What is a Bandog or Bandogge?
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Bandog InformationWhat is a Bandogge/Bandog...?
The Term, Typology, Temperament & History

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The ancient Western European BandoggesThe term Bandogge first appeared in literature around 1250–1300 in Middle England, referring to a Mastiff type dog bound by chain during the day and released at night to guard against intruders, or released to hunt large game such as wild hogs, wolves and even lions. The Bandogges of old were working dogs of various crosses with common function. They were infamous dogs of war, fierce home and property protectors and peacetime hunters of large game. There was no set "standard" beyond their overwhelming size, broad jaws and brachycephalic heads, great athleticism, drive and a proven ability to perform the most difficult tasks mankind has ever asked of our dogs.

Modern BandogEtymology: Bandogge Vs Bandog
The Old World Type Vs the Modern Type


Writing in association with my friend, fellow American Bulldog and Bandogge breeder Daniel Blasco over at Blasco Family Bulldogs© let's take a few minutes to discuss the Bandogge in detail...


Today if you're looking for Bandogge/Bandog puppies, you'll see a great many Pitbulls crossed to Neapolitan Mastiffs. While this is certainly a type of Bandogge (and often quite lovely and highly functional), it is far from the only type of Bandogge.


Historically the Bandogge was a common type of dog kept by farmers and royalty alike and even maintained by armies across numerous continents - and this for many centuries before the Pitbull even existed. Using Pitbulls to create Bandogges is in fact a very new practice within the Bandogges' richly diverse history. We refer to those newer versions of the dog utilizing Pitbull blood as "Bandogs" while we use the more ancient spelling "Bandogges" to reference the more ancient versions which did not and do not contain Pitbull blood.


Because the etymology of the term "Bandogge" finds its roots in ancient Britannia (and in fact predates the English word "Mastiff") it is a common misconception that Bandogges were a strictly English "breed" using only English dogs. While it is true that the word "Bandogge" is English and also true that the English did develop Bandogges it is simply an English word describing a type of dog that has been seen throughout the world.


An Englishman of the time period from about 1250-1300 to the mid to late 1700s would have referred to all such dogs as either "Bandogges" or "Mastiffs," just as he would have called an apple from Asia or apples from France or England all apples. Much as a horse is a horse regardless of what names it might be called by in other languages, "Bandogge" is an English word that describes a type of dog - not the name of a dog breed from ancient Britannia


Learn about CBRK REAL WORLD DOG TRAINING right here!!!


Bandogge History
The Progenitors of Many Dogs


Bandogges are descendants of an extinct dog known as Alaunts and the Alaunts were the primary descendants of the Molossus (or Molosuser), both dogs originating in the mountains of Asia. The Alaunt itself should arguably be considered among the first clearly defined "Bandogge" types, but in any event many early Bandogges were developed by crossing eastern shepherds and Mastiff-like dogs with Bullenbeissers and hounds. Later many local bloodlines were established and specific types then emerged in some regions, such as Britain, Spain, Germany, Poland, Greece and elsewhere across Europe and Eurasia.


In time the worldwide breeding of Bandogges produced many breeds that exist even today, such as the Spanish Alano of Spain, of course the English Mastiff of Great Britain, the Perro de Presa Canario of the Canary Islands, the Neapolitan Mastiff and Cane Corso of Italy, the Dogue de Bordeaux of France, the Bullmastiff of England, still much later the South African Boerboel, the Dogo Argentino and many others. All of these breeds of Mastiff-like dogs are direct descendants of the ancient Alaunts which descended down from the ancient Molossus - and all were once interchangeably called "Bandogges," "Mastiffs" or "Molossers" by anyone speaking English.

Roman Bandogge similar to Working Neapolitan MastiffEmployment of The Ancient Bandogges:
War Dogs, Castle & Farm Guardians, Large Game Hunters

Some of the most interesting study you can do on dogs comes through art, where the historical timeline of guardian and war dogs, their most preferred phenotypes, and their various uses throughout the world are clearly demonstrated visually. We've learned and continue to learn a lot in this regard.

Hunting Mastiff - Alaunt Two facts (just for example) have influenced CBRK greatly. First is the fact that the widespread use of German Shepherd Dogs and their cousin breeds like the Belgian Malinois as war and guardian dogs is a fairly recent practice from an historical perspective. These are simply not the breeds developed for thousands of years as war dogs, homestead protection and large game hunting dogs.

Second is the fact that it is a fairly recent development in history that working dogs tend to have singular utility specialties with in-home family stability not always a defining characteristic. The ancient and the fiercest war dogs in history also hunted large game, yet also guarded livestock animals and these same were also kept as house pets, very typically handled by the children of a family. Imagine owning a modern Dutch Shepherd trained to be a highly effective dog of war and handing the leash over to a 10 year old child in a public place. Most owner/handlers of such dogs would call that irresponsible, and for good reason.

Roll over the five pics below to read about the ancient war and guard dogs. They are from five different periods in history, five distinct warrior cultures, from five different locations throughout the world, all five dogs sharing a distinctly similar phenotype: Very large, short haired, brachycephalic dogs, the ancient progenitors of Mastiffs and American Bulldogs...
Ancient Assyrian Guard Dog   Alexander the Great's War Dog   Ancient Celtic Soldier with War Dog Mastiff   Ancient Alaunt War and Guard Dog   Roman War Dog
For thousands of years throughout the world the preferred dog for professional guarding and warfare was the Alaunt and its progeny. The Alaunts are the direct progenitors, still very clearly seen in the phenotypes of the various Mastiff breeds, Bullmastiffs and American Bulldogs. While the combat resume of these dogs is many times longer than that of the Shepherd breeds, for that entire history these same dogs have simultaneously been loving, in-home family dogs.

Bandogge Puppies

As mentioned elsewhere, our Bandogge girl Sophie is half English Mastiff and half Turkman Alabai. The Alabai is a very large and ancient eastern mastiff breed, used by shepherds even to this day throughout Turkmenistan and surrounding areas. In breeding Sophie to our American Bulldog boy Camo, we have repeated a very similar process to that of the ancient Bandogge breeders, combining English and eastern Mastiff blood, with that of the Bullenbeisser.


Temperament of such Bandogge puppies is quite predictable. All three breeds are particularly well known as calm and stable, natural family guardians. Adult size will range from just over 115 pounds, to 140+ pounds, with all dogs a minimum of 27" tall at the shoulders. If you're looking for a Bandogge puppy check out our Available page here.


To learn more about our Bandogge girl Sophie visit her page here. And if you'd like to learn about why Bandogges are genetically superior to purebred breeds of dog read our article: What is Hybrid Breeding & Why Should Breeders Do It...? You're probably going to be surprised by what you learn...


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