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The Human Alpha Figure - Truth or Fallacy? - Written by Dogman Mike McConnery

Development Of The Brachycephalic Dogs - Written by Dr. Carl Semencic

A New Look At The Contribution Of The Eastern Brachycephalic Breeds To "Bull Breed" History - Written by Dr. Carl Semencic

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The Danes of Send Manor:
The Life, Loves and Mystery of Gordon Stewart
by Robert Heal

The Danes of Send Manor: The Life, Loves and Mystery of Gordon Stewart

by Robert Heal

In The Company of Newfies:
A Shared Life
by Rhoda Lerman

In The Company of Newfies: A shared life by Rhoda Lerman

Positive Reinforcement:
Training Dogs in the Real World
by Brenda Aloff

Positive Reinforcement: Training Dogs in the Real World by Brenda Aloff

Bones Would Rain From the Sky:
Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs
by Suzanne Clothier

Bones Would Rain From the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs

by Suzanne Clothier

A New Look at the contribution of the eastern brachycephalic breeds to "bull breed" history. Carl Semencic with Don Fiorino

"Dog World" magazine, March, 1984.

Although the history of the development of the various recognized categories of purebred dogs is rarely a subject upon which there is no disagreement, some breed histories are widely, if not universally, accepted by historians involved in the dog fancy.

Of these, probably no purebred history is as widely accepted as that which presumably accounts for development of the Bulldog.

The history of the Bulldog - or if the reader should prefer, the "English" Bulldog - bears importance to many dog enthusiasts due to the fact that this breed, once it had become firmly established, was used extensively in the development of so many of our later breeds, such as the Bullmastiff, Boxer, French Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, and Boston Terrier -to name the more obvious members of the Bull cross group currently registered with the A.K.C. Discrepancies in our understanding of the basic components used in the development of these, and many other purebreds, would certainly give rise to a lack of understanding of many of today's purebreds.

In this light it is most certainly to our advantage as interested breeders, judges, owners and fanciers of purebred dogs to be certain that the history of the Bulldog which is so widely accepted is a more or less accurate one.

Among the most widely held and firmly established beliefs in all the world of Dogdom are the beliefs that (A) The Bulldog is purely of British origin and (B) the Bulldog was developed from purely British stock which generation after generation, was carefully selected for Bulldog-like characteristics.

The dog literature from the earliest to the most recent absolutely abounds with the regurgitation of these beliefs.

For purposes of presenting a case which will be concise, only a tiny fraction of the available secondary sources on these subjects can be offered to assure the reader that these beliefs are firmly established.

It is interesting that primary sources, ie no early breeding records of any sort, exist which even superficially account for the development of the Bulldog.

As early as the year 1803, Volume 1 of "The Sportsman's Cabinett" says of the Bulldog that "This particular race is admitted by every naturalist to have stood in equal degree of originality with the shepherd's dog and the Irish greyhound; as well as to have been the native production of Britain".

Some years later, in his "Anecdotes of Dogs" of 1829, Captain Thomas Brown was to re-express this opinion.

Brown said that "The Bull-dog is admitted by naturalists to be one of the original and peculiar races of Britain, and may be ranked, in point, with the shepherd's dog and the Irish greyhound". In the second edition of his work entitled "The Bulldog.

A Monograph" of 1901, Edgar Farman was also to comment of the British origin of the Bulldog.

Farman said that ".....there can be no difference of opinion on two points.

First as to the extreme antiquity of the Bulldog, and secondly as to the indisputable right to the honor of being considered the national dog, par excellence.

It belongs purely to this country; when expatriated in the remote past it has deteriorated surely and rapidly, although this remark no longer applies; and it is looked upon by foreigners as emblematic of an Englishman."

In 1977, the Englishman Harry Glover in his book entitled "A Standard Guide to Purebred Dogs" was to say that "..... throughout the world the Bulldog is recognized as something peculiarly British."

Finally, in a seemingly somewhat less convinced manner, the most recent publication of "The Complete Dog Book" of the merican Kennel Club says that to the best of their knowledge the Bulldog had it's origin in the British Isles.

Despite the attitude of certainty which traditionally proclaims the Bulldog to be of unquestionably British origin, serious questions begin to arise when breed historians begin to search for component breeds originally used in the development of the Bulldog.

There are essentially two schools of thought which attempt to account for Bulldog development.

The first suggests that the Bulldog as we know it is a specialized form of Mastiff, and was produced as a result of selective breeding for Bulldog-like characteristics.

The second school of thought suggests that both the Mastiff and the Bulldog have a common ancestor in the now extinct, large, short mouthed, British breed known to dog history as the Alaunt.

Concerning the theory that both the Mastiff and the Bulldog had a common ancestor, Edgar Farman stated that in 1901 it was "generally admitted that both breeds had a common origin in the Alaunt..."

In 1973 Col. Bailey C. Haynes, in his book entitled "The New Complete Bulldog", was to once again publish the position that "it is now generally agreed that both the Mastiff and the Bulldog probably had a common ancestor in the Alaunt.

At least one early British source entitled the "Encyclopedia of Rural Sports "was apparently uncomfortable with the position that the squat, brachycephalic, much smaller Bulldog was descended solely from either the Mastiff or the Alaunt alone.

This source states that "The bull-dog, without a doubt, is an artificial animal and of spurious origin; such a dog might be immediately derived from a stunted specimen of the mastiff; and the contortion of the limbs , with the extension of the underjaw of the bull-dog, would favor a specimen of a rickety origin."

This source, then, would have us believe that the selective breeding program which accounted for the development of the Bulldog from purely Mastiff stock employed the use of Mastiffs deformed by rickets!

With all that has been said thus far concerning the origin of the Bulldog, we would like to suggest that it is high time for a complete reassessment of our beliefs in this area and to offer some new ideas which we feel will more precisely explain the early development of the Bulldog and it's offshoot breeds.

We believe that it is totally unnecessary to view the Bulldog as being from either purely Mastiff or purely Alaunt stock when there were other breeds available in the area at the time of the development of the breed which much more clearly suggest phenotypical similarities to the early Bulldog.

We also feel hat the traditional belief that the Bulldog is of British origin is based upon nothing substantial.

In fact, if Bulldog enthusiasts will insist upon attributing political boundaries to an area in which the Bulldog as we know it first arose, data suggest that this area would probably be Portugal.

Having made these statements, let's see if we can support them to the reader's satisfaction.

The term "Bulldog" is a term which has both functional and descriptive applications.

Functionally the term can be applied to any breed employed in the dubious sport of bull baiting in the manner in which such labels as "bird dog", "gun dog", "coon hound", etc., are used today.

Descriptively we cannot say that the term "bulldog" is to be applied only to dogs which look like modern Bulldogs, as (a) the breed has undergone an incredible series of changes in appearance over the years, and (b) theoretically, a breed which might look exactly like a modern Bulldog could be developed using components other than those used in the original construction of the breed.

The descriptive application of the term Bulldog must then refer to those dogs which are of the same lines as those which, upon having been originally constructed, were accepted as having constituted the breed.

Any particular example composed of other components would not constitute a need to modify the descriptive label as long as the mixing (possibly with terrier) would, in the long run, not have affected the breed on the whole.

The overall perception of the Bulldog breed was never seriously modified by any such mixing as far as we have been able to determine.

It is important that we clearly understand the difference between a dog given the functional title "bulldog" and a breed given the descriptive title "bulldog" if we are to make a serious attempt to reconstruct Bulldog history.

Col. Haines mentions that the earliest known reference to the Bulldog in literature appears in French literature.

Unfortunately Haines does not tell us just where in French literature this source appears, and we have been unable to locate this source to date.

It is our belief, however that the early French reference would have been employing functional terminology, and so this "bulldog" would have been irrelevant to a discussion of Bulldog breed history.

Another reference to a breed which may also have been referred to as "bulldog" for purely functional purposes, although the terminology is not used in surviving literature, appears in the "Master of Game" by Edward 2nd Duke of York, written between 1406 - 1413.

Edward refers to a fierce form of alaunt known at the time as "alaunt veutreres", which was "shaped as a greyhound of full shape, they have a great head, great lips and great ears, and with such men help themselves at the baiting of the bull...."

We must bear in mind that in his description of the Alaunt Veutrerer Edward is not describing a Mastiff.

Edward devotes a separate chapter to the Mastiff and also mentions the fact that a good wild boar dog was bred when a Mastiff was crossed to an Alaunt.

The reader should keep the fact that this cross was a common one in mind for future reference.

Many Bulldog historians in their struggle to find the earliest reference to Bulldogs in the literature site the writing of Johannes Caius in his book "Of Englishe Dogges" written in 1576; the earliest of all dog books.

Caius writes of a dog which "exceedeth all other in cruell conditions...wheresoever he setteth his tenterhooke teeth, he taketh such sure and fast holde, that a man may sooner teare and render him in sunder, then lose him and separate his chappes."

This description does not, despite the beliefs of many Bulldog historians, refer to the Bulldog, in our opinion, but instead refers to the alaunt of which, in addition to describing as a bullbaiter, Edward says " have seen Alaunts slay their masters.

In all manner of ways Alauntes are treacherous and evil....." Furthermore, Edward tells us of the Alaunt that " is the best hound to hold and to nyme (seize) all manner of beasts and hold them fast."

In this light it is the obvious absence of the mention of the Bulldog in the Englishman Caius' work of 1576 that is relevant.

Caius' work suggests that in 1576 the Bulldog, as we would recognize it's lineage, did not exist in England, if anywhere.

The earliest known reference to the Bulldog in English literature comes to us in the form of a letter from Prestwich Eaton to George Willingham of London, sent from St. Sebastian in 1631.

In this letter Eaton asks that he be forwarded "a good Mastive dogge", and that his case of bottles be "replenished with the best lickour" and he adds "pray procuer mee two good Bulldogges and let them be sent by ye first shipp."

This mention by Eaton of Bulldogs is interesting not only because he calls the dogs by breed name, but also because they are clearly distinguished from the Mastiff at a time when the Alaunt also went by it's own descriptive name.

It is then between the years 1576 and 1631 that the Bulldog was probably developed, and though we know that the breed was in London during 1631, we have absolutely no reason to believe that they were developed there.

Closing our minds to both Mastiffs and Alaunts for a moment we now need to consider another very interesting development which was taking place during the time period we are discussing.

This development, in our opinion, was to have a profound effect upon the world of purebred dogs and to give rise to the development of the Bulldog.

In the year 1557, the seafaring nation of Portugal first established trade relations with China.

In China, small, squat, brachycephalic dogs known as Pai dogs had been bred as early as the first century A.D.

Short faced dogs of various types and sizes were also common during this time in China, though no such development had taken place elsewhere in the world and certainly not in western Europe.

However, western European dog enthusiasts made a feeble attempt to claim the Pub dog as their own, even in the face of the knowledge that these dogs were abundant in China.

In 1909 James Watson said "While we have credited Holland with the original possession of the Pug, we are not prepared to advance any proof of this statement.

Indeed there is more reason, so far as the proofs we have seen, to suppose that it is every bit as much English as Dutch.

" It is now (today) clearly understood that the squat , brachycephalic dogs are entirely of Chinese origin.

As the brachycephalic dogs were a completely new discovery for the western Europeans first coming upon them in China, it would not be the least bit unexpected for early Portuguese traders to secure examples of these dogs from the Chinese to introduce them to their countrymen upon returning home.

This was apparently the case, as while Portugal was trading with China in 1557, and the Dutch and the English had not established contact with China until 1624 and 1637 respectively, a Pug-like dog is first mentioned in the literature of western Europe in 1618.

In 1618, Sir Roger Williams writes in "His actions of the low countries" that "the Prince of Orange kept a breed of dog which was small and white with crooked, flat noses called Camuses - camuses meaning flat nosed."

With this in mind, the authors feel that it was very likely a cross between the squat, brachycephalic, oriental breeds (described by Sir Roger Williams as being white in color) which were imported by Portuguese seafarers in Portugal from China before either the Dutch or the English had established trade relations with China, and the fierce bullbaiter known as the Alaunt (a white dog by description) which produced the original dogs of the line we know as Bulldogs (which were also often white dogs).

A cross between the early eastern brachycephalic dogs and the produce of the common Alaunt/Mastiff cross is another likely possibility, and would account for early variation in Bulldog coat color.

Why this cross was first considered we cannot say. Perhaps it was not at first intentional; perhaps it was a smaller Alaunt bitch crossed to a larger Pug-like dog which produced the first crossbred "bull-dogs".

Perhaps the similarly white coats, the short face of the eastern dogs and the relatively short face of the Alaunt that first suggested this cross.

It was likely an eastern dog/Alaunt cross, with the offspring being crossed back to eastern dog and then perhaps again, which gave the new cross-bred dog its surly disposition and Bulldog appearance.

But if this was the case, would we not expect the early Bulldog to be very Pug-like in appearance - but larger and with an aggressive temperament? As it happens, this is exactly the case.

Even as late as 1825, Captain Thomas Brown describes the Pug as follows:

"This variety is so nearly allied to the bull-dog in form and general appearance that a detailed description is quite unnecessary. The chief difference is its size, being much smaller and its tail curled upon its back. It differs extremely in another particular, which is courage, this animal being as timid as the other is valient."

An earlier reference which comes from "A General History of Quadrupeds" by Bewick, the second edition of which was produced in 1791, describes the Pug Dog as being "in every way formed like the bull-dog; but much smaller and its tail curled upon its back."

It is interesting to note that early line drawings of Bulldogs show that the breed's tail is also curled upward, but not as tightly.

As bullbaiting was a widespread activity throughout the area of western Europe - which included Spain, Portugal, France, and England at the time - it is not surprising that the Bulldog, very possibly having been produced in Portugal sometime between roughly 1560 and 1618, would be well established in England by 1631.

But we see that, despite tradition, there is absolutely no reason to insist upon a British origin of this breed.

Hopefully, this article will stimulate fresh thinking in this area and lead to the eventual uncovering of even more revealing information.


Prior to 55 BC - Asian Mastiffs are established in western Europe, having been brought to the area by eastern peoples migrating westward. These dogs are so well established in western Europe as to constitute a distinct form by 55 B.C.

In 411 A.D., large, short faced hounds of Chinese origin are brought to Europe by the westward migration of the Alans. (See other articles by Semencic).

1406 - 1413: By this time, a large, ferocious, short faced, hound-like, dog has evolved in western Europe from the original Chinese stock. These dogs, known as Alaunts, are being used as catch dogs in the hunting of big game, and as baiters of bulls, bears, and lions.

1557: Portugal establishes trade with China and shortly there after brings the Pug Dog to western Europe.

1624: The Dutch East India Company takes control of Coastal Taiwan and begins developing trade contacts in nearby Fukien and Chekiang provinces.

1637: English ships shoot their way into Kvang-chov and dispose of cargo there.

1835: Bull and Bear baiting are declared illegal in England by an act of Parliament.

Dr. Carl Semencic's website...

Gladiator Gladiator Dogs by Carl Semencic Dr. Semencic wrote "Gladiator Dogs" as a follow-up to his first book, "World of Fighting Dogs", in which he introduced several breeds of gladiator dogs that had been virtually unknown here in the United States and elsewhere in the world. "Gladiator Dogs" contains an updated perspective of each of the fighting dogs, among them the American Bulldog. The book is not intended to be an "everything you always wanted to know about these breeds" kind of book. Each section is an acute overview of its subject, covering the time span between books and bringing the reader up to speed with newly discovered information and answers. The book contains a section of the questions most frequently asked, and Dr. Semencic's answers. The photographs and accompanying captions are very well suited to the book and give several different perspectives of each breed. The composition is Dr. Semencic's usual style of comprehensive and informative writing with a flair for the personal mien.

From the back cover: From the Back Cover

From the author of The World of Fighting Dogs and Pit Bulls and Tenacious Guard Dogs comes this third and most impressive book to date, Gladiator Dogs. Bringing to life thirteen breeds originally used as fighting dogs, Dr. Carl Semencic illustrates the history, characteristics and abilities of the world's toughest canines, and shares hundreds of great color photographs of top dogs sent by owners around the globe. The author does not fight dogs and does not condone dogfighting, but he is fascinated with the qualities and instincts of these fearless gladiator breeds. Gladiator Dogs is a valuable educational book that represents years of experience and research on these remarkable historical dogs. In addition to the author's favorite breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier, Dr. Semencic discusses other related breeds, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, covering the differences and similarities between these bully cousins. A respected rare-breed authority and an accomplished world traveler, Dr. Semencic shares his first hand experience with these dogs from his trips to the Canary Islands, South Africa, Europe, and more. Gladiator Dogs profiles many breeds that the author has introduced, mentoured and promoted, including the American Bulldog, Canary Dog, South African Boerboel and Korean Jindo.

Review: In my opinion, one can offer nothing but a five star review to any book that is based solely upon totally independent research and which offers valid information that has never been offered in writing anywhere before. This is especially true when the subject in question is one of the oldest and most commonly discussed subjects in the world. For the past two decades, Semencic has been this area of interest's greatest pioneer. If he has, in fact, made the decision to write no more books about dogs (as he suggests is the case in Gladiator Dogs), dog fanciers world-wide have certainly lost something important. It's a pity that any of us are so blind (read "jealous") as to be unable to see what he has contributed. "Gladiator Dogs" is written in typical Semencic-style, as if he were "talking dogs" with an old friend. Like his other books, information is offered about breeds that have never, ever been mentioned in print. All of the information is first hand. It is based upon what he has learned from his worldwide network of friends and acquaintances who are involved with these rare breeds and upon the extensive travel he has done in order to come to know these breeds himself. There are a few editorial errors in this book but it is plain to see that these errors are the fault of the publisher and not the author. All that I could find are restricted to photo captions. Maybe this author could have use another publisher? Also, I am a little bothered by the fact that I bought this book when it was first released at $60.00. Now it is available for much less. But this isn't Semencic's doing either. All in all, if you are seriously interested in the gladiator breeds of dogs, there is no question that you should own this book. If you own none of his books, buy them all and keep them in good shape because they will be collector's items one day, should they ever go out of print. His first book, "Fighting Dogs", in its original cover is a collectors item already. Congratulations "Doc". Thanks for the great contribution to the world of dogs and thanks for including us in your hobby.

Another review: Yes this is a simple book. Yes it reads like a grandpa telling you his wartime stories in the backyard. Yes the photos looks like those taken off of a traveler's album. No this is not a major academic work on the subject. BUT ... Yes, this is also the only book I've seen on rare breeds such as the Boerboel. Yes, this is the only book that I've seen to dare show pictures of fighting dogs in action. Yes, the author made an attempt on his free vacation time to visit places that no other have shown before as it relates to the subject of fighting dogs. No, the book is not a waste of money for those inclined to have a "bulldoggy" book on their shelf. After all, it's about supply and demand........and the supply on this subject is still few. Until more comprehensive books are published, Dr. Semencic is still the leading authority in terms of relaying this information to the public outside of cyberspace.

Another review: I have over 65 dog books and this is by far one of my best. This book is well written, full of information, and a joy to read. Get it!

Another review: Dr. Sememcic gives us a look into the world of canines that are unfortunately common place in todays headlines He is also able to deliver a breif overture of some obscure and rather unheard of breeds. Some of his references are one sided and opinionated. But to his credit he does do more research on the subject of fighting dogs than some of the other better known authors. I felt that the book was very informative and I did enjoy it despite the author's sometimes boring text book style of narative. The pictures in this book are some of the best that I have ever seen in any dog book. I would definately recommend this book.

Another review: I have an American Bulldog named Gator X. He has the potential to bring down a big man, and it was not hard to make this choice of dog with the help of the man, Dr. Carl. If you are in the market for a good mastiff doggue, please read this book. These dogs may be big and scary, but they have also been bred for 2 thousand years to stick to their humans. This book shows this in all honesty. Yes, there are fighting pics, but I see small dogs do the same thing owned by bad owners. Dr. Semencic is the penultimate expert on what a dog can do, and where they came from, and that THEY ARE GREAT DOGS TO LOVE, NOT ONLY FEAR. Please read this book if you are a big dog enthusiast. If you want a book that delivers great insight as to why so many of these breeds are misunderstood, buy it. If you want amazing pictures, buy it. I can not imagine taking anyone else's word as to the dog world considering the mastiff breeds than Dr. Semencic's. History should ensure mistakes are not made again. Here is a book that shows you why these dogs are here, and why you should respect them or go small. I have a military life, and my hubby may be gone, but because of this book, and his preceeding, and because of Laurakennels, I am safe, secure, and enriched. May you all read this and realize that dogs are big investments with great history and great rewards. This book is the decisive measure for those on the line. Go bullies go.

Another review: Excellent book packed with unbiased information on many of the worlds most exotic working breeds. Both pictures and information are top notch and hard to find else were. For those of you living in a closet, the Dr is THE authority on working dogs and he has done magnificent job on this book.
The The World Of Fighting Dogs by Carl Semencic

Review: A great book for anyone wishing to know more obout bulldog breeds, it also expells some of the myths surrounding fighting dog breeds. this book does not promote the fighting of dogs, but does explain the history of the barbarrick so called sport.

Another Review: This book by Carl Semencic is a good book for someone who would like a general overview of the fighting breeds. It describes and details that which is unique to each breed and how each breed has evolved. A good book to have in your library that describes those breeds which are overlooked by traditional dog books.

Another review: I was terribly distressed when I read that this book was availble at Amazon. This book describes dog fighting, details the rules of dog fighting, shows pictures of dog fighting, and glorifies famous fighting dogs. Dr. Semmencic states something about the thrill of watching two dogs square off to fight. (this is not a quote but a paraphrase) I will not longer so buisness with Amazon. I do not support buisnesses with no moral conscious.

Another review: This is one of the worst pieces of GARBAGE I have ever seen! I cannot believe it ever got published or that reputable book stores actually carry it! People - it glorifies dogfighting which is a FELONY!!!!!!! A direct quote from this piece of trash - "The American Pit Bull is indisputably the most effective fighting dog developed by man. ...I mean that contests between Pit Bulls and other breeds have been staged with the results consistently supporting the contention that a Pit Bull will defeat any other animal that has ever been called a dog and then some." GARBAGE! GARBAGE! GARBAGE! Do not buy this thing - instead demand that it be pulled from the shelves.

Another review: This book is easy to read, keeps you going and offers more information on fighting breeds than any other book I have found to date. Read it, you won't be sorry.

Another review: I bought my first copy of this book six months after it came out in 1984. Back then, Semencic's critics claimed he'd made up most of the breeds he had been writing about in his magazine articles and books. Well, to tell the truth, I did too and I was already a Bullmastiff breeder. I was sure there was no such breed as a Dogue de Bordeaux and that the chapter about this breed was a sham. Now I breed Bordeaux Dogues. Today Semencic's critics say that his books are no good because because what he writes is common knowledge. The truth is, it's common knowledge because he made it common knowledge. I know. I was there, watching. I often wonder how big a laugh he must get out of the newcomers who don't understand what his contributions are, if he's paying attention to them at all. Having watched this situation for the past 15 years, I can tell you it's a good lesson in how time distorts our view of efforts of the past. The fools become heros and the heros fools.

Pit Pit Bulls and Tenacious Guard Dogs by Carl Semencic

Review: I can say only one thing about Carl Semencic, and that is, "about time!" I have been a big dog lover ever since my American Bulldoggue, Gator X, came into my life. People say guard dogs are dangerous. I say, yes they are, to the intruder. Here is the reason why they are. Here, also, and most important, is why they are age old and still used. These dogs are bred to be with people.

Through research and finally pushing the envelope as to the stereotypes, the author has shown the truth behind these dogs. They are useful, loving, and intelligent animals who need the right owner to save them. He shows that the dogs need us like we need them. These dogs are not for show, nor our inadequacy problems, but for the purpose of loving us and being what we bred them to be, and that is the best of all dogs. They are smart and protective and loving.

This book is a catalog of breeds that will do right by you if you are able to utilize their talents and show them the right attention and love. If you are in the market for a good guard dog, most of the ones I would recommend, save for the bandog and the boerboel, are here. It is the best catalog of good guard dogs in print today. I suggest Gladiator Dogs as a follow up book.

Go big or stay home.

Another review: To start let me tell you I own two Pit bulls male and female and they are great natural guard dogs, don't believe the other people that tell you they are not because the dogs are people friendly, German Shephards are people friendly that this mean they are not good guard dogs of course not, they are one of the best. I agree with the author when he says Pit bulls only love their family and friends of its family and will oppose any enemy of its family with a ferocity that was unprecedented in the world of dogs. I dare anyone to break into my home or jump my back yard fence and that will prove my point. I also love all guard dog breeds and this book gives great information on them specially breeds that are rare. Since I purchased this book I can't put it down, it has good pictures of great dogs. This book is a great book to own, buy it!

Another review: Although the author seems fairly knowledgeable on quite a few breeds he writes about, it is impossible to be an expert on all of them. Just the same, in his review of Bullmastiffs, he reports that he bred his own male Bullmastiff at the tender age of 10 months when he knew that it had a genetic immune deficiency. Hips cannot be accurately X-ray'd for displasia until the age of two years, which any responsible breeder of a large dog knows. Then he goes on to complain about the poor health quality of these poor dogs (which, by the way, would have been created by similar unethical breeding practices.) The same kind of irresponsible breeding he practices is responsible for the problems he decries in the German Shepherd (although he does have some accurate criticisms). He seems a bit illogically biased towards the APBT. He states that a Bull Terrier's size is not sufficient for stopping power, yet never brings this up with the APBT. I love Pit Bulls too, but I really don't think it's accurate to judge them on different criteria than other breeds. Pit Bulls are, after all, a people lover, and in my opinion not of the guarding calibur of breeds that have been bred for centuries for guarding and protection. Altogether, "Pit Bulls and Tenacious Guard Dogs" lacks consistency and impartiality and raises some serious questions about the author's breeding ethics.

Another review: Although, most of the writing appears to be accurate, the pit bull terrier is not a natural guard dog if left to it's own devices.To consider the pit bull a natural guard dog and compare them to breeds of great size that have been bred as guardians /or protectors for years is a fallacy. Guard work comes naturally to many of the breeds mentioned, specifically the mollusus breeds. However, extensive training is required for the otherwise "people friendly" pit bull to be used in this area. The breed has a deep desire to learn and a yearning to please and this combined with their athletic ability, enables them to excel and in many cases surpass other breeds with regard to it's specific training. They are not natural guard dogs however, and the true American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier without this specific training, could bark or even growl when a stranger knocks at the door. However, they will greet that same stranger with their tail wagging unless unless otherwise provoked. They are not naturally wary of strangers as the other breeds, nor should they be. They are people friendly dogs who happen to have a bad reputation due to man's interference and selfish desires.

Another review: If you want a dog capable of being a protector as well as a buddy, but arent sure yet quite what you want, this book has chapters on most of the popular breeds as well as some not usually considered, such as the giant schnauzer. The author does a good job of giving an honest evaluation of each breed, the good points as well as the bad. He also did something I havent seen before in a breed anthology which is 'If you dont see it here, I dont consider it suitable for guard training' (paraphrased). If you can stomach the testosterone-flavored writing (ok, not that bad) it's a fascinating read, with tons of pictures of those breeds you'd love to see in the flesh, but know you never will. Definitely in the top 2 of my doggie book collection.

Another review: This book focuces on the dogs diffrent pros and cons it also gives info on the availibility in the U.S. it had an article on my personal fav breed tha dogo wich is surprising it is an all around source of info a great book for the rare breed keepers library.

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