|Country of origin
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Molossus was an ancient, extinct breed of dog that is commonly
considered to be the ancestor of today's
dogs and of many other modern breeds. Mastiff-type dogs are often referred to as
Molossus dogs or Molossers. It is one of the best-known breeds of
Greco-Roman antiquity; however, its physical characteristics and function are
debated. Though the Molossus breed no longer exists in its original form, it is
noted as being instrumental in the development of modern breeds such as the
Bernese Mountain Dog.
Some scholars contend that the Molossus was a dog used by the Greeks for
fighting. They describe it as having a wide, short muzzle and a heavy dewlap
(similar to modern Mastiff breeds) that was used to fight tigers, lions,
elephants, and men in battle. They consider the Molossus a forefather of the
Others argue that it was primarily a lightweight dog used for hunting and
herding with physical characteristics more akin to
or possibly the versatile
Catahoula Leopard Dog.
Most scholars agree the Molossus originated with the
Molossi people in the mountainous regions of northwest
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