Posts Tagged ‘mastiff’

This one was a hunting mastiff from the north of Italy. My guess is the scars come from the dog’s use as a boar catcher. I doubt that the dog is 10 or 12 years old, but it is certainly an older dog. This is probably very similar to the kind of mastiff-type that the Alani would have had.




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Abraham Hondius was a painter of the Dutch Golden Age. He operated out of Rotterdam until 1666, when he moved to London.

This is a portrait of a mastiff that would have been relatively common in seventeenth century England.

Unlike the modern mastiff, this dog is almost entirely white.

Many mastiffs were originally of this color, which shows their relationship to the bulldog.

The modern mastiff, which comes in brindle, fawn, silver fawn, and apricot with a black mask, didn’t really develop into its present form until about 1880. This modern mastiff then almost went extinct and had to be revived using bullmastiff and St. Bernard blood.

These original mastiffs were commonly kept as guard dogs. In a city like London, a fierce guardian mastiff would have been a great asset for a home or business establishment.

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These dogs should have been wearing doggles to keep "the chalk" out of their eyes.

Breaking News: The (English) mastiff BOB winner at Crufts failed her mandatory heath check.

The dog’s name is Ch. Secret Charm Avec Dibest .

No reason for the failure has been given. And no CIA (Canine Intelligence Agency) officer has been able to snatch a photo of the documents, as was the case with the Clumber spaniel.

Note that this is the mastiff, as in the one from England, not the Neapolitan mastiff, which is almost assured to be scratched.

The doggy Taliban, rest assured, is either busy putting together another Facebook “We was robbed” page or are busy writing crazy, Rusty Shackleford-level nonsense on forums. (It’s certainly appearing in my inbox!)

See related posts:

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Zhara’s the baby

So cute in this photo:

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Zech has his new horse

She is sleeping in a laundry basket.  The mirror tricks her into thinking there are other puppies around.

She reminds me very much of a pug. I can see why all those nineteenth century dog experts thought of pugs being toy mastiffs.

You can’t see her eyes, but they are very sharp and expressive. This is a smart dog.

She has very well developed muscles already. I’m actually quite shocked at how this dog is put together, and she’s only a seven-week-old!


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Zech’s new horse

My sister holding a six-week-old female mastiff puppy.

My sister and her boyfriend went up between Pittsburgh and Youngstown yesterday evening to pick out a mastiff puppy.

She’s six weeks old and is still too young to leave her mother.

He’s chosen the name Zhara for the puppy.

At six weeks old,  it looks like she’s already larger than Willie.

And she might mature somewhere in the 180 pound range, which is more than twice the size of Miley.

“”As a lion is to a cat, so is a mastiff compared to a dog,” goes an eighteenth century English saying.

And I think they’ve been bred in the current form, which differs quite a bit from the dogs that were historically called mastiffs in England, to look more like the English lion than they did originally.

There is a lot of St. Bernard and bullmastiff in this breed, which is why she looks so fuzzy and sable now. She will mature as an apricot mastiff.

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It’s very Medieval looking.

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It’s like a dog that became a lion.

Then its lips started to grow.

And it got really wrinkled.

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The slave-catching dog that was infamous in the South for tracking down its victims and savagely mauling them was the Cuban bloodhound.

It was most likely derived from the Spanish war mastiff (a derivative of the Alaunt) with maybe a tough of greyhound or scent hound blood.

Drury has a depiction of this dog:

Cuban bloodhound

Note how similar this dog is to the dogs in “The Hunted Slaves” by Richard Ansdell.

These dogs were usually just called bloodhounds in the US, and their infamy spread through the world.

Now, the actual bloodhound of Europe received some of that bad reputation. That breed of bloodhound is a pack hound. It is quite docile and gentle. It has a great nose, and if someone can stand living with a rather large, active dog that is driven more by its nose than a desire to please its people. (These dogs are not “Ol’ Duke” from the Beverly Hillbillies. They do require a lot of exercise.)

So when one reads accounts of bloodhounds savaging people, especially escaped slaves trying to escape the oppression of their captors, one must remember that the bloodhound in question is the tracking mastiff from Cuba.

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