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Bullenbeisser
Bullenbeisser.jpg
Country of origin Germany
Traits

The Bullenbeisser (also known as the German Bulldog) was a breed of dog known for its strength and agility. The breed was closely related to the Bärenbeisser (some believe that the two breeds were the same (the names mean "bull-biter" and "bear-biter")), and the Boxer. There were two regional varieties, the Brabanter Bullenbeisser and the Danziger Bullenbeisser. The breed is now extinct due to crossbreeding instead of the usual overkilling.[1][2]

Contents

Background

The history of Bullenbeissers can be traced back to 370 AD, the time the warriors called Alans started migrating from Asia Minor to Europe. They brought large fighting dogs with them (called Alaunts), which were probably descendants of huge dogs from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe (animals very similar to the present breeds Gampr, Central Asian Shepherd Dog, and Central Asian Ovcharka). After the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, by the late 5th century, the dogs were adopted in all countries of Europe. The main uses given to these dogs were herding, guarding, and baiting.

Central Europe was the zone in which the dogs were exposed to experience the greatest changes, though they evolved in each corner of the Old Continent. The main features of the direct ancestor of the Bullenbeisser are the loss of the long hair (since they abandoned the high mountains) and the accumulation of loose skin around the head and muzzle. The appearance of these dogs is quite similar to the modern English Mastiff, perhaps with notable changes in colour. Around 800 AD there were different dogs in Brittania, Hispania, Italia, and Germania, all descended from the Alaunt.

Extinction

The Bullenbeisser became extinct by crossbreeding rather than by a decadence of the breed, as happened with the Old Time Bulldog, for instance. The size of the Bull Biters varied from about 40 to 70 cm by 1850; the smaller lived from what today is Netherlands and Belgium, and the bigger, in Germany. In the late 1870s, German breeders Roberth, Konig, and Hopner used the dog to create a new breed, today called the Boxer. Some 30 Bullenbeissers were already crossed by the Boxer Kennel Club of Germany at 1900 in with Bulldogs brought from the British Isles. The blood composition was 50/50 at that time, however, the German owners started crossing their dogs with all kinds of Bulldogs and Boxers, which produced an undistinguishable breed after the World War II. One reason why such quantity of German blood was used to create the Boxer dog was the wish to eliminate the excessive white colour of the breed, and the necessity of producing thousands of dogs for one of the most popular breeds in the world.

Present

The Boxer is descended about 70% from the Bullenbeisser. The Great Dane was originally a mix 50-50 English Mastiff and Irish wolfhound with later additions off dalmatian and German pointer. The Banter Bulldogge[3] is a very good recreation of the breed. However, the Bullenbeisser was in all its aspects, but for colour, almost identical to the present Spanish Bulldog.

See also

References

  1. ^ Royal Canin. "Canine Health Nutrition - MAXI Dog Origin (Boxer)". http://www.royalcanin.us/dogfood/maxiorigin.html. Retrieved 2007-08-04.  
  2. ^ SarahsDogs.com. "Sarah's Dogs: Breeds: Boxer". http://www.sarahsdogs.com/breeds/boxer/. Retrieved 2007-08-04.  
  3. ^ http://www.bulldoginformation.com/banter-bulldogge.html

External links

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