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Ragusa Watchdog

An ancient Dalmatian Molosser, the Ragusa Watchdog is believed to be extinct, although some enthusiasts are convinced that the Tornjaks are the direct descendants of this breed. This is uncertain, but quite possible, seing how Bosnia and Herzegovina used to be a part of Dalmatia in the past. These large guard dogs were bred by the old Illyrians and the inhabitants of the Dubrovnik Republic, as well as by the Serbian Morlak people and are certainly related to the mountain breeds of Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Greece and Serbia. Through crossings with the Old Bosnian Greyhound, the Dubrovnik mastiffs were instrumental in the establishment of the Dalmatian Hound, which is sometimes mentioned as a possible ancestor of the English creation known as the Dalmatian. One of Ragusa Watchdog's descendants, known as the South-Istrian Herder, can still be found in limited numbers in some parts of Istria, located in present-day Croatia. There is little doubt that the Ragusa Dog is the REAL Dalmatian breed, unlike the modern spotted white dog bearing that name, which has no proven ties to the region, even though it is named after it. Certain over-zealous Dalmatian fanciers claim that this Dubrovnik Watchdog is in fact the same thing as the modern Dalmatian dog, which is highly unlikely. There isn't a lot of information on the Ragusa Watchdog, apart from it being a "long haired white colossal with black patches, a fierce guardian of homes and slayer of beasts", which doesn't even remotely describe a breed we know as the Dalmatian today.

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