The Ancient Alaunt

Among the list of dog breeds that have gone extinct is the Alaunt, an ancient mastiff-like dog.  Some sources write that the Alaunt was not so much a breed as a category of a breed, but other sites are quite specific and maintain that the Alaunt not only existed in central Asia and Europe from ancient times through the 17th century, but that it was bred by nomads of Sarmatian Indo-Iranian ancestry to work.  Physical appearance and the type of work a dog did lead to different strains of Alaunt, but wars, occupations, interbreedings, and so on lead to extinctions of what was the original Alaunt.

Interestingly, and as a side note, we came across the British Alaunt Society whose mission statement is to recreate the ancient Alaunt, but according to one book we checked, you don’t have to wait for the society to perfect the Alaunt, it’s already here. Some believe that except for the jaw, the Great Dane is the closest we have to a modern version of the Alaunt. Italians call the Great Dane “Alano,” the Italian word for mastiff. This may be “fightn’ words” to cynologists who believe that original bulldog breeds are the true descendents to the original Alaunt. We leave it to the experts to duke out.

Image of a “British Alaunt” found on Wikicommons 

4 thoughts on “The Ancient Alaunt”

  1. My son has an Alaunt type dog the military retired and my son adopted. Fabulous and brilliant dog.

    • Thanks for the comment, Maureen, any chance you have a photo?

  2. I had a British Alaunt. Best dog ever!! He was my soulmate. Handsome, smart, loving, and loyal. He got melanoma and we had to put him down. His ashes will be buried with me. I miss him EVERY DAY!

    • We’re so sorry for your loss, Mary. We have a whole line up of ashes from beloved pets over the years. There won’t be room for us! There is nothing like hearing from an experienced owner, so we’re delighted you wrote, thank you

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