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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bit of a thing about Boudica and the ancient Britons, only very mildly I am not some kind of history buff at all, more the myths and legends side of it.

Dogs or hounds featured very heavily in both the Britons and the Romans lives. I get the impression from my reading they are quite different types of dog.

The Britons descriptions give the impression of lurcher type dogs, they are described as hairy, fast, with coloured pelts, they are clearly big animals as they can easily be reached by dropping a hand, but they are also fighters.

The Romans seem to have a more reserved smooth coated fighting dog.

I have looked into this a bit and it seems the mastiff is quite close to an 'original' (for want of a better word) dog type and this may fit the roman dog image although I still imagine them being sleeker, more elegant, greyhound/doberman types.

The wolfhound is also commonly referred to which seems to fit the Britons dog image. But the reality might be a combination of both the mastiff build and power with the hounds fleetness and pelt. What would it look like?

Its just something that I ponder in dull moments, there are so many different mutts owned on here, I wondered what other people thought or maybe even know!
 

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Perhaps they were similar to deerhounds. Greyhounds are suppose to go back a long time and certainly in some art the hunting dogs look similar type, there was another article or maybe book, but i can't find details now:confused: but this is similar vein of thought on their origin being European & not Egyptian.
 

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There are lots of breeds that have a long history like the Pekenese in China and the Chihuahua in Mexico but I think the large sighthound types are probably the least changed breeds over the years.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had forgotten about deerhound, a friend had one when I was younger, just had to look up the differences though.

Its actually amazing that they are such big game killers, I know they are both big breeds, DH & WH, but they seem so gentle. If they can take down a deer surely a man is no problem

Had to google DH to remind me, interesting bit of info about their hunting habits. Boardogs Deerhounds

Kangaroo hound is an interesting dog.
 

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No, not strange. I find it fascinating too. Especially how far back the domestication/companionship of dogs with human groups is evidenced.

I forget when now, but I remember reading about recently discovered evidence that showed footsteps from early man alongside paw prints and it seemed they were walking together side by side.
And then the various burial evidence where human and man were buried together.

It's fascinating.
 

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That's really interesting. I love finding out how old different breeds are, and how they originated. Slightly nearer to the present day I have a set of cigarette cards from the 1930s showing the most popular dog breeds. You wouldn't believe how much some of them have changed. Must admit they all seem to have been a much healthier shape then.
 

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I believe the romans mastiff would have been a cane corso or neopolitain mastiff, both breeds are very old and would have come to Britain with the romans, Cane corsos were a type of roman lurcher so maybe were interbred with the Deerhound/Wolfhound types already here :)

I would love to own any of those breeds, although the neo would have to be fairly unwrinkly compared to some of the ones i've seen about. I know a lovely lady in the next village who has a gorgeous deerhound too :D
 

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The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris), is a subspecies of the grey wolf (Canis lupus), a member of the Canidae family of the mammalian order Carnivora. The term "domestic dog" is generally used for both domesticated and feral varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and pet in human history. The word "dog" may also mean the male of a canine species, as opposed to the word "bitch" for the female of the species.

The present lineage of dogs was domesticated from gray wolves about 15,000 years ago. Though remains of domesticated dogs have been found in Siberia and Belgium from about 33,000 years ago, none of those lineages seem to have survived the Last Glacial Maximum. Although mDNA testing suggests an evolutionary split between dogs and wolves around 100,000 years ago, no specimens prior to 33,000 years ago are clearly morphologically domesticated dog.

Dogs' value to early human hunter-gatherers led to them quickly becoming ubiquitous across world cultures. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human society has given them the nickname "Man's Best Friend" in the Western world. In some cultures, dogs are also source of meat.In 2001, there were estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.

Most breeds of dogs are at most a few hundred years old, having been artificially selected for particular morphologies and behaviors by people for specific functional roles. Through this selective breeding, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal. For example, height measured to the withers ranges from 6 inches (150 mm) in the Chihuahua to about 2.5 feet (0.76 m) in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called "blue") to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark ("red" or "chocolate") in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse-haired to wool-like, straight, curly, or smooth. It is common for most breeds to shed this coat.
 

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Dont know what dogs they had but Boudica had a big battle on the fields where I walk my dog:D:D in Mancetter.
 

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The Cane Corso, is a direct descendant of the Roman Dog used in battle.

The Cane Corso Italiano is the original Cane Corso breed. It originated in Italy. Its direct ancestor is the "Canis Pugnax" (the old Roman Molossian) of which he is the light version employed in the hunting of large wild animals and also as an "auxiliary warrior" in battles. For years he has been a precious companion of the Italic populations. Employed as property, cattle and personal guard dog and used for hunting purposes too. In the past this breed was common all over Italy as an ample iconography and historiography testify. In the recent past he has found a excellent preservation area in Southern Italy, especially in Puglia, Lucania and Sannio. His name derives from the Latin "Cohors" which means "Guardian", "Protector". The Cane Corso was accepted into the AKC's miscellaneous class in 2008.
 

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For the hunt there were kinds of hounds; sighthounds are well-documented, scent-hounds less so. The greyhound was often represented in sculpture; then as now his sleek lines were appreciated. Oddly enough, one of the first true toy breeds was descended from the greyhound; this "Italian Greyhound" was used as a hot-water bottle when a family member was sick, keeping his master warm by tunnelling under the covers of the bed. To this day their body temperature is higher than that of an ordinary dog...and you can't keep them off the furniture.

Another famous breed was the Molossus. This hulking beast came from the mastiff family. In short, if the neighbours even thought you had a Molossus, you were probably safe! Sadly, these good animals were also used in the arena. Their modern descendent is the Neapolitan Mastiff.

The Maltese and similar small dogs already existed in Roman times; then as now, they were kept strictly as women's companions.
After the conquest of Britain, the Romans began importing the ancestors of the Irish Wolfhound. Some of these were pitted against wolves or Molossi on the sands of the arena; others were allowed to serve their intended function as chasers of wolves and deer. Wolf-hunting on horseback, with the aid of large hounds, was a popular sport on many a frontier.
 

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The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris), is a subspecies of the grey wolf (Canis lupus), a member of the Canidae family of the mammalian order Carnivora. The term "domestic dog" is generally used for both domesticated and feral varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and pet in human history. The word "dog" may also mean the male of a canine species, as opposed to the word "bitch" for the female of the species.

The present lineage of dogs was domesticated from gray wolves about 15,000 years ago. Though remains of domesticated dogs have been found in Siberia and Belgium from about 33,000 years ago, none of those lineages seem to have survived the Last Glacial Maximum. Although mDNA testing suggests an evolutionary split between dogs and wolves around 100,000 years ago, no specimens prior to 33,000 years ago are clearly morphologically domesticated dog.

Dogs' value to early human hunter-gatherers led to them quickly becoming ubiquitous across world cultures. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human society has given them the nickname "Man's Best Friend" in the Western world. In some cultures, dogs are also source of meat.In 2001, there were estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.

Most breeds of dogs are at most a few hundred years old, having been artificially selected for particular morphologies and behaviors by people for specific functional roles. Through this selective breeding, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal. For example, height measured to the withers ranges from 6 inches (150 mm) in the Chihuahua to about 2.5 feet (0.76 m) in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called "blue") to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark ("red" or "chocolate") in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse-haired to wool-like, straight, curly, or smooth. It is common for most breeds to shed this coat.
Just wanted to add to this a bit as there are various opinions.

. . . the dog's ancestor isn't the mighty grey wolf of Discovery Channel.

That wolf didn't exist yet when the dog began to split off into a new species - the grey wolf as he is today had yet to evolve, just as the domestic dog did. What you need to imagine is a much smaller animal, who had already split off from the wolf family line, some 200,000-500,000 years ago. This ancestor wasn't a specialised hunter like the wolf is, but rather what biologists call a 'generalist' - an animal that is not limited to one special food source or environment, but that can adapt to various situations. This smaller ancestor probably looked somewhat like the dingo and other primitive dogs who still live in the wild today. It may not have been a pack animal. In fact, pack living is rare among canids. So, like most of the generalist canids we see today, the dog's ancestor probably lived in pairs and temporary family groups, able to deal both with being together and with being alone.

So now you are picturing a smaller, more dog-like kind of animal. - Myths About the Dog's Origin and Nature

". . . Currently, there is a debate between geneticists about the origin of the domestic dog. One school, which uses studies mtDNA and y-chromosomes, say that dogs have origins in either southern China or Southeast Asia. The other, which has examined nearly 50,000 SNP's (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) within the dog genome and found that dogs are most similar in their genome to Middle Eastern wolves. - http://retrieverman.net/2011/12/19/twigs-versus-logs-and-the-origin-of-the-domestic-dog/

". . . Now, it doesn't mean that phenotypically distinct domestic dogs first appeared in the Middle East. It just means that this population contributed to the majority of dogs we have today. The small dog gene that is found in purebred dogs is also found in some Middle Eastern wolves-likely coming from Canis lupus arabs. The smallest members of that subspecies weigh only 25 pounds. . .

. . . The VonHolt and Wayne study mentioned in this article found that certain East Asian breeds have an affinity with Chinese wolves. - http://retrieverman.net/2012/01/31/...e-main-source-for-the-dogs-genetic-diversity/

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Cane Corso, is a direct descendant of the Roman Dog used in battle.

The Cane Corso Italiano is the original Cane Corso breed. It originated in Italy. Its direct ancestor is the "Canis Pugnax" (the old Roman Molossian) of which he is the light version employed in the hunting of large wild animals and also as an "auxiliary warrior" in battles. For years he has been a precious companion of the Italic populations. Employed as property, cattle and personal guard dog and used for hunting purposes too. In the past this breed was common all over Italy as an ample iconography and historiography testify. In the recent past he has found a excellent preservation area in Southern Italy, especially in Puglia, Lucania and Sannio. His name derives from the Latin "Cohors" which means "Guardian", "Protector". The Cane Corso was accepted into the AKC's miscellaneous class in 2008.
The molossian, that was another that came up a lot and seemed to fit 'my' idea.
 

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. . . I have looked into this a bit and it seems the mastiff is quite close to an 'original' (for want of a better word) dog type and this may fit the roman dog image although I still imagine them being sleeker, more elegant, greyhound/doberman types. . .
I don't know if I have understood your queery, but I wanted to mention there were many and varied ancient dog types - from small to large. I don't know if we can put our finger on a single 'original'.

. . .In the Gobi Desert, remains of small dogs with shortened faces and soft coats were discovered in an ancient kitchen midden used by early humans. The kitchen midden is where these early humans put their wastes. This area would certainly have attracted scavengers, including dogs. The remains of these small scavenging dogs have been dated to ten thousand years ago. This find is rather significant in that it shows that small dogs were the norm in the early days of domestication. Further, it suggests that reduction in size was an early adaptation of the scavenging canids that eventually became modern domestic dogs. They differ very much from the wolf, and they also differ from various pariah dogs that are currently found throughout East Asia. Analysis of the pug's mitochondrial DNA, the DNA all organisms receive from their mothers and can be used to determine exact evolutionary relationships, and the analysis of the mitochondrial DNA from the kitchen midden dogs shows that the pug and its East Asian relatives are direct descendants of these early dogs. - Dog breed facts: Pug - by Scottie Westfall - Helium

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My Celtic birth sign is "Cwn Annan" (Celtic hounds of the underworld)



…Hath thou never heard lore of Cwn Annan? On a forlorn winter's night where the moon shines not, do they not come to thee? Ghostly specters, the hounds dance in expectation of the hunt, eyes and ears glow an unearthly crimson… Blood. They writhe and howl in a manner not of mortal dogs. No, these creatures are from the dead, from the world beneath….. They spring forth from the soil, for their lair is not but ruins by a lake forgotten. Running across the night sky, they wait for their masters to call them hither for the hunt. Hath thou never heard the mournful bays they give off in the dead of night? Or thou just gave them off for a mere fancy of the mind, or the whispering winds through tree. Fools notions, I tell thee. Only a fool will take no notice of the tales of old, only a fool. But when the hounds come for thee, thou shall see the undaunted fury that lie behind the scarlet eyes as they wisp the souls of unwary travels on the Hunts night. Only fools will pay no heed to Cwn Annan…
 
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