Dog Breeds Online


Picture of a Pyrenean Mastiff

A Pyrenean Mastiff


A molosser is a native of an ancient western Greek kingdom, known as Molossia, and today it is a name for a group of solidly built massive dogs. The Mollassers are sometimes incorrectly called by the collective noun "mastiffs", and they include the Tibetan mastiff and the Neapolitan Mastiff, but they are not mastiffs, they are distinctive molossers. In the singular a mastiff is technically an English Mastiff. This ancient English dog is a molosser but a mastiff is not (are you still following me?)


All molossers share similar characteristics:

  • very heavy bodied
  • enormous heads
  • dewlaps
  • wrinkled forehead
  • extremely sturdy legs
  • short but very muscly neck

Examples of molossers are the St bernard, a search and rescue dog, and the newfoundland, chiefly used as a guard dog or a herder.

Ancient legends say that the Tibetan mastiff was the forefather of the molossers, but there's little scientific evidence to support this theory. There is evidence that a type of large watchdog has roamed the plains of Asia since ancient times. Many of the Molossers originated in Northern Europe and that would account for the fact that many of them have thick coats, as a line of climactic defense.


In general they can be stubborn and difficult to train. This is a generalisation though, there are many different types of molossers.


Many molossers have long coasts with high maintenance needs.

Life Expectancy

About nine to fourteen years, none of the large dogs are very long living.


All large dogs can be destructive ands a long walk a day helps them to be stimulated mentally and not destroy whatever is in sight.


The entire breed can be strong willed which means they can be hard to work with. Some have a greater desire to please than others. They are loyal and friendly without being particularly obedient.


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