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Boris R.





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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 4:53 am    Post subject: medieval european dog breeds still around today         Reply with quote

Are there still any?
I know of Basset, Beagle and Irish Hound, at least in name if not in identical form we know today...
Cane Corso is the one that frequently pops up but I read somewhere that it has not survived but instead was selectively bred to resemble the ancient Cane Corso.
What about the Shar Mountain Dog?
Any contribution is welcome.

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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 6:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I'm not mistaken, weren't Rat Terriers used in Medieval England for small game dogs? If they weren't they probably should have been! I have three, and they have made rabbit and squirrel endangered species on my property! Laughing Out Loud .....McM
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William Jordan Harmon




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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Off the top of my head( though i may be wrong) Scottish Deer Hounds, Great Danes, and English Mastiff.
This website can help you out.

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/

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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Belgian Shepherds are considered largely unchanged since medieval times. I am trying to find a statue from the 12th C that I remember, which has a dog that is quite similar to a Malinois.

The Belgian Shepherds, the Dutch Shepherd and the stock which German Shepherds were bred from represent old herding dogs that go way back in European history. They were standardized into distinct breeds in the 19th and 20th C.

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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There where also lap-dogs around, being very fashionable among upper class ladies, there are paintings depicting them, some look like pugs, others like pekineses.



I would think it more prudent to look at dog types, rather than actual breeds to get an idea. For scandinavia, Spitz-type dogs has been around since the neolithic period

Looking at the "livre de chasse" I think I can spot some blood-hound looking dogs, greyhound type, something shaggy-looking and what could be interpreted as a bulldog of sorts..


[/img]

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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bjorn inadvertently makes a good comment there - 'greyhound type'.

There were lots of fast hunting dogs they would have been called grey or gaze hounds. but none that are specifically defined breeds which come in a bit later. Hence we now have the breeds that are named after the animal they hunted or type of work, Fox, Deer, wolf, Stag, blood etc. The dachshund is literally badger dog in German. There were other breeds of course and yes, Terriers are ratters and rabbiters as well as badger dogs. Poodles were fowling dogs, the fur excellent protection against the water.

Think its safe to say most breeds we have about now were around then with a few exceptions although many have had certain breed characteristics refined further through selective breeding, as would have been going on then.

Can't recall if the Boke of St Albans by Dame Juliana Berners touches on dogs, I'm sure it must but its also worth looking at 'The Hound and the hawk' by John Cummins.
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark has it pretty well right. Dog breeds as we know them were developed in the Victorian era and many breeds have changed greatly even since then.

In broad strokes before the Victorians, a terrier was a small dog that hunted vermin and a retriever was a dog that retrieved and a herder was a dog that herded. If they didn't do what they were meant to do they probably didn't live too long. How they looked was much less important than their ability and willingness to do their job. The "selective breeding" carried out by dog fanciers to get a given look has done away with that willingness to work in some breeds almost completely. I've seen whippets unwilling to chase a lure. Really quite sad if you ask me.

Just as an example I saw picture of dog breeds in an 1890's Encyclopedia Britannica and I would never have guessed the dog they named a Great Dane was any relative to the Great Danes of today. It looked much more like a sight hound, similar to a Rhodesian Ridgeback without the ridge. it was a similar case with some of the other breeds
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Ben Sweet




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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 10:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Irish Wolfhound @ Carmel Beach

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D. S. Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Smith wrote:
The Belgian Shepherds are considered largely unchanged since medieval times. I am trying to find a statue from the 12th C that I remember, which has a dog that is quite similar to a Malinois.

The Belgian Shepherds, the Dutch Shepherd and the stock which German Shepherds were bred from represent old herding dogs that go way back in European history. They were standardized into distinct breeds in the 19th and 20th C.


I have heard the same thing Robin, about Malinois being an exceptionally old breed (if not by that name). For those not familiar with Belgian Shepherds, the breed is broken down into 4 sub-breeds, all of which have the same basic size and build, males being roughly 70 lbs and females 60 lbs. The Malinois is becoming the most commonly seen, since it is now almost the universal police dog in the US, both military and law enforcement, having widely replaced the German Shepherd. The other three varieties are the Groenendael (called the "Belgian Sheepdog" in the US), which has a black, long coat, the Tervuren, which has a long coat and brown/ black markings, and the Laekenois, which has a curly gray coat.

I've never owned the Terv, Laekenois or Groenendael, so I can't comment on their temperament. The Malinois is an outstanding dog, eager to work, with an incredibly high drive, and often referred to as a "German Shepherd on speed". But they are not the dog for everyone. Malinois need a job to do and can be destructive, unhappy, unsocial or even aggressive if they don't get the attention and socialization they need.

I've had three Malinois over the years and one German Shepherd. I'll take a "Mal" any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Happy This is my female Malinois, Vixen:


My current police K9 partner, Ari:


And our deceased Malinois, Thor, who was also a police K9:

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Where the brave may live forever!
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun, 2013 3:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some more images of historical dogs, I think that this gives quite a good indication of how they looked, and what breeds/mixes we have today that would look about the same.

Another rennaisance lapdog


Hunting scene from bayeux tapestry.
[img]https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRSOVBXpFH9J9ldZUxpZD7_1UcjOx0l_3fdD0C6BSEEFJcZ_9eAww[/img]

There are more dogs in the "Lady and the Unicorn"


Manesse hunt scenes:

and
http://lebrecht.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/1....jpg?w=254

Spitz looking dogs
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ISZewQONMuk/TuIGhP3...dieval.jpg
Image too large to post, but please follow the link.
(My own mutt does not look too far from these, she's a Samojed/Bernese mountain dog/Bouvier mix breed)

I think there are several different germanic laws that states different fines for killing different types of dogs (hunting dog being worth more than a herding dog, in turn more worth than a guard dog) I'll have to check sources of that, on top of my head I can only remeber a mention in the "Schwabenspiegel", regarding fines for guard dogs (Hovawarth) at least.

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Raymond Deancona





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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun, 2013 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Anatoilan Shepherd is also a very old breed and relatively unchanged. (being a "rare" dog and living mostly in Turkey).
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Larry Bohnham





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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My very talented and learned spouse, and author over 30 dog books, informs me recent DNA testing has shown all but seven of the modern dog breeds have been "rebuilt" as it were in post-medieval times and are not genetically as they were prior to that. Among the seven are the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Afghan Hound, and Chow Chow. To the best of her recollection, it seems the breeds discussed here are not genuine pre-modern breeds. Sorry folks.
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D. S. Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun, 2013 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Larry Bohnham wrote:
My very talented and learned spouse, and author over 30 dog books, informs me recent DNA testing has shown all but seven of the modern dog breeds have been "rebuilt" as it were in post-medieval times and are not genetically as they were prior to that. Among the seven are the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Afghan Hound, and Chow Chow. To the best of her recollection, it seems the breeds discussed here are not genuine pre-modern breeds. Sorry folks.


No need for apology Larry, I like hearing your wife's input of expertise, and I'm sure others here do as well. That said, I don't know that anyone is claiming these other modern breeds (besides the 7 you mention) are completely unaltered genetically from medieval times. I think they are more saying that the breeds have undergone comparatively few changes as opposed to other current dog breeds.

My guess is that as long as man has been breeding dogs on the Earth, dog breeds have been undergoing genetic alteration. A breeder, ancient or modern, is going to try and mold the breed to a certain look, temperment, characteristic, or ability. I'd also guess that a breed in the 12th Century was probably altered from a breed in the 10th century. A great current example of this is the German Shepherd Dog. Over just that last few decades that breed has undergone significant genetic alteration, and yet I think you'd have a hard time convincing a current GSD owner that their dog is less of a "real" German Shepherd than those of the 1960's.

I'll be the first to admit I know absolutely nothing about DNA research. In our family my sister is the expert on that subject, with a doctorate in animal genetics. But even with my lack of knowledge, it just makes good "common sense" to me that some modern dog breeds have changed less from their predecessors than others. When you look at a breed like the Malinois (my favorite example), and compare it to wild animals, it seems very closely related. Without proper socialization a malinois looks, acts, and behaves almost exactly like a coyote. In fact my female Malinois used to play with a couple local coyotes in my neighborhood when she was a pup, and my neighbors often confused her for another one of the coyotes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Malinois are descended from coyotes, I'm simply making a comparison that this breed in particular (among others) seems to be very close to the "unrefined" dog in the wild. To me, and maybe my logic is faulty, this implies that it has undergone relatively few genetic changes over the years.

I'd love to hear your wife's thoughts on this. I'm far from an expert, but as a dog lover and full-time K9 handler, this topic is incredibly fascinating to me, and one I've spent a lot of time considering.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun, 2013 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bulldogs have been around in Europe, in one form or another, since the Roman times, at least according to a program I was watching. I understand that the name "bull dog" originated in the 13th century because the breed was often used for bull baiting. Bulldogs nearly vanished as a breed when bull baiting became illegal, but a small group of breeders who liked them began to breed them for more personable traits. Judging from their popularity as a breed to this day, bulldogs seem to have made the transition from fighting dog to household pet quite well.
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jun, 2013 12:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Bulldogs have been around in Europe, in one form or another, since the Roman times, at least according to a program I was watching. I understand that the name "bull dog" originated in the 13th century because the breed was often used for bull baiting. Bulldogs nearly vanished as a breed when bull baiting became illegal, but a small group of breeders who liked them began to breed them for more personable traits. Judging from their popularity as a breed to this day, bulldogs seem to have made the transition from fighting dog to household pet quite well.


Dogs where definitely used for bull (and bear) baiting. But may not have looked anything like what we today call bulldogs.
As can be seen in period images.

http://www.norwich-market.org.uk/Medieval/ima...ing.jpg%20

(from my last post)
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ISZewQONMuk/TuIGhP3...dieval.jpg

For really detailed and "natural" images of dogs, look at Dürers and Bruegels work. You will see a few different types of dog reoccuring very often. Either slim flatcoated dogs that is clearly of the same type as modern greyhounds. Also some more stout build dogs with floppy ears and stubby noses.

Genetic or osteological analysis of buried dog remains (weren't there dogs among some of the ship burials of North/West europe?) would give you some some more hard facts, but from my overview of dogs in period images, some modern breeds more or less look like those dogs, some also function like those dogs.

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Tod Glenn




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jun, 2013 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rottweilers are believed to be one of the oldest herding breeds, with origins in Roman cattle dogs. There are several 15th century painting that show dogs looking quite like the modern Rottweiler. Certainly the breed standard wasn't adopted until the early 20th century, but that is the case for many contemporary breeds.
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Eric Root




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Jun, 2013 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

THis Wikipedia article has really interesting info about Mollosers, the ancestral family of mastiffs, boxers, bulldogs, St. Bernards and a lot of other dogs with floppy ears and blunt faces: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molosser
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Iagoba Ferreira





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PostPosted: Wed 12 Jun, 2013 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe the Alano español?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alano_Espa%C3%B1ol
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