Comment to 'akbash, anatolian, kangal, boz kangal, malakli...'
  • [quote] Consider it a quick-shot attempt at attesting an "independent" evolutionary path. This statue is located at the British Museum and depicts a Molossian Hound. The Hellenic era sculpture is dated back to the 2nd century BC. The point I was trying to make is that powerful dogs with a vicious attitude existed in this region for a long time, without the influence of modern mastiffs. Please note that this dog has a full mane, so it is safe to assume that the dog was sheared. Not terribly important though.[/QUOTE] I'm curious, does the statue have "molossian hound" carved on it anywhere (or the other-language equivalent)? Hound implies hunting dog, mollosian implies from the molossi people, who were known to have outstanding sheep dogs, but ordinary hounds. Doesn't look like "an ordinary hound". Indeed looks more like a molossian sheepdog. Conversely, "molossian hound" could be a name the romans coined for their own dogs, referencing their origins of hybridising molossian sheepdogs with their own hounds (or maybe even alaunts- which were "par force" hounds). This statue may not have molossian hound carved on it anywhere, but I'd still lean towards it either being a molossian sheepdog, or molossian sheepdog x alaunt like wolf said (or something basically to that effect). Maybe the molossian sheepdog itself was already a kuvasz/akbash/pyrenees/maremma type x alaunt type dog before the romans even encountered it? Maybe the shar is a "true lgd x alaunt type" dog at it's foundations, but from a crossing done a long time ago, and the hybridisation was made for functional reasons. While some of these modern monster LGDs are recently created using similar foundations, but not used for anything much, and bred instead for impressive conformation and maybe a bit of a willingness to fight and guard. Just thinking aloud. [quote]Oh, I won't argue with that. My argument relating to varying selective regimes sure wasn't meant to dismiss this view as incorrect. I only meant to explain why say LGDs in the Pyrenees are weaker in their "kick" than Shars for example. Nothing more. [/QUOTE] Fair enough, we can agree there. [QUOTE]I'd say it is both. In the mountains, working Shars are exceedingly formidable, because they basically come across as wild animals. Picture yourself being approached by a group of wolves (but without that skittish shyness of wolves) .... or perhaps lions, something like that, you get the idea. They seem unpredictable and every moment you feel like you're completely at their mercy. No tail wagging, just a serious stare. I've been there many times, somehow it never helped to focus on the thought that I sure must have seen bigger dogs in civilization. On the other hand, yes, Shars have (always) been used as war dogs and extensively as fighters, as they were the poor peasants' cavalry. So over time naturally something must have stuck, right? The result I think is a breed that can handle tremendous pressure and can dish out like you'd never expect from an "LGD". So Wolf's statement is absolutely correct, Shars have traditionally been used for much more than guarding sheep.[/QUOTE] And this could explain why maybe, way back 2000 + years ago, their ancestors were crossed out to alaunt type gripping dogs. While true pure LGDs only used to guard sheep stayed rather like the kuvasz/akbash/maremma type of dog, and today show no genetic suggestion of a relationship with mastiff/alaunt/gripping dog/bandog/bull/whatever types. [QUOTE]And regarding you mentioning their slightly "smaller" size, Shars are still big dogs, they just aren't very tall. And of course they didn't follow the more recent trend in large dog breeds, where even big apparently isn't big enough anymore. These days you better breed 160-200lbs behemoths to keep up with the Jones'es dog; who cares if they can still perform anything ... or even breathe for 20 minutes straight without getting exhausted. Shars are big dogs, but they are still capable of LGD-ing. And how many large "kick-ass" breeds today can say that with absolute confidence - and also prove it. [/QUOTE] If you knew me you'd know my noting that they aren't soo big is actually a compliment. A positive observation that bodes well for them if they're to "win me over" and convince me they're built to actually function and perform. Sources I've read suggest 55 kgs is the normal upper limit for real shars, and I often bandy that 55 kgs figure around as the max weight for a functional dogs (with rare, very tall exceptions). So for me their size being generally under 55 kgs means their "stories" check out at least in that department, unlike the 200 lbs behemoths.
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