Comment to 'akbash, anatolian, kangal, boz kangal, malakli...'
  • You got it. Apart from your view that there were no breeds back then, pretty much ditto. My own view of the terrier family is that it goes back to small Eurasian spitz type herding/hunting dogs mongrelizing with various Celtic gamedogs and then being selected specifically for ground work in the Isles, making the resulting terrier family a proper British one. What those "Celtic" dogs were is a matter of belief and, with that said, I'm inclined to think that following their migration routes will illustrate the answer. As they moved along, they picked up various types, crossbred the living daylights out of 'em and kept only the hardiest mutts and kept on going. By the time they "settled", the Celts had a massive genepool of inbred specialized strains ready to hybridize with anything on four legs. Also, the Tibetan "mastiff's" baseline genealogy is rooted in the Chow, at its core the "aboriginal" TM is a chow/sheepdog hybrid. Chinese kept various types as thoroughbred, but the "mastiff" wasn't one of them, as it was a simple country dragon, based on "thoroughbred" spitz/hound/LGD chain dogs, remarkable only for its ferocity it manifests in crossed form. Once the Brits and Euros got a hold of the "Tibetan" thing, its historical importance exploded into the books. Distant Asia was too exotic and mysterious for details getting in the way. There's a whole caste thing going on there too, but that's too fractal for encyclopedias. The fact that very few historians understand the complexities involved with Asian history doesn't help in clearing matters up, in tandem with the plain old commercial benefits to the modern-day Asians maintaining the myths. But yeah, no doubt the Chinese from the time period covered in your example had gnarly dogs with no practical use to a "close quarters" society. Multitudes of tribes that arose and fell throughout Eurasia could lay claim to the various "Tibetan" and "Persian" dogs which were inherited by the next in line and the one after that and so on. Even if we were to assume that the dogs survived and were maintained by each new culture, they would evolve into either an improved or ruined version of themselves by the time the next empire was ready to take a swing at them. Just due to what work would be used to justify feeding them, meaning that depending on the culture and its liberties/restrains in regard to dog activities, the "breeds" would continue in name only. And we wouldn't even be talking about the same animals. The molossian thing you seem to have a good grasp of, so I don't have much to add, perhaps only to share that some of your recent realizations played a part in my own categorization of Molossers into the 3 groups some 2 decades ago. It might not be perfect and it obviously dismisses the FCI grouping methods altogether, but it provides a platform which, once understood, may be used to further clarify and categorize breeds, types and families, with better informed perspectives and independent reasoning. Mountain dogs can be divided into non-molossian and molossian-rooted ones, the 2nd category can be subchambered into post-Roman and post-British suites and the 3rd thing is what it says it is, mostly there to ridicule modern understanding of history and point out the silliness of "kennel club" mentality. On the Anatolian issue as it relates to the time period you're referring to, I wouldn't waste time on the Malakli/Kangal stuff or even Turkey, for that matter. That territory has had many tenants through history. Also, the Hyrcanian thing is perpetually misunderstood, but perhaps it's for the better. Language is tricky. The Persian element? Persian dogs were like Roman dogs in that they existed in specialized strains and as multipurpose mongrels, so it's generally unwise to picture a specific modern equivalent "breed" when using such vague labels, as you know. It was an empire which did the same thing the Romans did, including the canine side of things. As you've understood it yourself, this is just something empires did. Many civilizations were built on dogs in a way, I've always found it reassuringly fascinating as I tend to respect them as sensible. Freeballed estimate says that there are around 10 empires forgotten for every single one that is remembered. Some were tiny and some were vast, but they all matter to the past. Holy sweetleaf, that rhymed. What I'm trying to say, not that you're not realizing it yourself, is that inheritors of empires tended to oversimplify matters for political reasons, sometimes out of sheer ignorance and otherwise due to trends. That's how a conglomeration of tribes becomes a nation with a single, almost never fair enough common name and "their" culture gets classified as such 'n' such according to whatever currently valid criteria, simply depending on whose rule their descendants are made to suffer. Their culture also includes dogs, obviously. The point is - history is full of misrepresentations. While it's convenient to "box" things up, history is actually very fluid. But to avoid another tangent, I'll just say that, in my view, the Romans not only inherited dogs from various territories, but had also picked up their animal husbandry skills from all kinds of breed (yes, breed) fanatics and the ever-present "bandoggers" found throughout the empire. And we have to keep in mind that when we say Romans, we're talking about all kinds of people who had nothing in common with each other apart from being something called "Roman", and that the Roman empire wasn't the "Boot" only, with a ridiculous territory encompassing a bunch of differently-degreed native populations with pre-existing cultures and geographical circumstances shaping their way of life. So, Roman dogs weren't the same throughout the empire, many strains were completely unrelated to each other and there wasn't a unified Roman breed of dog, regardless of how bad would breeders of molosser breeds like that to had been the case. The whole Roman molosser hype started relatively recently, at the expense of both the historical honesty and, perhaps even more sadly, at the expense of the Alaunt family and understanding of its place in the Molosser story.
    0 0 0 0 0 0