Molossian dog breeds

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Molossian dogs are normally canines robust, muscular, strong and highly loyal yours. In addition, the vast majority of them have a very high sense of protection, so they are not only excellent canine companions, but also great protectors..

For this reason, it is not surprising that these furry ones attract so much attention. Well, despite their rough appearance, they are one of the noblest dogs that we can find. If you are thinking of adopting a dog with these characteristics, keep reading this AnimalWised article, where we will tell you more about the Molossian dog breeds.

You may also be interested in: Terrier Dog Breeds Index
  1. What are Molossian dogs?
  2. Bulldog-type Molossian dog breeds
  3. Molossian mountain-type dog breeds
  4. Molossian mongrel dogs

What are Molossian dogs?

Molossian dogs are dogs that share a series of physical characteristics, as they are:

  • Muscular.
  • Strong jaws.
  • Big head.
  • Short or flat snout.

In ancient times various crossbreeds of dogs were carried out with the aim of making them excellent protectors and guardians. As a result, robust, faithful and extremely noble and protective dogs were produced towards their masters..

Bulldog-type Molossian dog breeds

Currently, there are two categories Molossian dogs: the dogo type and the mountain type. In this section, we will focus on the dogo type.


The Boxer is one of the Molossian dogs most popular worldwide. Born from the cross of the extinct Brabant bullenbeiser and the old bulldog, the boxer usually has a tawny or brindle coat. Sometimes we can also find albino boxers, although it is not very common.

The Boxer is a very active dog, so it needs a lot of daily physical exercise. With a very body muscular and proportionate and flat nose, The boxer was during World War II a messenger dog, which delivered communication cables, as well as an ambulance dog, to transport the bodies of soldiers wounded in war.

Great dane

The Great Dane is currently one of the dog breeds largest that exist. It is also a very elegant and charismatic dog. In fact, the International Cynological Federation (DIC) considers it "the Apollo of dog breeds " due to its shapely bearing and body.

We can find Great Dane dogs with different coat colors, such as fawn, brindle, black, harlequin or blue. It is a giant-sized dog with a very muscular body. He has short hair and big ears..


The Rottweiler is another of the best-known Molossian dog breeds. Of German origin, it has a body strong, robust and athletic and its size can vary from medium to large. For all this, the Rottweiler inspires admiration and fear in equal parts, especially by those who do not know him..

Despite its powerful appearance, a well-socialized Rottweiler can be a companion loyal and very loving. In addition, it is not a particularly active dog, so it adapts to all kinds of circumstances and homes..

Brazilian row

As its name indicates, the Brazilian row has its origin in Brazil, where it is normally used as a guard dog, a hunter of large prey and, also, a protector of cattle. Despite its huge and robust body, it is one of the biggest dogss faithful and helpful What can we find. In fact, it has the highly developed protective instinct, so it is not only a perfect companion, but also a great protector.

As a curious fact, when slavery was legal in Brazil, the Brazilian row was also used to catch runaway slaves. Luckily, that's already a thing of the past.

Shar pei

The Shar Pei is especially known worldwide for its large number of body wrinkles. Of both American and Chinese origin, the Shar Pei is a very popular breed of dog that is also considered a symbol of social status..

The shar pei is a medium-sized dog with a very muscular and compact body. He is very intelligent and slightly independent in character. In ancient times, it was used as a guard dog, hunting dog, fighting dog, and as a sheepdog.


The broholmers are one of the oldest dog breeds in existencen. During the Middle Ages, they were used to hunt deer and protect the lands of the feudal lords. However, it was not until the 18th century that this breed was officially recognized..

The broholmer is a dog of size big and impressive, being able to measure up to 75 cm and weigh up to 70 kg. It has a solid, broad head, a strong, thick neck, and a broad, strong chest. Its coat is short, tight and dense. Unfortunately, loose a lot of hair, so it is not recommended for allergy sufferers.

Majorcan bulldog or ca de bou dog

It is a breed of dog typical of the Balearic Islands. Formerly, the ca de bou were used as bull fighting dogs. In fact, "ca de bou " in Catalan means "bull dog ". For this reason, the Majorcan Dogo has strong muscles and a flat nose, typical of Molossian dog breeds..

Fortunately, these types of practices are not carried out today, and the ca bolou is one of the most popular dogs. faithful and protective What can we find.

Presa canario or dogo canario

Another of the most popular Molossian dog breeds is the Presa Canario, which is National symbol from their place of origin, Gran Canarias (Spain). In addition, it is one of the oldest dogs in the country. The presa canario is a robust, muscular and elongated dog, large in size and quite active.

Although they are very noble and faithful, The Dogo Canario is still considered one of the most potentially dangerous breeds in Spain and other countries.

Dogue de Bordeaux

Despite its imposing physical appearance, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a very good-natured and noble dog, perfect for families with children. One of its peculiar characteristics, in addition to its huge head, are the amount of wrinkles that accumulate on the face, especially when the dog is attentive to something.

In the past, the Dogue de Bordeaux was used for hunting big game, fighting and as a guard dog. Despite its French name, it is believed to have celtic origins.

Cane corso or Italian mastiff

The cane corso is quite a dog territorial, protective and independent. It descends from the canis pugnaux, a breed of molosser that was used as war Dog, guard dog and fighting dog in the arenas, where he fought other animals like bears and lions.

It is also a very active dog, so it is perfect for families with experience in meeting these types of needs in dogs.

Neapolitan mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiffs, or Napoletano Mastiffs, are dogs extremely strong and robust, which is why in ancient times they were used as guard dogs and for wars. However, these are not the only qualities that define it, since it is also a breed of Molossian dog very faithful to its own..

Physically, they are dogs that are characterized by having many folds in the skin and for being very tall. In fact, they can be between 70-80 centimeters tall and weigh up to 100 kg..

Tosa inu

The tosa inu is a Japanese breed of dog of the molossus type that is undoubtedly beautiful, faithful and imposing. They tend to be quite reserved dogs with strangers, but very affectionate and playful with their own. It is a large dog that can perfectly measure up to 60 centimeters tall.

Even if it is a dog very good with children, Its adoption is not recommended to people without experience in this type of dog, since they are dogs with great strength and dominance that, without a good education, may need the help of a professional dog trainer.

Row of San Miguel

It is a breed of dog little known today. One of its most distinctive features is its strong, square-shaped head. His body is strong, muscular and quite tall, although not very long. The row of San Miguel is a very active dog that needs a lot of exercise, therefore its adoption is only recommended to those people who can meet its needs.

Although the San Miguel row has existed for several decades, it was not until 1995 that it was officially considered a breed by the FCI. Today, it is becoming one of the most popular dogs in Portugal.

Other breeds of bulldog-type Molossian dogs

  • French bulldog.
  • English bulldog.
  • American bulldog.
  • Bullmastiff.
  • Mastiff.
  • Uruguayan Cimarron.

Molossian mountain-type dog breeds

Now let's talk about the following category: mountain-type Molossian dogs..


Hovawart breed dogs are of German origin. Despite not being very popular, they are one of the direct descendants of the German shepherd, which is well known. It is characterized by having a coat that may well be black with tan, black or blonde..

They are dogs with highly developed protective instinct, which is why it has been used as a watchdog and working dog. Despite their strong muscles, Hovawart breed dogs are highly affectionate and sweet.


Another of the lesser known but very beautiful Molossian dog breeds is the leonberger. They are very strong and robust dogs, with long brown hair. In addition, it has the peculiarity of having black face. It is believed to be a cross between races such as the San Bernardo and the Great Pyrenees.

Despite their great presence, they are generally docile and calm dogs, making them perfect for families. As a curiosity, it should be noted that it is a breed that is often used as rescue dog.


Another of the most spectacular Molossian dogs is the Landseer, from Germany and Switzerland. Although recognized by the FCI as an independent breed, many canine clubs consider the Landseer to be actually the black and white variant of the Newfoundland.

It is a very noble and affectionate dog with children. In fact, the British painter Edwin Landseer illustrated various paintings with these dogs rescuing children from the water, reason why the breed received this name.

Tornjak or shepherd of Bosnia-Herzegovia and Croatia

The tornjak is another breed of molosser-type dog that surprises with its imposing size and strength. However, despite its robust appearance, it is a very agile and well-proportioned dog. The tornjak have long and dense hair, which almost completely covers their body, and a mantle with different colors, where it predominates white as a base. They also have a warm and sweet look..

On the other hand, they are very protective, loyal and loving with their own, which makes them perfect companions for both children and adults.

Image: Stri


The Newfoundland is a dog of giant size. In fact, he is popularly known as "the gentle giant" due to his enormous size and his noble and good-natured character. Due to his good temperament and his extremely developed protective instinct, he is also considered a babysitter dog.

Newfoundlands are strong and robust dogs that can be found in three colors: black, white and black, and chestnut. Currently they are also used as rescue dogs.

Pyrenean Mastiff

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a dog considered of giant race, since it can reach 100 kg in weight and measure 77 centimeters tall. The Pyrenean Mastiff is a breed of dog of the very muscular molossus type, with the very strong and robust limbs, which can lead to the erroneous idea that it is a clumsy dog ​​in its gait. But nothing is further from the truth, since they are very agile.

In terms of character, the Pyrenean Mastiff is a dog very faithful that can play a good role as a guard dog and pet, since in addition to being a protector, it is very affectionate with its own.

Spanish Mastiff

Similar in characteristics to the Pyrenean Mastiff is the Spanish Mastiff, the largest dog breed in Spain, reaching sizes of up to 80 centimeters from the mane. For centuries, the Spanish Mastiff has not only been an excellent companion animal, but has also been a great protector in the houses and properties of the most rural Spain.

Still, nowadays it is not uncommon to see a Spanish Mastiff wandering around town due to its enormous popularity. And it is that they are not only very noble, but it is an undoubtedly beautiful breed.

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Also known as the Great Pyrenees, it is another breed of molosser-type dog considered to be a giant. Long-haired, silky and white, or white with spots, centuries ago it was used as a guard dog, protector of herds as well as castle keeper.

Today, it is very common to see it in homes around the world due to its nobility and beauty. Of course, if you are thinking of adopting a Pyrenean mountain dog, keep in mind that they are cold weather dogs, so it is not recommended to live in excessively hot areas.

Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is the herding dog most famous of all. Molossian in type and native to the Swiss Alps and northern Italy, the Saint Bernard is descended from other breeds, such as the Tibetan Mastiff, the Great Dane, the Newfoundland and the extinct Alpine Mastiff..

The San Bernardos are today synonymous with courage, loyalty and tranquility, which is why it is one of the most adopted dogs in the world.

Atlas Mountain Dog or Aïdi

Also called the Atlas Shepherd, it is a dog indigenous to Morocco It has been commonly used by Berbers as a sheepdog. Its molossian physical characteristics are more than remarkable, although perhaps not as much as other dogs such as the San Bernardo.

The dog Aïdi has a rustic and muscular body. It is an energetic dog, with a strong constitution and fast in its movements. Its head is cone-shaped, similar to that of bears. It has a mantle abundant, which protects you from both the sun and the cold, as well as jackals and other predators in the area.

Image: Pinterest

Other breeds of mountain-type Molossian dogs

  • Chaste Laboreiro dog.
  • Kraski Ovcar or Karst Shepherd.
  • Dog of the Sierra de la Estrela.
  • Rafeiro from Alentejo.
  • Romanian Shepherd from Bucovina.
  • Central Asian Shepherd.
  • Caucasian Shepherd.
  • Tibetan Mastiff.
  • Pastor Kangel.
  • Yugoslav Shepherd Dog by Charplanina.

Molossian mongrel dogs

If you have decided to adopt a moloid-type dog, in the animal shelters and associations you will also find mongrel dogs for adoption with Molossian characteristics. If you are looking for a particular breed, ask the associations in your area or contact protectors specialized in rescuing dogs of that breed..

If you finally adopt a puppy mongrel and don't know how big it will be as an adult, you can check out this other AnimalWised article about ¿How to tell how big a mongrel dog will be?

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