Dog Breed Group: Extinct
Life Span: 10-12 years
Weight: Male: 72-105, Female: 55-77
Height: Male: 30-33, Female: 27.5-30
Origin of Name: Dogo cubano, Cuban dogge, Cuban bloodhound and Cuban mastiff are names for an extinct landrace or breed of domestic dog from Cuba.
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Dogo Cubano was a member of a large family of dogs collectively known as Mastiffs, Molosers, Dogs, or Allants. The family is one of the oldest groups of domestic dogs, although their history is incredibly disputed. Some claim that they were descended from the ancient war dogs of Egypt and Mesopotamia, and were later spread across the Mediterranean Sea by Phoenician and Greek merchants. The most common story to their origins is that they are descendants of Molosus, afraid of the war dogs of the Greek and Roman armies. Others believe that they are descended from the Tibetan Mastiff and introduced into Europe by the Roman Empire. Many other researchers believe that they are descended from Pagans Britannia, the giant war dog of Britain's Pre-Roman Celts, which is traditionally associated with the English mastiff. It is also commonly claimed that the Mastiff is actually descended from the Alount, a type of Caucasian Overachka kept by the Allan tribe of the Caucasus Mountains.
Although mastiffs were introduced in Western Europe, they became widespread. These dogs became especially common in England and Spain. Both countries prohibited Mastiffs as war dogs, guardians of property, and fighters in blood sports. There were at least two major varieties of Mastiff-type dogs in Spain, the Mastin and the Alano. Mastin was big and slow moving. This breed was commonly used as a livestock and property protector, but also as a war dog. Alno was shorter, faster and more aggressive. This type was used primarily as a catch-dog and combatant in the game of blood, although it was also a dangerous beast of war. Both of these breeds existed in Spain at least since Roman times, and possibly even earlier. In 711, much of Spain's Visigothic kingdom was conquered by Islamic Moors from North Africa, leaving a few pockets of resistance in the Northwest and the Pyrenees Mountains. Shortly thereafter, a small number of Christian states led by Asturias initiated Punarquista, a series of crusades aimed at driving the last of the Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula. Christian states made extensive use of mastins, allants, and galgos españoles (Spanish greyhounds) during the Reconquista. These breeds were extremely effective before gun powder became common use. They were used to attack enemy foot soldiers, and all three dogs earned a reputation for extreme courage and speed. Resonquista took more than 700 years to complete, and did not surrender until the end of the last Islamic stronghold of the Kingdom of Grenada on 2 January 1492. This meant that Spanish war dogs were still extremely aggressive when the first mission to be discovered was the New World.