Comment to 'What breed Russian Breed is Wynn discribing?'
  • This is an excerpt from "The Mastiff" by Wynn.

    Some years ago now I met with two Asiatic mastiffs that had been brought over from Russia, the one said to be a Siberian was of a dirty white colour, with long coarsish coat, somewhat long in head, but broad, blunt and sguare in muzzle, with very small ears, deep but somewhat narrow in body, standing probably some 31 or 32 inches at shoulder with great bone, but very deficient in muscular development compared to good specimens of the English variety. The other was a lower standing animal, being not more than 29 inches at shoulder, with rounder barrel, short stout limbs, and one of the most typically mastiff heads I have ever seen eyes remarkably small and grey in colour, the muzzle short blunt and very deep, lips extremely pendulous, ears very small, co::t short, very dense and somewhat woolly, colour a deep red chestnut, with blue or slate coloured points, and a white streak up the face, white on breast and paws, stern somewhat thick and brush-like, He had a split nostril, and the skin instead of being black, was bluish slate colour. That this was a true mastiff colour I was aware from having seen an English mastiff bitch of exactly the same colour and markings at Lord Stanley-s of Alderley in Cheshire.

    In temper the Russian -which I purchased- was sullen and ferocious to strangers when on chain, when loose however taking no notice of anyone but his master, and he was a most undemonstrative and uninteresting animal in disposition.

    On several occasions he growled ominously at me on very slight provocation, on one occasion growling at me I kicked him broadside into his kennel and clapped the door to just in time, as he rushed at it like a wild beast.

    On another occasion, losing my temper at his repeated snarling I seized him by the collar and beat him with my slipper until I was tired, this completely cowed him, he never showed any ill temper towards me personally afterwards and even grew to be somewhat affectionate, but no one else would he let approach him. He showed the utmost indifference to cold, preferring sleeping on the hard cold brick floor, to his wooden bench, either with or without bedding.

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