The truth seems to be that the war dogs of Britain (called Pugnaces Britanie or Broad Mouthed Dog) arrived to the Island even before the conquests of Alexander. They were brought by the Phoenician in their commerce travels and then used by the inhabitants of the Isles for war and fighting (you can read this in The History of the Mastiff, written by M.B. Wynn in 1886. Any way, when Romans conquered the Isles they found the pugnaces (aka broad mouthed dogs of Britain) and once matched with the Molossians they found to be by far superior in fight. The same accounts are found here and there. For example, Mike Homan writes that when Britain was made a Roman province in year 50 AD, “there were pugnaces or war dogs in Britain, mostly used in battles but later also for contests in the amphitheater. During the period of Roman domination, these fighting dogs of Britain were known as the ‘broad-mouthed dogs of Britain’.” And then Homan writes: “The strongest and most able dogs in battle previously known to the Romans were the Molosian dogs of Epirus, which, in their native country, Greece, were specifically trained for battle by the military. But when matched against the British mastiffs, they were thoroughly beaten. The courage, strenght and sagacity of the British dogs exited so much admiration from the Romans that they appointed an imperial officer to reside in Britain for the express purpose of superintending the breeding of these dogs.” (A complete History of Fighting Dogs). You will also find these accounts even in more detail in Dieter Fleig’s Fighting Dog Breeds, Robert Jenkins & Ken Mollett’s The Story of the Real Bulldog, and many more.
So I think that the mastiff and bulldog type of dogs like the Boerboel are closer related to the ‘broad mouthed dogs of Britain’, than to the Molossians. But it is just an opinion. I wanted to give this other perspective to your interesting post. Thanks for sharing it with us olddog.
E-Dog - 2012 WPBTCA National Championships
The time when screech owls and Bandogges howl and spirits walk and ghosts break up their graves.
Act I, Scene IV of William Shakespeare's "King Henry VI"