4/16/18

History of our Kuvasz - more on the Molossus dog breeds

This is another article about the origins of Kuvasz and other Livestock Guardian Breeds, as part of a group of dogs called Molossers. These large dogs lived in the ancient regions of eastern Europe with the Molossis people.

Most scholars agree the Molossus originated with the Molossis people in the mountainous regions of ancient Epirus (part of modern Albania and Greece). The Molossians were renowned for their vicious hounds, used by Molossian shepherds in the mountains of Epirus to guard their flocks.

The poet Grattius [b. 63 BC], a contemporary of Ovid, writes "...when serious work has come, when bravery must be shown, and the impetuous War-god calls in the utmost hazard, then you could not but admire the renowned Molossians so much."

The breed was native to ancient Epirus (present day Albania and Greece) and the Balkan region. It later spread to Italy, around the Mediterranean and across Europe. Virgil [b.70 BC] says the Ancient Greeks and Romans used the heavier Molossian dogs for hunting (canis venaticus), to guard the home, and watch over livestock (canis pastoralis).

"Never, with them on guard," says Virgil, "need you fear for your stalls a midnight thief, or onslaught of wolves, or Iberian brigands at your back." 

These dogs were renowned as early as 350 BC, as Aristotle mentions them in The History of Animals, praising their bravery and physical superiority.
Read the Wikipedia article here: Molossus_(dog)

About the family of Livestock Guardian Dogs...

“To this day flocks are guarded in the hills of Asia, Europe and Africa* by powerful, robust dogs that are neither clumsy nor pacific. Despite the distances that separate them these breeds have much in common, and the Kuvasz is a member of this extended sheepdog family.”

From: Dr. Tibor Buzády, Dogs of Hungary, trans. Bernard Adams, Budapest, Hungary: Nóra Kiadó, 2003, p. 90.

*(and today also in North America, South America and Australia)