The Alangu Mastiff is a relatively rare breed of dog from the Tiruchi and Thanjavur districts of South India. These dogs are tall and have short coat. There is something noble and grand about the way they carry themselves. They may be fawn, red or brindle in color with varied markings on their coat. They have black muzzles and folds of loose skin hang around their mouth and neck. These dogs have muscular limbs and deep briskets. Their back is long and the tail tapers to a point. They have pricked ears set quite high on the skull. These dogs walk in graceful, long strides. They can be about 29-30 inches high.
These dogs have flat double coats. The outer coat is short, thick, straight and coarse. The undercoat is obviously closer to the body and is dense and short. These dogs have broad, thick set skulls. Their wide eyes usually have an alert expression that bears testimony to their intelligence.
These dogs make good guard dogs and are usually protective of their family. They can also be aggressive when made to feel threatened or cornered. These dogs need a lot of space for work and play because of their massive size and also because they need to stay active in order to be happy and non-destructive. Due to its dog fighting past, these dogs have gained a reputation for being blood thirsty. With proper training, however, they can develop into good pets that are loving even towards young children in the family.
These dogs were first used by the Persian army and later introduced by Xerxes the First into Greece. This happened around 486 BC. These dogs are said to have originated in and around the deserts of Kutch, Rajasthan and in areas of Punjab (especially Bhawalpur). Since parts of the Kutch were also part of the Sindh district, these dogs are also known as Sindh Mastiffs. Alangu Mastiffs are one of the three breeds of mastiffs found in areas around India and Persia.
These dogs were used to hunt big game, typically by royal families and were quite popular. However, their popularity declined when royal families began using cheetahs for hunting instead. This led to these dogs being increasingly used as guard dogs or as fighting dogs. Over time, these dogs were all but forgotten and became a rare breed. Their usage as guard dogs or in fights also led to their height decreasing from about 34 inches to 30 inches in the present day.
These dogs are renowned for their fighting and guarding skills and might not make ideal pets. They are definitely not recommended for first time dog owners. Only owners who have prior experience training large dogs should consider them as pets. These dogs, however, will always alarm family members about the presence of guests and will not let intruders enter the house. In that sense, it could make a good pet, but it will still need a good deal of patient, yet firm handling.