The Molossus was a large-sized dog breed with a muscular and strong physique. It was one of the very famous, popular, and loved dogs of ancient times. This breed was a powerful dog with a giant body that belonged to the kingdom of Molossians.

Molossus was very popular and familiar among history’s famous men like Aristotle, Alexander the Great, and Virgil. Although they were a very popular breed, there is very little we know about it as it is extinct now.

History and Origin

The Molossus was originated in ancient Greece and had been frequently mentioned in many works of literature. The Molossian tribes kept dogs of two types where one types were for hunting and the other types guarding livestock. It is written that the hunting type Molossus was no different from other dogs but the herding or guarding types were much larger and fierce livestock guardian.

There is the statue of “The Jenning Dog” which is believed to represent Molossus generally. It is a copy of the lost Greek bronze statue which is now on the display in the British Museum.

Molossus statue
Molossus statue in British Museum.
Image Source: Pinterest-@Roberta

How Did The Molossus Extinct?

Molossus was used by Romans for various purposes like protecting Roman properties, attacking enemies in war, hunt games, defend people from wild beast and many more. When the Roman Empire began to fall, there were crises that led to the conclusion of the decline of the Molossus. With war and combat, they rapidly decreased in numbers. There are few theories regarding its extinction.

Some believe the fall of Roman was the cause of its extinct as caring for Molossus was expensive due to which it got extinct. Others believe that the pure Molossus disappeared after the decades of crossbreeding by the locals to develop a breed of their own taste and preference. So, the crossing with different breeds results in completely separate breeds.

It is believed that many breeds of today’s are the descendants of the Molossus like Rottweiler, American Bulldog, Great Dane, Mastiff-type dogs, and many more.

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

There are not many written documents of the Molossus behavior and temperament but looking back on its history, we can assume that it was a hard-working, energetic, and a fierce big dog. Since it was a hunting and guardian dog, we can imagine that this breed was not owned by any average master. They were owned by experienced hunters and animal farmers.

Molossus dog at war
Molossus dog at war.
Image Source: Dog Wallpapers

Was Molossus Child-Friendly?

Molossus, being a guardian and hunting dog, we can imagine that it was not suitable in a house with children.


  • The Molossus was also called Molossian hound and Molosser.


The Molossus was found in the following colors:

  • Yellowish-Brwon
  • Brindle
  • Apricot


Height: The average height of the Molossian was between 20-30 inches.

Weight: The average weight of the Molossian was between 55-90 pounds.

Similar Dog Breeds to Molossus

Visit Doglime for more information on different dog breeds.