Mastiff dogs have been protectors for centuries, since the Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian times. We have wonderful proof from excavations of clay and bronze dogs.
Five mastiffs and more
Take a look at these five clay dogs from the British Museum, which were were discovered under an ancient Nineveh (Northern Syria) palace doorway — and date back to 645 B.C.
These mastiff figures were inscribed with cuneiform names which sound downright familiar: Catcher of the Enemy, Don’t Think, Bite!, Biter of his Foe, Loud Bark, and Expeller of Evil.
Assyrian royalty put their dogs on pedestals, and bronze versions were also found in ancient Nimrud. See this attentive dog at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC.
While dog breeds proliferated for many human needs and tasks, it’s fascinating these mastiffs have withstood millennium.
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