Alaunt

The Alaunt is not so much a breed of dog as it is a category of a breed, Mastiff to be more precise. There are numerous dogs that are believed to have descended from the Alaunt and have been said to have a strong resemblance of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog. Although the Alaunt is now extinct it still carries a rich history.

Breed Status: 
Extinct Breeds

Breed Information

Breed Basics

Size: 
Large 35-55 lb
X-Large 55-90 lb
LifeSpan: 
N/A
Trainability: 
N/A
Energy Level: 
N/A
Grooming: 
N/A
Protective Ability: 
N/A
Space Requirements: 
N/A
Compatibility With Other Pets: 
N/A

Height/Weight

Males: 
65-85lbs, 22- 28 inches
Females: 
Same as male
History: 

 

It is commonly thought that the Alaunt's primary ancestors are working dogs such as the Armenian Gampr Dog, the Sarmation Mastiff from the Caucasus and the Alabai from Central Asia. Shorthaired hounds of Europe, South Asia and Persia could very well be ancestors. The genetic makeup of the Alaunt was more likely comprised of the Aryan Gaurdian or Sage Koochi, brought by steppe nomads who used them to domesticate horse, predates the other breeds. The steppe nomads introduced the Mastiff and Alaunt dogs as the dogs of war, along with chariot races by domesticated horse.

 

During Hun invasions in the 370s AD, dividing the Alani into eastern and western cultures, the Eastern Alani tribes meshed with other nations and bringing along their Alaunt bloodlines. These Alaunts were bred with Balkan breeds like the Illyrian Mountain Dog, Metchkar and other Molossers to make, what some believe, white colored Alaunts which became the direct ancestors of Greek and Albanian breeds which then, influenced all other white Balkan dogs. Meanwhile the Western Alanis banded with the Vandals and raided Europe all the while spreading their Alaunt bloodline in France, Spain and Portugal and broadening the Alaunt name to not so much a breed but into a “working dog”.

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 dog similar to the greyhound that 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, 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. Due to this, 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 obvious 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.

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.

 

It should be noted, as of recently many breeders are attempting to sell "Alaunts" around the world. These are not real Alaunts, as this breed is deemed extinct. These dogs are mix breeds of mastiffs, bull dogs and pitbull terriers.

 

No votes yet