of 4-6 Rhodesian ridge backs holds lions at bay while the hunter makes the kill, though an individual Rhodesian ridgeback is no match for an adult lion in a fight. These dogs were used to hunt not only lions but also other game, including wild pigs and baboons, and they can kill a baboon independently of a human hunter's collaboration.
The original breed standard for the Rhodesian Lion Dog was drafted in 1922 by F.R. Barnes on founding the first Ridgeback Club at a the Bulawayo Kennel Club show, then in Southern Rhodesia (now in Zimbabwe), and based on that of the Dalmatian. In 1927, Barnes' standard was approved by the South African Kennel Union with the name amended to Rhodesian ridgeback. Outside the subcontinent and internationally, the first Rhodesian ridgebacks in Britain were shown by Mrs. Edward Foljambe in 1928. In 1950, Mr. and Mrs. William H. O'Brien of Arizona brought six carefully selected Ridgebacks to the US from South Africa. He and his wife and Margaret Lowthian of California began the process of getting the breed accepted by the American Kennel Club. Similarly, in 1952, The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain was founded at Crufts to promote the breed around the United Kingdom to show judges, so a standard for the breed might be recognized. In 1954 the first Challenge Certificates were awarded to dogs shown as Rhodesian ridgebacks at United Kingdom competitions, toward their subsequent recognition by The Kennel Club of Great Britain, and in 1955 the American Kennel Club recognized the Rhodesian ridgeback breed as a member of the hound group.
When thinking of The Molosser there are several dog breeds that jump straight into my head, the DDB, the Neo and The Boerboel, this breed epitomizes the Molosser.
The Boerboel [ˈbuːrbul], also known as the South African Mastiff, is a large, Molosser-type breed from South Africa bred for the purpose of guarding the homestead. These dogs were bred as working farm dogs.
The word "Boerboel" derives from "Boer," the Afrikaans/Dutch word for "farmer." The English word "bull" sounds to Dutch ears like "boel," hence the name Boerboel. Boerboel, therefore, translates as either "farmer's (bull) dog" or "Boer's (bull) dog" and should be pronounced somewhat like "burbull." The Boerboel is the only South African dog breed created to defend the homestead.
Despite the breeding history, there is great uncertainty as to how many and which breeds were used to create it. It is generally believed that the breed was created from interbreeding native African landrace dogs, such as the Africanis, with breeds brought into South Africa by Dutch, French, and British settlers.
The most likely origins date back to Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival to the Cape in 1652. Van Riebeeck brought a "Bullenbijter" with him. Those originals settlers, and later European settlers, also had large, strong dogs that almost certainly bred with the indigenous, domestic dog breeds of South Africa.
Later, in 1928, the diamond mining company De Beers imported Bullmastiffs to South Africa to guard the mines. This breed was also crossbred with Boerboels in the region.
The Boerboel was first introduced to purebred enthusiasts throughout the world, including the United States, by the American anthropologist Dr. Carl Semencic, first in an article in Dog World Magazine and later in his book entitled Gladiator Dogs which was first published by T.F.H. Publications in 1998 and later republished by another publisher in 2013. Semencic credits his early familiarity with the breed to his own travels to South Africa, but especially to his frequent correspondence with the head of the first South African Boerboel club, one Mr., Kobus Rust. Later, the Boerboel Breeders Association was established in 1983 in the Senekal district of the Free State with the sole objective of ennobling and promoting the Boerboel as a unique South African dog breed.
Today, Boerboel breeding is both a hobby and an industry in South Africa. These dogs are now exported from South Africa to other parts of the world.
The protective character of the Boerboel is still evident and is much sought after, as is the calm, stable, and confident composure of the breed. The dogs are obedient and intelligent and have strong territorial instincts. The Boerboel remains the guarding breed of choice amongst current day farmers and is very popular for the same reason in urban communities.
The name boerboel is commonly misspelled as boerbul, boerbull, and borbull.
There is also a divergence of standards. The Kennel Union of South Africa does not accept the black coat but the SABT does, so a buyer needs to decide what standard to follow, as if a dog has a black coat or is the descendant of a dog with a black coat they cannot be registered with AKC, KUSA, BI or Ebbasa.
The Boerboel is a large dog, with a strong bone structure and well developed muscles. The head appears blocky, but not overdone, with a short length between the stop and nose. It should look impressive, carrying himself with confidence and powerful movement, which should be buoyant, and unencumbered, despite its size. It should be symmetrical and balanced, following the desired proportions for the breed. Males should be markedly bigger than females, there is a distinct sexual dimorphism between the sexes, with the female less prominently developed.
The Boerboel is an average shedder and easy to groom. The occasional brushing and a monthly bath and nail trim is all that is needed. The breed has an outer coat that is normally coarse and straight, and an undercoat that is soft and dense.
Its coat is short, dense, smooth, soft, and shiny. Their coat color can be various shades of red, brown, or fawn. Many dogs have a black mask around their mouth that sometimes extends to their eyes and ears.
Boerboels are an intelligent and energetic breed. They are loyal, great with kids and tend to be protective of their family and territory. They are quite charming when not being lazy, and will not hesitate to defend their loved ones to the death. The Boerboel also requires training and firm handling from an early age.
The Bull Mastiff
Now the description of our next Molossor is one I have to get right because after DDB owners Bull Mastiff owners are the largest group on my page and my mentor Diane Garratt of Marchmanor Bullmastiffs will kill me if I get any of this wrong, prior to my love affair with the DDB the Bull Mastiff was my breed and still today I class the breed equal in every way to the DDB.
The Bullmastiff is a large size breed of domestic dog, with a solid build and a short muzzle. The Bullmastiff shares the characteristics of Molosser dogs, and was originally developed by 19th-century gamekeepers to guard estates. The breed's bloodlines are drawn from the English Mastiff and the extinct Old English Bulldog. It was recognized as a purebred dog by the English Kennel Club in 1924. They are quiet dogs and very rarely bark.
Males should be 25 to 27 inches (64 to 69 cm) tall (KC Std.) at the withers and 110 to 130 pounds (50 to 59 kg). Females should be 24 to 26 inches (61 to 66 cm) at the withers, and 100 to 120 pounds (45 to 54 kg). Exceeding these dimensions is discouraged by breeders.
A Bullmastiff's coat may appear in fawn, red, or brindle. These are the only acceptable colors in the KC standard. The fawn can range from a very light brown to a reddish brown. Red can range from a light red-fawn to a dark rich red. Brindles are a striped overlay of the fawn or red. A Bullmastiff should have no white markings, except for on the chest where a little white is allowed.
Bred by English gamekeepers in the 19th century to assist English wardens or gamekeepers guard estates and capture poachers. As a result, the Bullmastiff is known as the Gamekeeper's Night Dog. The preferred colour, by gamekeepers, was brindle as this color works as a more effective camouflage, especially at night. The Bullmastiff was a cross of 40% Old English bulldog (not the short, chubby Bulldog of today) and 60% English Mastiff for its size, strength and loyalty. They bark much less often than other breeds; however, they will bark on alarm.
The Bullmastiff was recognized as a pure-bred dog in 1924 by the English Kennel Club. In 1934 the American Kennel Club recognized the Bullmastiff. The first standard for the breed was approved in 1935. The standard has undergone several revisions since then. The most current version is available on the AKC Web site.
Bullmastiffs are strong, powerful but sensitive dogs. For a Bullmastiff to become a well-behaved family member, consistency is needed. Training and socialization is of high importance as the breed can be independent. Dogs of this breed are natural guardians of their home and owners. No special guard training is needed for a Bullmastiff to react appropriately if his family is endangered. During training, a Bullmastiff requires a special approach, because these dogs do not like to repeat the same actions again and again. Activities Bullmastiffs enjoy include obedience, agility, tracking, and carting.
A UK survey puts the median lifespan of the Bullmastiff at 7 to 8 years old. A Bullmastiff will not stop growing until it is about three and a half years of age. Bullmastiffs are prone to certain hereditary diseases including:
Hip dysplasia, affecting 24.5% of individuals
Elbow dysplasia, affecting 13.8% of individuals,
Entropion, hypothyroidism affecting 2.8% of individuals,
Progressive retinal atrophy is a particular problem, since the trait is an autosomal dominant one. (This has recently been called into question by another other medical team and has been proven there are Bullmastiffs with Autosomal Recessive PRA Genes. In America, this is being investigated by the American Bullmastiff Health and Research Committee and the DNA Optigen test only works for dominant genes, so it's considered inadequate at this time.)
Cosmetic genetic problems include longhairs and "Dudley’s". Both are recessives and not common. The Dudley, named after a notable Bulldog breeder of the 19th century, the Earl of Dudley, is a lack of pigment in the mask. It can be liver colored or simply not present.
The Perro de Presa Canario
On first approach this is one of the scariest dogs most people will ever see, but first impressions are deceiving, more often than not the pressa is a pussy-cat.
The Perro de Presa Canario, A.K.A. the Canary Mastiff, is a large Molosser-type dog breed originally bred for working livestock. The name of the breed is Spanish, means "Canarian catches dog", and is often shortened to "Presa Canario" or simply "Presa". The breed is sometimes also called Dogo Canario, meaning "Canarian Molosser".
First introduced to the world outside of Spain's Canary Islands by the American anthropologist Dr. Carl Semencic in an article for Dog World Magazine and in his books on the subject of rare breeds of dogs, the Presa Canario or "Canary Dog" is a large-size dog with a thick and muscular body. The head is broad, massive, square, and powerful brachycephalic shape. Proper head and good expression are part of the breed standard, and are manifest in the best breed specimens. The ears are normally cropped, both to create a more formidable expression and to prevent damage while working with cattle. If cropped, the ears stand erect. In countries where ear-cropping is banned, the ears are close fitting to the head; they hang down and should be pendant or "rose" shaped. The upper lip is pendulous, although not excessively. Seen from the front, the upper and lower lips come together to form an inverted V. The flews are slightly divergent. The inside of the lips is a dark color.
Males have a standard desirable height range of 23 to 26 inches (58 to 66 cm) at the withers, with a minimum weight at maturity of 100 pounds (45 kg) and a maximum weight of 145 pounds (65 kg). Females have a standard desirable height between 22 to 25 inches (56 to 64 cm) at the withers, with a minimum weight at maturity of 85 pounds (40 kg) and a maximum weight of 120 pounds (55 kg).
The breed is also characterized by a sloping topline (with the rear being slightly higher than the shoulders). Another characteristic of the breed is the shape of the paws (cat foot) and the catlike movement of the animal. The body is monomorphic, that is, slightly longer than the dog is tall, contributing to the feline movement.
The history of the Perro de Presa Canario is very similar to that of the DDB and can be traced back to the Roman Empire. The breed originated in ancient Rome during 43-89 AD, for example, dogs fought alongside the Romans and the British in the Roman Conquest of Britain. In this war, the Romans used a breed that originated from Greece called Molossus; the Britons used broad-mouth Mastiffs, which were thought to descend from the Molossus bloodline and which also originated from Greece. Though the British were outnumbered and ultimately lost this war, the Romans were so impressed with the Mastiffs that they began to import these dogs for use in the Colosseum, as well as for use in times of war. While spectators watched, the imported Mastiffs were pitted against animals such as wild elephants, lions, bears, bulls, and gladiators.
Later the Romans breed the Mastiffs with the Molossus and other dogs, the dogs used in the process were generally hunters, guards & fighters. This ended in the formation of a dog which was very impressive, strong, bold & steady. Later the Romans exported these dogs to Spain for dog fighting, big game hunting, guarding & baiting. The Romans exported many different breeds of dogs generally for the purpose of dog fighting, big game hunting, guarding & baiting, etc. The Romans also exported Bulldogs and Terriers.
Coat and color
The coat is short with no undercoating and slightly coarse to the touch. The coat comes in all shades of fawn and brindle. The acceptance of the black coat is a point of contention among fanciers, as it is allowed by the AKC-FSS, UKC and UPPCC standards, but not by the FCI or FCI standards. White is allowed up to 20 percent and is most commonly found on the chest and feet, and occasionally on a blaze on the muzzle. The breed standard requires black pigmentation and dogs should have a black mask that does not extend above the eyes. The breed is known[by whom?] for its minimal shedding.
Presas require early socialization and obedience training. In some situations, the Presa can be aggressive toward other dogs and suspicious of strangers
As a large breed, the Presa Canario can be susceptible to hip dysplasia. Other reported health problems include dilated cardiomyopathy- heart problems and mast-cell tumors - cancer patellar luxation and patellar evulsions, skin cysts, epilepsy, osteochondrodysplasias, Demodectic mange and cryptorchidism and Canine leishmaniasis. The latter condition is described empirically as highly likely to affect dogs in areas of Spain and academically described as having increased over 22 years prior to 2006, with risk being highest for dogs that were older, large, lived outside, and lived at the meso-Mediterranean level.
The Tibetan Mastiff
Every member of the Molosser line of dogs is impressive and awe inspiring but few if any can make your jaw drop as much as The Tibetan Mastiff, this is not only the most spectacular Molosser on the block but also a Tibetan Mastiff puppy reportedly sold for almost £1.3 million in China, making it the most expensive breed in the World. (Wylie: 'dogs khyi;Lhasa dialect IPA: [tʰòcʰi]) is an ancient breed and type of large Tibetan dog breed (Canis lupus familiaris) originating with nomadic cultures of Tibet, China, Nepal, and India. The breed is widely used by local tribes of Himachal Pradesh, China, Nepal and Tibet to protect their sheep from wolves, leopards, bears, large mustelids, other medium to large sized carnivore’s, and (at least formerly) tigers.
The Tibetan Mastiff also known as "Dok-Khyi"(translated as "nomad dog", "dog which may be tied", "dog which may be kept"), reflects its use as a guardian of herds, flocks, tents, villages, monasteries, and palaces, much as the old English ban-dog (also meaning tied dog) was a dog tied outside the home as a guardian. However, in nomad camps and in villages, the do-khyi is traditionally allowed to run loose at night.
The guardian type from which the modern Tibetan Mastiff breed has been derived was known across the ancient world by many names. Bhote Kukur in Nepali as bhote means someone from Tibet and kukur means dog. The Chinese name for the breed is 藏獒 (Mandarin: Zàng áo; Cantonese: Tzong ngou), meaning "Tibetan Mastiff-dog". In Mongolia, it is called банхар (bankhar).
The name Tibetan Mastiff is a misnomer; although this breed, along with its close relative the Caucasian Shepherd Dog, is one of the earliest ancestors of today’s Molosser breeds (including all mastiffs), the Tibetan Mastiff itself is not a true Mastiff. The term "Mastiff" was used by the Europeans who first came to Tibet because it was used to refer to nearly all large dog breeds with large heads and heavy bodies in the West. Early Western visitors to Tibet misnamed several of its breeds: The "Tibetan Terrier" is not a Terrier and the "Tibetan Spaniel" is not a Spaniel. A better name for the dog would be Tibetan mountain dog or, to encompass the landrace breed throughout its range, Himalayan mountain dog.
Some breeders differentiate between two "types" of Tibetan Mastiff, the Do-khyi and the Tsang-khyi. The Tsang-khyi (which, to a Tibetan, means only "dog from Tsang") is also referred to as the "monastery" type, described as generally taller, heavier, and more heavily boned, with more facial wrinkling and haw than the Do-khyi or "nomad" type. Both types are often produced in the same litter with the larger, heavier pups being placed in more stationary jobs versus more active jobs for the Tibetan Mastiffs that are better structured and well-muscled.
Males can reach heights up to 83 cm (33"). Dogs bred in the West weigh between 45–72 kg (100-160 pounds) although specimens up to 150 kg (330 pounds) have been recorded. The enormous dogs being produced in some Western and some Chinese kennels would have "cost" too much to keep fed to have been useful to nomads; and their questionable structure would have made them less useful as livestock or property guardians.
The Tibetan Mastiff is considered a primitive breed. It typically retains the hardiness which would be required for it to survive in Tibet and the high-altitude Himalayan range, including the northern part of Nepal, India and Bhutan.
Instinctive behaviors including canine pack behavior contributed to the survival of the breed in harsh environments. It is one of the few primitive dog breeds that retain a single estrus per year instead of two, even at much lower altitudes and in much more temperate climates than its native climate. This characteristic is also found in wild canids such as the wolf. Since its estrus usually takes place during late fall, most Tibetan Mastiff puppies are born between December and January.
Its double coat is long, subject to climate, and found in a wide variety of colors, including solid black, black and tan, various shades of "red" (from pale gold to deep red) and bluish-Gray (dilute black), often with white markings. Some breeders are now (2014) marketing "white" Tibetan Mastiffs. These dogs are actually very pale "gold" (like the Great Pyrenees), not truly white. Photoshop is often used to make dogs of normal color(s) appear "white" in advertisements.
The coat of a Tibetan Mastiff lacks the unpleasant "big-dog" smell that affects many large breeds. The coat, whatever its length or color(s), should shed dirt and odors. Although the dogs shed somewhat throughout the year, there is generally one great "molt" in late winter or early spring and sometimes another, lesser molt in the late summer or early fall. (Sterilization of the dog may dramatically affect the coat as to texture, density, and shedding pattern.)
Tibetan Mastiffs are shown under one standard in the West, but separated by the Indian breed standard into two varieties: Lion Head (smaller; exceptionally long hair from forehead to wither, creating a ruff or mane) and Tiger Head (larger; shorter hair).
As a flock guardian dog in Tibet and in the West, it is capable of regularly defeating predators of livestock such as wolves and leopards, and sometimes prevailing against the largest mammalian carnivores, including tigers and brown bears, although it uses all the usual livestock guardian tactics (e.g., barking, scent-marking perimeters) to warn wild beasts away and avoid direct confrontations.
As a socialized, more domestic dog, it can thrive in a spacious, fenced yard with a canine companion, but it is generally not an appropriate dog for apartment living. The Western-bred dogs are generally more easy-going, although somewhat aloof with strangers coming to the home. Through hundreds of years of selective breeding for a protective flock and family guardian, the breed has been prized for being a nocturnal sentry, keeping would-be predators and intruders at bay, barking at sounds throughout the night. Leaving a Tibetan Mastiff outside all night with neighbors nearby is not recommended. They often sleep during the day, making them more active, alert and aware at night.
Like all flock guardian breeds, they are intelligent and stubborn to a fault, so obedience training is recommended (although it is only mildly successful with some individuals) since this is a strong-willed, powerful breed. Unless they are to be used exclusively as livestock guardians, socialization obedience training is also critical with this breed because of their reserved nature with strangers and guardian instincts. They are excellent family dogs—for the right family. Owners must understand canine psychology and be willing and able to assume the primary leadership position. Lack of consistent, rational discipline can result in the creation of dangerous, unpredictable dogs (although this is true of virtually every dog breed). The protectiveness of Tibetan Mastiffs requires alertness and planning by the owner in order to avoid mishaps when the dog is simply performing as a guardian. The breed is not recommended for novice dog owners.
Unlike most large breeds, its life expectancy is long, some 10–14 years—at least in some lines. Other, more closely inbred lines, produce short-lived, unhealthy dogs. The breed has fewer genetic health problems than many breeds, but cases can be found of hypothyroidism, entropion, ectropion, distichiasis, skin problems including allergies, autoimmune problems including Demodex, Addison's Disease, Cushing's Disease, missing teeth, malocclusion (overbite, under bite, wry mouth), cardiac problems, seizures, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataract, and small ear canals with a tendency for infection. As with most large breeds, some will suffer with elbow or hip dysplasia.
Canine inherited demyelinative neuropathy (CIDN), an inherited condition, appeared in one of the prominent lines of Tibetan Mastiffs in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, known carriers were bred extensively and are behind many lines still being actively bred. Because the mode of inheritance appears to be as a simple recessive, continued inbreeding can still produce affected puppies.
Hypothyroidism is fairly common in Tibetan Mastiffs, as it is in many large "northern" breeds. They should be tested periodically throughout their lives using a complete thyroid "panel". (Simple T3/T4 testing is virtually useless.)
However, because the standard thyroid levels were established using domestic dog breeds, test results must be considered in the context of what is "normal" for the breed, not what is normal across all breeds. Many dogs of this breed will have "low" thyroid values but no clinical symptoms. Vets and owners differ on the relative merits of medicating dogs which test "low", but are completely asymptomatic. Some researchers think that asymptomatic hypothyroidism may have been adaptive in the regions of origin for many breeds, since less nutrition is required for the dog to stay in good condition. Therefore, attempts to eliminate "low thyroid" dogs from the Tibetan Mastiff gene pool may have unintended consequences for the breed.
In 2008, a mitogenome study concluded that while 12 dog breeds studied appeared to have diverged from the gray wolf 42,000 years ago, the Tibetan Mastiff lineage diverged earlier at 58,000 years ago. In 2011, a further study by the same authors concluded that there was a genetic relationship between the Tibetan Mastiff and the Great Pyrenees, Bernese mountain dog, Rottweiler and Saint Bernard, and that these large breed dogs are probably partially descended from the Tibetan Mastiff. In 2014, a study added the Leonberger to the list of possible relatives.
In 1872, one writer has stated
The dogs of Tibet are twice the size of those seen in India, with large heads and hairy bodies. They are powerful animals, and are said to be able to kill a tiger. During the day they are kept chained up, and are let loose at night to guard their masters' house.
In the early 20th century, King George IV owned a pair of Tibetan Mastiffs, and enough of the breed were available in England in 1906 to be shown at the Crystal Palace show. However, during the war years, the breed lost favor and focus and nearly died out in England.
After 1980, the breed began to gain in popularity worldwide. Although the breed is still considered somewhat uncommon, as more active breeders arose and produced adequate numbers of dogs, various registries and show organizations (FCI, AKC) began to recognize the breed.
Since AKC recognition, the number of active breeders has skyrocketed, leading to over-production of puppies, many of which are highly inbred and of questionable quality. Initially, the breed suffered because of the limited gene pool from the original stock, but today's reputable breeders work hard at reducing the genetic problems through selective breeding and the international exchange of new bloodlines. However, some few breeders cling to the practice of inbreeding, do not perform health tests on their breeding stock, and do not support buyers of the puppies they produce. Many puppies and adult dogs end up in shelters and in rescue situations.
In 2008, the Tibetan Mastiff competed for the first time in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
A Chinese woman was reported to have spent more than 4 million yuan to buy an 18-month-old purebred male Tibetan Mastiff, which she named Yangtze No. 2. In March 2011, a red Tibetan mastiff was reported to have been sold to a 'coal baron' from northern China for 10 million yuan. There have been other similar reports of dogs sold for astronomical prices; however, most of these appear to be breeders' attempts to drive up the prices of their dogs. Photos of dogs shown on web sites are frequently photo shopped to exaggerate color intensity, size, and "bone". By 2015, due to copious production by breeders and unsuitability of the breed as a pet in urban situations, prices in China for the best dogs had fallen to about $2,000 and lower quality and cross-breed dogs were being abandoned.
The English Mastiff
Thought by many to be along with the Neo the granddaddy of all the Molossers, The English Mastiff (not to be confused with the bull mastiff) is a breed of extremely large dog perhaps descended from the ancient Alaunt and Pugnaces Britanniae, with a significant input from the Alpine Mastiff in the 19th century. Distinguishable by enormous size, massive head, and a limited range of colours, but always displaying a black mask, the Mastiff is noted for its gentle and loving nature. The lineage of modern dogs can be traced back to the early 19th century; the modern type was stabilized in the 1880s and refined since. Following a period of sharp decline, the Mastiff has increased its worldwide popularity. Throughout its history, the Mastiff has contributed to the development of a number of dog breeds, some generally known as Mastiff-type dogs, or, confusingly, just as "Mastiffs".
With a massive body, broad skull and head of generally square appearance, it is the largest dog breed in terms of mass. It is on average slightly heavier than the Saint Bernard, although there is a considerable mass overlap between these two breeds. Though the Irish wolfhound and Great Dane can be more than six inches taller, they are not nearly as robust.
The body is large with great depth and breadth, especially between the forelegs, causing these to be set wide apart. The AKC standard height (per their website) for this breed is 30 inches (76 cm) at the shoulder for males and 27.5 inches (70 cm) (minimum) at the shoulder for females. A typical male can weigh 150–250 pounds (68–113 kg), a typical female can weigh 120–200 pounds (54–91 kg), with large individuals often reaching 130 kg (286 lb) or more.
Coat color standards
The former standard specified the coat should be short and close-lying (though long haired Mastiffs, called "Fluffies", are occasionally seen) and the color is apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, or dark fawn-brindle, always with black on the muzzle, ears, and nose and around the eyes.
The Mastiff has a distinctive head with dewlap and flews. The black mask is visible even on this brindle.
Fluffy Mastiffs are Mastiffs (typically, but can also apply to the other short-coated Mastiff breeds) that exhibit the recessive, long-haired fluffy phenotype, hence fluffy Mastiffs. They are otherwise genetically sound, and in no way inferior to a short-haired English Mastiff. The fluffy coat is however considered a fault in the show ring, so it's not a trait that reputable breeders particularly breed for or advertise. If the dam and sire dogs are both carriers of the fluffy trait, then one or two fluffies may crop up in a litter and they are sold on pet-quality contracts. They now have genetic testing available to screen for this gene. So with breeders screening for the fluffy carriers in their breeding program, the chances of fluffies in the litters is diminishing. Some breeders will refuse to breed any dog that turns out to be a fluffy carrier. Others think being a fluffy or fluffy carrier is preferable to bad structure, and will include fluffies in their breeding program. The Fluffy trait does however decrease the amount of drool the dog produces. Though almost all Mastiffs are categorized as droolers, the English "Fluffy" Mastiff is not included in this group. They are gentle giants that are well behaved due to their extreme size. Along with being a joyful family pet they also are determined home defenders. They will protect house and family members with deep growls and very loud barks, though bites by Mastiffs are extremely rare.
The colors of the Mastiff coat are differently described by various kennel clubs, but are essentially fawn or apricot, or those colors as a base for black brindle. A black mask should occur in all cases. The fawn is generally a light "silver" shade, but may range up to a golden yellow. The apricot may be a slightly reddish hue up to a deep, rich red. The brindle markings should ideally be heavy, even and clear stripes, but may actually be light, uneven, patchy, faint or muddled. Pied Mastiffs occur rarely. Other non-standard colors include black, blue brindle and chocolate (brown) mask. Some Mastiffs have heavy shading caused by dark hairs throughout the coat or primarily on the back and shoulders. This is not generally considered a fault. Brindle is dominant over solid color. Apricot is dominant over fawn, though that dominance may be incomplete. Most of the color faults are recessive, though black is so rare in the Mastiff that it cannot be certain if it is recessive, or a mutation that is dominant.
The genetic basis for the variability of coat in dogs has been much studied, but all the issues have not yet been resolved. On the basis of what is known (and remembering that, as dogs are diploid animals, each gene location (locus) appears twice in every animal, so questions of dominance also must be resolved), the gene possibilities allowed by the Mastiff standard are AyBDEmh(kbr_or_ky)mS. This describes a dog which is fawn with a dark nose, non-dilute, black-masked, non-harlequin, brindled or not brindled, non-merle, and non-spotted. To allow for the rare exceptions we must include "b" (brown mask and possible brown brindling), "d" (blue mask and possible blue brindling), "sp" (pied spotting), and perhaps "a" (recessive black). The possible combination of homozygous brown and homozygous blue is a pale brown referred to as Isabella in breeds where it is relatively common. Speculative gene locations may also exist, so a Mastiff may be "I" (apricot) or "i" (non-apricot) and perhaps "cch" (silver lightening) or "C" (without silver lightening).(Note that this "C locus" may not be the same as the one identified in other animals, SLC45A2.)
The greatest weight ever recorded for a dog, 343 pounds (156 kg), was that of an English Mastiff from England named Aicama Zorba of La Susa, although claims of larger dogs, including Saint Bernards, Tibetan Mastiffs, and Caucasian ovcharkas exist. According to the 1989 edition of the Guinness Book of Records, in March 1989, when he was 7 years old, Zorba stood 35 inches (89 cm) at the shoulder and was 8.25 feet (251 cm) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, about the size of a small donkey. After 2000, the Guinness Book of World Records stopped accepting largest or heaviest pet records.
The Mastiff breed has a desired temperament, which is reflected in all formal standards and historical descriptions. Sydenham Edwards wrote in 1800 in the Cynographia Britannica:
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race. His docility is perfect; the teazing of the smaller kinds will hardly provoke him to resent, and I have seen him down with his paw the Terrier or cur that has bit him, without offering further injury. In a family he will permit the children to play with him, and suffer all their little pranks without offence. The blind ferocity of the Bull Dog will often wound the hand of the master who assists him to combat, but the Mastiff distinguishes perfectly, enters the field with temper, and engages in the attack as if confident of success: if he overpowers, or is beaten, his master may take him immediately in his arms and fear nothing. This ancient and faithful domestic, the pride of our island, uniting the useful, the brave and the docile, though sought by foreign nations and perpetuated on the continent, is nearly extinct where he probably was an aborigine, or is bastardized by numberless crosses, every one of which degenerate from the invaluable character of the parent, who was deemed worthy to enter the Roman amphitheater, and, in the presence of the masters of the worlds, encounter the pard, and assail even the lord of the savage tribes, whose courage was sublimed by torrid suns, and found none gallant enough to oppose him on the deserts of Zaara or the plains of Numidia.
The American Kennel Club sums up the Mastiff breed as:
a combination of grandeur and good nature as well as courage and docility. Domesticated Mastiffs are powerful yet gentle and loyal dogs, but due to their physical size and need for space, are best suited for country or suburban life.
The Fila Brasileiro
Owing to its size, temperament and potential for aggression, the Brazilian Mastiff has been banned in many countries and is one of only 4 dogs totally banned in the UK (we will look at the other three soon), I have been lucky enough to meet a fila and apart from there obvious size I have to say the one I met was in no way frightening but it is fair to say that there reputation for aggression towards any human/animal they don’t trust or like is well earned. The Fila Brasileiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈfilɐ ˌbraziˈlejɾu]) also known as the Brazilian Mastiff is a large working breed of dog developed in Brazil. It is known for its superb tracking ability, aggressiveness and an unforgiving impetuous temperament. When a Brazilian Mastiff finds its quarry, it does not attack it, but rather holds it at bay until the hunter arrives. Owing to these qualities, the Brazilian Mastiff is used as a guard dog, as a shepherd dog for herding livestock and as a hunting dog for tracking and controlling large prey. When slavery was legal in Brazil, the Brazilian Mastiff was used to return fugitives unharmed to their slave masters.
Ancestry and appearance
The Fila Brasileiro is a descendant of the 15th-century English mastiff, bloodhound, bulldog and rafeiros. Its bloodhound ancestry being evident in its long muzzle and pendulous skin. It is a Molosser breed with large bones and loose skin. The breed standard requires males to be between 65 and 75 cm (25.5 inches to 29.5 inches) high at the withers and weigh at least 50 kg (110 lbs), and up to 180 lbs. Females are slightly smaller and are expected to be 60 to 70 cm (23.5 inches to 27.5 inches) high at the withers and weigh at least 41 kg (90 lbs). They have a rectangular build and though they are massive, their natural agility is apparent. The head is big and heavy with a deep muzzle. The ears are large, thick, tapered and either droop or fold back exposing the interior, depending on mood. Neck and back are well muscled, the chest is broad and deep. Unlike the vast majority of canines, the croup is higher than the withers. Legs are heavily boned. The skin is very distinctive of the breed as it is thick and lose all over the body, mainly in the region around the neck. The thick skin forms pronounced dewlaps. In many individuals, the dewlaps proceed to the chest and abdomen. Some dogs show a fold at the side of the head and also at the withers descending to the shoulders. The coat is short and dense and the texture is normally smooth and soft. Their colors vary from solid, brindle, mouse grey, patched, dappled or black and tan. They are almost never white. Typical colors are fawn, black and brindle. Brindles of a basic color may have the stripes of either less or with very strong intensity. Sometimes a black mask is present.
Though large in size, the Fila do not appear static. Rather he is harmonious, cat-like and above all powerful. The expression is noble, solemn, dignified but somewhat melancholic. The Fila appears self-assured and calm but is never absent in expression. When at attention, the gaze of the Fila Brasileiro is firm, alert and unwavering. Another typical characteristic of the breed is its gait, which is similar to that of a camel, moving two legs of one side at a time. The gait gives it a typical rolling lateral movement on the throat and the hindquarters which is accentuated when the dog’s tail is raised. The head is typically lower than the backline. The characteristic carriage and gait has earned it great success in dog shows.
The coat of the Fila Brasileiro is smooth and short. Black, Fawns (Red, Apricot, or Dark), and Brindled (Fawn, Black, or Brown Brindle) colors are permitted, except Mouse-Grey, Black and Tan, Blue and Solid White. White markings, not exceeding 1/4 of the coat surface area, are permitted on the feet, chest, and the tip of the tail in the FCI standard.
The Fila Brasileiro is believed to have been evolved from a number of breeds: the Mastiff, the Bulldog, Bloodhound and the Rafeiro do Alentejo. The Fila Brasileiro breed was bred and raised primarily on large plantations and cattle farms where they were originated.
They were taught to chase down jaguars, cattle, and other animals, as well as runaway slaves. The dogs would grab the slave or animals by the neck and hold them until the farmer arrived. This instinct can be observed among puppies when they are playing.
The first written standard of the breed was edited in 1946. The Paulistas were responsible for organizing a planned breeding program and opening a stud book to register dogs. Dr. Paulo Santos Cruz began to systematically breed the Fila Brasileiro and also contributed largely in setting the CAFIB standard, and who now therefore, has the right to be called the "Father" of the Fila Brasileiro. About the registries, CBKC (Brazilian Confederation Kennel Club) follows the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) policy and accepts for registration only dogs with FCI pedigrees, orienting the breeders to make a hip dysplasia control and besides other health problems. The Fila Brasileiro is described as a Brazilian Mastiff or a Brazilian Molosser. In the U.S., the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) does a statistical registry of all Fila’s that were X-rayed to diagnose hip dysplasia.
The Brazilian army compared this breed to Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds in a five year study using these dogs in the jungle under extremely hostile conditions. The following traits were observed: intelligence, aggressiveness, sensibility, temperament, energy, resistance, rusticity and strength. German Shepherds were found to have the highest intelligence and Doberman Pinschers the highest level of aggression. The Fila Brasileiro was found to be superior in every other category.
The Brazilian Mastiffs are known to be naturally protective. It is also known for its extreme wariness of strangers and agility when protecting or defending its master. The dedication and obedience of the Fila Brasileiro has found its way into Brazilian saying "As faithful as a Fila"
The Fila Brasileiro temperament is what characterizes the dog. The Portuguese word for their temperament is Ojeriza, which directly translated into English means dislike and distrust. The socialization period (about the first year with the first 6-8 months being the most important) of the dog's life is crucial to the temperament of the individual dog. If the pup is exposed to a lot of people in a positive manner (known as 'socializing'), the pup (keeping in mind the dog's natural protective instincts) can be encouraged to behave in a calm manner in public, but emphasis should be placed on the fact that socialization is done differently from other breeds. Despite extensive socialization, the fila are instinctively protective and will naturally guard and protect its owner, their family members and the family pets; this is not something that needs to be trained, it is an innate trait. Strangers should not be left unattended with your fila and, like all other guardian breeds, it may not be the best choice for those who have frequent visitors to their homes. Lack of all socialization with strangers at a young age will result in a dog which is very anti-social.
The Dogo Argentino
Now on to the second of our UK banned Molossers and a dog I have a lot of experience with, see even though they are banned here in the UK there are a lot of them here and the dogo first cross pup is a much sort after dog by many dog fighters, often these dogs are rescued and they find their way here to me for training and socialization, my pack practically grew up in the company of the dogo ... guys these dogs are NOT DANGEROUS , yes the pure dogo is (you just have to look at the attack statistics from their native country to see that) but the first cross seems to lose the temper as a result of the crossing, that is of course just speculation on my part but I can say with hand on heart that I have trained dozens of first cross Dogos and to date have never had an aggression issue with any of them.
The Dogo Argentino also known as the Argentine Mastiff is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting, including wild boar; the breeder, Antonio Nores Martínez, also wanted a dog that would exhibit steadfast bravery and willingly protect its human companion to the death. It was first bred in 1928, from the Cordoba Fighting Dog along with a wide array of other breeds including, but not limited to, the Great Dane.
The Dogo Argentino is a large white short-coated dog with muscular and strong body that rarely has any markings (any type of marking or spot on the coat is considered a flaw).
Breed Standard Height: for females is 60–65 centimetres (24–26 inches) and for males is 60–68 centimetres (24–27 inches), measured at the withers. Weight: from 40–45 kilograms (88–99 pounds). The length of the body is just slightly longer than the height. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog's height at the withers. The head has a broad, slightly domed skull and the muzzle is slightly higher at the nose than the stop, when viewed in profile. The tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point. It has been described as looking similar to the American Bulldog but very tall with a solid white coat. The breed has also been described as looking similar to the American Pit Bull Terrier, even though the American Pit Bull Terrier is far smaller (13.5 to 27 kilograms).
As in the Dalmatian, white Boxer, and the white Bull Terrier, the dogo may experience pigment-related deafness. There is possibility of an approximate 10% deafness rate overall with some dogos afflicted uniaurally (one deaf ear) and some binaurally (deaf in both ears). Studies have shown that the incidence of deafness is drastically reduced when the only breeding stock used is that with bilaterally normal hearing. Hip dysplasia is also a common health concern.
Dogos are big-game hunters and are sometimes trained for search and rescue, police assistance, service dogs, and military work.
As with all breeds, the Dogo Argentino can be good with children, if properly socialized at early age.
Dogo Argentino have been bred specifically to allow better socialization with other dogs and are well suited for group environments. They get along with other pets in most rural and urban settings ranging from a complete outdoor farm dog to urban housing with a small yard, to crowded apartment buildings. Because aggressive traits are purposely bred out, The Dogo has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
Hunting and legality
While the Dogo Argentino was bred primarily from the extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog, it was bred to be a cooperative hunter, i.e. to accompany other catch dogs and bay dogs on the hunt without fighting with the other dogs. Aggressive traits inherent in the Cordoba Dog were specifically bred out to enable a stable cooperative nature in a pack. However, in areas where dog fighting continues, the Dogo Argentino has been used for fighting due to its fearless nature and great stamina.
The Dogo Argentino is banned in certain countries such as Ukraine, Iceland, Australia, Singapore and here In the United Kingdom, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is illegal to own a Dogo Argentino without lawful authority and the maximum penalty for illegal possession of a Dogo Argentino is a fine of £5,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.
In 1928, Antonio Nores Martinez, a medical doctor, professor and surgeon, set out to breed a big game hunting dog that was also capable of being a loyal pet and guard dog. Antonio Martinez picked the Cordoba Fighting Dog to be the base for the breed. This breed is extinct today, but it was said that as a large and ferocious dog, it was a great hunter. Martinez crossed it with the Great Dane, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Great Pyrenees, Pointer, Irish wolfhound and Dogue de Bordeaux. Nores Martinez continued to develop the breed via selective breeding to introduce the desired traits.
The Tosa Inu
The Tosa (土佐) also called the Tosa Inu or Japanese Mastiff) is a breed of dog of Japanese origin that is considered rare. It was originally bred in Tosa (present day Kōchi) as a fighting dog and still is today. There is not a lot known about this breed as it is turned away from just about every country it tries to enter.
The Tosa varies considerably in size, with the Japanese-bred dogs tending to be about half the size of those bred outside the country. The Japanese breed generally weighs between 80 and 135 pounds (36 and 61 kg), while the non-Japanese breeders have focused on dogs that weigh from 130 to 200 lb (60 to 90 kg) and stand 24.5 to 32 inches (62 to 82 cm) at the withers. The coat is characterized by its short and smooth appearance and is often red, brindle, or fawn. Occasionally it can be a dull black, but this is somewhat rare. Maintenance of the coat is usually minimal.
This breed originated in the second half of the nineteenth century. The breed started from the native Shikoku-Inu, an indigenous dog weighing about 25 kilograms (45 pounds) and standing about 55 centimetres high, which closely resembles the European Spitz. These dogs were crossed with European dog breeds, such as the Old English Bulldog in 1872, Mastiff in 1874, St. Bernard, German Pointer in 1876, Great Dane in 1924, and the Bull Terrier. The aim was to breed a larger, more powerful dog. The heyday of Tosa breeding was between 1924 and 1933, when it was said that there were more than 5,000 Tosa breeders in Japan.
Ownership of Tosas is legally restricted in certain jurisdictions. In the United Kingdom ownership is regulated under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, and in Trinidad & Tobago under the Dangerous Dogs Act 2000. A specific exemption of a British court is required to own and import Tosas legally in the UK. Some insurance companies will not insure homes with dog breeds deemed dangerous. The Australian Customs Service prohibits the import of Tosas, along with other dog breeds considered dangerous, into Australia
The Tosa is one of eleven breeds of dog banned in 2007 by the Dublin City Council from their properties, including council houses, flats and estates.
The breed is illegal / banned in:
Malaysia where the country's government claimed that the Tosas are specifically bred for fighting; the step was made in order to combat the increasing number of dog attacks on humans, especially children.
Introducing the “big teddy bear” of the Molosser world The Newfoundland dog is a large working dog. Newfoundland dogs can be black, brown or white and black (called Landseer) or gray. However, in Canada, the country of their origin, the only correct colors are black or white and black (Landseer). They were originally bred and used as a working dog for fishermen in the Dominion of Newfoundland (which is now part of Canada). They are known for their giant size, intelligence, tremendous strength, calm dispositions, and loyalty. Newfoundland dogs excel at water rescue/lifesaving because of their muscular build, thick double coat, webbed feet, and innate swimming abilities.
The Newfoundland’s ('Newfs' or 'Newfies') have webbed feet and a water-resistant coat. Males normally weigh 60–70 kg (130–150 lb), and females 45–55 kg (99–121 lb), placing them in the "Giant" weight range; but some Newfoundland dogs have been known to weigh over 90 kg (200 lb) – and the largest on record weighed 120 kg (260 lb) and measured over 1.8 m (6 ft) from nose to tail, ranking it among the biggest Molossers. They may grow up to 56–76 cm (22–30 in) tall at the shoulder.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard colors of the Newfoundland dogs are: black, brown, grey and white and black (sometimes referred to as Landseer). Other colors are possible, but are not considered "rare" or more valuable; The Kennel Club (KC) permits only black, brown, and white/black; while the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) permits only black and white/black. The "Landseer" pattern is named after the artist Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, who featured them in many of his paintings. Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) considers the ECT Landseer ("European Continental Type") to be a separate breed. It is a taller, narrower white dog with black markings not bred with a Newfoundland.
Newfoundland dogs are well known for their even temperament and stoic nature.
The Newfoundland's extremely large bones give it mass, while its large musculature gives it the power it needs to take on rough ocean waves and powerful tides. These dogs have great lung capacity for swimming extremely long distances, and a thick, oily and waterproof double coat which protects them from the chill of icy waters. The droopy lips and jowls make the dog drool. In the water, the dog's massive webbed paws give it maximum propulsion. The swimming stroke is not an ordinary dog paddle. Unlike other dogs, the Newfoundland moves its limbs in a down-and-out motion. This gives it more power with every stroke.
The Newfoundland dog is known for its calm and docile nature and its strength. They are highly loyal and make ideal working dogs. It is for this reason that this breed is known as "the gentle giant". International kennel clubs generally describe the breed as having a sweet temper. It typically has a deep bark, and is easy to train if started young. They are wonderfully good with children, but small children can get accidentally leaned on and knocked down. Newfoundlands are ideal companions in the world of therapy and are often referred to as the nanny dog. The breed was memorialized in "Nana", the beloved guardian dog in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan.[A] The Newfoundland in general is good with other animals, but its size can cause problems if it is not trained.
A Newfoundland dog lying next to its combed-out seasonal undercoat.
There are several health problems associated with Newfoundlands. Newfoundlands are prone to hip dysplasia (a malformed ball and socket in the hip joint). They also get Elbow dysplasia, and cystinuria (a hereditary defect that forms calculi stones in the bladder). Another genetic problem is subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS). This is a common heart defect in Newfoundlands involving defective heart valves. SAS can cause sudden death at an early age. It is common that "Newfs" live to be 8 to 10 years of age; 10 years is a commonly cited life expectancy.
Many tales have been told of the courage displayed by Newfoundlands in adventuring and lifesaving exploits.
The Newfoundland shares many traits with other Mastiffs, such as the St. Bernard and English Mastiff, including stout legs, massive heads with very broad snouts, a thick bull neck, and a very sturdy bone structure. In fact, many St. Bernard Dogs have Newfoundland Dog ancestry. Newfoundlands were brought and introduced to the St. Bernard breed in the 18th century when the population was threatened by an epidemic of distemper. They share many characteristics of many mountain dog breeds such as the Great Pyrenees.
The Newfoundland breed originated in Newfoundland, and is descended from a breed indigenous to the island known as the lesser Newfoundland, or St. John's dog. The Mastiff characteristics of the Newfoundland are likely a result of breeding with Portuguese Mastiffs brought to the island by Portuguese fishermen beginning in the 16th century.
The speculation that Newfoundlands may be partly descended from big black bear dogs introduced by the Vikings in 1001 A.D. is based more in romance than in fact.
By the time colonization was permitted in Newfoundland in 1610, the distinct physical characteristics and mental attributes had been established in the Newfoundland breed. In the early 1880s, fishermen and explorers from Ireland and England traveled to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, where they described two main types of working dog. One was heavily built, large with a longish coat, and the other medium-sized in build – an active, smooth-coated water dog. The heavier breed was known as the Greater Newfoundland, or Newfoundland. The smaller breed was known as the Lesser Newfoundland, or St. John's dog. The St. John's dog became the founding breed of the modern retrievers. Both breeds were used as working dogs to pull fish nets, with the Greater Newfoundland also being used to haul carts and other equipment.
Because of that, they were part of the foundation stock of the Leonberger (which excelled at water rescue and was imported by the Canadian government for that purpose); and the now extinct Moscow Water Dog, a failed attempt at creating a lifesaving dog by the Russian state kennel—the unfortunate outcross with the Caucasian Ovcharka begat a dog more adept at biting than rescuing.
Many tales have been told of the courage displayed by Newfoundlands in adventuring and lifesaving exploits. Over the last two centuries, this has inspired a number of artists, who have portrayed the dogs in paint, stone, bronze and porcelain. One famous Newfoundland was a dog named Seaman, who accompanied American explorers Lewis and Clark on their expedition.
The breed's working role was varied. Another famous all black Newfoundland performed as the star attraction in Van Hare's Magic Circus from 1862 and for many years thereafter in one of England's founding circus acts, traveling throughout Europe. The circus dog was known as the "Thousand Guinea Dog Napoleon" or "Napoleon the Wonder Dog." The circus owner, G. Van Hare, trained other Newfoundland dogs to perform a steeplechase routine with baboons dressed up as jockeys to ride them. Nonetheless, his "wizard dog" Napoleon was his favorite and held a special position in the Magic Circus. Napoleon would compete at jumping against human rivals, leaping over horses from a springboard, and dancing to music.
Napoleon the Wonder Dog became a wildly popular act in London from his debut at the Pavilion Theatre on April 4, 1862, and onward until his untimely death many years later when he slipped and fell during a circus practice session. At the peak of his fame, his performance was described in London's Illustrated Sporting News and Theatrical and Musical Review as follows: "Synopsis of his entertainment:-- He spells his own name with letters' also that of the Prince of Wales; and when he is asked what he would say of her Most Gracious Majesty, he puts down letters to form "God save the Queen." He plays any gentleman a game of cards, and performs the celebrated three-card trick upon which his master backs him at 100 to 1. Also "The Disappearance," a la Robin. He performs in a circus the same as a trick horse, en liberté, giving the Spanish trot to music, also leaping over bars, through balloons, with numerous other tricks of a most interesting character."
The breed prospered in the United Kingdom, until 1914 and again in 1939, when its numbers were almost fatally depleted by wartime restrictions. Since the 1950s there has been a steady increase in numbers and popularity, despite the fact that the Newfoundland's great size and fondness for mud and water makes it unsuitable as a pet for many households.
The Shar Pei
The Shar Pei, or Chinese Shar-Pei, is a breed of dog known for its distinctive features of deep wrinkles and a blue-black tongue. The breed comes from China. The name (沙皮, pinyin: shā pí; English name probably derived from British spelling of the Cantonese equivalent, SA pèih) translates to "sand skin" and refers to the texture of its short, rough coat. As puppies, Shar Pei has numerous wrinkles, but as they mature, these wrinkles loosen and spread out as they "grow into their skin". Shar Pei was named in 1978 as one of the world's rarest dog breeds by TIME magazine and the Guinness World Records. It is one of the ancient dog breeds, but the American Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1992.
Nearly all dog breed's genetic closeness to the gray wolf is due to admixture. However, several Arctic dog breeds show a genetic closeness with the now-extinct Taymyr wolf of North Asia due to admixture. These breeds are associated with high latitudes - the Siberian husky and Greenland dog that are also associated with arctic human populations and to a lesser extent the Shar Pei and Finnish spitz. An admixture graph of the Greenland dog indicates a best-fit of 3.5% shared material; however an ancestry proportion ranging between 1.4% and 27.3% is consistent with the data. This indicates admixture between the Taymry wolf population and the ancestral dog population of these 4 high-latitude breeds. This introgression could have provided early dogs living in high latitudes with phenotypic variation beneficial for adaption to a new and challenging environment. It also indicates the ancestry of present-day dog breeds descends from more than one region.
Small, triangle ears, and a high-set tail also give the Shar Pei a unique look. For show standard, "the tail is thick and round at the base, tapering to a fine point" (AKC standard February 28, 1998). As puppies, Shar pei are a lot more wrinkly than adults and, although some adults can be wrinklier than their puppy self, an adult pei should have wrinkles mostly on the face, a few on their shoulder and at the base of the tail.
Horse-coat (unusual but regaining ground), rough to the touch, extremely prickly and off-standing, soft in one direction and harsh in the other; Brush-coat, with longer hair and a smoother feel; and Bear-coat (rare, and not recognized by the AKC; Bearcoats are due to the addition of other breeds). Examples of the breed were owned by the peasant class, and were used for working dogs and fighting due to their loose skin. Shar pei can be seen in Chinese art throughout history, and are considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds on earth. Western Shar Pei comes in three different coat types: horse, brush, and bear coat. The unusual horse coat is rough to the touch, extremely prickly and off-standing and is closer to the original traditional Shar Pei breed in appearance and coat type than the brush or bear coat. This coat is fairly prickly and can be rough or irritating when petting in the opposite direction of the fur. The horse coat is generally thought to be more active and predisposed to dominant behavior than the brush coat. The brush-coated variety have slightly longer hair and a smoother feel to them. The brush coat is generally considered to be more of a "couch potato" than the horse coat. This breed sheds normally twice a year.
The Chinese Shar-Pei is a unique and intelligent dog most often recognized for its wrinkles. Initially developed as a Chinese farm and hunting and later fighting dog, the breed does well today in obedience, agility, herding and tracking, with skills that would have been needed on the farm. Because the name Shar-Pei means "sand coat", harshness is a distinctive feature in its two accepted coat types, either horse (short) or brush (up to an inch long). Other unique qualities include black mouth pigment, a slightly "hippo-like" head shape, small ears, deep-set eyes and rising top-line.
Any coat longer than one inch at the withers is called a "bear coat" and is not considered breed standard, as it occurs only when both the male and female carry recessive coat genes. This coat length resembles the coat of the Chow and was probably inherited from the chows. The personality of the bear coat is very much like that of a brush coat.
Shar Pei have a thick, curled tail
The traditional Shar Pei that is most popular in China is more faithful to the history of the breed (taller, less wrinkly, flatter mouth and nose, horse coated). As puppies, they have lots of wrinkles and as they get older, they get fewer wrinkles.
Scientists from the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, announced in January 2010 that they had analyzed the genetic code of 10 different pedigree dog breeds. In the Shar-pei, they discovered four small differences located in the gene HAS2 which is responsible for making hyaluronic acid synthase 2. That enzyme makes hyaluronic acid, which is one of the key components of the skin. There have been rare cases in which a mutation of the same gene has caused severe wrinkling in humans as well.
A Shar-Pei and a puppy playing
All Shar-Pei puppies need early socialization with children, strangers, and other animals. Some people may experience sensitivity to the harshness of the coat of either length. This is a mild, short-lived rash that can develop on the skin that has been in contact with the coat, most commonly on the forearms.
The Shar Pei is often suspicious of strangers, which pertains to their origin as a guard dog. It is a very independent and reserved breed. Nevertheless, the Shar Pei is extremely devoted, loyal and affectionate to its family and is amenable to accepting strangers given time and proper introduction at a young age. If poorly socialized or trained, it can become especially territorial and aggressive. Even friendly and well-socialized individuals will retain the breed's watch dog proclivities (like barking at strangers). It is a largely silent breed, barking only when it is playing or worried. The Shar-Pei were originally bred as palace guards in China. Although Shar-Pei is sometimes stubborn, they are receptive to fair, compassionate training. With repetition and a clear reward system, training is not very difficult, however they do not respond well to negative and cruel treatment. Overall, the Shar Pei can be a dog that is loyal and loving to its family while being very protective. Shar-Pei do not like to be alone, preferring to be close to their humans, often lying nearby in the same room.
Allergy-induced skin infections can be a problem in this breed.
Familial Shar Pei fever (FSF) is a serious congenital disease that causes short fevers lasting from 24 hours, sometimes up to three days and usually accompanied by accumulation of fluid around the ankles (called Swollen Hock Syndrome). These fevers may or may not recur at more frequent intervals and become more intense. Amyloidosis, a long-term condition, is most likely related to FSF, caused by unprocessed amyloid proteins depositing in the organs, most often in the kidneys or liver, leading eventually to renal failure. There is no early test for FSF, but as it is congenital, the dog is either born with it or without it, and if one attack occurs (usually brought on by improper diet, excessive emotional or physical stress), the dog will always be susceptible to another. With proper care, a Shar-Pei with FSF can live a completely normal and long life. Shar-Pei who demonstrate proclivity to fever episodes should never be allowed to eat any soy products, beef, or rawhide treats. Treatment for fever and swollen hocks is the use of NSAIDs, such as Rimadyl or Carprofen, every twelve hours to bring down the fever and reduce hock swelling. FSF episodes can last up to several days, during which the dog is lethargic, feverish, and has no appetite. Once the episode has passed and the dog is eating again, switching to a lamb and rice, soy-free kibble will help mitigate future fever episodes. The disease is associated with the western type and it is estimated that 23% are affected. The Australian breed standard was changed in 2009 to discourage breeding for heavy wrinkling.
A common problem is a painful eye condition, entropion, in which the eyelashes curl inward, irritating the eye. Untreated, it can cause blindness. This condition can be fixed by surgery ("tacking" the eyelids up so they will not roll onto the eyeball for puppies or surgically removing extra skin in adolescent and older Shar Pei). In Australia, more than 8 in 10 Shar Pei require surgery to correct eye problems.
The Shar-Pei is also prone to chronic yeast infections in its ears. This is due to tight inner ear structure with a wrinkled appearance, making cleaning very difficult; exacerbated by the tight "flap" that the ear creates over the canal, promoting a moist environment.
The Shar Pei has been identified as a basal breed that predates the emergence of the modern breeds in the 19th Century.
The Shar Pei breed comes from the Guangdong province of China. The original Shar-Pei from China looked very different from the breed now popular in the West. People in southern China, Hong Kong, and Macau differentiate the Western type and the original type by calling them respectively 'meat-mouth' and 'bone-mouth' Shar-Pei.
The Shar Pei's loose skin and extremely prickly coat were originally developed to help the dogs fend off wild boar, as they were used to hunt. Later, the breed was used for dog fighting; these enhanced traits made the Shar Pei difficult for its opponent to grab and hold on to, and so that if it did manage to hold on, the Shar Pei would still have room to maneuver and bite back; when grabbed by any loose wrinkle, a Shar Pei can actually twist in their skin and face in one's direction. In fighting, they would twist in their skin to bite the assailant back.
During the Communist Revolution, when the Shar Pei population dwindled dramatically, dogs were rescued by a Hong Kong businessman named Matgo Law, who in 1973 appealed to Americans through a dog magazine to save the breed. Around 200 Shar pei were smuggled into America. The current American Shar Pei population stems mainly from these original 200.
As well as good beer, delightful people and the best red light area in the world the Danish gave us this awesome animal, The Broholmer, also called the Danish Mastiff, is a large Molosser breed of dog from Denmark, recognized by the Danish Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. It has often been employed as a guard dog in the homes of the wealthy. The breed's numbers dwindled severely during WWII, but the dog made a successful return in the 1970s.
The Denmark Broholmer is a dog that strongly resembles a Mastiff due to its Molosser origins. It is large and powerful, with a loud, impressive bark and dominant walk. A well trained Broholmer should be calm, good tempered, and friendly, yet watchful towards strangers.
Females stand about 27.5 inches (70 cm) and weigh in at 90–130 lbs (41–59 kg). Males stand about 29.5 inches (75 cm) and weigh in at 110–150 lbs (51–69 kg). The body is build square and rectangular with a large and massive head. The width and length of the skull and the length of the nose should be of equal length. The head is generally not carried very high. The coat is short and harsh, and the color can be light or brownish yellow, or black. Some white markings on the coat are permitted, and a black mask may be found. The average life span is around 7–12 years.
The Broholmer breed was generated from a cross between English Mastiffs and local dogs in Germany, and was named after Sehested of Broholm, a game-keeper who lived in the 18th century. During the Second World War, the Broholmer became a victim of the strife and almost went extinct, but was saved by a group of Danish enthusiasts after isolated members were found in the 1970s.
King Frederick VII and his consort, Countess Danner were owners of several Broholmers they have a very small head and one of their portraits depicts them with one of their dogs. The breed was established in the early 19th century and was moderately popular, especially as a guard dog in the homes of wealthy Danes. The Breed was imported to the UK in 2009 with a view to being put on the UK kennel clubs import list.
The Hovawart is a medium to large size German dog breed. The name of the breed means "an estate guard dog", which is the original use for the breed. The breed originated in the Black Forest region and was first described in text and paintings in medieval times.
The Hovawart is an outstanding watch dog and somewhat reserved towards strangers. They make excellent family dogs as they are totally devoted to their family. They are a working dog breed, and require a consistent and loving yet strict training and meaningful activity throughout their lives.
One of the first documented recordings comes from the year 1210 when the German castle Ordensritterburg was besieged by Slavic invaders. The castle fell and its inhabitants including the lord were slaughtered, however the lord's infant son was saved by one of the castle's Hovawart. In spite of being wounded itself, the dog dragged the tiny child to a neighboring castle and thus saved the boy's life. This young boy, Eike von Repkow, grew up to become a legendary figure in the history of German law. He later published the Sachsenspiegel, the oldest code of law to survive from medieval Germany. Not surprisingly, the Hovawart is mentioned with praise. The Schwabenspiegel, a law text published in 1274 and based on Eike von Repkow’s Sachsenspiegel, lists the Hovawart among the dogs you have to replace and pay restitution for if they are killed or stolen.
By 1473, Heinrich Mynsinger described the Hovawart as one of "The Five Noble Breeds" and among its uses listed that it was useful for tracking the robber and miscreant. This along with references to the Hovawart in German law show that it was a readily identifiable breed and held in similar esteem to that of hunting dogs.
Following the medieval period, the popularity of the Hovawart began to decline. Newer breeds such as the German Shepherd Dog slowly replaced the Hovawart as a guard and working dog until it had almost disappeared by the beginning of the twentieth century. Around 1915 a group of enthusiasts decided to try to save the breed. Predominant in this group was the zoologist Kurt Friedrich König. They started by looking for dogs in the farms of the Black Forest region. König then started a careful breeding program using these dogs and crossed them with Kuvaszok, Newfoundlands, German Shepherd Dogs, Leonbergers, a Bernese mountain dog and an African hunting dog. After much work the group was rewarded in 1922 when the first Hovawart litter was entered into the German Breeding Registry. The enthusiasts continued their work and in 1937 the German Kennel Club officially recognized the Hovawart. All this work was almost undone with the outbreak of the Second World War. Because of their abilities many Hovawart were used in the German war effort and perished. By 1945 only a few remained. Enthusiasm for the breed remained and in 1947, Otto Schramm and some fellow enthusiasts in Coburg formed a new club, the Rassezuchtverein für Hovawart-Hunde Coburg which is still in existence today. In 1964 the German Kennel Club recognized the Hovawart as the country's seventh working breed and around this time enthusiasm for the breed started to develop in other countries.
The Hovawart does exceptionally well in search and rescue, tracking and working dog activities. The females are generally lighter in build. In training and especially obedience work the trainer must keep positive reinforcement in mind all the time, as this mountain dog is not as eager to please as many other working dog breeds: it always needs some kind of motivation. It is important to realize that the Hovawart works with people and not for people. They do have the ability to think and act independently. Their guarding instinct for example does not require any real training; it is inherent, as it is what they were bred for. The Hovawart may easily become reluctant if training is built only on punishments.
The owner of a Hovawart should ideally have previous experience in owning and training a dog and as such the Hovawart is not usually suitable as a first dog.
The Leonberger is a favorite of mine and a giant Molosser. The breed's name derives from the city of Leonberg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. According to legend, the Leonberger was ostensibly bred as a 'symbolic dog' that would mimic the lion in the town crest. It is in the Working Group for dog shows such as Crufts, but not at the World Dog Show.
This Mountain dog comes with a generous double coat; the Leonberger is a large, muscular, and elegant dog with balanced body type, medium temperament, and dramatic presence. The head is adorned with a striking black mask, and projects the breed's distinct expression of intelligence, pride, and kindliness. Remaining true to their early roots as a capable family and working dog and search and rescue dog (particularly water), the surprisingly agile Leonberger is sound and coordinated, with both strength in bearing and elegance in movement. A dimorphic breed, the Leonberger possesses either a strongly masculine or elegantly feminine form, making gender immediately discernible.
Size, proportion, and substance
Height at withers:
Male: 28–31.5 in (71–80 cm) — average 29.5 in (75 cm) :18
Female: 25.5–29.5 in (65–75 cm) — average 27.5 in (70 cm) :18
Males: 120–170 lb (54–77 kg) — average 140–150 lb (64–68 kg)
Females: 100–135 lb (45–61 kg) — average 115 lb (52 kg)
For a mature Leonberger, the height at the withers is ideally the median of the breed's range— 28 to 31.5 inches (71 to 80 cm) for males and 25.5 to 29.5 inches (65 to 75 cm) for females. Capable of demanding work, the Leonberger is a dog of ample substance. Its frame is supported with well-muscled, medium to heavy bone in direct proportion to its size. A roomy chest is sufficiently broad and deep for the purpose of work. Seen in profile, the chest curves inward from the pro-sternum, tangently joins the elbow to its underline at fifty percent of the withers' height and then continues slightly upward toward the stifle.
The head is well balanced in proportion to the size of the dog and is deeper than broad with the length of muzzle and the length of skull approximately equal. With close fitting eyelids, the eyes are set into the skull upon a slight oblique; the eyes are medium-sized, almond shaped, and colored dark brown. The ears are fleshy, moderately sized, and pendant shaped, with sufficient substance to hang close to the skull and drop the tip of the ears level with the inside corners of the mouth. The Leonbergers ears rise from halfway between the eye and the top of his skull to level with the top of his skull. Though level bites and slight anomalies not affecting the robustness of the lower jaw are common, the ideal Leonberger capably possesses a strong scissor bite with full dentition.
Both a necessity for work and a defining attribute of the breed, the Leonberger has a water resistant double coat on his body that is complemented by the shorter, fine hair on his muzzle and limbs. The long, profuse, outer coat is durable, relatively straight, lies flat, and fits close. Mature, masculine Leonbergers exhibit a pronounced mane. Similarly, his tail is very well furnished from the tip to the base where it blends harmoniously with the breech's furnishings. Climate permitting, his undercoat is soft and dense. Apart from a neatening of the feet, the Leonberger is presented untrimmed.
A variety of coat colors are acceptable, including all combinations of lion-yellow, red, red-brown, and sand. Nose leather, foot pads and lips should always be black. Faulty colors include brown with brown nose leather, black and tan, black, white or silver and eyes without any brown. A small patch of white on the chest or toes is permitted.
First and foremost a family dog, the Leonbergers temperament is one of its most important and distinguishing characteristics. Well socialized and trained, the Leonberger is self-assured, insensitive to noise, submissive to family members, friendly toward children, well composed with passersby, and self-disciplined when obliging its family or property with protection. Robust, loyal, intelligent, playful, and kindly, they can thus be taken anywhere without difficulty and adjust easily to a variety of circumstances, including the introduction of other dogs.
Leonbergers are strong, generally healthy dogs. Hip dysplasia, which devastates many large breeds, is largely controlled because of the effort of many breeders who actively screen their Leonbergers using x-rays evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and leave dysplastic specimens out of the gene pool, thereby reducing the risk of bone/joint problems. For over twenty years, breeders belonging to the Leonberger Club of America, which issued pedigrees for the Leonberger breed in America, adhered to many aspects of the German breeding program whereby member kennels may only choose to breed dogs that were certified as three generation free of hip dysplasia. As a likely result, the incidence of hip dysplasia in the breed was reduced to almost 10% and the occurrence of OFA rated "Excellent" hips increased by over 60% in just twenty years. Current incidence rates of hip dysplasia in Leonbergers are likely around 13%. After 2010, when the Leonberger Club of America joined the American Kennel Club, the formerly strict breeding rules are no longer mandatory for all Leonbergers.
To breed the healthiest Leonberger litter, we must look closely at their ancestor’s health. This is done by looking at a pedigree, which is a family tree of genetics. In this model we are looking at three different pedigrees, the soon to be mother, Luna, and the two potential fathers, Kane and Leo. We are looking for the lowest percentage of genetic disease because then the puppies will have a lower chance of having serious health problems caused by these genetic diseases. The specific disease that is examined is the LPN mutation. This mutation affects the muscular and nervous system of the dog and can progress to the point where they are not able to support their own weight and can lose ability to walk. In the model, Leo had lower percentages for both the LPN1 gene mutation, LPN2 gene mutation. That means that there is a lower chance that this mutation would be passed down to the litter, making him the best choice as the father because the puppies would most likely be the healthiest. Another important thing to consider is the CIO genetic percentages. These percentages show the similarities of the genetics of the dog through two categories, CIO All Gen. and CIO 10 Gen. CIO All Gen. is the percentage of genetics of the dog that are similar to the whole Leonberger breed. CIO 10 Gen. is the percentage of genetics of the dog that are similar to the past ten generations of the dog’s pedigree. These results were extremely close but Leo had lower percentages for both CIO All Gen. and CIO 10 Gen., making her the better choice. The motivation of the model is to show that safe breeding must be practiced to keep the Leonberger population healthy. Even when safe breeding is practiced, breeding is still profitable and should be practiced by all Leonberger breeders. Another motivation of the model is that learning and using these practices is possible for every breeder due to the number of resources and tools from Leonberger clubs around the world as well as the Leonberger databases. The percent of LPN1 and LPN2 were found in the pedigree and divided by how many of the dogs in that generation had the mutation. Each of the LPN percentages was then multiplied by the corresponding percentage of DNA that would be passed down to the litter and then added together to get the percent of genes that would be passed down to the litter for LPN1 and LPN2. Though not common, Leonbergers do inherit and/or develop a number of diseases that range in their impact from mild to devastating. In addition to hip dysplasia, Leonbergers can inherit and/or develop heart problems, Inherited Leonberger Paralysis/Polyneuropathy (ILPN), osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, Osteochondritis Dissecans, allergies, digestive disorders, cataracts, entropion/ectropion eyelids, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), perianal fistulas, and thyroid disorders. Though rumors persist of Leonbergers being more sensitive to anesthesia than other breeds of dog, they are largely untrue. Leonbergers, like other large breed dogs, require less dosage per pound of sedative than smaller breeds to yield the same effect. The Leonberger Health Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation whose sole mission is to support major researchers who are seeking to identify genetic markers for serious diseases which affect the breed, is currently focusing on osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and Leonberger Polyneuropathy.
Leonbergers in UK and USA/Canada surveys had a median lifespan of about 7 years, which is about 4 years less than the average purebred dog, but typical of similarly sized breeds. About 20% of Leonbergers in the surveys lived to 10 years or more. The oldest dogs in both surveys died at about 16 In France, the breed has a median lifespan of 8.75 years.
Serious diseases can affect the Leonberger—certain types of cancers are very common in the breed. Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, commonly called bloat, is another serious condition that affects many of the large and giant breed dogs, particularly those with deep chests. It causes the stomach to twist and can be fatal quite quickly. Adult Leonbergers should always be fed twice a day rather than one large meal in order to reduce the likelihood of bloat. Leonbergers are not alone in inheriting serious diseases and according to the University of Sydney's LIDA taskforce, Leonbergers have relatively few health issues compared to other dog breeds.
In a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (45%), cardiac (11%), and "unknown" (8.5%). In a 2000 USA/Canada Leonberger Club of America survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (37%), old age (12%), cardiac (9%), and "sudden death" (8%).
Studies have indicated problems with inherited polyneuropathy in certain populations of Leonbergers and cataracts in dogs in the United Kingdom. A study of "Leonberger polyneuropathy" was published in 2014. Genetic testing is to be done through a protocol administered in North America by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. or Institute of Genetics, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
In the 1830s, Heinrich Essig, a dog breeder and seller and mayor of the town of Leonberg near Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, claimed to have created the Leonberger by crossing a female Landseer Newfoundland with a "Barry" male from the Great St. Bernard Hospice and Monastery (which would later create the Saint Bernard breed). Later, according to Essig, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog was added, resulting in very large dogs with the long white coats that were the fashion for the time, and pleasant temperament. The first dogs registered as Leonbergers were born in 1846 and had many of the prized qualities of the breeds from which they were derived. The popular legend is that it was bred to resemble the coat-of-arms animal of Leonberg, the lion. The Leonberger dog became popular with several European royal households, including Napoleon II, Empress Elizabeth of Austria-Hungary, the Prince of Wales[clarification needed], Otto Von Bismarck, Emperor Napoleon III and Umberto I of Italy. Essig's claim of breeding the dog as described is disputed. At least as early as 1585, the royal household of Austrian Prince Franz Metternich, of Walberg, father of Prince Metternich, owned dogs of the same description. Either way, there is no doubt that Essig named and registered the breed first. A black and white engraving of the Leonberger was included in "The Illustrated Book of the Dog" by Vero Shaw (at p. 488) in 1881. At the time, Essig's Leonbergers were denounced as an indifferent knockoff of a St. Bernard — not a stable and recognized breed — and a product of a popular fad or fashion for large and strong dogs, fomented in part by Essig's prodigious marketing skills (he gave dogs to the rich and famous).
The modern look of the Leonberger, with darker coats and a black masks, was developed during the latter part of the 20th century by re-introducing other breeds, such as the Newfoundland. This was necessary because breeding stocks of the leonberger were seriously affected by the two world wars. During World War I most Leonbergers were left to fend for themselves as breeders fled or were killed. Reportedly, only five Leonbergers survived World War I and were bred until World War II when, again, almost all Leonbergers were lost. During the two world wars, Leonbergers were used to pull the ammunition carts, a service to the breed's country that resulted in the Leonbergers' near-destruction. Leonbergers today can have their ancestry traced to the eight dogs that survived World War II.
Traditionally, Leonbergers were kept as farm dogs and were much praised for their abilities in watch and draft work. They were frequently seen pulling carts around the villages of Bavaria and surrounding districts. Around the beginning of the 20th Century, Leonbergers were imported by the Government of Canada for use as water rescue/lifesaving dogs. The breed continues in that role today, along with the Newfoundland, Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever dogs; they are used at the Italian School of Canine Lifeguard.
The Leonberger received American Kennel Club recognition as a member of the Working Group on January 1, 2010, alongside the Icelandic Sheepdog and the Cane Corso. It was the 167th breed to be recognized by the AKC.
The Korean Mastiff
The Korean Dosa Mastiff is also known as Korean Mastiff, Mee Kyun Dosa and Dosagyeon. It is a large and the heaviest dog breed that originated in Korea. It has a typical heavily wrinkled body and sluggish gait. It has a well-balanced, gladiator like appearance that will seldom fail to get second glances, not only for its massive size but also for its shiny, very impressive and eye-catching red, orange or brown coat. This breed was developed to be a working dog in 1800s from Asian and European working breeds. Tosa Inu and the Dogue de Bordeaux are believed to be its foundation gene pole. In 19th century, English Mastiff, English bulldog and Neapolitan Mastiff were added to its bloodlines. Likewise, it is also strongly believed that a small percentage of Bloodhounds is also part of this massive breed's gene pole. This large and massive dog stands between 23 to 30 inches and weighs between 145-185 lbs. It has a typical mastiff appearance with large head and heavily wrinkled body. Wide muzzle is square shaped and leads to a broad black nose. Broad ears are soft to touch and hang close to the head. Eyes are medium in size, set wide apart and are dark in color. It has a rectangular shaped body. The short stocky neck is very muscular and covered with loose skin that forms dewlaps. Long and muscular shoulders are sloping. Back is broad and strong with well-muscled loin. Wide round chest is deep. Thick and wide tail is set slightly lower than the topline. In action, the tail is raised just above the back. When the dog is at rest, the tail either hangs down straight or forms an "S" shape. Characteristically, the skin is loose all over the body and forms wrinkles on head and neck. This breed is NOT recognized by AKC or any other major kennel club.
Preferred coat colors for this dog are dark brown and liver red to mahogany. White markings on chest are acceptable but considered disqualification if present anywhere else.
The short, silky and shiny coat is easy to groom.
Despite its fearsome and intimidating appearance, the Korean Dosa Mastiff is in fact a very sweet natured and gentle dog breed. A dignified, noble and loving dog, the Korean Dosa Mastiff forms an strong bond with its master and family and likes to be a huge lap dog. The dog is very affectionate, gentle and kind to children gets along well with other dogs and pets in the family but reserved around strangers. Its tendency to lean on its favorite people makes it unsuitable around small children without supervision as it may step on or inadvertently knock them over due to its huge size. It is a rather indolent dog that will fit into an apartment life due to low activity levels. This dog is seldom seen galloping; instead walking and trotting are the dog's most usual gait. This huge dog is a natural deterrent to intruders with its fearsome appearance but to its family, it is a real gentle giant that will endear every one with its cool and calm temperament.
Short and smooth coat has low grooming needs and once a week brushing will keep the coat clean. Folds of skin should be regularly cleaned. Bathing once a month should be enough to keep this dog clean. Puppies grow at a fast rate but their bone structure is not yet fully developed so they should be not be subjected to strenuous exercises. This lazy dog should be taken for daily walk. Small children should be supervised when the dog is interacting with them due to its huge size and tendency to "lovingly lean" on them.
This intelligent and obedient breed should be easy to train due to its eager to please nature. As with any other breed, the trainer must display proper pack leader skills.
This rather sluggish and lazy dog may not demand exercise but the owner should take it for daily walks. It has moderate levels of energy and daily walking will be sufficient to fulfill its exercise needs. The Korean Dosa Mastiff can be a very good walking or strolling companion.
The Landseer is a dog breed. Many kennel clubs consider the Landseer to be simply a black-and-white variant of the Newfoundland, but the Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes it as a separate breed. This separate breed is called Landseer European Continental Type (E.C.T.).
The breed was named after the British painter Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, because in 1838 he created the painting A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society, which shows a dog of this breed.
The Landseer Newfoundland dog is known for its sweet disposition, gentleness, and serenity. They enjoy swimming, and tend to drool, though not as much as some other giant breeds. While the Landseer European Continental Type is also sweet, affectionate and enjoys swimming he is quite different from the Landseer Newfoundland in regard to response, agility and speed.
Because of their good swimming skills these dogs were utilized by fishermen to tow nets to the shore. They were also noted for their ability to help drowning people; therefore, these dogs were bought and sold mainly by European fishermen. It is believed that, by and large, the exportation of these dogs occurred during the late 18th century. However, paintings show us that these dogs must have already existed in England in the early 18th century.
Because of their impressive appearance they were the subject of numerous books and paintings. The most famous painting of this large white and black dog is a portrait called "A Distinguished Member of Humane Society" done by the renowned English animal painter Sir Edwin Landseer in 1838. In fact the subject matter of many of Sir Edwin's paintings focused on these dogs. The dog portrayed in one of the most famous paintings is believed to have saved more than 20 people from drowning. It therefore was adopted as a member of the humane society. The breed was eventually named in honor of Sir Edwin.
Unfortunately by the end of the 19th century the Landseer Continental Type were not recognizable. Some breeders attempted to build the breed back up in the beginning of the 1900 but their efforts were thwarted during World War I when most of the dogs were killed. After World War I some enthusiastic breeders in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland began breeding these dogs again. Between 1945 and 1960 the Landseer Continental Type was bred as a part of the Newfoundland Clubs in Europe.
As the dogs had many differences to the Newfoundland and the popularity of the Landseer CT grew the breed was recognized as a separate breed by the FCI in 1960. The breed was registered and its popularity continues to soar. The breed spread and can now be seen all over Europe.
The Landseer ECT is in many ways different from the Newfoundland. In general the Landseer’s ECT are taller, do not have a deep breast, have shorter hair, no under wool and their long legs make them fast, untiring runners.
All in all the Landseer ECT is quicker and more responsive than the Newfoundland which makes him easier to train and teach. As their coat is not as dense they dry off quickly and their fur is easier to clean and take care of.
The Bulldog spirit is what put the “GREAT” into Great Britain it has been our mascot since the Second World War and who amongst us doesn’t imagine when looking at this breed a cigar and a bowler hat on it? The Bull dog is a medium-sized breed of dog commonly referred to as the English bulldog or British Bulldog. Other Bulldog breeds include the American Bulldog, Old English Bulldog (now extinct), Leavitt Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, and the French bulldog. The Bulldog is a muscular, heavy dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose. The American Kennel Club (AKC), The Kennel Club (UK), and the United Kennel Club (UKC) oversee breeding standards. Bulldogs are the 5th most popular pure breed in the United States in 2013 according to the American Kennel Club.
The Bulldog is a breed with characteristically wide head and shoulders along with a pronounced mandibular prognathism. There are generally thick folds of skin on a Bulldog's brow; round, black, wide-set eyes; a short muzzle with characteristic folds called a knot above the nose; hanging skin under the neck; drooping lips and pointed teeth, and occasionally an under bite. The coat is short, flat, and sleek, with colors of red, fawn, white, brindle, and piebald.
In the United Kingdom, the breed standards are 50 lb (23 kg) for a male and 40 lb. (18 kg) for a female. In the United States, a typical mature male weighs 45–55 lb (20–25 kg), while mature females weigh about 45 lb (20 kg). The American Kennel Club recommends the average weight of a bulldog to be 40–50 lb (18–23 kg).
Bulldogs are one of the few breeds whose tail is naturally short and either straight or screwed and thus is not cut or docked as with some other breeds. A straight tail is a more desirable tail according to the breed standard set forth by the BCA if it is facing downward, not upwards.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a Bulldog's disposition should be "equable and kind, resolute, and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior".
Breeders have worked to reduce/remove aggression from these dogs. Most have a friendly, patient nature. Bulldogs are recognized as excellent family pets because of their tendency to form strong bonds with children.
Generally, Bulldogs are known for getting along well with children, other dogs, and pets. They can become so attached to home and family, that they will not venture out of the yard without a human companion. They are also more likely to sleep on someone's lap than chase a ball around the yard.
The term "Bulldog" was first mentioned in literature around 1500, the oldest spelling of the word being Bondogge and Boldogge. The first reference to the word with the modern spelling is dated 1631 or 1632 in a letter by a man named Prestwick Eaton where he writes: "procuer mee two good Bulldogs, and let them be sent by ye first ship". In 1666, English scientist Christopher Merret applied: "Canis pugnax, a Butchers Bull or Bear Dog", as an entry in his Pinax Rerum Naturalium Britannicarum.
The designation "bull" was applied because of the dog's use in the sport of bull baiting. This entailed the setting of dogs (after placing wagers on each dog) onto a tethered bull. The dog that grabbed the bull by the nose and pinned it to the ground would be the victor. It was common for a bull to maim or kill several dogs at such an event, either by goring, tossing, or trampling. Over the centuries, dogs used for bull-baiting developed the stocky bodies and massive heads and jaws that typify the breed as well as a ferocious and savage temperament. Bull-baiting, along with bear-baiting, reached the peak of its popularity in England in the early 1800s until they were both made illegal by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835. This amended the existing legislation to protect animals from mistreatment and included (as "cattle") bulls, dogs, bears, and sheep, so that bull and bear-baiting as well as cockfighting became prohibited. Therefore, the Old English Bulldog had outlived its usefulness in England as a sporting animal and its active or "working" days were numbered. However, emigrants did have a use for such dogs in the New World. In mid-17th century New York, Bulldogs were used as a part of a citywide roundup effort led by Governor Richard Nicolls. Because cornering and leading wild bulls were dangerous, Bulldogs were trained to seize a bull by its nose long enough for a rope to be secured around its neck. Bulldogs as pets were continually promoted by dog dealer Bill George.
Despite slow maturation so that growing up is rarely achieved by two and a half years, Bulldogs' lives are relatively short. At five to six years of age they start to show signs of aging.
In time, the original old English Bull dog was crossed with the pug. The outcome was a shorter, wider dog with a brachycephalic skull. Though today's Bulldog looks tough, he cannot perform the job he was originally created for as he cannot withstand the rigors of running and being thrown by a bull, and also cannot grip with such a short muzzle.
The oldest single breed specialty club is The Bulldog Club (England), which was formed in 1878. Members of this club met frequently at the Blue Post pub on Oxford Street in London. There they wrote the first standard of perfection for the breed. In 1894 the two top Bulldogs, King Orry and Dock leaf, competed in a contest to see which dog could walk 20 miles (32 km). King Orry was reminiscent of the original Bulldogs, lighter boned and very athletic. Dock leaf was smaller and heavier set, more like modern Bulldogs. King Orry was declared the winner that year, finishing the 20-mile (32 km) walk while Dock leaf collapsed. The Bulldog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.
At the turn of the 20th century, Ch. Rodney Stone became the first Bulldog to command a price of $5,000 when he was bought by controversial Irish American political figure Richard Croker.
A 2004 UK survey of 180 Bulldog deaths puts the median age at death at 6 years 3 months. The leading cause of death of Bulldogs in the survey was cardiac related (20%), cancer (18%), and old age (9%). Those that died of old age had an average lifespan of 10 to 11 years. A 2013 UK vet clinic survey of 26 Bulldogs puts the median lifespan at 8.4 years with an interquartile range of 3.2–11.3 years. The UK Bulldog Breed Council website lists the average life span of the breed as 8–10 years.
Statistics from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals indicate that of the 467 Bulldogs tested between 1979 and 2009 (30 years), 73.9% were affected by hip dysplasia, the highest amongst all breeds. Similarly, the breed has the worst score in the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club Hip Dysplasia scoring scheme, although only 22 Bulldogs were tested in the scheme. Patellar luxation affects 6.2% of Bulldogs.
Some individuals of this breed are prone to interdigital cysts—cysts that form between the toes. These cause the dog some discomfort, but are treatable either by vet or an experienced owner. They may also suffer from respiratory problems. Other problems can include cherry eye, a protrusion of the inner eyelid (which can be corrected by a veterinarian), allergies, and hip issues in older Bulldogs.
Over 80% of Bulldog litters are delivered by Caesarean section because their characteristically large heads can become lodged in the mother's birth canal. The folds, or "rope", on a Bulldog's face should be cleaned daily to avoid infections caused by moisture accumulation. Some Bulldogs' naturally curling tails can be so tight to the body as to require regular cleaning and ointment.
Like all dogs, Bulldogs require daily exercise. If not properly exercised it is possible for a Bulldog to become overweight, which could lead to heart and lung problems, as well as stress on the joints.
Bulldogs have very small nasal cavities and thus have great difficulty keeping their bodies cool. Bulldogs are very sensitive to heat. Extra caution should be practiced in warmer climates and during summer months. Bulldogs must be given plenty of shade and water, and must be kept out of standing heat. Air conditioning and good ventilation are required to keep them healthy and safe. Bulldogs actually do most of their sweating through the pads on their feet and accordingly enjoy cool floors. Like all brachycephalic, or "short faced", breeds, Bulldogs can easily become overheated and even die from hyperthermia. (see Brachycephalic syndrome) Bulldog owners can keep these issues under control by staying aware and protecting their Bulldog(s) from these unsafe conditions. They can be heavy breathers, and they tend to be loud snorers. In 2014 the Dutch Kennel Club implemented some breeding rules to improve the health of the Bulldog. Among these is a fitness test where the dog has to walk 1 km (0.62 miles) in 12 minutes. Its temperature and heart rate has to recover after 15 minutes In January 2009, after the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, The Kennel Club introduced revised breed standards for the British Bulldog, along with 209 other breeds, to address health concerns. Opposed by the British Bulldog Breed Council, it was speculated by the press that the changes would lead to a smaller head, fewer skin folds, a longer muzzle, and a taller thinner posture, in order to combat problems with respiration and breeding due to head size and width of shoulders.
Not so much a re-creation of the old Cane e Presa Italiano as it is an attempt to develop a superior strain of working bandogges, the mighty Lakota Mastino was created in the early 1990's by Jonothan Shiloka, who used game-bred American Pit Bulls, working strains of the Neapolitan Mastiff, Bandogges, as well as the Cane Corso in the beginning of his programme. After abandoning the idea of using the Cane Corso due to unsatisfactory results, the creator of the Lakota Mastino decided to focus on using only the best and proven lines of working protection dogges, successfully establishing a bloodline that possessed a superb drive, steady temperament, good health and remarkable agility and trainability. With strict breeding guidelines, rigid quality control, regular temperament and health testing, Shiloka is ensuring that the Lakota Mastino lives up to his expectations and establishes itself as one the most reliable protection breeds in the world. This is a large and strong dog, lighter and more agile than the modern Neo and more powerful than most bulldogges. The most important characteristic of the Lakota Mastino is its stable temperament. Driven, energetic and very intelligent, this courageous breed is highly trainable and it excels in sports such as Personal Protection, Weight-Pull, Mondio Ring and similar activities.
As a property guardian, the Lakota Mastino is a calm, calculated and intuitive watchdog, but when it feels threatened and needs to protect its territory and master's family from an intruder, this mastiff becomes an intimidating and convincing guard dog, more than willing to back up its threats with swift and precise actions. Although it can be quite aggressive and unfriendly when needed, the Lakota Mastino is a very stable and noble breed, making a wonderful family companion, gentle with children and completely devoted to its owner. This is a smart and calm mastiff, choosing its battles carefully and reacting only when necessary, but early socialization and proper training are still very important, as is responsible handling, because the Lakota Mastino can sometimes be confrontational around strange dogs. Fairly playful and loving of its human family, the Lakota Mastino requires plenty of excercise and enjoys attention. When raised with other dogs and small animals from puppyhood, this handsome breed will accept them as part of its pack and be very protective of them.
The body is well-boned and muscular, with a wide chest, straight back and powerful neck. The head is large and elegantly rounded, with a moderately long muzzle, well-defined stop and strong jaws. Whether cropped or left natural, the ears are set high on the head. The legs are strong and sturdy, making the breed an excellent runner, capable of being active for long periods of time. The tail is set high, fairly thick at the root while slightly tapering to its tip and can be either docked or left in its natural state.
The Lakota Mastino has a short dense coat, allowed in any color, including fawn, brown and red, but preferred in darker shades, such as black, blue and brindle colorings, with or without small white markings. Average height is around 27 inches.
The Bull Terrier
Now for another one I bet you didn’t realize was a Molosser, The Bull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier family but also in the Molosser family. There is also a miniature version of this breed which is officially known as the Miniature Bull Terrier.
The Bull Terrier's most recognizable feature is its head, described as 'egg-shaped' when viewed from the front; the top of the skull is almost flat. The profile curves gently downwards from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose, which is black and bent downwards at the tip, with well-developed nostrils. The under-jaw is deep and strong. The unique triangular eyes are small, dark, and deep-set. Bull terriers are the only dogs that have triangular eyes. The body is full and round, with strong, muscular shoulders. The tail is carried horizontally. They are generally white in color, walk with a jaunty gait, and are popularly known as the 'Gladiator of the canine race'.
Bull Terriers can be both independent and stubborn and for this reason are not considered suitable for an inexperienced dog owner. A Bull terrier has an even temperament and amenable to discipline. Although obstinate, is particularly good with people. Early socialization will ensure that the dogs will get along with other dogs and animals. Their personality is described as courageous, full of spirit, with a fun loving attitude, children loving dog and a perfect family member. Recent study in Germany shows that Bull terrier have no significant temperament difference from a Golden retrievers in overall temperament researches. Bull terriers have had a bad reputation for many years because of their unique appearance.
All puppies should be checked for deafness, which occurs in 20.4% of pure white Bull Terriers and 1.3% of colored Bull Terriers and is difficult to notice, especially in a relatively young puppy. Many Bull Terriers have a tendency to develop skin allergies. Insect bites, such as those from fleas, and sometimes mosquitoes and mites, can produce a generalized allergic response of hives, rash, and itching. This problem can be stopped by keeping the dog free of contact from these insects, but this is definitely a consideration in climates or circumstances where exposure to these insects is inevitable. A UK breed survey puts their median lifespan at 10 years and their mean at 9 years (1 s.f., RSE = 13.87% 2 d. p.), with a good number of dogs living to 10–15 years.
Early in the mid-19th century the "Bull and Terrier" breeds were developed to satisfy the needs for vermin control and animal-based blood sports. The "Bull and Terriers" were based on the Old English Bulldog and one or more of Old English Terrier (now extinct) and "Black and tan terrier", now known as Manchester Terrier. This new breed combined the speed and dexterity of lightly built terriers with the dour tenacity of the Bulldog, which was a poor performer in most combat situations, having been bred almost exclusively for fighting bulls and bears tied to a post. Many breeders began to breed bulldogs with terriers, arguing that such a mixture enhances the quality of fighting. Despite the fact that a cross between a bulldog and a terrier was of high value, very little or nothing was done to preserve the breed in its original form. Due to the lack of breed standards—breeding was for performance, not appearance—the "Bull and Terrier" eventually divided into the ancestors of "Bull Terriers" and "Staffordshire Bull Terriers", both smaller and easier to handle than the progenitor.
About 1850, James Hinks started breeding "Bull and Terriers" with "English White Terriers" (now extinct), looking for a cleaner appearance with better legs and nicer head. In 1862, Hinks entered a bitch called "Puss" sired by his white Bulldog called "Madman" into the Bull Terrier Class at the dog show held at the Cremorne Gardens in Chelsea. Originally known as the "Hinks Breed" and "The White Cavalier", these dogs did not yet have the now-familiar "egg face", but kept the stop in the skull profile. The dog was immediately popular and breeding continued, using Dalmatian, Greyhound, Spanish Pointer, Foxhound and Whippet to increase elegance and agility; and Borzoi and Collie to reduce the stop. Hinks wanted his dogs white, and bred specifically for this. Generally, however, breeding was aimed at increasing sturdiness: three "subtypes" were recognized by judges, Bulldog, Terrier and Dalmatian, each with its specific conformation, and a balance is now sought between the three. The first modern Bull Terrier is now recognized as "Lord Gladiator", from 1917, being the first dog with no stop at all.
Due to medical problems associated with all-white breeding, Ted Lyon among others began introducing colour, using Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the early 20th century. Colored Bull Terriers were recognized as a separate variety (at least by the AKC) in 1936. Brindle is the preferred color, but other colors are welcome.
Along with conformation, specific behavior traits were sought. The epithet "White cavalier", harking back to an age of chivalry, was bestowed on a breed which while never seeking to start a fight was well able to finish one, while socializing well with its "pack", including children and pups. Hinks himself had always aimed at a "gentleman's companion" dog rather than a pit-fighter—though Bullies were often entered in the pits, with some success.
The Aidi is a Moroccan Molossor dog breed used as a livestock guardian, protecting herds of sheep and goats. It also possesses hunting capabilities and good scenting ability. In its native Morocco it is often paired in hunting with the Sloughi, which chases down prey that the Aidi has located by scent.
The Aidi (Berber dog in Morocco) is recognized as coming from North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Morocco, probably originating in the Sahara. The dog has never worked as a sheepdog even though the 1963 standard was published under the name Atlas Sheepdog; this was corrected in 1969. A courageous dog, the Aidi lived and worked in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Libya, and Algeria protecting his owner and property from wildcats, other predators, and strangers. This breed has also been called the Berber, after the Berber tribes who utilized it, and bears some resemblance to the Pariah dog who is believed to share its ancestry. As a protector of the desert nomad tribes, the most alert and aggressive dogs were staked around the perimeter of the camp at night. The Aidi has not been highly regarded by the tribes historically, as are most dogs other than the Sloughi and other breeds regarded as noble. However, Moroccans have recently formed a club to protect the purity of the breed which has contributed so much in so many roles, as protector, hunter, police dog, and pet. Although the Aidi has been used primarily as a working dog, he has become more common as a house dog in the country. This breed also makes a good urban pet if he is given tasks and exercise enough to keep him satisfied and happy
Standing 52–62 cm (20–24 in) in height and weighing around 55 pounds (25 kg), the Aidi's lean, muscular body is protected by a coarse, thick, weather-resistant coat with a heavy plumed tail. The coat is heavy and soft, surprising for an African breed. The head is bear-like and in proportion to the rest of the body. The breed has a tapered muzzle with a black or brown nose that usually matches the coat. Their jaws are strong with tight black or brown lips. The medium-sized ears are tipped forward and drop slightly. The eyes are medium, with a dark color and dark rims. Coat colours are white, black, black and white, pale red, and tawny.
The Aidi is energetic and highly protective and is said to make an outstanding watchdog. It is a powerful dog that is also agile, alert, and ready for action. As it is a sensitive breed, the dog needs to be given appropriate training from a very young age. It needs to be exposed to as many social conditions as possible so that it makes an ideal family pet.
The Pyrenean Mastiff (Spanish: Mastín del Pirineo, Aragonese: Mostín d'o Pireneu) is a large breed of dog originally from the Aragonese Pyrenees in Spain. It should not be confused with the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.
The Pyrenean Mastiff is a very large dog, males 77 centimetres (30 in) and females 71 centimetres (28 in) at the withers, although they can be up to 81 centimetres (32 in). They have a heavy white coat with large darker spots. The average weight is about 81 kilograms (179 lb), although males can often weigh over 100 kilograms (220 lb).
For a long time the Pyrenean Mastiff accompanied the herds of sheep’s in its migratory paths from the Aragonese and Navarrese Pyrenees until Maestrazgo. Its main function was to guard and protect the herds and its masters from the attacks of wolfs, bears and thieves. During the 20th century, especially after the Spanish Civil War, due to economic difficulties, the mastiff went into decline as it was very expensive to keep a dog of its size. In the 70s a group of fans started a job of recovery of the breed through the few specymens that were in the countryside and still had typical features of the ancient mastiff. It has been documented since 1977 as a modern purebred breed by the Club Del Mastín Del Pirineo de España in Spain.
The breed is now being taken from its native region and promoted as a pet in other countries like USA by the Pyrenean Mastiff Club of America. It was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1982.
This strong, rustic breed is self-reliant and calm. It is even-tempered and docile at home and is protective with children. It is gentle with other dogs as well as other pets and people it knows. However, if challenged, the Pyrenean Mastiff will not hesitate to defend its family or itself from a perceived threat. Although it is gentle and kind with a loving temperament, it takes its work seriously and needs a strong, experienced leader. Certainly this large breed should be socialized from puppyhood to encourage confidence, but it will always be in its nature to remain suspicious of strangers.
The Pyrenean Mastiff should be trained with reward-based, positive lessons from as early an age as possible. This teaches it to pay attention to people. It is generally an independent-minded dog, and may not respect the owner if the owner is too passive.
The Pyrenean Mastiff's longish coat needs regular brushing and combing. It is a regular shedder, too, so the more frequently it is brushed, the less shedding there will be. Its ears should be kept clean and dry, as should the areas around its eyes.
The Pyrenean Mastiff does not require a great deal of exercise, but it will become bored and restless without a sufficient amount. Several daily walks will give it the opportunity it needs to check its surroundings and get exercise. Outings are also a great way to socialize the Pyrenean Mastiff, who becomes gentler and more trusting with every friend it makes along the way.
The Mastín Español or Spanish Mastiff is a giant breed of dog, originating in Spain, originally bred to be a guard dog whose purpose is to defend livestock from wolves and other predators. The Mountain dog type has a heavier coat.
For centuries the Mastín Español has accompanied the herds of migratory sheep’s that ran cañadas reales crossing from north to south the Iberian Peninsula, defending the cattle of attack of wolfs and other vermin; the Mastín had the protection of carlancas or carrancas, chunky metal necklaces with skewers. Its function is primarily protective, unlike its fellow Carea Dogs, whose function is grazing, driving the herds in response to indications of the shepherd In some places it is known as perro merinero by accompany the sheep breed Merino.
According to some chronicles, at the time of the discovery and subsequent conquest of the Americas, these dogs, along with other large breeds, it’s were trained and employed at times by the Spanish army as war dogs, used for attack, tracking or monitoring positions especially against Native Americans.
At the end of 19th century, with the disappearance of the Mesta and the move of cattle, the Mastín suffered a setback, which worsened during the 20th century and more dramatically after of the Spanish Civil War and its subsequent period of scarcity,
The first breed standard of the Mastín was made by the FCI in 1946. In 1981 was created the Asociación Española del Perro Mastín Español, who organized a breeding program looking for the kind of large and strong mastiff of the past times, and drafted a new breed standard focused on recovering the old cattle dogs, fit as pets, and as guard dog and defense.
The Spanish Mastiff is a very large and powerful dog, similar in appearance to the other Mastiff breeds. They have a large powerful head and serious and vigilant expression, Males in this breed are 70 to 85 centimetres (28 to 33 in) tall at the withers, and range from 50 to 70 kilograms (110 to 150 lb). Females are at least 65 centimetres (26 in), and weigh 40 to 60 kilograms (88 to 132 lb), It has small eyes and drop ears resembling triangles. This dog's coat is most often fawn-colored, but can also be brindle, black or 'wolf' colored. Reddish tones indicate miscegenation
This noble giant is aloof, dignified, calm and intelligent. It is devoted to its family and may politely accept strangers if it has been socialized properly, although it will be wary of them. It can be aggressive toward other dogs. The Spanish Mastiff may be a less-than-ideal pet in urban situations, where its booming voice and massive size could be problematic. It is a wonderful protector of its home and family.
Socialization and training should begin early to ensure this dog a stable and reliable pet. Supervised exposure in puppy-hood to a variety of unfamiliar but non-threatening dogs will help dampen a tendency to aggression toward other dogs. The breed is quite alert and food motivated but can bore easily; training must be consistent and firm but gentle. Once the trainer has established the dog's respect as leader, the Spanish Mastiff will be an extremely loyal pet.
This dog is more inclined to lumber than gallop, but it can move quite rapidly when necessary. A long daily walk will be sufficient, although it will appreciate a fenced area where it can exercise at its own rate.
The Moscow watch dog
Moscow Watchdog (Russian: московская сторожевая) is a breed of dog that was bred in the Soviet Union. It descends from crosses between the St. Bernard, Caucasian Shepherd, and Russian Spotted Hound breeds. It contains the physical size, attractiveness and intelligence of a St. Bernard and the awareness and assertive traits of a Caucasian Ovtcharka.
The breed is very large and weight is between 45 and 68 kg (100 and 150 lbs). They are known to be a large powerful breed with a gentle temperament; therefore If it is raised properly with training with discipline, the Moscow Watchdog could fit into any environment and be the perfect protective family pet. Unlike its modern St Bernard counterparts, the breed needs lots of vigorous exercise. They do not drool like many of the other Molossers. Until recently, Moscow Watchdogs were very hard to find outside of the Soviet Union, however are now becoming more popular in Europe and have recently reached the United States. The first litter of Moscow Watchdogs was born in US on July 6th, 2015.
Related to mountain dogs, the Moscow Watchdog, one of the larger dog breeds, stands 25–27 inches (64–69 cm) tall and weighs 100–150 pounds (45–68 kg). They are a muscular dog that has a bulky head and powerful legs. Their coat is thick in a moderate length with the color white and red. Their puffy tail has that length that it could touch the floor. They are an average shedder and with a well arched chest, they generally give an impression of firmness and confidence.
Moscow Watchdog is fine in temperament, but it requires training and an owner committed to achieving leader status. In nature, dogs have pack order. Therefore when humans live with dogs, it is a good idea for humans to establish themselves as a leader, a higher order than the dogs, so they can make directions and set rules. In this relationship Moscow Watchdog is known to be a gentle giant, assertive and protective to his family when in danger.
Moscow Watchdog is generally a healthy breed but still has a risk to be prone to hip dysplasia and other large breeds’ problems. Moscow Watchdogs require a fairly large space to move and is not suitable to live in a small apartment. They need regularly exercise, such as going for a long walk, jog or run freely at a safe area to stay unstressed and healthy. Regular grooming with a bristle brush and Bathe or dry shampoo are also necessary.
During the period after World War II, Russia needed thousands of guard dogs due to the rising crime . A breed of dog that could adept in a very low temperature (-30 – 40°C), snowy environment during winter and to be able to guard nearly everything that was owned by the government such as, warehouses, railroads, labor camps and infrastructure. That was the reason why they started an immense project that was led by Gen. Medvedev, it began in 1946-47, at the Central School Of Military Kynology, a department of USSR Ministry of Defense After many years of experiments of crossbreeding purebred dogs, Moscow Watchdog was one of the most successful breeds from Caucasian Ovtcharka and St. Bernard. It provides the mental and physical aspect that they desired.
In 1986 the first few Moscow watchdog were brought to Hungary for breeders to help popularizing the breed. Future growth was guaranteed by devoted breeders and also the breed owner, Club Karakán. Around 500 Moscow Watchdogs could be found in Hungary presently. On the other hand, dozens of breeders from former Soviet states had also work with the breed to ensure their existence for the future.
The breed standard was first published in 1985 when it received "official status" in the Soviet Union. In 1992, it was approved by the Federation of the Dog Breeders of Russia and in 1997 the Department of Animal Breeding and Pedigree of The Ministry of Agriculture of Russia. The standard was also approved by the Russian Kennel Club in 1997. The Russian Kennel Club is working with the International Kennel Federation (FCI) to gain official recognition. Currently, the Moscow Watchdog is considered by the FCI as part of the 2nd group Molosser. In FCI sanctioned dog shows, they are shown in what is referred to as a "Special Show." Inside Russia, they are widely shown and a recognized breed.
The Dogo Sardinian (in Sardinian language jàgaru, trighinu and dogs pertiatzu) is a dog quite widespread in Sardinia and used to guard the herds and, in the past, for dog fighting. Paradoxically, this breed is best known abroad than in Italy, thanks to a passionate Norwegian mastiff that quoted on its website several years ago.
Aspect quite variable, as a breed standard was never fixed; it is appreciated in Sardinia but is virtually unknown in the rest of Italy. In Sardinia this dog is commonly called sorgolìnu, trighinu, pastor Gavoi, dog’s perdigatzu.
It is a dog mastiff very athletic, agile, strong, strong and of considerable size. It is a working dog, looking intimidating and mantle usually reddish fawn, gray, black or brindle consists of medium hair short. The stature of the males is above 60 cm, but larger specimens are common.
The Dogo Sardinian shows slight differences in appearance depending on the area of origin due mainly to inbreeding and isolation in certain geographical areas; in the past it has never cured a technical selection of these dogs, focusing almost exclusively subject to strong temperament and remarkable hardiness and ability to work. A breed standard has not been set, however, is very much appreciated in the island. In Sardinia this dog is indicated by various names: sorgolìnu , trighinu , jagaru , Gavoi dog, dogs beltigadu , dogs pertiatzu , pertiziau , perziaddu , Alano di Bonorva, dog dogo and ancient Sardinian or Sardesco.
The skin is well attached to the muscles, the head has taken more or less mastiff with a clear development of the jaw muscles, the muzzle slightly shorter than the length of the skull; this dog has an impressive and solid teeth that comes complete with scissor or level bite, fangs of great length and third upper incisor very developed. The eyes usually occur in various shades of color of amber or brown; numerous subjects from Gavoi have a markedly yellow eye. The forelegs are strong and well in appioppo, rear average angled and with strong muscles. The chest is well developed and the average height varies from 56 to 68 cm at the withers. Specimens current have a weight ranging from 30 to 45 kg.
The Dogo Sardinian is a dog native of Sardinia used to various tasks, including the most common: the guard livestock, property and the sheep pens, management untamed cattle, hunting ungulates and, in the past, even as war dog. There are various hypotheses on the origins of these dogs. The Jesuit Cetti around 1700 described the dogs Sardinian like a perfect marriage between a greyhound and a large dog which gave him several remarkable features, while the Charter of logu of Judicature of Arborea like a dog with a strong temperament used for guarding and defense of the conductor.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Yes guys this might surprise you all but the staffy is also a Molosser, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (informally: Staffie, Stafford, Staffy or Staff) is a medium-sized, short-coated breed of dog. It is of English lineage, Descended from bull baiting ancestors, it is muscular and loyal.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, stocky, and very muscular dog, with a similar appearance to the much larger American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier, the latter of which has much longer legs and outweighs the Staffie Bull by approximately 14 kg (30 lbs.) It has a broad wedge shaped head (male considerably more so than female), defined occipital muscles, a relatively short fore-face, dark round eyes and a wide mouth with a clean scissor-like bite (the top incisors slightly overlap the bottom incisors). The ears are small. The cheek muscles are very pronounced. The lips show no looseness. The teeth form a scissors bite. The head tapers down to a strong well-muscled neck and shoulders placed on squarely spaced forelimbs. They are tucked up in their loins and the last 1-2 ribs of the rib-cage are usually visible. The tail resembles an old fashioned pump handle. The hind quarters are well-muscled. They are coloured brindle, black, red, fawn, blue, white, or any blending of these colours with white. White with any other colour broken up over the body is known as pied. Liver-coloured, black and tan dogs can occur but are rare and it is advised not to breed from either as well as those with light eyes. The exception to the light eye rule are Blue staffies; all others should have dark brown eyes even if fawn coat. The coat is smooth and clings tightly to the body giving the dog a streamlined appearance.
The dogs stand 36 to 41 cm (14 to 16 in) at the withers and weigh 13 to 17 kg (29 to 37 lb) for males; females are 11 to 15.4 kg (24 to 34 lb).
The coat is smooth and clings tightly to the body giving the dog a streamlined appearance.
The lips show no looseness.
Liver-coloured, black and tan dogs can occur but are rare.
Although individual differences in personality exist, common traits exist throughout the Stafford’s. Due to its breeding, and history, the Staffordshire bull terrier is known for its character of fearlessness and loyalty. This coupled with its affection for its friends, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, make it a foremost all-purpose dog.
The breed is naturally muscular and may appear intimidating; however, because of their natural fondness for people, most Stafford’s are temperamentally ill-suited for guard or attack-dog training. Staffordshire Bullterrier puppies are very easy to house train.
The Bernese Mountain Dog
Called in German the Berner Sennenhund, is a large-sized breed of dog, one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. The name Sennenhund is derived from the German Senne (“alpine pasture”) and Hund (“dog”), as they accompanied the alpine herders and dairymen called Senn. Berner (or Bernese in English) refers to the area of the breed’s origin, in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.
This mountain dog was originally kept as a general farm dog. Large Sennenhunde in the past were also used as draft animals, pulling carts. The breed was officially established in 1907. In 1937, the American Kennel Club recognized it as a member of the Working Group.
Like the other Sennenhunde, the Bernese mountain dog is a large, heavy dog with a distinctive tri-colored coat, black with white chest and rust colored markings above eyes, sides of mouth, front of legs, and a small amount around the white chest. An ideal of a perfectly marked individual gives the impression of a white horseshoe shape around the nose and a white “Swiss cross” on the chest, when viewed from the front. A “Swiss kiss” is a white mark located typically behind the neck, but may be a part of the neck. A full ring would not meet type standard. The AKC breed standard lists, as disqualifications, blue eye color, and any ground color other than black.
Height and weight ranges
Height at the withers is 25–27.5 in (64–70 cm) for males, while it is 23–26 in (58–66 cm) for females. Weight is 80–120 lb (35–55 kg) for males, while it is 75–100 lb (35–45 kg) for females.
Build and proportions
The Bernese mountain dog is slightly longer than it is tall, and it is highly muscular.
Other physical traits
The head of the Bernese mountain dog is flat on the top with a moderate stop, and the ears are medium-sized, triangular, set high, and rounded at the top. The teeth have a scissors bite. The legs of the Bernese are straight and strong, with round, arched toes. The dewclaws of the Bernese are often removed. Its bushy tail is carried low.
The breed standard for the Bernese mountain dog states that dogs should not be “aggressive, anxious or distinctly shy”, but rather should be “good-natured”, “self-assured”, “placid towards strangers”, and “docile”.
The temperament of individual dogs may vary, and not all examples of the breed have been bred carefully to follow the standard. All large breed dogs should be well socialized when they are puppies, and given regular training and activities throughout their lives.
Bernese are outdoor dogs at heart, though well-behaved in the house; they need activity and exercise, but do not have a great deal of endurance. They can move with amazing bursts of speed for their size when motivated. If they are sound (no problems with their hips, elbows, or other joints), they enjoy hiking and generally stick close to their people. Not being given the adequate amount of exercise may lead to barking and harassing in the Bernese.
Bernese mountain dogs are a breed that generally does well with children, as they are very affectionate. They are patient dogs that take well to children climbing over them. Though they have great energy, a Bernese will also be happy with a calm evening, Bernese work well with other pets and around strangers
The breed was used as an all-purpose farm dog for guarding property and to drive dairy cattle long distances from the farm to the alpine pastures. The type was originally called the Dürrbächler, for a small town (Dürrbach) where the large dogs were especially frequent.
In the early 1900s, fanciers exhibited the few examples of the large dogs at shows in Berne, and in 1907 a few breeders from the Burgdorf region founded the first breed club, the Schweizerische Dürrbach-Klub, and wrote the first Standard which defined the dogs as a separate breed.
By 1910, there were already 107 registered members of the breed. There is a photo of a working Bernese Mountain Dog, dated 1905 at the Fumee Fall rest area in Quinnesec, MI.
In the US, the Bernese mountain dog is growing in popularity, ranking in 32nd place by the American Kennel Club in 2013.
This is the Dog many lovers of the DDB consider as one of the foundation dogs of our breed, if history was money this dog would be rich, sometimes called the Spanish Bulldog in English, is a large breed of dog of the Molosser dog type, originating in Spain Of ancient origins. When mixed were created other dog breeds as the Perro de Toro in Spain, the Vautre Mastiff in France, the Old Bulldog in England, the extinct Bullenbeisser in Germany, and is part of the group Generation Bullenbeisser. The breed is best known for its former use during Spanish bullfights.
The Alano Español is a very large dog of the Molosser type, with a large, strong head. Males should be no smaller than 58 centimetres (23 in) at the withers, and should weigh 34–40 kilograms (75–88 lb) with females somewhat smaller.
The coat is short and thick but never velvety, and is most often a brindle of any color; Leonardo (fawn); black and brindle; sable wolf. White chest flashes are acceptable but prevalence of white is not. The face may or may not have a black mask. The muzzle is short with the lower jaw slightly concave, and has a very large, broad, black nose. The ears are set high and may be drop or cut short. The skin is very thick, with neck folds and some wrinkles on the face.
The name of the breed comes from the Iranian tribe of Alani, nomadic pastoralists who arrived in Spain as part of the Migration Period in the 5th Century. These peoples were known to keep large livestock guardian dogs and pursuit dogs which became the basis for the many regional Alaunt types. The first formal, written reference to the breed in Spain is in a chapter of the 14th century "Book of the Hunt of Alfonso XI" (Libro de la Monteria de Alfonso XI) in which hunting dogs called Alani are described as having beautiful colours. Dogs of this type traveled with Spanish explorers and were used as war dogs (as was their role in Eurasia before migration) in the subjugation of Indian (Native American) peoples, as well as in the capturing of slaves.
Bull baiting done in the bullfighting ring with dogs of this type was recorded by Francisco de Goya in his series on La Tauromaquia in 1816. Besides their use in the bullring Alanos were also used for hunting big game such as wild boar.
The large dogs began to disappear as the work they did begin to change. Big game became rare, stockyards were modernized and no longer used dogs to hold the cattle, use in bullfights was outlawed, and by 1963 Alanos were thought to be extinct. In the 1970s a group of fanciers and veterinary students made house-to house surveys in western and northern Spain, and found a few examples of the dogs in the Basque areas of Enkarterri and Cantabria, being used to herd semi-wild cattle and hunt wild boar. A standard was written and the dogs were documented and bred, and the Alano Español was recognized as independent breed by the Spanish Kennel Club in 2004, though earlier studies at the University of Cordoba clarified the Alano as distinct from any other breed at genetic level. The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture (Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación) recognizes the Alano Español as an indigenous Spanish breed. Although the breed in Spain is still small in number and the breed has not yet been recognized internationally by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, examples of the Alano Español have been exported to North America, where a few breeders are promoting for temperament and hunting ability.
Large dogs that are similar in appearance and may share the history of the Alano Español include the Molossers of the Canary Islands such as the Dogo Canario (Perro de Presa Canario) as well as the Mastín Español (Spanish Mastiff) The Cimarron Uruguayo is a South American breed that also looks somewhat similar, and is descended from the dogs of the Spanish explorers and conquistadores. The breed is also sometimes called the Spanish Bulldog in English. English dog dealer Bill George imported a dog he called "Big Headed Billy" in 1840. He was used to increase size in English Bulldogs.
There is one thing Molosser lovers need to understand about the Bandog, and that is that despite this being unmistakably a Molosser it is not recognized as such by the powers that be, to any lover of the Molosser this is ridiculous but nobody ever said brains were in abundance in the dog world especially when it comes to kennel clubs.
The term Bandog (also known as Bandogge) originated around 1250–1300 in Middle England, referring to a Mastiff type dog that was bound by a chain during the daytime and was released at night to guard against intruders. In 1570 Johannes Caius published a book in Latin which in 1576 was translated into English by Abraham Fleming under the name Of English Dogges, in which he described Bandog as a vast, stubborn, eager dog of heavy body.
The original Bandogs were bred with a functional purpose, as were all working breeds, and for the Bandog this purpose revolved around guarding and protecting. The Bandogs of old were strictly working dogs, often of various crosses and various sizes. The name "Bandog" was then not a breed; it was a description of a duty or purpose. Usually these dogs were coarse-haired hunters, fighters and property protectors without a strictly set type, developed from eastern shepherds and Mastiffs crossed with western Bullenbeissers and hounds, with a few local bloodlines eventually being established as specific types in some regions, such as Britain, Spain, Germany, Poland and elsewhere in Europe.
Early incarnations of the Bandog probably had bloodlines from bull baiting dogs and the Guardian Mastiffs or the cross of both like the war dogs used in the Crusades.
William Harrison, in his description of England during 1586, describes the type as: "... Mastiff, tie dog, or band dog, so called because many of them are tied up in chains and strong bonds in the daytime, for doing hurt abroad, which is a huge dog, stubborn, uglier, eager, burthenouse of bodie, terrible and fearful to behold and often more fierce and fell than any Archadian or Corsican cur ..." In 1576, Dr. Caius states that, among others characteristics, the "Mastiff or Bandogge is serviceable against the fox and the badger, to drive wild and tame swine out of meadows, and pastures, to bite and take the bull by the ears, when occasion so required."
Modern breed description
Finding various undesired traits in existing guard dogs, for centuries and millennia, people strived to improve upon what was currently available. This practice produced many breeds that are in existence today. Some of these breeds have become mainstream guardian breeds, while others have remained relatively rare. In the pursuit of one's own preference of perfection, various programs have created some breeds similar to what is now accepted as the modern day "Bandog" but did not use that name for their breed. Some examples of such breeds would include the Perro de Presa Canario, Cane Corso, Boerboel, as well as a few others.
The popularity of the name "Bandog" itself was revived in the mid-1960s when a veterinarian John B. Swinford selected quality specimens of specific foundation breeds to create what he considered to be the ultimate guard dog, a breed known as the Swinford Bandog. (Or Swinford Bandogge). Using performance selection, Dr. Swinford concentrated the desired attributes for his creation and eliminated the undesired ones to produce what he believed was finest guard dog in existence. Swinford worked on his program for several generations, and came to receive significant recognition for his work in various books and journals., but unfortunately Dr. Swinford died in November 1971 before solidifying the future of his creation. For this reason, some people question the long term success of his program, but despite this questioning his work played a significant influential role in re-igniting the interest by some individuals and as a result there has been a resurrection of the Bandog name.
Dr. Swinford's vision developed somewhat from seeing the traditional working breeds dogs suffer from poor selection due to show breeders placing cosmetic appearance over the functional aspects of breeds. To awaken these lost abilities and to improve the effectiveness of the modern protection Mastiff type dogs, Swinford desired to recreate the working Mastiff dog by once again selecting on performance over all other criteria as had been done for centuries before. By using performance measures Swinford required his dogs to be completely safe, trustworthy, and stable within their home environment, yet also fear nothing when a protective situation deemed necessary. For this reason, Swinford selected game dogs to play a major role in awakening the functional working mastiff type dogs by improving their stamina, drives, athletic ability, confidence, and overall health.
Today there are many versions of the modern day Bandog, and as a result the Bandog today lacks a unified breed standard or direction. For these reasons, there is typically little or nothing in common between the modern Bandog programs and Dr. Swinford's program other than the "Bandog" name itself. That said, there are indeed some high-quality modern Bandog programs in existence today that do have very specific goals even though these goals may not be unanimous between one breeder and the next. Such dedicated breeders may maintain the practice of performance-based selection within their own programs, but a few have maintained long-term success in their endeavors or produced multiple-generation dogs for more than a decade. To further compound the complexity of the Bandog as a future pure breed, there are also other less dedicated Bandog programs that lack any specificity of working goals whatsoever, yet such programs are able to get away with using the name Bandog name in a generic sense of the word since the breed lacks a unifying registry for work-oriented breeding stock. For these reasons, it is wise for those interested in the Bandog to put forth significant research about their expectations from such dogs.
While the Bandog is still a relatively rare breed, those familiar with a well-bred Bandog often develop the opinion of it being the perfect protection dog for their needs. Various programs have used the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, English Mastiff, and Neapolitan Mastiff for foundation breeds, but depending upon the program other breeds not mentioned here may have also been used. There are a few programs in existence today that have put forth the commitment necessary to produce multiple generations of Bandogs that are consistently producing working class lines of the breed. Because the Bandog is supposed to be a true working guard dog and because few programs actually put forth the effort to test their stock, it is wise verify the breeder's practice for testing their stock. This is because intention of quality Bandog breeders should be to combine the courage, tenacity, health, and athletic ability of the American Pit Bull Terrier with the larger size, power, and guarding instinct of the Mastiff.
For those who truly breed dogs for guarding purposes, requiring the dogs to be suitable for such work is a normal practice and therefore they should be able to provide demonstrations of their dogs performing such duties. Testing the worthiness of breeding stock is necessary to maintain the quality of the breed, as this practice allows the breeder to evaluate the dog for having the appropriate temperament, phenotype, stability, confidence, nerves and drives needed to excel as a home guardian or personal protection dog. The Bandog should be a rugged dog, moderate to heavily boned, heavily muscled, intimidating when seen, and is a very formidable guardian when provoked by someone outside of the family unit. Committed programs will only breed working Bandogs and maintain dedicated planning in order to carefully select the best performing representatives to genetically contribute towards future generations.
The breed ideal is a broad skull, a strong muzzle that is medium to long muzzle depending on the strain, a powerful neck, broad shoulders, a powerful chest, strong rear quarters, great agility, and overall an intelligent and very well controlled dog. When it comes to color, the best breeders generally fall into one of two philosophies, one of which places no emphasis on color whatsoever, and the other believing a guard dog should display a degree of natural camouflage (and therefore avoiding the use of dogs that display significant portions of white). The first philosophy operates under the belief that the best dogs will naturally select out the undesired traits, and second philosophies operates under the belief that protection tests do not accurately evaluate the role of camouflage in trial situations, and therefore those who concede to this later belief choose to model nature's general selection against white coats in non-Arctic types of environments (recognizing that white exposes one's position).
Dogs should generally be a minimum of 90# and 25" at the withers, with no upper limits of weight or height are placed upon the breed as long as the dogs are able to perform efficiently. Bitches should be a minimum of 80# and 24", and also have no upper limits as long as they too are able to perform efficiently. All dogs and bitches should be kept in reasonably good working condition. Non-working temperament, poor structure, laziness, lack of courage, lack of drive, lack of nerve, and even obesity are all considered breed faults.
The hope is that the breeding of these dogs will finally be perfected; however, the Bandog is being bred by many breeders who range from the very serious and knowledgeable to the very amateurish and inexperienced, sometimes called backyard breeders. Like all dogs, the Bandog can display either the best or the worst characteristics of the parents (or the parent breeds), depending on the knowledge of the breeder and the randomness of genetics. Therefore, a purchaser of a Bandog must do a good deal of investigation to avoid the risk of buying a puppy from a breeder that does not understand the necessity of proper selection.
The Olde English Bulldogge
The Olde English Bulldogge is a recently created American dog breed. In the 1970s David Leavitt created a true-breeding lineage as a re-creation of the healthier working bulldog from the early 1800s in England. Using a breeding scheme developed for cattle, Leavitt crossed English bulldogs with Pit Bulls, Bullmastiffs, and American Bulldogs. The result was an athletic breed that looks similar to the bulldogs of 1820 but also has a friendly temperament. Leavitt has since disassociated himself with this name for the breed and set up the Leavitt Bulldog as its name due to many later OEB litters losing many of the qualities of his original OEB litter. David Leavitt's "Leavitt Bulldogs" only consist of purebred Olde English Bulldogs. Regardless of this, the original name has been adopted by the United Kennel Club whose breed standard is adopted as of 1 January 2014.
The Olde English Bulldogge was an attempt to recreate the "Regency Period Bull Baiter" and was developed in the early 1970s by David Leavitt, of Coatesville, PA. Leavitt began his project in 1971 utilizing the cattle line breeding scheme of Dr. Fechimer from Ohio State University. The goal was to create a dog with the look, health, and athleticism of the original bull-baiting dogs, but with a much less aggressive temperament. The foundation crosses consisted of ½ English bulldog, and the other half Bullmastiff, American Pit Bull Terrier, and American Bulldog. After many planned crosses, the Olde English Bulldogge emerged and began to breed true.
Leavitt formed the Olde English Bulldogge Association (OEBA) to maintain the breed's stud book and issue registration papers to future offspring. During the 1980s Ben and Karen Campetti from Sandisfield, Massachusetts worked closely with Leavitt in breeding the Olde English Bulldogge. In 1993 Leavitt stopped breeding and turned the OEBA registry as well as his personal breeding stock over to Working Dog Inc. which was owned and operated by Michael Walz of Pennsylvania.
In 2001 the Olde English Bulldogge Kennel Club (OEBKC) was formed, and in 2005 David Leavitt was involved with merging the Olde English Bulldogge Association's registry with that of the OEBKC's. The Olde English Bulldogge was enrolled with the Canine Developmental Health and Performance Registry (CDHPR) in August 2008 in order to evaluate the breed for recognition within the UKC as a purebred breed of dog and in 2013 the UKC announced that the Olde English Bulldogge would become a fully recognized breed as of January 1, 2014. The OEBKC is currently the recognized Parent Club for the breed with the United Kennel Club (UKC).
The Olde English Bulldogge is a muscular, medium-sized dog of great strength, and possessor of fluid, agile movement. He is well balanced and proportioned, while appearing capable of performing without any breathing restrictions in either heat or in cold. Serious Faults: Excessive wrinkle, lack of pigment around eyes, nose or mouth.
The skull is large and well-proportioned to the dog’s muscular body and prominent shoulders. There is a defined furrow between the eyes (from the stop to the occiput). Narrow skull and domed forehead are faults. The muzzle is square, wide and deep. Bite is undershot or reverse scissors. Lower jawbone is moderately curved from front to back. Nostrils are wide, with a line running vertically between nostrils from the tip of nose down to the bottom of the upper lip. Nose is large and broad in relationship to the width of the muzzle. Nose color is black. Eyes are medium in size and almond shaped dark to light brown, with black pigmented eye rims. They are set wide and low, level with the top of the muzzle. Ears are small, rose, button or tulip. Rose is preferred. They are set high, wide and to the back outer edge of the skull. The neck is medium length, wide, and slightly arched. The body is sturdy, powerful and slightly rectangular when viewed from the side. Chest is wide and deep. Hind legs are well muscled and have the appearance of being slightly longer than the forelegs. The hind legs should be straight, parallel and set apart. Accepted color patterns include brindle, and solid colors, with or without white. Males should be 60 to 80 pounds, and 17 to 20 inches at the withers, while females should be 50 to 70 pounds, and 16 to 19 inches at the withers.
Olde English Bulldogges are suitable as companions, while also possessing the drive, temperament and agility to perform numerous varieties of work. The disposition of the Olde English Bulldogge is confident, friendly and alert. An OEB should be an animated and expressive dog, both in and out of the show ring.
The Olde English Bulldogge may be a healthier breed of dog than many modern Bulldog breeds, though they can be affected by many of the same disorders that occur in any breed. Proponents of the breed maintain that it does not suffer from the same disorders as purebred English bulldogs. Many breeders are now x-raying hips to reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia as well as having dogs evaluated by organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (Penn HIP). The Olde English Bulldogge is also quickly becoming well respected in many working venues such as weight pull, therapy training, and obedience. They have become excellent breathers and do not have to be kept in an air conditioned environment on hot days. Artificial insemination is not a standard protocol when breeding Olde English Bulldogges; natural ties are the standard. Breeders from the Olde English Bulldogge Kennel Club are working vigorously on educating new breeders on genetic disorders and the benefits modern genetic testing for these disorders can have on preventing genetic disorders in domestic animals. Many breeders are also becoming more aware of how important selective breeding can be to the breed as a whole.
The Central Asian Ovcharka
If I had to pick a favorite Molosser after the DDB this would be it, The Central Asian Ovcharka (/ɒvˈtʃɑrkə/) is a large breed of dog recognized by FCI, as a Molossoid type dog breed of Soviet-era origin under Russian patronage. Numerous breed representatives reside in Russia, and local kennel club officials refer to Central Asians as one of the most popular dog breeds in the country, rating them as the #1 breed in country around 2000.
Central Asians most likely originated in a geographical area between the Ural, Caspian Sea, Asia Minor, and the Northwest border of China. Aboriginal Central Asians as well as mixes still can be found in its countries of origin, such as Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and surrounding countries. Some serve as livestock guardians, some protect their owners, and some are used for dog fighting, which is a national tradition in many countries of that region. This breed bears a strong genetic similarity to other aboriginal breeds of Livestock Guardian dogs from that region such as Caucasian Shepherd (Nagazi), Kangal dog, and Akbash.
Russian biologists and scientists have studied the local dog population since the 18th century. After the Communist revolution, the Soviet government focused on working dog breeds for the Red Army, and imported the best breed representatives to Russia as per military dogs' and guard dogs' requirements. Over the decades, this practice harmed the local population. The introduction of new breeds to the region led to crossbreeding. Eventually, purebred dogs only remained with herders, breed enthusiasts and farms, with a surfeit of crosses elsewhere. However, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog population is still stable in general, reproducing some true quality dogs praised for working abilities, regardless of country of origin. Trading bloodlines and purchasing unrelated breeding stock between Russia, other "former USSR republics" (such as Ukraine, Belarus etc. ) and countries where CAO still at aboriginal stage is a common practice nowadays. This breed comprises numerous breed types. They differ in size, color, head types, and hair types. Central Asians tend to form a social group, consisting of different members bearing different duties; thus puppies with different working qualities are normally born in the same litter. These breed features, as well as different traditional names for the breed, give grounds for complications with breed standard. Most important, purebred Central Asians have unique breed characteristics. Breed-specific dog anatomy includes exclusive features, such as very noticeable extremely flexible joints, false ribs, specific head set, and very strong neck with massive dewlap. Expressive, almost human eyes, revealing inimitable intelligence, finish the portrait.
For working qualities, modern Central Asians have been bred into different directions, depending on the demand for specific abilities. Traditional dog fights had always been a national tradition in places of original habitat, but they had never been cruel and destructive as Pitbull-type fights. All herders from the same area annually met together, and fought their strongest sheep guardian male dogs to pick the winner. It was about dominance rather than destroying their own kind. Most dogs evaluated each other when met at the field and the weaker or more submissive dog left, taking the loss. Dogs seldom injured each other, inflicting mostly minor scratches within a short period of time. Only true leaders actually had to determine the strongest dog via a real fight; but this was minor, compared to their everyday duties, facing predators and venomous snakes.
They are the most powerful dogs of livestock guardian type dogs, not too much, but slightly more powerful than Caucasian Shepherd, Kangal, and Akbash etc. Modern commercial dog fights often differ from traditional as much as livestock guardian dogs differ from fighting dogs. There are different rules, and different breeds involved. Most Central Asians used for modern commercial fights come from fighting lines. The majorities of breeders are aware of their dogs’ backgrounds, and will tell whether the dog comes from lines used for fighting. One can always expect a high level of aggression toward other dogs from CAOs with a dog fighting background. It is always important to distinguish whether a dog will display aggression only toward strange, unfriendly dogs entering their territory, while establishing and maintaining the usual social relationships with other animals on the premises; or will attack regardless of whether the other dog is a member of the same social group. Promiscuity in aggression toward strangers and friends is highly atypical for the breed.
Central Asians are still in demand as livestock guardians, though not nearly as much as they used to be. These dogs, to differing degrees, are protective against human intruders; they are very territorial, safe with children; they love and respect elderly people, protect all small animals from predators, and are very gentle with family members.
Dogs for personal protection or working dogs originated from livestock guardian dogs, selectively bred by Russian breed experts for working abilities. As a result, they excel in obedience, territory protection, and personal protection, and are very intelligent. As such, they make perfect house dogs. They do not need any complicated training to learn basic house rules, and treat the owner with the same great respect with which their ancestors treated the herder. These dogs were introduced to the worldwide sheep breeding community with great success. Guard dogs must be able to work as a team to protect sheep against predators; thus excessively aggressive CAOs, as with any other dogs, cannot be members of the pack, and will not pass this simple test for compliance with the breed origination purpose.
Central Asian Shepherd dogs can come from working lines, fighting lines, and livestock guardian lines, and behave accordingly, regardless of the country they come from. Simple pedigree research and conversation with the breeder will reveal what basic instincts one can expect from the dog. Central Asians from pure show lines are very rare, because most registries require working tests prior to breeding.
Selected for centuries for their abilities to destroy predators, and praised for their power and stamina, Central Asians sometimes are called "Volkodav", "The Wolf Crusher" in Russian. It is very important to select only stable dogs for breeding purposes, and avoid starting protection training of dogs of this breed at early age.
The breed presents a robust dog of greater than average size with great strength and power. They are independent, curious and alert, yet imperturbable. The dog is as long as it is tall at the withers, or slightly longer than its height. The hair is short or moderately long with a heavy undercoat. Its ears are, in practice, cropped very short, and the tail is docked moderately long (except for dogs from countries where cosmetic surgeries for dogs are illegal). Most common colors are black/white; fawn of different shades, from almost white to deep red; brindle. Some have a black mask. The head is very solid, without pronounced stop or sculls. The neck is low set, short, with dewlap. The body is fairly broad, proportionate, muscles rather flat. The ribcage appears very long because of developed false ribs. The legs are straight, with heavy boning and moderate yet defined angulation. Leg bones must be in proportion, and shall never give the impression that any bone is short. The rump is broad. The typical gait is a gallop; however CAO can trot for hours without wearing themselves out.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a protective dog who bonds first to its human caretaker and next with its perceived possessions. Bred to solve problems, it is independent minded, strong, brave and responsible. It is a large but agile dog, sometimes described as a cat in dog's clothing. With its strong guarding and territorial instincts, it is not a breed for the novice owner.
Sensitive and smart, the Central Asian Shepherd responds best to someone who can inspire loyalty while also providing strong leadership. Heavy-handed training will backfire with this breed; but respectful, thoughtful training will yield an undyingly devoted companion.
Formerly known as the Guatemalan Bull Terrier (Bullterrier Guatemalteco), and Guatemalan Mastiff, is a Molosser-type dog breed originating in Guatemala. It is neither recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) nor the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, it has the official national recognition of the Asociación Canofila Guatemalteca (ACANGUA) where it belongs to the Group Mastiffs. As the unique breed originating in Guatemala, it is also the national dog of the country. Nowadays it has spread to various other countries, such as the USA.
The breed was created from crosses between the old type Bull Terrier, Boxer, and Dalmatian at the end of the 19th century. The two most remarkable breeders in the early history were the family Gerardi in the 1910s and the family Gallusser in the 1930s. Because of the significant Bull Terrier influence and similar appearance (the original Bull Terrier resembled more Latin American Dogos than the modern breed does), in the 20th century it was called Bullterrier Guatemalteco. Finally at the end of the 20th century, the ACANGUA officially changed the name to the Dogo Guatemalteco. Although the ACANGUA published the first official standard already in 1972, the FCI has still not considered the international recognition of the breed.
The Guatemalan Dogo represents the Dogo subtype of mastiffs. It is a medium-sized, robust, strong and agile dog with an appearance similar to the Argentine Dogo and the Brazilian Dogo - however, these breeds are not closely related, but only share partially same ancestors. Males are 54 – 60 cm tall and weigh 40 – 45 kg; females 52 – 58 cm tall and weigh 35 – 40 kg. The short, shiny coat has a smooth and hard texture. The color must always be white in the body, but in the head markings or spots of any other color are preferred (although not required).
The Guatemalan Dogo is fearless, balanced and stable. Towards its family, it is obedient, tranquil, loyal, and affectionate. However, it is reserved and alert towards strangers and will usually accept only the friends of the family. It is very territorial and has a strong guarding instinct.
The Gran Mastín de Borinquen
The Gran Mastín de Borinquen, also known as the Puerto Rican Mastiff, Mastín Borincano, Becerillo de Borinquen and Perro Barsino de Hacienda, is the only breed native to the island of Puerto Rico. The Borinquen Mastiff is a blend of Spanish War Mastiffs, traditional island dogs (Perros Jíbaros) and Latin American Molossers, all brought to the island for protection from colonial times until the early 20th century.
Rarely available today, El Gran Mastín was established as an internationally recognized rare breed by la Sociedad Cynológica Caribeña (S.C.C.) in 1979. A tremendous amount of interest has been generated by the work being done to carefully restore the dog to its place among the Caribbean dog fancy. It was only during the last part of the 19th century that local recognition began with the overseers of the Sugar Cane, Tobacco and Coffee plantations. El Gran Mastín de Borinquen are by origin and type the "Old Country" dogs tuned to cold rain forest region mountains, hot "campo" hills and the tropical valley lands of Puerto Rico. Country folk would come from near and far to acquire a pup- in exchange for produce, game chickens, goats, hogs or just plain friendship and a handshake.
This magnificent breed's ancestry is deeply rooted in the history of the Spanish conquest of the Americas. For centuries Spanish Landlords and Noblemen kept these Molossi (referred to as bloodthirsty) for protection and blood sport. They are adept at bringing down feral steer, boar and dogs; fighting to the finish if allowed to, just as they did during the colonization servicing the Conquistadors as gladiators and war dogs. During those days their quarry was most of the time human, particularly during the "Spanish Encomendado"- early 16th century. Helping enforce the Spanish reign in Latin America, the El Gran Mastín de Borinquen did this out of loyalty and desire to please his master, on the other hand many lacking proper human contact they were actually as bloodthirsty as described by Friar Bartolomé de las Casas.
The Mastín is noble, courageous and loyal- many died protecting their masters during the Spanish-Indian Wars. A perfect example is the case of Don Sancho de Arango in 1513, mentioned in the "Discovery, Conquest and Colonization of Puerto Rico" and in "Apuntes para la Historia de Humacao" both by Dr. Ricardo E. Alegría. These make reference to the Carib attack (cannibals) made against the plantations on the Cayarabón River, now called Loíza. The attack was so violent that despite a heroic defense many were killed by Carib arrows. The Indians captured Don Sancho de Arango, but the fierce attacks of his dog Becerillo (legendary terror of Borinquen), forced them to release the master, who fled. The brave animal, who some say was really owned by Ponce de León, fought to the end, as did his son - Leoncillo. Both died in the aftermath of the terrible battle felled by poisoned arrows.
The St. Bernard
The St. Bernard or St Bernard (/ˈbɜrnərd/ or /bərˈnɑrd/) is a breed of very large working dog from Swiss Alps and north Italy and Switzerland, originally bred for rescue. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues, as well as for its enormous size.
The St. Bernard is a giant dog, with the largest individuals reaching over 140 kg (310 lb). The average weight of the breed is between 65–120 kg (140–260 lb) or more and the approximate height at the withers is 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in). The coat can be either smooth or rough, with the smooth coat close and flat. The rough coat is dense but flat, and more profuse around the neck and legs. The coat is typically a red color with white, or sometimes a mahogany brindle with white. Black shading is usually found on the face and ears. The tail is long and heavy, hanging low. Eyes should have naturally tight lids, with "haws only slightly visible"; they are usually brown, but sometimes can be icy blue.
The ancestors of the St. Bernard share a history with the Sennenhund also called Swiss Mountain Dogs or Swiss Cattle Dogs, the large farm dogs of the farmers and dairymen of the livestock guardians, herding dogs, and draft dogs as well as hunting dogs, search and rescue dogs, and watchdogs. These dogs are thought to be descendants of Molosser type dogs brought into the Alps by the ancient Romans, and the St. Bernard is recognized internationally today as one of the Molossoid breeds.
The earliest written records of the St. Bernard breed are from monks at the hospice at the Great St. Bernard Pass in 1707, with paintings and drawings of the dog dating even earlier.
The most famous St. Bernard to save people at the pass was Barry (sometimes spelled Berry), who reportedly saved somewhere between 40 and 100 lives. There is a monument to Barry in the Cimetière des Chiens, and his body was preserved in the Natural History Museum in Berne.
The classic St. Bernard looked very different from the St. Bernard of today because of cross-breeding. Severe winters from 1816 to 1818 led to increased numbers of avalanches, killing many of the dogs used for breeding while they were performing rescues. In an attempt to preserve the breed, the remaining St. Bernard’s were crossed with Newfoundlands brought from the Colony of Newfoundland in the 1850s, and so lost much of their use as rescue dogs in the snowy climate of the alps because the long fur they inherited would freeze and weigh them down.
The dogs never received any special training from the monks. Instead, younger dogs would learn how to perform search and rescue operations from older dogs.
The Swiss St. Bernard Club was founded in Basel on 15 March 1884. The St. Bernard was the very first breed entered into the Swiss Stud Book in 1884, and the breed standard was finally approved in 1888. Since then, the breed has been a Swiss national dog.
The dogs at the St Bernard hospice were working dogs that were smaller than today's show St Bernard's dogs. Originally about the size of a German Shepherd Dog, the St Bernard grew to the size of today's dog as kennel clubs and dog shows emphasized appearance over the dog's working ability, along with a closed stud book.
An open stud book would have allowed breeders to correct such errors by breeding in Working dog of other dog breeds.
The name "St. Bernard" originates from the Great St. Bernard Hospice, a traveler's hospice on the often treacherous Great St. Bernard Pass in the Western Alps between Switzerland and Italy. The pass, the lodge, and the dogs are named for Bernard of Menthon, the 11th century monk who established the station.
"St. Bernard" wasn't in widespread use until the middle of the 19th century. The dogs were called "Saint Dogs", "Noble Steeds", "Alpen mastiff", or "Barry Dogs" before that time.
The breed is strikingly similar to the English Mastiff, with which it shares a common ancestor known as the Alpine Mastiff. The modern St. Bernard breed is radically different than the original dogs kept at the St. Bernard hospice, most notably by being much larger in size and build. Since the late 1800s, the St. Bernard breed has been ever refined and improved using many different large Molosser breeds, including the Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Dane, English Mastiff, and possibly the Tibetan Mastiff and Caucasian Ovcharka. Other breeds such as the Rottweiler, Boxer, and English Bull dog may have contributed to the St. Bernard's bloodline as well. It is suspected that many of these large breeds were used to redevelop each other to combat the threat of their extinction after World War II, which may explain why all of them played a part in the creation of the St. Bernard as seen today.
The four Sennenhund breeds, the Grosser Schweitzer Sennenhund (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog), the Berner Sennenhund, (Bernese mountain dog), the Appenzeller Sennenhund, (Appenzeller), and the Entlebucher Sennenhund (Entlebucher Mountain Dog) are similar in appearance and share the same location and history, but are tricolor rather than red and white.
The Russian army kennels crossbreed St Bernards with Caucasian Ovcharka to produce the Moscow Watchdog that are still used as military service dogs in Russia today. St Bernard’s have in common many characteristics of other Mountain dog breeds.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Although the Anatolian Mastiff name is sometimes used for the Kangal and other Coban Kopegi breeds in the West, it should be noted that they are actually a separate breed derived from the Anatolian, said to be older than other dogs found in modern Turkey. The most common local name is Malak, which describes the type, rather than the breed of dog. In some parts of Anatolia the name used to describe this variety is Balak, but all of these dogs have the same basic "old mastiff" type, with only slight regional differences. Due to the many fanciers' disapproval of the use of word "mastiff" for the description of their dogs, the breed has been given the new name of Central Anatolian Shepherd Dog.
While this decision may appease those who wish to avoid accusations of Turkish Mastiffs being English Mastiff crosses, the Central Anatolian Shepherd Dog moniker is also somewhat controversial and borderline nonsensical, simply because these dogs are neither found exclusively in Central Anatolia nor are they actual shepherd dogs at all. Commonly encountered in many areas, such as Nevsehir, Maras, Konya, Aksaray, Denizli, Agri, Erzurum, Burdur and many other parts of Turkey where dog fights are popular, some of these regional types are considered to be distinct "breeds" by their fanciers, as is the case with the Aksaray Dog, Tuzkoy Dog and some others, but they all simply constitute a single breed comprising of local types, close enough to the great Kangal to confuse some researchers, but different enough from it in key aspects to be treated as a separate variety.
The remarkable similarities to the old drawings of Assyrian war-dogs have led some fanciers to link the Turk Mastiff to the legendary Assyrian Mastiff breed, while others dismiss these native Turkish Molossers as recent crosses between the Central Asian Shepherd Dogs, Kangals, Saint Bernards, Great Danes and English Mastiffs. There is also a theory implying that this is simply an Azerbaijani Kangal type of the Caucasian stock, but this is unlikely, even though some Anatolian Mastiffs do contain a percentage of the Kars Shepherd, through which the influence of the Azeri dogs is possible. The mighty Dakhmarda has also been suggested as a possible ancestor, but the Turkish Mastiff's ancestry is most likely connected to the ancient Hittites and probably rooted in the old working dogs of Persia and Greece.
Relatively unknown even in its homeland, this rugged giant is oftentimes unfairly overlooked and mistaken for a Kangal or a Kangal cross. While certain regional types do show the influence of the Kangal, it doesn't automatically relegate them to the status of a subtype of the Kangal breed, even though quite a few of these dogs have been exported to Europe as such. Due to the popularity of dog fighting tournaments, the Turks have been crossing dogs from various areas for a long time in order to create superior fighters, so some confusion regarding the actual background of such dogs when judged solely on physical appearance is to be expected. Some dogs are fairly lean and tall, while others are more massive and have larger heads, since there is a few different types of the Malak that can be found in various regions of Turkey, from examples that resemble heavier Kangals and Yoruk Sheepdogs to those specimens that are more similar to certain European mastiff breeds.
Reportedly vicious and fairly difficult to train, the Turk Mastiff is primarily a fighter and guard dog. The majority of these powerful Molossers spend most of their lives chained up as yard watchdogs, released only when they're taken to regional fighting tournaments. While they are sometimes used to protect larger cattle, these Molossers are rarely employed as sheep herders or guardians, primarily due to their aggression levels and difficulty of working alongside other dogs, but also because of their large size, weight and limited agility and stamina expected from shepherds. This old working breed is described as a one-person dog, devoted to its owner and protective of its family, but very unfriendly towards strangers and intolerant of other dogs. Broad-shouldered, massive and muscular, the Turkish Mastiff is a rugged, well-boned and healthy breed, valued for its resilience and sharp temperament. The dense flat coat is shorter than that of Kangals, but not as short as the coat of an English Mastiff. Due to common matings with the Kangal, some Anatolian Mastiffs have longer coats and curled tails, but a typical representative of the breed will differ from these working cross-dogs. The tail is sometimes docked and the ears can be either cropped or left natural, depending on the dog's use and the owner's preference, but the majority of modern examples are unaltered. The Malak comes in a variety of colorings, including the Kangal-like shades of fawn with a black mask, as well as brown, grey, red, cream or brindle, with or without small white markings on the muzzle, chest and feet, but there are also quite a few white-based dogs with large patches of those colors.
Average height for the Turkish Mastiff is around 34 inches, although smaller examples can be found as well.
Akbash in Turkish means white head. In contrast, there is also Karabash dog, which means black head. The Akbash Dog is found in rural country serving as a livestock protection dog in Turkey for millennia. The lifestyles of Turkish rural villagers has not been influenced by modernization. The villagers still need to dig wells, herd their sheep, protect the flock from wolves and bears, remove wool with hand-held and non-electrical shears, bake bread in an open hearth, and so on. In many ways, the style and pace of life are similar to what must have taken place hundreds or even thousands of years ago. The dogs in this rural setting have many of the ideal characteristics of a typical Akbash; they are usually calm, with a keen protective instinct for flock and property. However, Akbash Dogs in Turkey are never allowed in the house as pets. Eastern Turkey, where many Kangal or Karabash dogs can be found, is quite dry. The Anatolian Plateau has alternating areas of abundant water and arid. Therefore today in Turkey you can find some villages with Karabash dogs, and other villages with all white Akbash dogs.
There is more than color separates Akbash Dogs from Karabash dogs. Akbash Dogs tend to be smaller, and more variable in size. The sight hound side of their ancestry shows more readily. Karabash dogs have more of the mastiff influence, and hence are usually larger. The physical and temperamental attributes of the Akbash Dog reflect both mastiff and gazehound origins. They have the size, power and protective nature of Karabash or Kangal. Great care should be taken that the breed standard not be used to develop any extreme. The Akbash Dog is the result of centuries of natural selection as a guardian of livestock. In addition to its numerous physical attributes and stable temperament, the breed displays an exceptionally well developed maternal instinct. The Akbash Dog is completely dedicated and devoted to its owners and any animals in its charge. These dogs possess intelligence and courage, making them natural guardians. Their independent nature allows them to respond swiftly and without guidance in an emergency. Their loyalty and protective instinct make them ideal home and estate guardians in addition to their more traditional role of guarding livestock. Due to their strong maternal instinct, Akbash Dogs begin to bond to other living creatures at a very early age. They have been known to form strong attachments to sheep, goats, cattle, horses and other livestock, to poultry or exotic birds, and other animals, and of course to people. Once bonded, even without specialized training, the dogs will not hesitate to come to the rescue of their charges if they think they are in danger, even at the risk of their own lives. Protected animals often show great trust and loyalty to their canine guardians.
The body is muscular, long-legged and slightly longer than tall. They are capable of running at great speed, and have acute senses of sight and hearing. A typical Akbash Dog does not have a high activity level and is not overly playful as an adult. Coat color is all over white. Males have more massive heads than females. Ears are set high, V-shaped, tips slightly rounded. Eye color varies from light golden brown to very dark brown. A long chest extends in depth to the elbows. Feet are strong and large. Tail is long, reaching to the hocks. Tails may have a hook at the end, a moderate to tight curl, or a double curl. A double coat is formed by coarse guard hairs and a fine undercoat. Thickness of the undercoat will vary with the climate and exposure of the dog to the weather.
This Monster is a Molosser type livestock guardian dog, the breed originated from the central Anatolian city of Aksaray in Turkey, Aksaray Malaklisi is the largest of the Anatolian shepherd dog breeds a breed that has many offshoots and all of them different, This breed is far superior in size to the Kangal and said to superior in every way to all the variations of the Anatolian, there name originates from the Turkish word used in Aksaray, “Malak” meaning lip and “Malakli” meaning “with lips”” this is thought to be due to the breeds jet black dropped lips and jowls. Aksaray Malaklisi looks similar to English Mastiffs and Kangals but there are some very noticeable differences, for example The Kangal has thinner legs and a thinner body and doesn’t have the dropped lips the Aksaray also has longer legs than the English Mastiff and a more athletic body.
Aksaray Malaklisi is an instinctive guard dog which suited there main use as a livestock guardian, unbelievably this breed is as yet not recognized by any international or national kennel club but has been put forward for consideration several times.
The origins of the Aksaray Malaklisi are still cloaked in mystery, originally it was said to be a mix of English mastiff and Kangal or the English Mastiff and Anatolian Shepherd but The American mastiff is the result of the latter breeding and has a totally different appearance, these days the popular opinion is pretty much all the shepherd dogs in the Caucasian-Anatolian area are evolved from the same Mastiff like dog that is the ancestor of the Caucasian shepherd dog, Alabai, Kangal, Akerbash, Anatolian and the English Mastiff.
These dogs are defiantly not for the faint hearted, they require a strong leader and a firm hand, training is no harder than with any large breed herder but a trainer needs to be aware that there are several other large breeds in the genetic profile of this breed and some of these are guarding/protection dogs such as The English Mastiff so respect must be shown to this animal during training.
The Dogue de Bordeaux
No publication by me would be complete without the inclusion of the DDB, as my chosen breed my admiration for this breed is well documented, my version of their history is disputed but mostly by people who have never took the time to research there history, guys I am only going to do a very brief outline on this breed because last time I sat down to write about the DDB it ran to over 100,000 words which for those that are interested is called “The nuts and bolts of The Dogue de Bordeaux” and available on request.
In the rare picture above we see the three current types of The Dogue de Bordeaux (from the left) Toulouse, Pure Breed and the Parisian, I first published my theory on there being Three types of Bordeaux in 2011 after half a lifetime of observing our breed from every conceivable perspective, not only build, size and shape but also from a photographic, behavioral and historical point, it wasn’t long before I started to notice something wonderful was happening in our breed, it was becoming apparent that two types of the DDB previously thought to be extinct were in fact well and truly alive and kicking and even more surprisingly they were living in a large percentage of Bordeaux owners homes. In France in the early 1960s following a drastic decline in the numbers which left the breed close to extinction a Breeding program was instigated to replenish the many Dogues that were lost during the second world war and previous wars (French revolution, WW1, Spanish civil war Ect Ect) during this breeding programme The Toulouse and The Parisian types were absorbed by The Bordelaise which was then classed as The Pure Breed and which is currently the type todays breed standard is set against, ... however after only a few decades the Toulouse and the Parisian started making an astonishing come back. Today all three types of the breed are flourishing and found in all the four corners of the World, it is finally safe to say that in whatever form the DDB is here to stay
Doesn’t look like a Molosser does it folks and there is an excellent argument against it actually being one but The Molosser dogs magazine has the Kerry Blue listed as another terrier that can lay claim to being a part of the greatest dog lines ever. Originally known as the Irish Blue Terrier, this lively worker was developed by poachers and shepherds in the 1700's in the Kerry County of south-western Ireland. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a blue-coated strain of the Irish Red Terrier. The origins of the Kerry Blue are uncertain and there are many theories in existence, naming a variety of breeds as its ancestors, from the Irish Wolfhound, Bedlington Terrier, Bullterrier, Harlequin Terrier, Scottish Blue Paul, Spanish Water Dog, Poodle, Otterhound, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Bearded Collie, Portuguese Water Spaniel and local and imported sheepdogs and hounds to the famous stories of the Russian Terrier from a shipwreck in the Tralee Bay. Whatever it’s true ancestry may be, the mighty Kerry blue terrier was a successful working dog, used for hunting badgers, otters, rabbits and foxes, as well as for water retrieving duties. This hardy breed was also a valued vermin killer and occasional fighting dog, but Kerry Blue's most surprising achievement was its stellar performance as a herder and livestock guardian.
The breed Standard was written in 1922 by Mrs. Hewitt, a respected Kerry Blue breeder. International recognition was granted the same year, introducing this feisty breed to dog lovers worldwide. The rugged and resilient Kerry blue terrier is a versatile worker, making an excellent property watchdog and even a capable Police dog. This is a very intelligent and alert breed, loyal and loving of its master, a good choice for a family companion. Stubborn, but trainable, the Kerry Blue enjoys lots of exercise and an active lifestyle, although it can do well in urban environments. Even though it isn't nearly as aggressive as it was in the past, the Kerry blue terrier is still quite confrontational with other dogs, requiring early socialization and responsible handling.
Squarely built, muscular and agile, this powerful breed is a very fast runner and an impressive swimmer. The most famous distinctive feature of the Kerry blue terrier is its silky curly coat, soft to the touch and greyish-blue in colour.
The puppies are born black, but after approximately 9 months of age, their coat starts to appear reddish-brown in colour, before turning to the breed's trademark blue shades. The coat needs regular grooming, but most working Kerry Blue Terriers are left in their natural state. Average height is around 19 inches.
Guys read this slowly because very possibly we have this breed to thank for the Molossers we own today, there is a lot of evidence that this was the first molossors or at least took a major part in the development of the first molosser, The Bullenbeisser (also known as the German Bulldog) was a breed of dog known for its strength and agility. The breed was closely related to the Bärenbeisser (some believe that the two breeds were the same; the names mean "bull-biter" and "bear-biter," respectively), and the Boxer. It was in all its aspects similar to the present Spanish Bulldog and very alike to the Dogo Argentino, not only in aspect, but also in usage. There were two regional varieties, the Brabanter Bullenbeisser and the Danziger Bullenbeisser. The breed is now extinct.
The Bullenbeisser became extinct by crossbreeding rather than by a decadence of the breed, as happened with the Old Time Bulldog, for instance. The size of the Bull Biters varied from about 40 to 70 cm by 1850; the smaller lived from what today are the Netherlands and Belgium, and the bigger, in Germany. In the late 1870s, German breeders Roberth Konig, and Hopner used the dog to create a new breed, today called the Boxer. Some 30 Bullenbeissers were already crossed by the Boxer Kennel Club of Germany at 1900 in with Bulldogs brought from the British Isles. The blood composition was 50/50 at that time, however, the German owners started crossing their dogs with all kinds of Bulldogs and Boxers, which produced an undistinguishable breed after World War II. One reason why such quantity of German blood was used to create the Boxer dog was the wish to eliminate the excessive white colour of the breed, and the necessity of producing thousands of dogs for one of the most popular breeds in the world.
Present-day "Bullenbeisser Generation"
Bullenbeisser generation is a name for those still existing dog breeds, which have been developed partly out of the Bullenbeisser breed. Although they have some Bulldog genes, their appearance and use are more similar to the original Bullenbeisser. These breeds - with the exception of the rare Spanish Bulldog, which almost became extinct in the 1980s - started to gain great popularity.
The proportions of the Bullenbeisser bloodlines vary much between the different breeds. While 70 % of the Boxer's genetic heritance comes from the Bullenbeisser (and 30 % from the Bulldog), the American Pit Bull Terrier is the only purely direct descendant of the Bullenbeisser. Originally, the base for the Great Dane breed was 50 % Bullenbeisser and 50 % English Mastiff and Irish Wolf hound blood. However, later there were still additions of the Dalmatian and German Pointer.
Judging by the appearance and over-all breed type, the closest present-day descendants are the Argentine Dogo (as well as the two other Latin American Dogo breeds) and Spanish Bulldog. The original Cordoba Fighting Dog - the progenitor of the Argentine Dogo - was a cross between the Boxer, Bull Terrier, Bulldog and some kind of mastiff, while the Guatemalan Dogo is based on a mixture between the Boxer, Bull Terrier and Dalmatian. Another Bullenbeisser-based breed, the Boerboel descends from a cross-breeding between the Bullenbeisser, Bullmastiff and Great Dane.
Typical characteristics of Bullenbeisser descendants include:
Upper lips partially fall over the jaws
Wide and strong jaws with a great bite force
Great agility and strength
Medium size (except the Great Dane)
Good guardian and family companion
Genetic tendency (except the Boerboel)
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT. Is a medium-sized, solidly built, short haired dog whose early ancestors came from England and Ireland and is undoubtedly the most picked on dog ever, It is a member of the Molosser breed group. The American Staffordshire terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) were bred from the same lineage, but received different names from the two American kennel clubs; Staffordshire was the name given by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and American Pit Bull Terrier by the United Kennel Club (UKC). When compared with the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier (another breed within the type commonly called pit bulls), the American Pit Bull Terrier is larger by margins of 6–8 inches (15–20 cm) in height and 25–35 pounds (11–16 kg) in weight.
The American Pit Bull is medium-sized, and has a short coat and smooth well-defined muscle structure. Its eyes are round to almond shaped, and its ears are small to medium in length, typically half prick or rose in carriage. The tail is slightly thick and tapers to a point. The coat is glossy, smooth, short, and stiff to the touch. The accepted coat color can vary widely, but, both the AKC and UKC do not recognize merle coloring. Color patterns that are typical in the breed are spotted, brindled, solid, and with points.
Twelve countries in Europe, as well as Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and Venezuela have enacted some form of breed-specific legislation on pit bull-type dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, ranging from outright bans to restrictions and conditions on ownership. The state of New South Wales in Australia places restrictions on the breed, including mandatory sterilization. The breed is banned in the United Kingdom, in the Canadian province of Ontario, and in many locations in the United States.
The Pit Bull Terrier was created by breeding Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs together to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog. These dogs were bred in England, and arrived in the United States where they became the direct ancestors of the American Pitbull Terrier. In the United Kingdom pit bulls were used in bloodsports such as bull baiting, bear baiting. These bloodsports were officially eliminated in 1835 as Britain began to introduce animal welfare laws. Since dogfights were cheaper to organize and far easier to conceal from the law than bull or bear baits, bloodsport proponents turned to pitting their dogs against each other instead. Dog fighting was used as both a bloodsport (often involving gambling) and a way to continue to test the quality of their stock. For decades afterwards, dog fighting clandestinely took place in small areas of Britain and America. In the early 20th century pitbulls were used as catch dogs in America for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and drive livestock, and as family companions. Some have been selectively bred for their fighting prowess.
Pit Bull Terriers successfully fill the role of companion dogs, and police dogs, and therapy dog. Pit Bull Terriers also constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dog fighting in America In addition, law enforcement organizations report these dogs are used for other nefarious purposes, such as guarding illegal narcotics operations, use against police, and as attack dogs.
In an effort to counter the fighting reputation of pit bull-type dogs, in 1996 the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals renamed pit bull terriers to "St. Francis Terriers", so that people might be more likely to adopt them. 60 temperament-screened dogs were adopted until the program was halted, after several of the newly adopted pit bulls killed cats. The New York City Center for Animal Care and Control tried a similar approach in 2004, relabeling their pit bulls as "New Yorkies", but dropped the idea in the face of overwhelming public opposition.
The UKC gives this description of the characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier:
The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.
In September 2000, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study which examined dog bite-related fatalities (human death caused by dog bite injuries) in order to "summarize breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks during a 20-year period and to assess policy implications."
The study examined 238 fatalities between 1979 and 1998 in which the breed of dog was known. It found that "the data indicates that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF [dog bite-related fatality] in the United States between 1997 and 1998" and that it was "extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities."
However, the article continued, saying that care should be taken in drawing conclusions based on these data because:
first, the study likely only covered only about 74% of actual DBRF cases;
second, records of DBRF may have been biased by the propensity of media to report attacks by certain breeds over others;
third, it is not always straightforward to identify a dog's breed, and records may be biased towards reporting 'known' aggressive breeds; and
fourth, it was not clear how to count mixed breeds.
fifth, such breeds have traditionally been used in dog fighting at a far higher percentage than others. Thus, the disparity of docility versus aggressiveness tends to rank very highly in Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs when compared to other breeds, with human training playing the primary role.
The authors concluded by noting that "breeds responsible for human DBRF have varied over time" (for example, Great Danes caused the most reported DBRF between 1979 and 1980). The study's policy recommendation in the face of this inconclusive data was that rather than making policy decisions by breed, "adequate funding for animal control agencies, enforcement of existing animal control laws, and educational and policy strategies to reduce inappropriate dog and owner behaviors will likely result in benefits to communities and may well decrease the number of dog bites that occur."
In a peer-reviewed literature review of 66 dog bite risk studies, the American Veterinary Medical Association determined that "breed is a poor sole predictor of dog bites. Controlled studies reveal no increased risk for the group blamed most often for dog bites, ‘pit bull-type’ dogs. Accordingly, targeting this breed or any another as a basis for dog bite prevention is unfounded. As stated by the National Animal Control Association: “Dangerous and/or vicious animals should be labeled as such as a result of their actions or behavior and not because of their breed.”
In 2014, new statistical evidence emerged regarding the province-wide ban on "pit bulls", more specifically the American Pit Bull Terrier and Staffordshire terrier, in the Canadian province of Ontario. It was reported to show that since the ban had been implemented dog bites involving the two breeds and dogs of their likeness had dropped considerably in the province's largest city Toronto.
The breed tends to have a higher than average incidence of hip dysplasia. Culling for performance has helped eliminate this problem and others such as patella problems, thyroid dysfunction and congenital heart defects. American Pit Bull Terriers with dilute coat colors have not had a higher occurrence of skin allergies as other breeds. As a breed they are more susceptible to parvovirus than others if not vaccinated, especially as puppies, so vaccination is imperative beginning at 39 days old and continuing every 2 weeks until 4 months old. Then again at 8 months. Once a year after that, as recommend for all breeds.
They are very prone to Demodex Mange due to culling for performance. There are two different types of Demodex Mange, namely Localized and Generalized Demodex. Although it is contagious it is sometimes difficult to treat due to immunodeficiency in some puppies. The Localized symptoms are usually loss of hair in small patches on the head and feet of the puppies. This type will usually heal as the puppies grow and their immune systems grow stronger. The second type which is Generalized Demodex mange is a more severe form of the sickness. The symptoms are more severe and include loss of hair throughout the entire body and the skin may also be scabby and bloody. Generalized are usually hereditary due to immunodeficiency genes that are passed on from Sire and Dam to their puppies. A simple skin scraping test will allow the vet to diagnose Demodex mange. The most widely used method to treat Demodex Mange is ivermectin injections or oral medications. Since Demodex Mange lives in the hair follicles of the dog, Ivermectin will kill these mites at the source.
Old Family Red Nose
Old Family Red Nose (OFRN) is an old strain of American Pit Bull Terriers known for their specific reddish coloration. A dog of the red-nosed strain has a copper-red nose and coat, red lips, red toe nails, and red or amber eyes.
In the middle of the 19th century, there was a breed of pit dogs in Ireland that were known as "Old Family." At that time, all the strains were closely inbred with each family clan. Since red is recessive to all colors but white, the breed was known as "Irish Old Family Reds." When the dogs began coming to America, they were already showing the red nose.
The "Old Family Reds" dogs found their way to America mainly via Irish immigrants though many in the United States did import the breed.
Many strains have been crossed with the Old Family Reds at some time in their existence. This is how the breed of American Pit Bull Terrier was created. Consequently, nearly any strain will occasionally throw a red-nosed pup. To many dog owners, these red-nosed individuals are Old Family Red Noses even though the great preponderance of their blood is that of other strains. Sometimes such individuals will fail to measure up and thereby reflect undeserved discredit on the red-nosed strain. However the Old Family Reds produced more than their share of good ones unlike other strains are known. Old Family Reds were sought after for their high percentage in ability to produced deep gameness.
Originally renowned for its gameness, it continues to be bred to maintain its unique reddish color. Some of the most reputable breeders in all Pit Bull history such as Lightner, McClintock, Hemphill, Williams, Menefee, Norrod and Wallace have contributed to the preservation and development of the strain. Finally, as McNolty said in his 30-30 Journal (1967) "Regardless of one's historical perspective, these old amber-eyed, red-nosed, red-toe-nailed, red-coated dogs represent some of the most significant pit bull history and tradition that stands on four legs today."
Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Cur is an American dog breed named after Catahoula Parish, Louisiana, United States. After becoming the state dog of Louisiana in 1979, its name was officially changed to Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. The breed is sometimes referred to as the "Catahoula Hound" or "Catahoula Leopard Hound", although it is not a true hound but a cur. It is also called the "Catahoula Hog Dog", reflecting its traditional use in hunting wild boar.
Both the Catahoula lineage and the origins of the name "Catahoula" are uncertain, but there are various theories. One theory posits that the Catahoula Leopard Dog is the result of Native Americans having bred their own dogs with Molossers and greyhounds brought to Louisiana by Hernando de Soto in the 16th century. As for the aforementioned Native American dog breeds, for a time it was believed that they were bred with or from red wolves, but this idea is not supported by modern DNA analysis. Several recent studies have looked at the remains of prehistoric dogs from American archaeological sites and each has indicated that the genetics of prehistoric American dogs are similar to European and Asian domestic dogs rather than wild New World canids. In fact, these studies indicate that Native Americans brought several lines (breeds) of already domesticated dogs with them on their journeys from Asia to North America.
Another theory suggests that the breed originated three centuries later, sometime in the 19th century, after French settlers introduced the Beauceron to the North American continent. The French told of strange-looking dogs with haunting glass eyes that were used by the Indians to hunt game in the swamp And the theory states that the Beauceron and the Red Wolf/war dog were interbred to produce the Catahoula.
There are two theories regarding the origin of the word 'Catahoula.' One theory is that the word is a combination of two Choctaw words 'okhata', meaning lake, and 'hullo', meaning beloved. Another possibility is that the word is a French transformation of the Choctaw Indian word for their own nation, 'Couthaougoula' pronounced 'Coot-ha-oo-goo-la'.
In 1979, Governor Edwin Edwards signed a bill making the Catahoula the official state dog of Louisiana in recognition of their importance in the history of the region.
As a working dog, Catahoulas have been bred primarily for temperament and ability rather than for appearance. As a result, the physical characteristics of the Catahoula are somewhat varied.
Catahoulas may range greatly in size with males averaging slightly larger than females. Typical height ranges from 20–26" and weight between 40 and 90 lbs.
Cur Brown catahoula
Catahoulas come in many different colors including blue merle, red merle, brindle, and solid colors. Often, solid coat. Catahoulas have small splashes of other colors such as white on their face, legs or chest. The leopard-like coat of most Catahoulas is the result of the merle gene. The merle gene does not normally affect the entire coat of the dog, but dilutes the color only in areas that randomly present the characteristic of the gene. Visually, white coats seem unaffected.
Red Leopard: These are various shades of brown and tan, they may also have white these are Known as "red merle" in other breeds.
Blue Leopard: These are various shades of dark greys, black and some may also have white (generally on the feet and chest), Known as "blue merle" in other breeds.
Black or Black Leopard: These are leopards least affected by the merle gene but will display smaller patches of blue or gray.
Gray or Silver Leopard: Blue Leopards where the black color has been diluted to gray, Known as "slate merle" in other breeds.
Tri-color: Catahoulas with three distinct visible colors, usually white, black, and gray.
Quad-color: These are Catahoulas with the varying body colorations and trim colors that help to designate the number of colors present on the dogs. Gray Catahoulas may be considered a Quad-color when White and Tan trim are included. This dog would display Black, Gray, White, usually around the neck, face, feet, and tail, and Tan, which may also appear around the face and feet. Most Five-colored dogs are misnamed Quad-colored dogs.
Patchwork: These Catahoulas are predominantly white dogs with small amounts of solid and/or merle patches appearing throughout the coat. The colored patches may be black or brown. Dilution may affect those colored patches and produce gray, blue, red, or liver coloration within them.
The texture of a Catahoula's coat may show some variance, being slick/painted-on, coarse, or woolly/shaggy. However, while other coat types may not be penalized, several registering bodies that recognize the Catahoula specify a short or slick-coated dog. Others, including the Animal Research Foundation, will accept short-to-medium haired dogs, but may list long fur or feathering of the fur as uncommon or a flaw.
Slick coat: A slick coat features fur that is very short and lies close to the body. These coats dry very rapidly, and because of this, the dog can be cleaned and ready in a matter of minutes. It is often referred to as a "Wash n' Wear" coat. This coat type is most common.
Coarse coat: This coat is a little longer and fuller than others. They do not require that much maintenance; however, these dogs are not quick to dry when wet. These coats will often display "feathers" seen on the rear legs, tail, and underbelly. Also they can be considered "fluffy".
Woolly coat: Woolly, shaggy, and double coats are far less common but rarely appear in some litters. At about 3 weeks of age, the coat will be longer and fuller and appear woolly. Most puppies will shed this for a coarse coat; however, some will become double-coats. Some coats will maintain a length similar to that of a stock-haired German Shepherd Dog while others will maintain their shaggy appearance.
The breed may have "cracked glass" or "marbled glass" eyes (heterochromia) and occurs when both colored and glass portions are present in the same eye. Cracked or marbled eyes are blue or blue-white in color. Catahoulas with two cracked or marble glass eyes are often referred to as having double glass eyes. In some cases, a glass eye will have darker colored sections in it, and vice versa. Cracked eyes may be half of one color and half of another. They may just have a streak or spot of another color. Gray eyes are usually cracked eyes, made of blue and green, giving them their grayish appearance. The eyes may be of the same color or each of a different color. Eye color can also be ice blue, brown, green, gray, or amber. No particular eye color is typical of Catahoulas.
The tail of the Catahoula may be long and whip-like, reaching past the hocks of the back legs, or else bobtail, which is a tail that ranges from one vertebra shorter than full length to only one vertebra in total length. The question mark tail is a common tail trait, often with a white tip. The bobtail is a rare but natural part of the Catahoula heritage.
Though most dogs have webbing between the toes, Catahoulas' feet have more prominent webbing which extends almost to the ends of the toes. This foot gives the Catahoula the ability to work marshy areas and gives them great swimming ability.
Catahoulas are highly intelligent and energetic. They are assertive but not aggressive by nature. Catahoulas in general are very even tempered. Males tend to be more obnoxious than females, but Catahoulas are very serious about their job if they are working dogs. They make a good family dog but will not tolerate being isolated, so interaction with the dog is a daily requirement. When a Catahoula is raised with children, the dog believes that it is his or her responsibility to look after and protect those children. Many owners will say that the Catahoula owns them and they can be insistent when it's time to eat or do other activities. Catahoulas are protective and a natural alarm dog. They will alert one to anything out of the ordinary.
The Doberman Pinscher (German pronunciation: [ˈdoːbɐman ˈpɪnʃɐ]; alternatively spelled Dobermann in many countries) or simply Doberman, is a medium to large breed of domestic dog originally developed around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Germany.
The Doberman is descended from many different breeds, including the Great Dane, the Greyhound, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Rottweiler, and others (see History below). Except in the albino color, in which it is extremely difficult to see, each purebred Doberman has markings on the chest, paws/legs, muzzle, above the eyes, and underneath the tail. They are powerful in the hindquarters and can sometimes be top-heavy because of their deep chest). Nevertheless, the Doberman is traditionally a very athletic breed and many excel in agility and obedience trials. The muzzle is long, and so affords the leverage for an extremely strong bite. The Doberman stands on its toes (not the pads) and is not usually heavy-footed. Ideally, they have an even and graceful gait. Traditionally, the ears are cropped and posted, and the tail is docked. However, in some countries it is illegal to do so.
Doberman Pinschers are well known as intelligent, alert, and tenaciously loyal companion and guard dogs. Personality varies a great deal between each Doberman, but if taken care of and trained properly they tend to be loving and devoted companions. The Doberman is driven, strong, and sometimes stubborn. Owning one requires commitment and care, but if trained well, they can be wonderful family dogs. Unlike some breeds (such as the German shepherd), the Doberman is not always automatically eager to please, but with consistency they can be easy to train and will learn very quickly. As with all dogs, if properly trained, they can be excellent with children. They adapt quickly, though they pay attention to consistency and value attention.
Kennel club standards describe Doberman Pinschers as dogs of medium-large size with a square build and short coat. They are compactly built and athletic with endurance and swiftness. The Doberman Pinscher should have a proud, watchful, determined, and obedient temperament. The dog was originally intended as a guard dog, so males should have a masculine, muscular, noble appearance. Females are thinner, but should not be spindly.
Size and proportions:
The Doberman is a dog of medium large size. Although the breed standards vary among kennel and breed clubs, according to the FCI standard the dog typically stands between 68 to 72 centimetres (27 to 28 in), and The Kennel Club in the UK quote 69 centimetres (27 in) as being ideal; the female is typically somewhere between 63 to 68 centimetres (25 to 27 in), 65 centimetres (26 in) being ideal. The Doberman has a square frame: its length should equal its height to the withers, and the length of its head, neck and legs should be in proportion to its body. European lines, particularly those from the former Yugoslavia and former Soviet Union, tend to be larger than those in North America.
There are no standards for the weight of the Doberman pinscher except as given in the standard used by the FCI. The ideal dog must have sufficient size for an optimal combination of strength, endurance and agility. The male generally weighs between 40–45 kilograms (88–99 lb) and the female between 32–35 kilograms (71–77 lb).
Two different color genes exist in the Doberman, one for black (B) and one for color dilution (D). There are nine possible combinations of these alleles (BBDD, BBDd, BbDD, BbDd, BBdd, Bbdd, bbDD, bbDd, bbdd), which result in four different color phenotypes: black, red, blue, and fawn (Isabella). The traditional and most common color occurs when both the color and dilution genes have at least one dominant allele (i.e., BBDD, BBDd, BbDD or BbDd), and is commonly referred to as black or black and rust (also called black and tan). The red, red rust or brown coloration occurs when the black gene has two recessive alleles but the dilution gene has at least one dominant allele (i.e., bbDD, bbDd). "Blue" and "fawn" are controlled by the color dilution gene. The blue Doberman has the color gene with at least one dominant allele and the dilution gene with both recessive alleles (i.e., BBdd or Bbdd). The fawn (Isabella) coloration is the least common, occurring only when both the color and dilution genes have two recessive alleles (i.e., bbdd). Thus, the blue color is a diluted black, and the fawn color is a diluted red.
Expression of the color dilution gene is a disorder called Color Dilution Alopecia. Although not life threatening, these dogs can develop skin problems.
In 1976, a "white" Doberman pinscher was whelped, and was subsequently bred to her son, who was also bred to his litter sisters. This tight inbreeding continued for some time to allow the breeders to "fix" the mutation. White Dobermans are a cream color with pure white markings and icy blue eyes. Although this is consistent with albinism, the proper characterization of the mutation is currently unknown. The animals are commonly known as tyrosinase-positive albinoids, lacking melanin in oculocutaneous structures. This condition is caused by a partial deletion in gene SLC45A2.
The Doberman pinscher’s natural tail is fairly long, but individual dogs often have a short tail as a result of docking, a procedure in which the majority of the tail is surgically removed shortly after birth.
The practice of docking has been around for centuries, and is older than the Doberman as a breed. The putative reason for docking is to ensure that the tail does not get in the way of the dog's work. Docking has always been controversial. The American Kennel Club standard for Doberman Pinschers includes a tail docked near the 2nd vertebra. Docking is a common practice in the United States, Russia and Japan (as well as a number of other countries with Doberman populations), where it is legal. In many European countries and Australia, docking has been made illegal, and in others it is limited.
Doberman Pinschers often have their ears cropped, as do many other breeds, a procedure that is functionally related to breed type for both the traditional guard duty and effective sound localization. According to the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, ears are "normally cropped and carried erect". Like tail docking, ear cropping is illegal in some countries, and in these pictures Doberman Pinschers have natural ears. Doberman pinscher ear cropping is usually done between 7 and 9 weeks of age and is done under anesthesia. Cropping done after 12 weeks has a low rate of success in getting the ears to stand.
In some countries' conformation shows, Doberman Pinschers are allowed to compete with either cropped or natural ears. In Germany a cropped or docked dog cannot be shown regardless of country of origin. Special written exception to this policy does occur when Germany is the location for international events. Whether cropping the ears actually reduces the risk of ear infections as opposed to leaving the ears pendulous has been contested
Although they are considered to be working dogs, Doberman Pinschers are often stereotyped as being ferocious and aggressive. As a personal protection dog, the Doberman was originally bred for these traits: it had to be large and intimidating, fearless, and willing to defend its owner, but sufficiently obedient and restrained to only do so on command. These traits served the dog well in its role as a personal defense dog, police dog, or war dog, but were not ideally adapted to a companionship role. The Doberman pinscher’s aggression has been toned down by modern breeders over the years, and today's Dobermans are known for a much more even and good natured temperament, extreme loyalty, high intelligence, and great trainability. In fact, the Doberman pinscher’s size, short coat, and intelligence have made it a desirable house dog. The Doberman pinscher is known to be energetic, watchful, fearless and obedient.
They can easily learn to 'Respect and Protect' their owners, and are therefore considered to be excellent guard dogs that protect their loved ones. They are generally sociable toward humans and can be with other dogs. However, Dobermans rank among the more-likely breeds to show aggressive behavior toward strangers and other dogs, but not among the most likely to do so. They are very unlikely to show aggressive behavior toward their owners.
There is evidence that Doberman Pinschers in North America have a calmer and more even temperament than their European counterparts because of the breeding strategies employed by American breeders. Because of these differences in breeding strategies, different lines of Doberman Pinschers have developed different traits. Although many contemporary Doberman Pinschers in North America are gentle and friendly to strangers, some lines are bred more true to the original personality standard.
Although the aggressiveness stereotype is less true today, the personality of the Doberman pinscher is unique. There is a great deal of scientific evidence that Doberman Pinschers have a number of stable psychological traits, such as certain personality factors and intelligence. As early as 1965, studies have shown that there are several broad behavioral traits that significantly predict behavior and are genetically determined. Subsequently, there have been numerous scientific attempts to quantify canine personality or temperament by using statistical techniques for assessing personality traits in humans. These studies often vary in terms of the personality factors they focus on, and in terms of ranking breeds differently along these dimensions. One such study found that Doberman Pinschers, compared to other breeds, rank high in playfulness, average in curiosity/fearlessness, low on aggressiveness, and low on sociability. Another such study ranked Doberman Pinschers low on reactivity/surgence, and high on aggression/disagreeableness and openness/trainability.
Canine intelligence is an umbrella term that encompasses the faculties involved in a wide range of mental tasks, such as learning, problem-solving, and communication. The Doberman Pinscher has ranked amongst the most intelligent of dog breeds in experimental studies and expert evaluations. For instance, Psychologist Stanley Coren ranks the Doberman as the 5th most intelligent dog in the category of obedience command training, based on the selective surveys he performed of some trainers (as documented in his book The Intelligence of Dogs).
Additionally, in two studies, Hart and Hart (1985) ranked the Doberman pinscher first in this category. Tortora (1980) gave the Doberman the highest rank in trainability. Although the methods of evaluation differ, these studies consistently show that the Doberman pinscher, along with the Border collie, German shepherd, Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle and Rottweiler, is one of the most trainable breeds of dog.
In addition to the studies of canine personality, there has been some research to determine whether there are breed differences in aggression. In a study published in 2008, aggression was divided into four categories: aggression directed at strangers, owner, strange dogs and rivalry with other household dogs. This study found that the Doberman pinscher ranked relatively high on stranger-directed aggression, but extremely low on owner-directed aggression.
The Doberman pinscher ranked as average on dog-directed aggression and dog rivalry. Looking only at bites and attempted bites, Doberman Pinschers rank as far less aggressive towards humans, and show less aggression than many breeds without a reputation (e.g., Cocker Spaniel, Dalmatian, and Great Dane).
This study concluded that aggression has a genetic basis, that the Doberman shows a distinctive pattern of aggression depending on the situation, and that contemporary Doberman Pinschers are not an aggressive breed overall.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1979 and 1998, the Doberman pinscher was involved in attacks on humans resulting in fatalities less frequently than several other dog breeds such as German Shepherd Dogs, Rottweilers, Husky-type, Wolf-dog hybrids and Alaskan Malamutes.
According to this Center for Disease Control and Prevention study, one of the most important factors contributing to dog bites is the level of responsibility exercised by dog owners.
The Terceira Mastiff (cão de fila da Terceira) is a landrace Portuguese dog breed, also known as the Rabo Torto (rabo=tail, torto=curled/twisted). Neither the Fédération Cynologique Internationale nor the local Clube Português de Canicultura has officially recognized it. It is a remarkable ancestor to both the Cão Fila de São Miguel and the Fila Brasileiro. This breed is fully different from the Barbado da Terceira
The Terceira Mastiff comes from the isle of Terceira, located in the Azores. It descends from local dogs, old Spanish and English Mastiffa and bulldogs, the Dogue de Bordeaux and the Bloodhound. According to a legend, it once was very popular among the pirates of the region and soon became a popular fighting dog as well. In the 1880s, veterinarian Dr. Jose Leite Pacheco wrote the first breed standard and intended to make the nickname rabo torto as the official name of the breed instead of the cão de fila da Terceira. Unfortunately, the Terceira Mastiff was already extremely endangered that time, which was one of the reasons why - despite of the Portuguese standard - it was never accepted by the FCI.
In the 1960s, the breed was tried to be revived with the aid of the Portuguese government. However, there was disagreement between politics and breeders, which led to the failure of the project. After this, the future of the Terceira Mastiff depended solely on the local farmers and fanciers of the breed. In the 1970s, it was already stated to be extinct, although there were still some individuals left in the Azores. With these few individuals, the recreation of the breed finally begun.
The Terceira Mastiff is a medium-sized molosser that represents the Fila or Dogo type and resembles the Cão Fila de São Miguel. One of its most remarkable features is an innately short, corkscrew like tail. Its nose can be black, pink, or even brown. The colour of the short, smooth coat can be either fawn or yellow, always with a light mask. Red, brindle, and black individuals are usually considered to be un-pure. The height is approximately 55 cm (22 in)
The Siberian Husky (Russian: Сибирский хаски) is a medium size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in north-eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly furred double coat, erect triangular ears, and distinctive markings.
Huskies are a very active, energetic, and resilient breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia to pull heavy loads long distances through difficult conditions. The dogs were imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and later spread into the United States and Canada. They were initially sent to Alaska and Canada as sled dogs but rapidly acquired the status of family pets and show dogs.
In 1975, a study was made of ancient canid remains dated to the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene that had been uncovered by miners decades earlier around Fairbanks, Alaska. These were identified as Canis lupus and described as "short-faced wolves". The collection was separated into those specimens that looked more wolf-like (i.e. the Beringian wolf), and those that looked more dog-like and in comparison to the skulls of Eskimo dogs from both Greenland and Siberia thought to be their forerunners.
Nearly all dog breeds' genetic closeness to the gray wolf is due to admixture. However, several Arctic dog breeds show a genetic closeness with the now-extinct Taymyr wolf of North Asia due to admixture. These breeds are associated with high latitudes - the Siberian husky and Greenland dog that are also associated with arctic human populations and to a lesser extent the Shar Pei and Finnish spitz. An admixture graph of the Greenland dog indicates a best-fit of 3.5% shared material; however an ancestry proportion ranging between 1.4% and 27.3% is consistent with the data. This indicates admixture between the Taymry wolf population and the ancestral dog population of these 4 high-latitude breeds. This introgression could have provided early dogs living in high latitudes with phenotypic variation beneficial for adaption to a new and challenging environment. It also indicates the ancestry of present-day dog breeds descends from more than one region.
The Siberian Husky, Samoyed, and Alaskan Malamute are all breeds directly descended from the original sled dog. It is thought that the term "husky" is a corruption of the nickname "Esky" once applied to the Eskimo and subsequently to their dogs.
Breeds descending from the Eskimo dog or Qimmiq  were once found throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Siberia to Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Labrador, and Baffin Island.
With the help of Siberian Huskies, entire tribes of people were able not only to survive, but to push forth into terra incognita. Admiral Robert Peary of the United States Navy was aided by this breed during his expeditions in search of the North Pole.
Dogs from the Anadyr River and surrounding regions were imported into Alaska from 1908 (and for the next two decades) during the gold rush for use as sled dogs, especially in the "All-Alaska Sweepstakes," a 408-mile (657-km) distance dog sled race from Nome, to Candle, and back. Smaller, faster and more enduring than the 100- to 120-pound (45- to 54-kg) freighting dogs then in general use, they immediately dominated the Nome Sweepstakes. Leonhard Seppala, the foremost breeder of Siberian Huskies of the time, participated in competitions from 1909 to the mid-1920s.
Gunnar Kaasen and Balto.
On February 3, 1925, Gunnar Kaasen was first in the 1925 serum run to Nome to deliver diphtheria serum from Nenana, over 600 miles to Nome. This was a group effort by several sled-dog teams and mushers, with the longest (91 miles or 146 km) and most dangerous segment of the run covered by Leonhard Seppala. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this famous delivery. The event is also loosely depicted in the 1995 animated film Balto, as the name of Gunnar Kaasen's lead dog in his sled team was Balto, although unlike the real dog, Balto the character was portrayed as half wolf in the film. In honor of this lead dog, a bronze statue was erected at Central Park in New York City. The plaque upon it is inscribed,
Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925. Endurance · Fidelity · Intelligence
In 1930, exportation of the dogs from Siberia was halted. The same year saw recognition of the Siberian Husky by the American Kennel Club. Nine years later, the breed was first registered in Canada. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1938 as the "Arctic Husky," changing the name to Siberian Husky in 1991. Seppala owned a kennel in Nenana before moving to New England, where he became partners with Elizabeth Ricker. The two co-owned the Poland Springs kennel and began to race and exhibit their dogs all over the Northeast.
As the breed was beginning to come to prominence, in 1933 Navy Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd brought about 50 Siberian Huskies with him on an expedition in which he hoped to journey around the 16,000-mile coast of Antarctica. Many of the dogs were trained at Chinook Kennels in New Hampshire. Called Operation Highjump, the historic trek proved the worth of the Siberian Husky due to its compact size and greater speeds. Siberian Huskies also served in the United States Army's Arctic Search and Rescue Unit of the Air Transport Command during World War II. Their popularity was sustained into the 21st century. They were ranked 16th among American Kennel Club registrants in 2012, rising to 14th place in 2013.
The original sled dogs bred and kept by the Chukchi were thought to have gone extinct, but Benedict Allen, writing for Geographical magazine in 2006 after visiting the region, reported their survival. His description of the breeding practiced by the Chukchi mentions selection for obedience, endurance, amiable disposition, and sizing that enabled families to support them without undue difficulty.
A Siberian Husky's coat is thicker than that of most other dog breeds, comprising two layers: a dense undercoat and a longer topcoat of short, straight guard hairs It protects the dogs effectively against harsh Arctic winters, but the coat also reflects heat in the summer. It is able to withstand temperatures as low as −50 to −60 °C (−58 to −76 °F). The undercoat is often absent during shedding. Their thick coats require weekly grooming.
Siberian Huskies come in a variety of colours and patterns, usually with white paws and legs, facial markings, and tail tip. The most common coats are black and white, then less common copper-red and white, grey and white, pure white, and the rare "agouti" coat, though many individuals have blondish or piebald spotting. Striking masks, spectacles, and other facial markings occur in wide variety. Merle coat patterns are not allowed. The American Kennel Club allows all coat colors from black to pure white.
The American Kennel Club describes the Siberian Husky's eyes as "an almond shape, moderately spaced and set slightly obliquely."
The AKC breed standard is that eyes may be brown or blue; one of each or parti-colored are acceptable: (complete is heterochromia), and "parti-colored," that is, half brown and half blue: (partial heterochromia). These eye-color combinations are considered acceptable by the American Kennel Club. The parti-color does not affect the vision of the dog.
Show-quality dogs are preferred to have neither pointed nor square noses. The nose is black in gray dogs, tan in black dogs, liver in copper-colored dogs, and may be light tan in white dogs. In some instances, Siberian Huskies can exhibit what is called "snow nose" or "winter nose." This condition is called hypopigmentation in animals. "Snow nose" is acceptable in the show ring.
Siberian Husky tails are heavily furred; these dogs will often curl up with their tails over faces and noses in order to provide additional warmth. As pictured, when curled up to sleep the Siberian Husky will cover its nose for warmth, often referred to as the "Siberian Swirl". The tail should be expressive, held low when the dog is relaxed, and curved upward in a "sickle" shape when excited or interested in something. It should be symmetrical, and not curved or deviated to the side; the tail can curl enough to touch the back.
The breed standard indicates that the males of the breed are ideally between 21 and 23.5 inches (53 and 60 cm) tall at the withers and weighing between 45 and 60 pounds (20 and 27 kg). Females are smaller, growing to between 20 to 22 inches (51 to 56 cm) tall at the withers and weighing between 35 to 50 pounds (16 to 23 kg).
The Husky is known to howl rather than bark. Behavioral issues include a tendency to roam and to make escape attempts. They have been described as escape artists, which can include digging under, chewing through, or even jumping over fences.
The ASPCA classifies the breed as Good with Children. It also states they exhibit high energy indoors, have special exercise needs, may pursue cats, and may be destructive "without proper care. “A 6 ft. (1.83 m) fence is recommended for this breed as a pet, although some have been known to overcome fences as high as 8 ft. (2.44 m). Electric pet fencing may not be effective. They need the frequent companionship of people and other dogs, and their need to feel as part of a pack is very strong.
A fifteen-minute daily obedience training class has been shown to serve well for Siberian Huskies. Siberians need consistent training and do well with a positive reinforcement training program. They rank 45th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being of average working/obedience intelligence. They tend to run because they were at first bred to be sled dogs. They were historically bred to be working and companion animals by the Chukchi people and should always be gentle in nature. The Chukchi people use Siberian huskies to look after their children.
The Maramma Sheep dog
The Maremma Sheepdog, in Italian Cane da pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, usually referred to as just Maremmano, is a breed of livestock guardian dog indigenous to central Italy, particularly to Abruzzo and the Maremma region of Tuscany and Lazio. It has been used for centuries by Italian shepherds to guard sheep from wolves. The literal English translation of the name is "The dog of the shepherds of the Maremma and Abruzzese region". The English name of the breed derives from that of the Maremma marshlands, where until recently shepherds, dogs and hundreds of thousands of sheep over-wintered, and where the breed is today abundant although sheep-farming has decreased substantially. The breed is widely employed in Abruzzo, where sheep herding remains vital to the rural economy and the wolf remains an active and protected predator. Similar breeds include the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, the Kuvasz of Hungary, the Tatra of Poland, the Cuvac of Slovakia and the Šarplaninac (although not white), with all of which it may share a common ancestor; and the Akbash Dog of Turkey.
The Maremma Sheepdog has a solid, muscular build, a thick white coat, a large head and a black nose. According to the breed standard, males should weigh 35 to 45 kilograms (77 to 99 lb) and stand 65 to 73 centimetres (26 to 29 in) at the shoulder, while females weigh 30 to 40 kilograms (66 to 88 lb) and stand 60 to 68 centimetres (24 to 27 in). Some dogs may be considerably larger. The coat is long and thick; it is rough to the touch, and forms a thick collar around the neck. It should be solid white; some minor yellowing may be tolerated.
Some divide the breed into various subtypes, largely based on small differences in physical attributes and with subtype names based on village and provincial names where the dogs may be found, e.g. the Maremmano, the Marsicano, the Aquilano, the Pescocostanzo, the Maiella, and the Peligno. However, biologists dispute this division, as well as over reliance on minor physical differences, as the dogs were bred over the centuries for their behavioral characteristics as flock guardians.
Ancient history and iconography:
Descriptions of white sheep defense dogs are found in ancient Roman literature, in works such as those of Columella, Varro and Palladius. Similar dogs are depicted in numerous sculptures and paintings from Roman times to the present. Among the earliest is the series of large statues (two in Rome, one in Florence, one – the Duncombe Dog – in England) copied from a Hellenistic bronze from Pergamon. Iconographic sources that have been identified as relevant to the history of the Maremmano include:
A Hellenistic bas-relief, of which a drawing was published by Max von Stephanitz in 1901
A votive statuette in the Museo Archeologico of Capua
A 14th-century mediaeval fresco in the church of San Francesco in Amatrice, at the foot of the Monti Della Laga, in the comune of Rieti; the dog wears a roccale
A 14th-century fresco in Santa Maria Novella, in Florence
Sheepdog of the Abruzzes circa 1915
The first registration of the Maremmano in the Libro delle Origini Italiano of the Kennel Club Italiano, as it was then called, was of four dogs in 1898. There were no further registrations for many years. In 1940 there were 17 dogs registered. The first standard for the breed was drawn up in 1924 by Luigi Groppi and Giuseppe Solaro.
Until 1958 the Pastore Maremmano, or shepherd dog of the Maremma, and the Pastore Abruzzese, or shepherd dog of the Abruzzi, were regarded as separate breeds. A breeder's society for the Pastore Abruzzese was formed in 1950, and one for the Maremmano in 1953. On 1 January 1958 the breeds were unified by the ENCI, the Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiano, the national dog association of Italy. The explanation given is that a "natural fusion" of the two types had occurred as a result of movement of the dogs due to transhumance of sheep flocks from one region to another, particularly after the unification of Italy. Until 1860, the mountains of the Abruzzo and the plains of the Maremma lay in different countries.
As sheep farming developed into an annual trek or transhumance from mountain grasslands of Abruzzo and Molise (and other parts of central Italy) south to lower pasture land in Puglia where sheep were over-wintered, the dogs came to play a central role in the centuries-old migration, an annual event vital to Abruzzese culture. Maremmano dogs continue to be widely used by Italian sheep farmers in areas where predation is common, such as the Apennines of central Italy and the open range land of national parks in Abruzzo. Besides their wide use in Italy, Maremma Sheepdogs are extensively used as Livestock guardian dogs in Australia, the United States, and Canada.
The traditional use of the Maremmano dog is as a guardian for the protection of sheep flocks against wolves. Columella, writing in the first century AD, recommends white dogs for this purpose, as the shepherd can easily distinguish them from the wolf, while Varro suggests that white dogs have a "lion-like aspect" in the dark. The dogs work in groups; three or four dogs are an adequate defense against wolves and stray dogs. Their function is mostly one of dissuasion, actual physical combat with the predator being relatively rare. Nevertheless, working dogs may be fitted with a roccale (or vreccale), a spiked iron collar which protects the neck in combat. The ears of working dogs are normally cropped.
Maremma used as livestock guardian dogs are introduced to sheep flocks as puppies so they bond to the sheep. Some ranchers place Maremma puppies as young as 3–4 weeks old with young lambs though beginning this bonding process at 7–8 weeks is more typical. Although it is easiest to bond Maremma to sheep and goats, cattle ranchers have found that the dogs bond with cows and Maremma are increasingly used to protect range cattle. Some ranchers have found success training Maremmas to protect free-range fowl like chickens from predation from both ground threats such as coyotes, stray dogs and foxes as well as aerial threats such as raptors (hawks, eagles, owls, etc.).
In Warrnambool, Australia, the world's first trial utilized a Maremma to guard the dwindling little penguin population of Middle Island. This project won the 2010 Australian Government Coastcare Award. While using Maremma to guard an endangered species is rare, Maremma along with other breeds of livestock guarding dogs are appreciated by environmentalists because they make it possible for livestock to coexist with predators such as wolves and coyotes, reducing their predation by 70% to 80% or more. National park authorities in Italy, the United States and Canada have promoted use of the Maremma Sheepdog as well as other types of livestock guarding dogs to minimize conflict between endangered predator species and ranchers.
Well that is my personal top Molossers in no particular order. As you have no doubt noticed by now The Molosser is worldwide and everywhere we find it we see it has made a lasting impression, Please before you shout “you missed out the ***** you need to remember that there are literally hundreds of Molossers and I will in time include them all onto this posting for future curious people to see, what I find most amazing about this line of dog is how versatile it is, herding, protecting, hunting and guarding, Molossers have all these attributes and more.
I hope you enjoy this and learn a few new things from it because if you’re lucky enough to own one of these magnificent breeds then the more you know the better, these can be very hard animals to keep in an urban environment and experience/knowledge in large breed is defiantly something you must have.
2015 nale della Cinofilia Italiano, the national dog association of Italy. The explanation given is that a "natural fusion" of the two types had occurred as a result of movement of the dogs due to transhumance of sheep flocks from one region to another, particularly after the unification of Italy. Until 1860, the mountains of the Abruzzo and the plains of the Maremma lay in different countries.
As sheep farming developed into an annual trek or transhumance from mountain grasslands of Abruzzo and Molise (and o