The Alpine Mastiff was a unique breed – a gentle giant with an imposing figure and a regal bearing that inspired awe and admiration.
In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Alpine Mastiff and its impact on modern dog breeds. So, whether you’re already a fan of the Alpine Mastiff or just curious about extinct dog breeds, read on to discover all you need to know.
A Brief History of the Alpine Mastiff
Origins and Ancestors
The Alpine Mastiff’s origins are shrouded in mystery, but many experts believe that it descended from the ancient Molossian canines that were used as guard dogs and war dogs. They were spread through Europe by the Romans and were later mixed with local breeds to create the Alpine Mastiff.
Legend has it that the Alpine Mastiff was so powerful that it could take down a bear or a lion with ease. Its massive size and strength made it a popular choice for guarding livestock and property, and it quickly became a prized possession for the wealthy and powerful.
The Role of the Alpine Mastiff in History
For centuries, the Alpine Mastiff played an important role in European society. During the Middle Ages, it was a common sight in many European cities.
The Alpine Mastiff was often used as a guard dog for merchants and traders who needed to protect their valuable goods from thieves and bandits. The breed was also popular with nobles and royalty, who used it as a symbol of power and wealth.
In the late 18th century, people intensely crossbred the Alpine Mastiff with large mountain dogs. In 1815 these practices resulted in the breed’s extinction. Since then, there have been many efforts to revive the breed, but sadly, they were all unsuccessful.
Physical Characteristics of the Alpine Mastiff
The Alpine Mastiff was a truly fascinating breed. It was not only large and imposing but also graceful and elegant, making it a true sight to behold.
Size and Weight
The Alpine Mastiff was a giant breed that could weigh up to 150 pounds and stood as tall as 28 inches at the shoulders.
Despite its impressive dimensions, the Alpine Mastiff was not bulky or awkward but rather lean and athletic.
Coat and Colors
The Alpine Mastiff had a short, thick coat that was weather-resistant. It came in a variety of colors, including fawn, brindle, and black. Some breed members also had white markings on their chests and feet.
The Alpine Mastiff’s coat was not only beautiful but also served a practical purpose. The thick coat provided insulation from cold weather and harsh elements.
The Alpine Mastiff had several distinctive physical features. One of the most notable traits was its large, expressive eyes. They were set deep within the dog’s skull and gave it a soulful and intelligent expression.
The Alpine Mastiff was a muscular dog with a broad-chested build. This conformation gave the dog a powerful and imposing appearance, which was further enhanced by its deep, booming bark. The bark was intimidating and a testament to the dog’s protective nature.
Temperament and Personality Traits
The Gentle Giant
The Alpine Mastiff had a gentle and affectionate nature that endeared it to its human family. These dogs were known for their calm and patient demeanor, which made them great with children and other pets.
Loyalty and Protective Instincts
One of the Alpine Mastiff’s most admirable traits was its loyalty to its family. These dogs would do anything to protect those they love, and their size and strength made them formidable defenders.
Health & Lifespan
We do not know much about the Alpine Mastiff’s health issues. However, considering its size it was probably prone to hip dysplasia. As for lifespan, the average Alpine Mastiff lived for between 10 and 12 years.
The Alpine Mastiff was truly a remarkable breed. While no longer present, it is comforting to know that it probably influenced the development of other newer dog breeds, such as the English Mastiff.