Believed by some to be a direct descendant of the war dogs brought to India by Alexander the Great in 300 B.C., the Kumaon Mastiff's ancestry is more likely to be closely tied with the Sindh Mastiff than the Greek Molossers. The name Cypro Kukur translates to "Cyprus Dog", even though there is no proof of the breed originating in Cyprus.
The Kumaon Mastiff was the guardian of the ancient Indian Kumahon tribes and chances are that its origin has very little to do with the Macedonian conqueror, but the ever-popular legend persists. However, a remote possibility of a connection does exists, seeing how there is a very rare indigenous Molosser breed of light mastiff type still found on the island of Cyprus, known as Tambakoskylo, but this dog and its role in the ancestry of the Indian breed need more research.
The Kumaoni Mastiff is quite old as a breed, but isn't a very popular dog in India and is relatively unknown worldwide. Nonetheless, this very rare breed is reportedly more common in the West than its homeland, but the European breeders are yet to ensure its survival. Very aggressive and territorial, the Cypro Kukur makes a superb guard dog, but early socialization is crucial in order to make it suited for urban life. In appearance somewhat similar to the dogs of Sindh and to an extent reminiscent of old-type Great Danes, apart from having a slightly shorter muzzle, the Kumaoni Mastiff has a well-boned, muscular and fairly lean body, with a strong neck and a large, powerful head.
The short, soft coat is always brindle, ranging from light to dark shades, with or without white markings.
Average height is around 28 inches.