Alpine Mastiff

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Alpine Mastiff
1815 Alpine Mastiff.jpg
Alpine Mastiff (1815)
OriginSwiss and Italian Alps
Breed statusExtinct
Dog (domestic dog)

The Alpine Mastiff is an extinct molosser dog breed. Although they have the same origin as the Saint Bernard, they are still two totally different breeds. The Alpine Mastiff is a major contributor to the modern English Mastiff (through such dogs as "Couchez"),[1] as well as to other breeds that derive from these breeds or are closely related to them. M. B. Wynn wrote, "In 1829 a vast light brindle dog of the old Alpine mastiff breed, named L'Ami, was brought from the convent of Great St. Bernard area, and exhibited in London and Liverpool as the largest dog in England." William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, is believed to have bred Alpine Mastiffs at Chatsworth House.

The names "Alpine Mastiff" and "Saint Bernard" were used interchangeably in the early 19th century, but still they are two totally different breeds, though the variety that was kept at the hospice at the Great St. Bernard Pass was significantly altered by introducing other giant dog breeds, including the Newfoundland and Great Dane,[2] and it is this composite breed that now carries the name of Saint Bernard.[3] Inevitably, these dogs filtered through to the wider population and the original variety dwindled in its pure form, though a rare breed, the "Cane Garouf" or "Patua",[4] found in the part of the Alps formerly inhabited by the Alpine Mastiff, may also descend from the extinct breed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wynn, M. B. "The history of the mastiff, gathered from sculpture, pottery, carving, paintings, and engravings; also from various authors, with remarks on the same". Melton Mowbray [ Eng.?] William Loxley. Retrieved 11 December 2017 – via Internet Archive. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ The Dog Book Vol. 2, James Watson, 1906. Doubleday, Page & Co.
  3. ^ The American Book of the Dog, G. O. Shields, 1891, Rand McNally.
  4. ^ "Molosserworld's Cane Garouf Breedfacts Page". 28 February 2009. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ The Practical Kennel Guide with Plain Instructions on How to Rear and Breed Dogs for Pleasure, Show and Profit, M. D. Gordon Stables, 1875, Vintage Dog Books, ISBN 978-1-4437-4077-7.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mastiffs, the Big Game Hunters, Their History, Development and Future, Col. David Hancock MBE. ISBN 0-9527801-3-5, 2000. Charwynne Dog Features Publishing.
  • "Alpine mastiffs". Natural History. 2013-09-18. Retrieved 2017-05-02.