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Hyrcanian Mastiff

This legendary Moloss of ancient Persia was believed by the native people of the Caspian region to be a result of tigers mating with female dogs of the Mazandaran province. While these claims can be disregarded as simple folk tales, other theories offer a more reasonable foundation for research. Some authorities trace its roots to the same ancestral stock of dogs from which Greek, Turkish, Caucasian and Central Asian breeds developed, while others suggest that the Hyrcanian Mastiff was actually of Indian origin.

Said to have been indegenous to the area stretching from northern Iran to the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, these fierce black dogs were very tall, massive, extremely vicious and reportedly too dangerous to use for driving and protecting livestock. It is believed that brindled examples also existed, explaining the reasoning behind the aforementioned tiger myth. The Hyrcanian Mastiff was primarily a hunting and fighting dog, but was also an excellent property guardian. There is an all-black variety of the Iranian Sage Mazandarani breed to be found today in its native land, called the Sage Siah, which some fanciers claim to be a direct descendant of the mighty Hyrcanian Mastiff.

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