Sindh Mastiff

Sindh Mastiff

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About 5000-2500 years ago there were three different types of Mastiff breeds found in and around the area of Persia to India. Theses breeds were: Assyrian mastiff, Indian mastiff and the Alaunt. One of the best known dogs at that times was the “Assyrian dog” which were used as hunting and guardian dogs. 

When the Assyrian empire crumbled the Medes and the Persians (the first rulers of ancient Iran) and all the hunts-men kings of the orient, gave huge payments for these magnificent dogs, whose role seems to have been as important as that of the greyhound in the history of the canine race. At “Shush Fortress” in south western Iran there is a form of these dogs (with black colour) that gallops for hunting with some riders. 

The Persian Army used Indian dogs (mastiffs) but just for guarding and not for suicide jobs. Herodotus (Greek author born ca. 484 B.C.) writes in his book that heavy powerful dogs “Indian mastiffs” were introduced into Greece by Xerxes the First when he marched toward this country (486-465 B.C.). Alexander the Great on his return from India, brought back a very similar type of dog. Even in this time one of the largest “Satraps” of Persia in Babylon paid all of its taxes for the expenses of breeding and to take care of these dogs (Herodotus, 1.192) that guarded the soldiers camps and captured enemies prisoners. 

These Indian Mastiffs originated in and around the desert area of Kutch, the Rajasthan area and Bhawalpur area of Punjab. A part of the Kutch area in Rajasthan was under the Sindh District and hence the other name of this breed is Sindh Mastiff. At present a part of the Sindh area now fall under Pakistan and so does the Bhawalpur area.
This breed is not to be confused with the Hyrcanian Breed which was also prevalent in the Indian zone. The Hyrcanians were basically wild dogs which were cattle killers. Later they were used as war dogs by the armies of Alexander the Great. These hyrcanians came down to more deeper inside India, inside the Kumaon district to become the Kumaon Mastiff, also known as the Cypro Kukur. 

Along side the Kumaon Mastiff, the Indian Mastiff were used for hunting large games. But a sudden change in the hunting practises saw the Indian Royal families to use cheetahs for hunting instead. These to a large extent took out the Indian/Sindh Mastiff out of their job and turned them into guard dogs and dogs used for fighting.

With time most people forgot the breeds and the Kumaon Mastiff became rare and so did the Indian Mastiff. The people who fought the Indian Mastiff dropped its height a couple of inches for performance sake. The 1864 illustration of the Indian Mastiff draws the proper picture of the Indian Mastiff. In those times the Indian Mastiff were in the height zone of 76,2 – 86,3 cm.) (30-34 inches) and extremely agile and much stronger than the Old English Mastiff. But in the nearly 150 years that has passed the height of the breed have been reduced to 73,6 – 76,2 cm. (29-30 inches).

The Indian/Sindh Mastiff are also used as fighting dogs in Pakistan, where they then are called Bully Kutta, alongside the proper Bully Kutta, since most Pakistani dog fighters are attuned to call all Mastiff breeds used for fighting as Bully Kutta. Even today the Indian/Sindh Mastiff are used in Pakistan as excellent Fighting Dogs and also as one of the most dangerous guard dogs, known to excel more better as guard dogs than the true Bully Kutta.

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