Hellenic Mastiff

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Greece
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Molossos Ellinikos
Greek Mastiff
Molossos Hellenikos
The ancient Hellenic Mastiff is one of the original Molossian dogs, as well as the ancestor of most European Mastiff-type breeds, including the Mastin Espanol and its Mediterranean derivatives. Mainly found in the northern parts of the country, the Molossos Ellinikos is also indigenous to parts of central and eastern Greece, from where it is thought to have been introduced to Epirus, but due to a lack of interest in its homeland and years of mating with other Greek breeds, such as the Alexander Dog and the Epirus Dragon, the breed has all but disappeared and is currently considered a rare subtype of the large Molossos tis Epirou population. Whether it has purely Balkan roots or was established due to the influence of wardogs from Persia and other parts of Central Asia is not entirely clear, but its presence has been observed in Epirus and other parts of Greece for at least 2,000 years. Thanks to its association with Molossian and Greek tribes, the Hellenic Mastiff was prized for its fierce temperament and physical strength, eventually influencing many other breeds across Greece, Anatolia and Italy.

Some believe that the powerful Drakontas tou Epirou was developed by crossing the Sylvan with the Molossos Hellenikos, with the existence of two basic varieties in the Epirian Dragon breed, these being lighter and longer, closer to the basic Sylvan type, while the heavier and shorter type shows a stronger Hellenic Mastiff influence, providing evidence for this theory. Today, the large Hellenic Mastiff is extremely rare, most of its population being a sort of "by-product" of the Molossos tis Epirou breed, evidenced by the appearance of dogs produced by Drakontas matings in litter colors other than black or black-and-tan are still commonly seen. Only if a breeding program dedicated to the salvation of the Hellenic Mastiff alone will be established where the breed becomes fully assimilated into the Molossos tis Epirou as nothing more than a color variant should be seen, but regardless of its fate, this magnificent Greek The breed certainly requires more attention than it currently receives.

Although influence from the region's livestock guardian breeds helped shape the working abilities of Molossos Ellinikos as a herdsman and protector of sheep, goats and cattle, this breed has mainly been used as an intimidating property guardian and occasional fighting dog throughout its history. Fairly aggressive and somewhat aloof to strangers, the Hellenic Mastiff is devoted to its human master and family, fairly easy to handle and surprisingly obedient for the type of dog it is. This is an immensely powerful Molosser, with a well-boned body, broad shoulders and relatively short legs, giving the dog the appearance of being a little longer than tall. The breed has a large head and broad muzzle with reasonably loose hanging lips and a considerable amount of dewlap on its neck. The low hanging ears are sometimes cropped, but when unmodified, they are carried close to the cheeks and are medium to large in size. The coat is short, smooth and flat, most often fawn, red, yellow and brown, but there are also examples of brindle, gray and piebald. The average height is around 69 centimeters, although larger dogs do exist.

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