Butchers´ Alaunt, Butchers´ Mastiff, Alaunt de Boucherie

Butchers´ Alaunt, Butchers´ Mastiff, Alaunt de Boucherie

Postby sunnyAK on 11. August 2013, 02:02

The Alaunt de Boucherie aka Butchers´ Mastiff aka Butchers´ Alaunt

I have created this graphic and built-in two maps, one of the Alans and one of the Celts, including their origin & migration, to give a well thought out & unbiased view concerning "the Alaunt", speaking about both "mastiff-types". However in this thread I want to concentrate on the second half of my graphic which is dedicated to the Butchers´ Mastiff.

"Early Bulldogs were the helpmates of medieval butchers."
JDJ, A Celebration of Rare Breeds

"During the European Renaissance, the Great Butcher Dog was common. This more placid mastiff helped drive cattle to market, guarding the livestock as well as the owners, and often carrying the sales money home around his neck! Few highwaymen challenged such a beast. Also employed as the serf's 'horse' in carting and hauling, the dog with a more mellow temperment was desired."
The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World

The original "Sport" before Bull Baiting was called "Running of the Bull," in which the Butchers´ Alaunts would drive cattle to market to be butchered....

"A long-legged, fairly large dog was still needed for running the bull. For bull baiting, which almost always was praticed with a bull tied on a rope, the fighting technique required for this task determined the anatomy of the dog."


"It is fair to surmise that the dog would need to be a middle weight and not a full mastiff, nor a light 'terrier' type dog. For bull baiting in the middle ages and after, taking place in a fixed arena, a Bulldog would not require the stamina or fleet-footedness of the dogs used in the earlier bull running, and the greater emphasis fell on developing a dog that was less leggy and more powerful."
The Story of the Real Bulldog

The English Bulldog, concocted after 1600, was stocky, lower on leg, and had a short head (brachycephalic)...The English Staffs most closely resemble this Baiting Bulldog of England....(brachycephalic is a short head, which was introduced from Germany into France, Spain, and eventually England)....

"So, the original war dog was turned into the essential, brave Hunting Dog. In Germanic law from the fifth and seventh centuries A.D., these Hunting Dogs were recorded in writing for the first time. The law even distinguished between Bear Catchers, Boar Dogs, and Bull Biters."

Crosses of the German Catch Dogs with Alaunts/Alanos of France and Spain gave rise to the Alaunt Veantres.....(used by the Nobleman Gaston Phobues to hunt wild boar in the Pyreenes)...

"Eventually there came a seperation between the running mastiffs or alauntes gentil/veatures, rather like today's Great Dane and the Dogo Argintino, and the killing mastiffs or matins/mastini/alauntes of the butcheries."
The Mastiffs The Big Game Hunters, Hanc0ck, MBE

"By the 15th century, a distinctive bull-baiting breed had been developed. Perhaps through crosses of Alaunt, mastiff, and other unknown brachycephalic dogs, the first bulldog (often called bullenbeisser, German for bullbaiter) was created."
The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World

And, this gave rise to the German Boxer and English Staffs.....

Here you all can guess what this dog is:
(I took the pic from one of my books)

"The term derives from the Pit Bulldog of the nineteenth century, those dogs of bull-and-terrier blood which were used in the sport of bullbaiting."

Which gave rise to the APBT.....

"They seem not to care that dogs had been catching and baiting bulls for centuries, and that the breed with a funtional form for this already existed....The dogs depicted in this engraving are about 50 pounds, stand on long straight legs, have rose ears and a fine, thin tail. These dogs are indistinguishable from modern-day American Pit Bull Terriers."
Colby book

The original Alaunt/Alano was used to herd/control simi-wild cattle, and to herd/control Natives/Slaves during the American Conquests...(South USA was a Spanish Colony called then La Florida which extended to the Rio Grande).....

"The Alaunt of Spain, specifically the line of dogs used for gladiator sports, was referred to as the Alano, and was as mentioned brought to the Spanish colonies of the day, throughout the Americas. It is believed that the alano gave rise to breeds such as the cordoba fighting dog (which was the primary breed used for the creation of the Dogo Argentino in the 30's by the Martinez brothers), the original perro de presa canario, and the ca de bou."

In 1554, King Philip II of Spain marries Marie Tudor, Queen of England, and trade between Spain and England was opened from 1556 to 1649. Spain imported a number of English Alaunts into Spain and her colonies, which were interbred with Spanish Alanos. This gave rise to many Spanish breeds which most likely include the Presa Canario, Ca de Bou, Cordoba Fighting Dog, Cuban Mastiff, and OWE of South USA...

"An Alano was imported into Britian by the well-known Victorian dog-dealer Bill George and was described as a huge Bulldog, rather than as a breed in its own right."
The Mastiffs The Big Game Hunters, Hanc0ck, MBE

"There they served as guards for the farm, and were used in gathering cattle and hogs, which ranged in the woods in a semi-wild state. These dogs were known at that time as 'White English,' in reference to their origin."
American Bulldog Review, Billy Hines

Most likely, the early imports of Alaunt/Alano were interbred with the English Staffs in America....

"Some claim that when the early stock of Staffordshire Terriers were brought to this country they were not simply bred for size and even greater gameness but were actually crossed with an all-American breed that had been developed along very similar lines."
The World of Fighting Dogs, Semencic, 1984

"It will be seen that the legitimate uses of the mastiff among the Britions were to defend their homes and property, and also to assist in driving cattle, while in times of war they afforded a guard for the women and chariots."
The History of the Mastiff, Wynn, 1886

"Eventually there came a seperation between the running mastiffs or alauntes gentil/veatures, rather like today's Great Dane and the Dogo Argintino, and the killing mastiffs or matins/mastini/alauntes of the butcheries."
The Mastiffs The Big Game Hunters, Hanc0ck, MBE

"Within the sport there are standards, even, of what is considered cruel or unsportsman like. For instance, Louis considers setting Pit Bulls on pigs or hogs to be less than humane because the pig is not a willing participant. Pig hunting and baiting, which is legal in most of the United States and which is finding favor with a small group of Pit Bull and American Bulldog owners, would have been considered cruel and pointless to turn-of-the-century breeders, who stove to produce animals which would fight willingly against equally willing opponents."
Colby book

"It will be seen that the legitimate uses of the mastiff among the Britions were to defend their homes and property, and also to assist in driving cattle, while in times of war they afforded a guard for the women and chariots."
The History of the Mastiff, Wynn, 1886

"For many years, the term 'pit bull' was given to any dog of the fighting pits. The UKC originally registered these breeds of dogs and, at one time, regulated dog-fighting."
The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World

"In 1730, England purchased a large tract of land, in what is now southern Georgia, from the Creek Indians. Settlers brought their dogs with them, and the Bulldog proved admirably suited to his new home. These pioneers needed a multi-purpose farm dog that could protect their property. There were no fences in the vast wilderness and raids by hostile Indians, outlaws, and the many predators native to the area were a common occurrence. The Bulldog became a valuable addition on these isolated homesteads."
JDJ, A Celebration of Rare Breeds

"Over time, the English succeeded in pushing this border as far south as Kississmi Florida. As late as 1883 no white man lived south of this border despite the fact that Spain had sold out in 1819. The last of the holdouts were known as Spanish Crackers who grazed large herds of cattle with the market for both the Spanish and the English being mainly at the border town to Kississimi."
Ray Lane, American Bulldog Review, Vol 1, issue 3, 2008

"In 1886, the editor of 'Stock Keeper' Dr Frank, wrote an article comparing French and English Mastiffs as well as French and English Bulldogs. This article had a study on the Dogue de Bordeaux to the English Mastiff; saying how the former had kept more of the temperament and courage of the ancient celtic molosser. This was the first mention of the DDB written in the UK. Six years later, at the 'Exposition des Tuileries' in Paris (1892), a judge from the 'Stock Keeper' saw Sultane win the prix d'Honneur. She was viewed as the ideal DDB. That same year, a reproduction of the photo of Sultane at the Tuileries appeared in the 22 July issue of the Stock Keeper. Accompanying it was a detailed description and praise for the work of Mr Charles Eisler."

a few valuable crossposts & opinions to show a wide view, instead of being narrow-minded.
Heather wrote:....My first red flag that this author isn't as knowledgable as he would others believe is that he puts Celtic and Molosser together to describe one dog. Is he describing the Celtic dog or the Molosser? These are two different dogs, one of the celts and the other of Molossia, a Greek dog. Same when people say "Aryan Molosser". Of which do you speak? Many many people have erroneously linked the term Molosser with Mastiff or any large dog. Being a large dog does not make it a mastiff nor does it make it a Molosser. A Molosser is a mastiff from Epirus, (Molossia), a small region in the north of Greece. Molosser describes the dog of THAT place, not the worlds mastiff breeds.

i agree, this also came to my mind at once. celtic molosser wakes no sense. celtic dogge or celtic mastiff i would have said, maybe i would have even prefered "dogge" due to the liguistical relation between dogge and the celtic word "togge".
well we now that people (who ever started this fashion) call any bigger dog "molosser".
the example with aryan molossus is the same. kohrasani fighting dog would make more sense.

however what he wanted to say is clear to me. he wanted to say that the dogue de bordeaux (and i am sure that it had been true at the time he was saying it) was a tougher working dog and braver than the english mastiff on average and for sure also best vs best.

Heather wrote:....Well, the Celtic dogs were said to have dropped horses in war by taking them by the nose, the same way a baiting bulldog was supposed to do to even be considered a "real" bulldog. JDJ stuck to this belief and claimed that everyone of his dogs took by the nose the way a bulldog should. It is said of the Alaunts that they took by the ear, the same way our OWE do. BUT. Look at the Irish Wolfhound phenotype. It is more Alaunt in phenotype than the baiting bulldog, the round headed, short-faced, short backed, short legged, small eared dog synonymous with the baiting ring.
I don't really think that the Celtic dog of the British isles played much, if any, role in the development of the Spanish or French mastiffs. The Alaunt had long been in Spain and France before it ever reached England and well before any British dog could've had any influence on the dogs of those two countries. However in England it's likely that the Celtic dog there was crossed with the alaunts of the Alan´s, French and Spanish.

well i agree, but it leads me to another conclusion, namely to the possibility that celtic dogs played a bigger part in the development of the baiting bulldogs of france and spain, however not the ones of the british isles, but the ones that have "always" been there or let´s say that have been there since the celts used dogs to hunt large game.
you have said that the alaunt had long been in spain and france before it ever reached england and before any british dog could have had any influence on the dogs of those two countries.
however with celtic dogs it is the same. the celts used to be on the continental europe, before they reached britain.
so i guess many of the "european alaunts" or dogs that are called alaunts are no "pure" alaunts at all, or alaunts in the true sense, but crossbred dogs between dogs the alaunts had and brought to europe & celtic "bärenbeisser" types that always existed in europe to hunt large & dangerous game. with that said it isn´t bad at all that they are no "pure" dogs of the alans, as i hold old european dogs in high regard.
i also would not say, that catch-dogs are no fighting dogs, as the apbt is based on catch-dogs, with a splash of terrier for the kill-drive. however dogs like kangals & tobets for example also use holding skills when they are used to catch big game, so it simply is an adaption to the task a dog fulfills and they are all mastiff-type dogs that were used for hunting & flock guarding in asia as well as in europe. however celtic dogs were first of all dogs used for hunting large game.

now last, but not least i also add wikipedia to my well thought-out post. my opinion, wich is based on unbiased facts, you can find in short words on my graphic. i disagree with wikipedia in stuff like saying "Butchers´ Mastiff aka Shepherds´Mastiff" as both types are related for sure, but still are not the same dog, so the "aka" in the statement makes no sense.
however the combination of a large, powerful "shepherds´ mastiff" aka flock guardian /LGD & a determined "butchers´mastiff", is by many knowledgable people considered as ultimate fighter and perfect combination of raw power and determination.
however, beside that wikipedia contains good information.
ok, here the wikipedia article:
"The Alaunt is an extinct breed of dog, its original breed having existed in central Asia and Europe from ancient times through the 17th century. A number of modern dog breeds are believed to directly descended from the Alaunt. The original Alaunt is thought to have resembled a Caucasian Shepherd Dog. They were large, short coated dogs of varying type. The Alaunt was bred by the Alani tribes, the nomads of Indo-European Sarmatian ancestry who spoke an Indo-Iranian language. The Alans were known as superb warriors, herdsmen, and breeders of horses and dogs. The Alans bred their dogs for work and had developed different strains within the breed for specific duties.

As far as is known, the Alaunt's primary ancestors are working dogs such as the Armenian Gampr dog, the Sarmatian Mastiff from the Caucasus and the Alabai from Central Asia, but also the shorthaired hounds of South Asia, Persia, and Europe. However, the Ayran Flock Guardian or Sage Koochi steppe type that descends from the steppes of Asia, brought by the steppe nomads, used to domesticate the horse, control and defend large livestock far predates these breeds in working type, giving evidence of the genetic template of the Alaunt. The steppe nomads, including the Kurgan culture, introduced the use of the horse and chariot, as well as the Mastiff/Alaunt dogs of war.
In the 370s AD, Hun invasions divided the Alani into the Eastern and Western Alans. The Eastern Alani tribes merged with the Ossetians and other nations, introducing their dogs into the bloodlines of many Balkan breeds, such as the Shar Mountain Dog, Metchkar, Qen Ghedje, Hellenikos Poimenikos and other Molossers of the region. Some believe that the white-coloured Alaunts were the direct ancestors of Balkan breeds, which in turn influenced all other white dogs in the Balkans. The Western Alans joined the Vandals on their raids through Europe and by the 410s AD, their fierce dogs were influencing many breeds in France, Spain, Portugal, England and other countries, spreading the use of the "alaunt" name, which became synonymous with a type of a working dog, rather than a specific breed. Through breeding with various scenthounds and sighthounds, some alaunts became valued large game hunting dogs, existing in a variety of types, dictated by regional preferences. In 1500 AD, Spain was known for breeding the best Alaunts and used them to conquer the New World.

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 greyhound-like dog, which 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, like the Mastiff 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. Moreover, 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 plausible 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. In any case, the original Alaunt/Alano type is still found working in the obscurity of function as LGDs of cattle and farms including Spain's New World.
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."

kind regards
Alaunt de Boucherie-Butchers´ Alaunt-Butchers´ Mastiff.png
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Re: Butchers´ Alaunt, Butchers´ Mastiff, Alaunt de Boucherie

Postby sunnyAK on 25. August 2013, 19:15

The Alanos below are still mostly Butchers´ Mastiffs in function.
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Re: Butchers´ Alaunt, Butchers´ Mastiff, Alaunt de Boucherie

Postby IamTitanium on 31. August 2013, 00:04

Wow great info!
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