• 722

Alaunt or Molosser-The Alaunt: A type, not a breed

Hi Andreas,

This is a very nice article.  I take it that you remember our own article about the Alaunt which can be found at this link http://molosserdogs.com/m/articles/view/3065-alaunt

It is impossible to write without bias as the words we chose are done to convey our point and will always have bias.  Knowing that I understand that you have tried to be objective in your post and your photo and it is a very good piece of work.  Anyway, please read the link here and let us know what you think. I believe that between your post and our profile we may be closer to the romantic history and truth about this extinct breed.

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Replies (31)
    • The Alaunt and its different, but related types

      I have created this graphic and built-in two maps, one of the Alans and one of the Celts, including their origin & migration, to give a well thought out & unbiased view concerning "the Alaunt", speaking about both "mastiff-types".

      http://s1.bild.me/bilder/260513/2158424alaunt-dog-types.jpg

      This thread is dedicated to the mastiff-type Alaunts and I mean both types the big Shepherds´ Mastiffs & the Butchers´ Mastiffs.

      "In 1886, the editor of 'Stock Keeper' Dr Frank, wrote an article comparing French and English Mastiffs as well as French and English Bulldogs. This article had a study on the Dogue de Bordeaux to the English Mastiff; saying how the former had kept more of the temperament and courage of the ancient celtic molosser. This was the first mention of the DDB written in the UK. Six years later, at the 'Exposition des Tuileries' in Paris (1892), a judge from the 'Stock Keeper' saw Sultane win the prix d'Honneur. She was viewed as the ideal DDB. That same year, a reproduction of the photo of Sultane at the Tuileries appeared in the 22 July issue of the Stock Keeper. Accompanying it was a detailed description and praise for the work of Mr Charles Eisler."

      here first of all a few valuable crossposts & opinions to show a wide view, instead of being narrow-minded.
      Heather wrote

      My first red flag that this author isn't as knowledgable as he would others believe is that he puts Celtic and Molosser together to describe one dog. Is he describing the Celtic dog or the Molosser? These are two different dogs, one of the celts and the other of Molossia, a Greek dog. Same when people say "Aryan Molosser". Of which do you speak? Many many people have erroneously linked the term Molosser with Mastiff or any large dog. Being a large dog does not make it a mastiff nor does it make it a Molosser. A Molosser is a mastiff from Epirus, (Molossia), a small region in the north of Greece. Molosser describes the dog of THAT place, not the worlds mastiff breeds.



      i agree, this also came to my mind at once. celtic molosser wakes no sense. celtic dogge or celtic mastiff i would have said, maybe i would have even prefered "dogge" due to the liguistical relation between dogge and the celtic word "togge".
      well we now that people (who ever started this fashion) call any bigger dog "molosser".
      the example with aryan molossus is the same. kohrasani fighting dog would make more sense.

      however what he wanted to say is clear to me. he wanted to say that the dogue de bordeaux (and i am sure that it had been true at the time he was saying it) was a tougher working dog and braver than the english mastiff on average and for sure also best vs best.

      Heather wrote

      ....Well, the Celtic dogs were said to have dropped horses in war by taking them by the nose, the same way a baiting bulldog was supposed to do to even be considered a "real" bulldog. JDJ stuck to this belief and claimed that everyone of his dogs took by the nose the way a bulldog should. It is said of the Alaunts that they took by the ear, the same way our OWE do. BUT. Look at the Irish Wolfhound phenotype. It is more Alaunt in phenotype than the baiting bulldog, the round headed, short-faced, short backed, short legged, small eared dog synonymous with the baiting ring.
      I don't really think that the Celtic dog of the British isles played much, if any, role in the development of the Spanish or French mastiffs. The Alaunt had long been in Spain and France before it ever reached England and well before any British dog could've had any influence on the dogs of those two countries. However in England it's likely that the Celtic dog there was crossed with the alaunts of the Alan´s, French and Spanish.

      well i agree, but it leads me to another conclusion, namely to the possibility that celtic dogs played a bigger part in the development of the baiting bulldogs of france and spain, however not the ones of the british isles, but the ones that have "always" been there or let´s say that have been there since the celts used dogs to hunt large game.
      you have said that the alaunt had long been in spain and france before it ever reached england and before any british dog could have had any influence on the dogs of those two countries.


      however with celtic dogs it is the same. the celts used to be on the continental europe, before they reached britain.
      so i guess many of the "european alaunts" or dogs that are called alaunts are no "pure" alaunts at all, or alaunts in the true sense, but crossbred dogs between dogs the alaunts had and brought to europe & celtic "bärenbeisser" types that always existed in europe to hunt large & dangerous game. with that said it isn´t bad at all that they are no "pure" dogs of the alans, as i hold old european dogs in high regard.
      i also would not say, that catch-dogs are no fighting dogs, as the apbt is based on catch-dogs, with a splash of terrier for the kill-drive. however dogs like kangals & tobets for example also use holding skills when they are used to catch big game, so it simply is an adaption to the task a dog fulfills and they are all mastiff-type dogs that were used for hunting & flock guarding in asia as well as in europe. however celtic dogs were first of all dogs used for hunting large game.

      now last, but not least i also add wikipedia to my well thought-out post. my opinion, wich is based on unbiased facts, you can find in short words on my graphic. i disagree with wikipedia in stuff like saying "Butchers´ Mastiff aka Shepherds´Mastiff" as both types are related for sure, but still are not the same dog, so the "aka" in the statement makes no sense.
      however the combination of a large, powerful "shepherds´ mastiff" aka flock guardian /LGD & a determined "butchers´mastiff", is by many knowledgable people considered as ultimate fighter and perfect combination of raw power and determination.
      however, beside that wikipedia contains good information.


      ok, here the wikipedia article:
      "The Alaunt is an extinct breed of dog, its original breed having existed in central Asia and Europe from ancient times through the 17th century. A number of modern dog breeds are believed to directly descended from the Alaunt. The original Alaunt is thought to have resembled a Caucasian Shepherd Dog. They were large, short coated dogs of varying type. The Alaunt was bred by the Alani tribes, the nomads of Indo-European Sarmatian ancestry who spoke an Indo-Iranian language. The Alans were known as superb warriors, herdsmen, and breeders of horses and dogs. The Alans bred their dogs for work and had developed different strains within the breed for specific duties.

      As far as is known, the Alaunt's primary ancestors are working dogs such as the Armenian Gampr dog, the Sarmatian Mastiff from the Caucasus and the Alabai from Central Asia, but also the shorthaired hounds of South Asia, Persia, and Europe. However, the Ayran Flock Guardian or Sage Koochi steppe type that descends from the steppes of Asia, brought by the steppe nomads, used to domesticate the horse, control and defend large livestock far predates these breeds in working type, giving evidence of the genetic template of the Alaunt. The steppe nomads, including the Kurgan culture, introduced the use of the horse and chariot, as well as the Mastiff/Alaunt dogs of war.
      In the 370s AD, Hun invasions divided the Alani into the Eastern and Western Alans. The Eastern Alani tribes merged with the Ossetians and other nations, introducing their dogs into the bloodlines of many Balkan breeds, such as the Shar Mountain Dog, Metchkar, Qen Ghedje, Hellenikos Poimenikos and other Molossers of the region. Some believe that the white-coloured Alaunts were the direct ancestors of Balkan breeds, which in turn influenced all other white dogs in the Balkans. The Western Alans joined the Vandals on their raids through Europe and by the 410s AD, their fierce dogs were influencing many breeds in France, Spain, Portugal, England and other countries, spreading the use of the "alaunt" name, which became synonymous with a type of a working dog, rather than a specific breed. Through breeding with various scenthounds and sighthounds, some alaunts became valued large game hunting dogs, existing in a variety of types, dictated by regional preferences. In 1500 AD, Spain was known for breeding the best Alaunts and used them to conquer the New World.

      In France, Alaunts were separated into three main categories, based on physical appearance and the duties they performed. The lightest type was the Alaunt Gentil, a greyhound-like dog, which eventually became assimilated into the local hunting breeds with the Alaunt Veantre. The original mastiff variety, known as the Alaunt de Boucherie, was crucial in the development of the fighting and baiting dogs of France. The Alaunt de Boucherie in France was known as the Alaunt Butchers in England and the Alano in Spain and Italy and were termed the original Bulldogs as they were used to control and defend herds of cattle. In Spain, the three categories were the Mastins, Alanos, and Lebrels further separated as the ayuda (defense types) and the presa (offense types) known as the Presa, Fila, and Cuban Bloodhound.
      The long, broad, flat head of the Alaunt should never be confused with the modified brachycephalic breeds. The brachycephalic head type is wide in base, but short in length.. While the preferred bite is reverse scissor, like the Mastiff and may have been a trait introduced by the Mongolian breeds at some remote time in history, skull type and bite type are separate subjects of genetic traits. The dolichocephalic skull is narrow at base yet long in length, so the Alaunt could be referred to as a modified dolichocephalic breed, as mesocephalic is a balance of base to length. Moreover, the Alaunt or Mastiff must be separated from the Molossoides in head study, as this term does not separate the Mastiff from the Mountain Dogs or even the Pug.


      The original type Alaunt was a Butchers Dog aka Shepherd Dog of nomadic pastoralists of cattle that fought in battle from the grasslands north and west of the Caucasus. A number of Alans are still accounted for and are known today as the Ossetians. There is no plausible reason for the Alans/Ossetians to have stopped breeding the Alaunt, though the breed may be known today by other names. For example, in the area of Georgia of the Caucasus a Shepherd dog known as the White Kazbegi still assists cattle on cattle drives. In any case, the original Alaunt/Alano type is still found working in the obscurity of function as LGDs of cattle and farms including Spain's New World.
      North of the Caucasus was a country known as Caucasian Iberia, as was Spain before the Celts arrived to form the Celtiberians. Iberians describe the people of both Caucasian Iberia, as well as those of the Iberian Peninsula When the Western Alans arrived in France and Spain in 406 AD, they were perhaps either returning to an early outpost or simply returning home. Theories are supported by archaeological, anthropological and genetic evidence that the Iberians of Spain have origins in Caucasian Iberia. Interestingly, this theory has been around since at least 1050 AD and was a popular belief of Medieval Georgian Nobles, who referred to the Spanish or Western Iberians, as "Georgians of the West".


      The Alans, like their relatives, the Sarmatians, Scythians, and Thracians were the warring nomadic pastoralists of the grasslands north and west of the Caucasus, that introduced the Mastiff proto-type that eventually became known as the Alaunt."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaunt

      http://alaunt.forenworld.at/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=28

      The graphic is attached below "Alaunt-dogs.jpg"

      kind regards

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      • Hi Andreas,

        This is a very nice article.  I take it that you remember our own article about the Alaunt which can be found at this link http://molosserdogs.com/m/articles/view/3065-alaunt

        It is impossible to write without bias as the words we chose are done to convey our point and will always have bias.  Knowing that I understand that you have tried to be objective in your post and your photo and it is a very good piece of work.  Anyway, please read the link here and let us know what you think. I believe that between your post and our profile we may be closer to the romantic history and truth about this extinct breed.

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        •   are you back ?

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          • Is this sunny AK?

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            • Yes! It is Andreas, SunnyAK.

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                Yes! It is Andreas, SunnyAK.

                Yes, it´s me and thank you for your invitation and nice welcome! I will now use bold letters for my own words & thoughts and normal letters or cursive script for quoted parts. So the bold letters don´t mean I consider my own words as more important, It is just to make it easier. I still don´t know how to quote correctly here, it works differently than on other boards.

                I think both terms Molosser and Alaunt are overused. With that said and this is no criticism concerning the name of you board Gary! It is the same with my board. It´s name is “alaunt.forenworld.at” but still not all breeds we discuss are Alaunt types. However I would disagree about the first statement made in the profile here “The legendary Alaunt is one of the most important Molosser breeds” because concerning its origin the Alaunt is neither a Molosser, nor is “the Alaunt” a breed, but a type.

                Let´s have a look at LGDs. Not all LGDs are Molossers! Some for sure are Molossers, while others for sure are Alaunts. 

                I go by origin when I use the word Molosser or Alaunt, however there are for sure crosses between all kinds of dogs. Today every bigger dog is called a Molosser and this I consider to be nonsense. No matter if Dobermann or Tosa Inu etc. they are all incorrectly called Molossers. Then there are authors like Hancock who have tried to be more precise, but in my opinion contradict themselves:

                Just have a look here:

                http://alaunt.forenworld.at/viewtopic.php?f=9&p=288&sid=052998951aae4129360d8b38b920fb34#p288

                Hancock for example makes a lot of strange & wrong conclusions, after first stating some correct things, He seems to be focused on continuing the Victorian era stuff.

                Here his words..... 
                Hanthingy about Mastiffs:
                "They were the seizing dogs, the big game hunters; guarding sheep was not their forte, eating them was much more their style! As Betteloni wrote in 1800: '...mastiffs from Tartary, molossians from Epirus, hounds from Flanders..."

                He simply shall look where Tartary was located (the whole area) and what kind of Mastiffs the nomadic people who lived there used. They had Shepherds´ Mastiffs that protected their flocks! So how can he on one side correctly state "Mastiffs from Tartary" and then incorrectly state "guarding sheep was not their forte, eating them was much more their style." while they used them to guard their flocks?

                "Tartary (Latin: Tartaria) or Great Tartary (Latin: Tartaria Magna) was a name used by Europeans from the Middle Ages until the twentieth century to designate the Great Steppe, that is the great tract of northern and central Asia stretching from the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean inhabited mostly by Turkic, Mongol peoples and also by some Cossacks of Russian origin, citizens of the Mongol Empire who were generically referred to as "Tartars", i.e. Tatars. It incorporated the current areas of Pontic-Caspian steppe, Volga-Urals, Caucasus, Siberia, Turkestan, Mongolia, and Manchuria."

                He also states that catch dogs are no Molossers, but somewhere else calls the Great Dane a Molosser. Again strange! The Great Dane/Deutsche Dogge was used to catch wild boars, so it was the typical catch dog by function. Maybe a bit more "killing orientated" than some catch dogs with less hound blood, but still a catch dog. 

                From the Molosserdogs profile:

                "In reality, the original Alaunt looked much more like a Central Asian Ovcharka or the Armenian Gampr than the Alano Espanol or the Great Dane. A number of modern breeds are considered to be either the same thing or the direct descendants of the Alan Dogge, but in order to understand the true origin of this great dog, we need to trace it back to the its Caucasian and Central Asian roots and the people responsible for its creation and introduction to the western world."

                Here I absolutely agree with your profile and it can be said it is a documented fact, as the Alani settled in Caucasus and came from the area that now is know as Iran. You can find one type of dog everywhere the Alani tribes settled and later in Europe they were crossbred with other types at most places. With that said I also totally agree that the Alano is much less and Alaunt than for example a North Caucasian Volkodav or Tushetian Nagazi aka Georgian Mountain Dog is an Alaunt. The Alano Espanol obviously was bred with dogs of “Beisser type”, very similar in type and function to the original German Boxer!

                Here some “pure” original alaunt-types:

                Watch this puppy of typical alaunt-type. A bit like a pit bull terrier only 4 times larger in size when fully grown. I like him a lot! Especially the edged and blocky head.

                Original alaunt-types that are still around:

                And here an alaunt-type Flock Guardian (aka Shepherd´s Mastiff) from Caucasus

                But also in Europe dogs of the ancient Alaunt type, we could call them true Alaunt breeds remained. Dogs like the Cão de Gado Transmontano aka Portuguese Mastiff also has a very similar phenotype, while originally being used as both, big game hunter and flock guardian.

                About the other Alaunt types, the sighthound types etc. I will write next time, however I agree there anyway with what the breed profile says. The BK I consider to be an Alaunt Veantre in type, influenced by Sighthounds, Bull&Terr crosses and ancient LGD-types, but in type more leaning towards a big game hunter.

                P.S. I would say the more Celtic influence, the more the dogs were used for hunting & catching compared to pure Alaunts, that´s why I consider the Alano Espanol more to be a butcher/catch dog type, than a real Alaunt type.

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                • P.P.S.

                  The pictures don´t seem to work with the usual img-code here. Sorry for that!

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                    The pictures don´t seem to work with the usual img-code here. Sorry for that!

                     I fixed them.. another nice post.

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                    • Thanks!

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                      • On the map at the top with a rectangle is marked region of origin.

                        Untitled555.jpg

                        During which century or a period of time approximately did this origination/establishment happen?

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                        •  

                          On the map at the top with a rectangle is marked region of origin.

                          Untitled555.jpg

                          During which century or a period of time approximately did this origination/establishment happen?

                           http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=7527819alani.png

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                            Here I absolutely agree with your profile

                             It is good to know that we do get it right sometime.  Thank you.

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                            • So this is your new angle Andreas? Alaunt is your buzzword for the month?

                              You know, we've had our problems (big problems), but I have missed you. I've always maintained you make dog forums better, way better. I haven't been posting on any dog forum regularly for a long time, because they're just boring without you. Lol. 

                              I would say the two types of dogs being discussed here, the divergence, is really quite simple. 
                              One coincides with the domestication of sheep and goats, and one the domestication of cattle and swine. These respective domestication processes naturally resulted in different evolutionary directions for the dogs which were pivotal players front and centre in said domestication processes.

                              You see a heavier boned more stationary watchful guardian has evolved alongside sheep and goats (since they primarily require protection), and a lighter more agile gripping dog has evolved alongside cattle and swine (since they primarily require control). 

                              It needs to be understood that man didn't domesicate things like some all knowing genius, in all cases it kind of just happened, gradually. The domestication of dogs in the first place wasn't from man taking wolf pups from a den and raising them as his own (a ludicrous concept), it was from wolves lingering and scavenging around human settlements and gradually evolving to be more tolerated and thus more successful scavengers. This is how the dog was "domesticated". It's really an animal which evolved to suit an available niche. The humans involved were mindlessly present, even victimised, rather than all knowing and in control of the whole thing. 

                              As dogs got closer to humans, more and more dog behaviour rubbed off on human culture. It was in fact dogs which domesticated herd animals for people, and this happened because it's naturally what wolves do. Humans naturally just go out and look for prey animals to hunt, but wolves manage a territory full of prey animals, and they know every animal that lives in it. They watch them and follow up on them and analyse their scents and learn their patterns and etc, and basically they are ranchers with a ranch full of herd animals that they farm and manage carefully, harvesting the odd one when the time is right. Dogs taught us to farm animals, they've been doing it for millions of years, we started 9000 years ago, after partnering with dogs, coincidence?  

                              We took some convincing too. At first dogs were tolerated at human settlements grudgingly. They were pesky vermin hanging around, getting kicked and punched and cursed and told to get lost. But they persisted, slowly showing their worth, at first with truly the lowest of all lowly jobs - eating feces. Yes that is how dogs started to first impress humans. This can be seen today in stone age man/dog relationships like that seen in tribal papua new guinea. What you see in papua new guinea is basically a window into the past, around 30 000 years into the past, in every way, but including the man/dog relationship. You can see it's beginnings in this primitive culture.

                              They would eat their waste, and their garbage, which was handy, and they also killed or chased off rodents and snakes and etc etc. They started to learn to alert humans to intruders, invading tribes and predators, and finally started to be tolerated to come along on hunts. They would have been disruptive to the natural hunting techniques of humans at first, but gradually humans would, over time, recognise the value in their strengths, like their sense of smell, their speed, etc. 

                              It took time for dogs to convince humans to see them as hunting partners, rather than freeloaders tagging along, but once they gained that trust they slowly started transforming the way man hunted game. Man would start following his dogs out to herds which the dogs knew were there, and the dogs would pick off weak individuals and harrass them (just like wolves) until the men caught up. Man started getting more in tune with and knowledgeable about the animals in his domain, and dogs started learning how to use man to their benefit as well. Wolves herd naturally, which many people don't know, they'll run herds and separate herds and drive individuals where they want them to go. Dogs soon learned to herd more flighty animals back towards humans to be killed, which wolves had always done with their own packs. 

                              Herds of animals started going from wild to semi-wild. They're wild and free, according to them, but according to the man/dog alliance, they belong to them. 

                              The herd animals started to unknowingly evolve to fit this new arrangement. 

                              Later certain human cultures would focus more on either sheep and/or goats or cattle and/or swine, and when they did this their dogs started to change in accordance with whatever kind of management these different animals naturally called for. 

                              With LGDs we see the dog's response to the evolution of sheep and goats, today some LGDs might work with cattle, and in the past (and in primitive cultures) proto-lgds worked/work with cattle and herded/herd them around, but really LGDs are adapted for managing goat and sheep. It became beneficial for them to stop "hunting" the goats and sheep, and instead put them at ease by being slow and calm, wandering amongst them as a protector. Alternatively, far away a different approach to sheep was taken up by the herders and collies, controlling them and running them around. Different ways to deal with these animals but both worked. 

                              Meanwhile dogs were evolving along side the development of cattle and pigs as well. This stayed more like hunting for a much longer time, and still is hunting in some parts of the world with wild or semi wild cattle and pigs hunted by man and dogs in the traditional pre-domestication way. This other family of dogs is related to lgds but on a deviated path. Some might even guard livestock to a degree but this holds much less importance as their herds can guard themselves pretty well, instead their primary function is controlling and subduing these unruly beasts to make them reasonable for humans to interact with.

                              Very different roles, pushed the "mastiff" "molosser" "alaunt" or whatever you want to call it in these 2 deviated directions.  


                              As a result now the most extreme specialised LGDs are practically useless as hunting dogs, and the most extreme specialised gripping dogs are practically useless as guard dogs, but more primitive varieties of each are still somewhat well rounded to varying degrees. 

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                              • Awesome voice of reason - Thanks for the post.

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                                  On the map at the top with a rectangle is marked region of origin.

                                  Untitled555.jpg

                                  During which century or a period of time approximately did this origination/establishment happen?

                                   http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=7527819alani.png

                                   YesI know this page :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alans but Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information because anyone can change articles as it suits him.I was hoping for another source...

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                                    So this is your new angle Andreas? Alaunt is your buzzword for the month?

                                    You know, we've had our problems (big problems), but I have missed you. I've always maintained you make dog forums better, way better. I haven't been posting on any dog forum regularly for a long time, because they're just boring without you. Lol. 

                                    Hi Gun (Tonedog),

                                    ahhh no, for me the part with "big problems" isn´t true. I think people can have big problems from time to time in real life, but me personally I cannot have big problems in internet-debates. In the end you agree or disagree, or maybe it´s inbetween both, but that´s no big deal at all. Yeah, I think I bring interesting discussion to boards and I am in general not interested in the shallow stuff that is discussed by many people. Stuff like who has the meanest fighting dog etc. It attracts mostly clueless people and such discussions are based on two things in most cases, namely nationalism & low education. Alaunt isn´t my "buzzword for the month", the dogs of "ancient alaunt type" (I am always a bit cautious with the word "ancient") always interested me and I also don´t have a new angle. This was always my point of view, it just wasn´t discussed on the old boards we have met, or in general on other boards.

                                    I mostly agree with your text and the different development of both "branches", or groups of dogs. I guess this can already be seen in my first post here and to a smaller degree in my graphic too. (A graphic is always limited as you have much less words you can use.) I only question if the gripping dogs should be called Alaunts, or to be more precise, I would not call them Alaunts at all. To be honest, such dogs have existed in Europe before the Alans migrated to all the different places in Europe. I would say the group of "gripping dogs" in Europe were basically the Beissers and like I have mentioned, they have been around before the Alans went to all these places. Just take a look at the German Boxer. It isn´t an Alaunt-type at all. It goes back to old "Beisser-types" (Bärenbeisser etc.) and such dogs were brave hunters and for sure later also were modified or specialized to herd unruly cattle such as bulls. I consider the Alano Espanol to be basically a Boxer with a better muzzle. (In all - phenotype, function and historico-genetic.) So even though the Alano Espanol has the "Alano" in its name, I don´t consider it to be an Alaunt, but a Beisser in type. By the way I like a lot of Beissers too, but actually the ones that are smaller (Boxer size) and more leaning towards hunting. A sportive Boxer (swift & agile), apart from its muzzle, is more my type than a Bullmastiff.

                                    Regards

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                                    • It's a genetic fact that "beissers" are closely related to other mastiffs, which includes everything you could hope to say is an alaunt. Beissers are just highly specialised purely for gripping and subduing large game, while other types of matiffs from the "cattle and swine" side are less specialised. Believe it or not terriers are also closely related to this lineage. But bulldogs or beissers especially could accurately be described as a specialised variety of mastiff, this is what the genes show. English mastiffs, neo mastiffs, fila brasileiros, presa canarios, etc etc are all quite closely related to boxers and ambulls and pitbulls and cane corsos. Meanwhile ovcharkas and gampyrs and the like are somewhat closely related to the above breeds, but less so than they are to eachother. Indicating the "cattle and swine" lineage split off from the "shepherd's mastiff" lineage some time ago, and has since split into more specialised varieties like beissers/bullbreeds, but also retained some less specialised varieties (typically heavier and better guardians but less elite at gripping and subjugation).

                                      BTW my understanding of the alaunt is there were 3 types -

                                      alaunt boucherie - "Beisser" or bulldog type, eg- alano, ambull

                                      Alaunt Gentil - Running mastiff type (infused with sighthound), eg - great dane, bull arab

                                      Alaunt Veantre - Heavy boned hanger - eg- presa, fila

                                      Basically all big game hunting dogs with different degrees of specialisation in different departments. None of them shepherd's mastiffs or lgds. 

                                      These were the "alaunts" of medieval europe, a different thing to the dogs of the alani people. Which you're right probably were most like a primitive proto LGD type or big shepherd's mastiff. And indeed this type was at least in part ancestral to all of the above types. But alaunts were a more recent thing. The alani people didn't call their dogs "alaunts", I'd wager they called them whatever the alani word for "dog" was. The spanish and to a lesser extent the british and french called their big game hunting dogs alaunts around 14-1600 AD. Apparently as a homage to some notorious dogs from the alani people, but only incidentally partly descended from them and by then very different in form and function. 


                                      This is my take anyway. 

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                                        BTW my understanding of the alaunt is there were 3 types -

                                        alaunt boucherie - "Beisser" or bulldog type, eg- alano, ambull

                                        Alaunt Gentil - Running mastiff type (infused with sighthound), eg - great dane, bull arab

                                        Alaunt Veantre - Heavy boned hanger - eg- presa, fila

                                        I know this classification done by a French gentleman. However i guess people called dogs Alaunts, even before he made this classification and I guess some others still didn´t call dogs Alaunts after his classification. Some called them Le Mastin, Dogue, etc and didn´t use the "Alaunt name" at all. However coming back to the examples of dogs you have mentioned for the classification the French man made. In my opinion here you mixed up some things and got it wrong. You mentioned the Presa Canario as an example for the Alaunt Veantre and the Ambull as an example for the Alaunt Boucherie. I don´t consider them at all to be different types and would put both into the same category. I don´t consider the Presa Canario to be an Alaunt Veantre like you do, I consider it to be a Butchers´ Mastiff in type, later culled for fighting. With that said I would put both, the Presa and the original Ambull into the category of the Alaunt Boucherie. You classify the Presa Canario as an Alaunt Veantre so where do you see the sighthound in this breed? Cotgrave defines the "Veantre" as a mongrell between a Hound and a Mastiff. I don´t see the Hound in the Presa Canario, while for example enough Bully Kuttas almost scream "Hound" looking at them, similar to German Mastiffs aka Great Danes. So your comment (infused with sighthound) beside the Alaunt Gentil, should better stand beside the Alaunt Veantre. As the Alaunt Gentil was basically a Sighthound infused with some other types to make them tougher, but still primarily a sighthound!

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                                        •  

                                          But alaunts were a more recent thing. The alani people didn't call their dogs "alaunts", I'd wager they called them whatever the alani word for "dog" was. The spanish and to a lesser extent the british and french called their big game hunting dogs alaunts around 14-1600 AD. Apparently as a homage to some notorious dogs from the alani people, but only incidentally partly descended from them and by then very different in form and function. 

                                          By the way I guess most Spanish people didn´t call their dogs Alaunts either. The dogs "we" know call Alaunt Gentil, due to the French guy who classified certain types, they just called Lebrels, Mastiffs used to guard & defend livestock against wild predators they called Mastins, similar to the English word Mastiff and the name Dogo is used for what the French called Dogue and the Germans called Dogge. The word "Alano" probably doesn´t even come from the word Alaunt and isn´t named after the Alani, at least this is what most linguists say. So i guess we have to be careful with the thought that a word, just because it starts with "Al" is named after the Alani tribes. 

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                                          • Hound doesn't have to mean sighthound, in fact usually it more often refers to scenthound, which is present in dogs like filas and cuban bloodhounds and presas (although less evident in the presas phenotype, it is there). Great danes I think have both sighthound and scenthound. 

                                            That said scenthound is no doubt present in a lot of ambulls as well, when I said ambulls I was thinking of compact real bulldogs, which most ambulls today aren't, and indeed are more veantre in nature. I think the line between veantre and boucheries is pretty blurred because I think essentially both are catch dogs. In fact I think all 3 are essentially catch dogs with slight variation in their area of expertise and there is blurring between all 3 of them. Hence them all being under an alaunt umbrella.

                                            Gentil is a fast running catch dog

                                            Boucheries a compact agile catch dog

                                            Veantre a heavy hanging catch dog

                                            3 functions and types which persist to this day in any mongrel boardog population. 

                                            To me both the bully kutta and modern great dane blur the line between veantre and gentil, the ambull and presa blur the line between boucheries and veantre, a bull arab or bull grey blurs the line between boucheries and gentil, etc etc. The 3 types are kind of points on a spectrum where the members of the gripping dog family land somewhere within, being real animals not bred in such a black and white way to be clearly one or the other. 

                                            Gentil, veantre and Boucheries shouldn't be seen as distinct breeds, but descriptions of roles and functions and the general type that aligns with them. 

                                            Anyway, the bigger point I think, is that all of the above are "hounds", as in hunting dogs, and specifically dogs used to catch quarry. "Alaunt" in medieval europe was used to describe the variety of catch dogs. 

                                            The confusion I think is that they are called alaunts and supposed to be based on the alani dogs, when the alani dogs were more than that. Primitive all purpose dogs developed by a tribal people to guard them and their flocks and perhaps hunt as well. 

                                            Alaunts were something else from a different era, it's just a name given to mongrel catch dogs in medieval europe. 

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                                            •  

                                               

                                              But alaunts were a more recent thing. The alani people didn't call their dogs "alaunts", I'd wager they called them whatever the alani word for "dog" was. The spanish and to a lesser extent the british and french called their big game hunting dogs alaunts around 14-1600 AD. Apparently as a homage to some notorious dogs from the alani people, but only incidentally partly descended from them and by then very different in form and function. 

                                              By the way I guess most Spanish people didn´t call their dogs Alaunts either. The dogs "we" know call Alaunt Gentil, due to the French guy who classified certain types, they just called Lebrels, Mastiffs used to guard & defend livestock against wild predators they called Mastins, similar to the English word Mastiff and the name Dogo is used for what the French called Dogue and the Germans called Dogge. The word "Alano" probably doesn´t even come from the word Alaunt and isn´t named after the Alani, at least this is what most linguists say. So i guess we have to be careful with the thought that a word, just because it starts with "Al" is named after the Alani tribes. 

                                               Yes alaunt wasn't that widespread or popular of a term, the "alaunts" had many other names in many different regions. I'm not that attached to the word at all but it's what you seem to be using at the moment so I'm working with it. My point is simply that the dogs which were famously called alaunts by the odd person (and alaunt gentils and alaunt veantres and etc) weren't alani dogs, but medieval hunting dogs used at the final stage of a hunt. 

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                                              •  

                                                 

                                                 

                                                But alaunts were a more recent thing. The alani people didn't call their dogs "alaunts", I'd wager they called them whatever the alani word for "dog" was. The spanish and to a lesser extent the british and french called their big game hunting dogs alaunts around 14-1600 AD. Apparently as a homage to some notorious dogs from the alani people, but only incidentally partly descended from them and by then very different in form and function. 

                                                By the way I guess most Spanish people didn´t call their dogs Alaunts either. The dogs "we" know call Alaunt Gentil, due to the French guy who classified certain types, they just called Lebrels, Mastiffs used to guard & defend livestock against wild predators they called Mastins, similar to the English word Mastiff and the name Dogo is used for what the French called Dogue and the Germans called Dogge. The word "Alano" probably doesn´t even come from the word Alaunt and isn´t named after the Alani, at least this is what most linguists say. So i guess we have to be careful with the thought that a word, just because it starts with "Al" is named after the Alani tribes. 

                                                 Yes alaunt wasn't that widespread or popular of a term, the "alaunts" had many other names in many different regions. I'm not that attached to the word at all but it's what you seem to be using at the moment so I'm working with it. My point is simply that the dogs which were famously called alaunts by the odd person (and alaunt gentils and alaunt veantres and etc) weren't alani dogs, but medieval hunting dogs used at the final stage of a hunt. 

                                                Yeah, I agree here. The "Alaunt name" in Shepherds´ Mastiffs, just to clarify that, is used for a certain type of Shepherds´ Mastiff/Volkodav/Flock Guardian, no matter which name you use of the three (they are all the same type of dog). It is a type of LGD you find in some parts of Europe and in Central Asia. (The Caucasus also belongs to Europe, what most people don´t know.) These Volkodavs (Shepherds´ Mastiffs) differ quite a lot in type from LGD types like they for example have in East Asia. They are also closer realted to other European dogs. Way closer than the Tibetan Mastiff is realted to any Europen dog, if the TM is related to them at all!

                                                You will probably see it yourself:

                                                European LGD: http://s-www.lejsl.com/images/BD219CE4-C50D-4626-8C02-20D62163FA1B/JSL_06/francis-un-eleveur-fier-de-la-race-qu-il-privilegie-photo-j-v-(clp).jpg

                                                So the "Alaunt name" in Volkodav types, just means that the dog goes back to the original Alaunt type, the dogs the Alani used to guard them & their cattle against wild predators. (Nothing wrong to use this name for these dogs, it even makes more sense than calling every Beisser an Alaunt. So Alaunt for me doesn´t mean "better" or "cooler" or what ever,) Probably the Alani used their "Alaunts" as all purpose dogs too, but their main function was to defend and protect against wild animals. 

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                                                • I have posted my thoughts and research here as well http://alaunts.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/alaunt/ and I guess the next Alaunt type I will post about is the "Alaunt Gentil". In shape I consider the game bred apbt to be the closest canine to the Alaunt Gentil of the middle ages.

                                                  "And the good alauntes be those which men call alauntes gentle. Others there be that men call alauntes veutreres, others be alauntes of the butcheries. They that be gentle should be made and shaped as a greyhound, even of all things save of the head, the which should be great and short.
                                                  For the good alaunte should run as fast as a greyhound, and any beast that he can catch he should hold with his seizers and not leave it. For an alaunte of his nature holds faster of his biting than can three greyhounds the best any man can find. And therefore it is the best hound to hold and to nyme (seize) all manner of beasts and hold them fast. And when he is well conditioned and perfect, men hold that he is good among all other hounds. But men find few that be perfect. A good alaunte should love his master and follow him, and help him in all cases, and do what his master commands him. A good alaunte should go fast and be hardy to take all kinds of beasts without turning, and hold fast and not leave it, and be well conditioned, and well at his master's command, and when he is such, men hold, as I have said, that he is the best hound that can be to take all manner of beasts." Gaston Phoebus

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                                                  • Apbt? Clearly not, a bully grey is more like it, and even then I'd say the average bully grey is too bully and bulky. 

                                                    Apbt is just the ultimate boucheries. 

                                                    I think in general you underestimate how athletic and fast all alaunts were as dogs of the hunt, the LGDs you consider comparable to veantres and boucheries are far too big and sluggish, and a gentil is described as basically being a gripping greyhound. Probably comparable to a bully grey x grey. 

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                                                    • Tonedog: “apbt? Clearly not, a bully grey is more like it, and even then I'd say the average bully grey is too bully and bulky.” 

                                                       

                                                      But a real apbt is not “bully & bulky”. They are more streamlined dogs that remind of sighthounds with a different head shape.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Tonedog: “apbt is just the ultimate boucheries.” 

                                                       

                                                      I would say the pit bull terrier is the ultimate canine for game dog pit fighting. The ultimate “boucherie”? Hmmm I doubt it. Maybe the dogs that still are used by some butchers and work in a pack which herds unruly cattle are more specialized in their field and a better help for the butcher who has cattle, so they should be more “ultimate” in their field.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Tonedog: “I think in general you underestimate how athletic and fast all alaunts were as dogs of the hunt, the LGDs you consider comparable to veantres and boucheries are far too big and sluggish”

                                                       

                                                      Who considers them to be comparable to Veantres? Me not! There they lack the Sighthound influence. Maybe the Akbash is inbetween, as it really has this influence, but in general Shepherds´ Mastiffs aka LGD´s have a different function as main purpose.

                                                       

                                                      But getting back to the categories. Here almost everybody seems to have a bit different opinions and maybe nobody has the ultimate truth and most of all there is not even a need to put every western, short coated dog with mastiff blood  into one of the three categories. How about that?

                                                       

                                                      OK, let me start again with a few thoughts and questions. You know I said I would put the Presa Canario in the category of the Alaunt Boucherie (Butchers´ Alaunt). You said it would not not fit into the category of Alaunt de Boucherie and you would put it into the category of the Alaunt Veantre. I argued that in general I don´t see the sighthound - or houndblood in the Presa Canario and that´s why I absolutely don´t see it as an Alaunt Veantre.

                                                      Later you said there should be categories inbetween, I agree “maybe”, but maybe, just like I have mentioned before, we don´t have to put every western short coated dog into an “Alaunt category”. Of course all these dogs are related to a certain degree, no doubt!

                                                      Me personally I just cannot put a game bred apbt into the same category as barrel chested 75kg “bullmastiff-type” dog with short legs for his high weight.

                                                       

                                                      By the way this guy also has put the Presa Canario into the category of the Alaunt de Boucherie. I quote him now

                                                      Alaunt de Boucherie

                                                      A no brainer really, I think they probably resembled a whole range of dogs we still see today......but to me the true origianal Presa is the most likely candidate 

                                                       

                                                      http://www.manstoppers.com/bullyvard/viewtopic.php?t=56767&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=&sid=5a5b4b77b62f7931a363b8ac65e1b6e4

                                                       

                                                      However he didn´t do his own research and also not added his own toughts like we do, as his whole article isn´t written by himself. Instead he just copied parts from da pink and other people I know from carnivora  and posted it as his own thoughts. The strangest thing is that he writes the Presa Canario is the perfect example of an Alaunt Boucherie (here I agree with him you know, although I would take away “best” and replace it with “a” )  and then he posts a 75kg Boerboel on steroids  as  example of a Presa Canario.. The Presas I mean, are far less heavy and differ in type to a Boerboel. Well Tonedog I guess you understand that I cannot put a 75 kg dog with a barrel chest into the same category as a game bred pit bull terrier, that indeed has more sighthound traits and indeed looks more like Bullygrey than Boerboel. Actually there isn´t resemblance with a BB at all. Just as a food note, the BB is a bit odd anyway as many are overly aggressive, while most Volkodavs are much calmer, beside the FCI CO that is known to be more human aggressive and vocal (barking etc.), just like the BB or Fila, but again the CO isn´t a Volkodav. but a sentry guard/home guardian.

                                                      By the way on the web there were two videos of BB tested in the pit (big muscular, barrel chested dogs) and they gased out after 4 minutes, which actually shows what a different animal they are, compared to an apbt.

                                                       

                                                      But I guess your interpretation of the Alaunt de Boucherie also differs to these quite heavy dogs.

                                                      I mention that, as you already don´t consider the Presa Canario to be a Butchers´  Alaunt like I do. And here I am thinking of much lighter dogs than what Donald Stock interprets as  Alaunt de Boucherie.

                                                      Alaunt Gentil:

                                                      Bully-Grey:

                                                      apbt:

                                                      I just love the build of the real pit-bull terrier. Nothing overdone there and the opposite of all the bulky, barrel chested bullmastiff type dogs.

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                                                      • Even the leanest apbt is nothing like a sighthound, in no way can they move in similar ways. Even my bull arab makes the leanest apbt look very very slow and generally a poor clumsy runner, while a greyhound does the same to him. The gentil was described as being as fast or nearly as fast as a sighthound, and while I think this is an exagerration, "gentil hyping" from back in the day, I'd say it does strongly indicate they were at least comparable to a apbt x greyhound type of dog, rather than an apbt.

                                                        It's quite simple really, all the alaunt varieties are types rather than breeds, and types based on what they can do in the field. The fact is an apbt can't run down a deer or anything quick, at all. This is what the gentil was for. A bully grey is actually well suited to this task today, or a type even more sighthound leaning is all the better. So that type suited to running down deer, is obviously what the gentil was. A presa canario, certainly in it's modern form, is way too heavy to be a practical dog to use for catching unruly cattle. The very way in which butchers operated in medieval times, droving and catching unruly semi-wild cattle, is a task that is still performed in some areas around the world. The dogs they use I can assure you are much closer to pitbulls than they are to presas, in fact they often are pitbulls, at biggest 80-90 lbs mixes along the lines of an alano. In australia pitbulls, ebt x boxers, ebt x acds and bandogs with a diluted mastiff percentage are used. In fact bully grey and bull arab types are also used, I'd sooner call a bully grey a "boucheries" type alaunt, than I would ever call an apbt a gentil. Basically because it can do the butcher dog job, while an apbt certainly can't do a running dogs job.

                                                        The other gripping dog type is the heavy type, this is where the presa and bullmastiff and etc all fit. These were the type most often favoured for human prey/adversaries (convicts, natives, slaves, rival soldiers, criminals, etc), and also handy muscle on boars, but worthless on bulls and worthless on fast game.


                                                        The alaunt trio fits perfectly with the reality of gripping dog functions, so being familiar with this world makes it quite obvious where different breeds and different types of dogs fit. 

                                                        To summarise- 
                                                        Butchers- cattle, boars, bears, dog fighting

                                                        Gentil - Deer, wild canines, boars 

                                                        Veantre - Man, Boars, dog fighting

                                                        Whether we decide to subscribe to the alaunt term and it's categories or not, the above 3 categories are an accurate representation of the reality of gripping dog types through history and still today. Call them whatever you want. Certainly no one I know calls them alaunt veantres and gentils and etc, more like swingers, hangers and runners - but they're clearly appreciating the same variation of types as the gentlemen who coined the alaunt type names.

                                                        All western short coat mastiff and bull types actually should fit into the above, if they don't they can be considered ruined, or to have mutated away from their function. 

                                                        Then separately we have other types of dogs, like lgds, collies, herders, terriers, etc.

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                                                        • I'm sure you've seen this, from top to bottom boucheries, gentil, veantre.

                                                          alaunt_3types.jpg

                                                          Now compensating for the inherit crudeness of the carving, it seems clear to me the boucheries were quite like pitbulls. Which makes sense, this is the type of dog ideal for swinging on a bull which is proven still today in the line of work. 

                                                          The gentil's depicted here are actually sleaker and faster than even bully greys, which also makes sense to me, because frankly a bully grey is not as ideal for deer coursing/catching as it would be if crossed back again to a greyhound or deerhound. And this latter dog type could still be used on boars too. 

                                                          The veantre is basically like a presa or bandog type, again compensating for the crude artwork typical for the time making all dogs look kind of silly and spaniel-ish. And again makes sense, this is the type of dog ideal to catch and subdue men and also a good type to back up boardogs and stop big boars from fighting.

                                                          None are really huge, all have to be somewhat athletic for their roles, the boucheries here are lean and streamlined just like good pitbulls, the gentil leaner and more streamlined even than a typical apbt x greyhound, let alone a pure apbt. The veantre more like a bandog than a neo or english mastiff, even the average boerboel or bullmastiff of today too sluggish and slow to be a real veantre. Veantres were probably usually around 110 lbs, boucheries 60-80, and gentils 70 - 100 due to being quite tall. These are typical working weights for these types.


                                                          All these 150 + lbs dogs you see pics of on the net are a new thing and really good for nothing, that is unless we're talking about LGDs which pressumably can work well at quite large weights and probably always were quite large (although many today are still exagerrated and beyond a serious working size). They perhaps naturally ranged from 100-150 for very tall individuals.

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                                                          •  

                                                            To summarise- 
                                                            Butchers- cattle, boars, bears, dog fighting

                                                            Gentil - Deer, wild canines, boars 

                                                            Veantre - Man, Boars, dog fighting

                                                            I think you summarised it very well here. Just talking about phenotype a game bred apbt might be a sub-type and that´s where the confusion comes from. At least some lines due to heavy terrier influence differ in phenotype from a "typical" butchers´ dog. (A Cane Corso, a correct Dogue de Bordeaux -hard to find-  etc. would be one.)

                                                            However in behaviour & temperament they fit into the butchers´ dog role, more than into others.

                                                            Actually I would say and I guess here many people will for all days disagree with me, that some or even a lot of the best fighting dogs were dogs of the royalty and are typical Veantres! Just also alive, before the "veantre-name" was alive. Better suited than LGDs from the mental side and physically obviously without any doubt superior to the butchers´ bulldog.

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                                                            • I'd agree a lot of competitive fighting dogs are basically of the veantre type- bks, tosas, presas, perhaps even ovcharkas to a degree, so it is obviously a rather effective type for dog/dog combat. 

                                                              I'm currently reading - researches into the history of british dogs (from ancient laws, charters and historical records) from 1866 (and containing much older passages), which I have read parts of here and there but I'm just now noticing something I haven't before. And that is the people who were employed to walk dogs on lead were called "veltrars" "vaultres" "veatrers", pretty much anything along those lines (such was the nature of very early english- very inconsistent and random) and I think this is really the last clue I need to suggest the alaunt veantre was a lead in bandog type, named after this very fact.  


                                                              The book also distinctly mentions multiple times that ALL alaunts are hunting hounds, and specifically strong hunting hounds used to hold game. The veantre MAY have been influenced by shepherd's mastiffs for size, but the 3 alaunt types were definitely not sheep guarding dogs, or guard dogs of any kind. Definitely dogs of the hunt and definitely western european/medieval, rather than ancient caucasian or persian or whatever. 

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                                                              • Tonedog: I'd agree a lot of competitive fighting dogs are basically of the veantre type- bks, tosas, presas, perhaps even ovcharkas to a degree, so it is obviously a rather effective type for dog/dog combat. 

                                                                I am not really sure about LGD´s belonging to this type, actually many of them can be classified as “rank driven curs” (teeth showing, back humping etc.) but among the rank driven curs you can also find a lot of “top class” heavy Tosas! They might be silent, but still you can see that it is all about dominance and with that said basically rank drive.

                                                                But you said “ovcharkas to a certain degree” and here we go! Yes, I agree and that´s why my interest in them was always a versatile kind of LGD, meaning one that was and still is also used for hunting. I would say most of this special LGD-type you find in Kazakhstan and Iran, where they are actually used for hunting too. In Iran it is the Mazandarani Mastiff.

                                                                Tonedog: I'm currently reading - researches into the history of british dogs (from ancient laws, charters and historical records) from 1866 (and containing much older passages), which I have read parts of here and there but I'm just now noticing something I haven't before. And that is the people who were employed to walk dogs on lead were called "veltrars" "vaultres" "veatrers", pretty much anything along those lines (such was the nature of very early english- very inconsistent and random) and I think this is really the last clue I need to suggest the alaunt veantre was a lead in bandog type, named after this very fact.

                                                                This would go hand in hand with something else I have realized again and again over the years. The Alaunt Veantre obviously was the “meanest” of all European Alaunt types, as for some reasons they are frequently portrayed muzzled, while obviously the butchers´ dog could work pretty well in groups. 

                                                                Tonedog: The book also distinctly mentions multiple times that ALL alaunts are hunting hounds, and specifically strong hunting hounds used to hold game. The veantre MAY have been influenced by shepherd's mastiffs for size, but the 3 alaunt types were definitely not sheep guarding dogs, or guard dogs of any kind. Definitely dogs of the hunt and definitely western european/medieval, rather than ancient caucasian or persian or whatever. 

                                                                Yes, I would come to the same conclusion here. The size came from an ancestral mastiff-type, so it should have been an “ancient Alaunt type” like you still find them in Iran, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Turkey etc., but enough European hunting blood involved to make them useful for hunting large and dangerous game as their main duty.

                                                                Probably with better killing abilities than the butchers´ dog.

                                                                So the LGD x Running Mastiff type is an interesting and definitely my favourite combination, as they have this historical link on the mastiff-side.

                                                                Regards

                                                                Andreas

                                                                P.S. Does the "orange-board" for you also not work? Lol I am talking about my board. It obviously has a server issue today.

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                                                                • This would also fit to them (Alaunt Ventres) being muzzled:

                                                                  "Cotgrave defines it, (Veantre), as a 'great & ougly curre of that kind, (having a big head, hanging lips, and slowching eares), kept onely to hunt the Beare and wild Boare.' Elsewhere (under Vaultre) he characterizes it as 'a mungrell betweene a hound and a mastife, or of a size between the Allan and great countrie curre; fit for the chase or hunting of wild Beares and Boares.' Godefroy (Diet de I'Ancien Frangais, Veltre defines it as a 'sorte de chien employe surtout pour la chasse de I'ours et du sanglier.'

                                                                  It is of little doubt that the 'Veantre', as described above, was in fact the descendent of the old German hunting dogs that were first described by Germanic Law in the fifth century AD. There were two known forms of these old German Hunting dogs. One was a large, long legged, agile dog; the ancestor of the German Mastiff or Great Dane: The other was a shorter, stocky, broad headed Bull or Bear Biter, the ancestor of the Boxer and the English baiting Bulldog. "The Bull or Bear Biter is a not too large, but a strong, brave dog breed with a broad, short head. They grip everything that they are set on, but they are heavy. Because of their fierceness and meanness, they can easily become dangerous to people and animals..." Winckell 1800."

                                                                  P.S. I am still not sure what "Ventre" means exactly here. I learned French at school and "ventre" means "belly", but I think it must have another connotation!

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                                                                  https://youtu.be/Z1omjDVsS-s
                                                                  Info
                                                                  Topic:
                                                                  Alaunt or Molosser-The Alaunt: A type, not a breed
                                                                  Text:

                                                                  Hi Andreas,

                                                                  This is a very nice article.  I take it that you remember our own article about the Alaunt which can be found at this link http://molosserdogs.com/m/articles/view/3065-alaunt

                                                                  It is impossible to write without bias as the words we chose are done to convey our point and will always have bias.  Knowing that I understand that you have tried to be objective in your post and your photo and it is a very good piece of work.  Anyway, please read the link here and let us know what you think. I believe that between your post and our profile we may be closer to the romantic history and truth about this extinct breed.

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