The kennels of Lyme Hall in the 1890s.
The kennels of Lyme Hall in the 1890s.
Lyme Hall Mastiffs, the breed’s oldest, documented bloodline, is most famous for the romantic tale about its beginning.
It’s a subject of constant discussion — and lamentation — among Molosser owners: What to do about all that extra, er, moisture, that these dogs produce. After all, when you’ve got to clean up after it, drool definitely does not rule.
Whether you’ve owned Molossers for forever, just got your first puppy, or admire these breeds from afar, here are 10 things every Molosser lover should know:
At first glance, the two stories — each bookending a tale of boom and bust — both seem too farfetched to be true.
A meeting called by the Società Amatori Cane Corso in Benevento, Italy, was a chance for me to fulfill a dream of mine – to see and photograph the Molossers depicted in the famous fountain at the nearby royal palace of Caserta.
In the early years of the Neapolitan Mastiff, breeding was a natural inclination, a gift of nature at times, without following bloodlines or pedigrees.
Dane or Mastino? At first glance, it's not quite clear
Dane or Mastino? At first glance, it's not quite clear
The more, the merrier … Well, except when it comes to being called a Molosser.  
The kennels of Lyme Hall in the 1890s.
The kennels of Lyme Hall in the 1890s.
Dane or Mastino? At first glance, it's not quite clear
Dane or Mastino? At first glance, it's not quite clear
The Dogo Argentino emerged from the ashes of a native fighting dog to become a world-class hunter of big game.
  • America's most famous -- and richest -- family also bred some of the first Bullmastiffs in the United States.
  • A prominent chin is very important in a Dogue de Bordeaux
    "No chin, no chance" is Belgian judge Bas Bosch's oft-repeated admonition about Dogues de Bordeaux who hope to earn a ribbon under him.
  • Founding American Cane Corso litter
    Future Champion Rocco and his littermates. Rocco would go on to be one of the foundation dogs of the American selection. Photo: M. Sottile
    Over the years, there has been much conjecture surrounding the first litters of Cane Corsos imported from Sicily by Michael Sottile Sr. in the late 1980s.
  • Brindle Fila Brasileiro
    If Molossers had a sound track, what kind of music would it be? Hint: It's not Simon & Garfunkel!

Developed as an all-purpose farm dog, the Boerboel is strong boned and confident.
Are black Boerboels a rare color that needs preservation, or evidence of crossbreeding? The debate about this rustic South African Molosser rages on. 

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