Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic vs American Molossus - Breed Comparison

Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic is originated from Croatia but American Molossus is originated from United States. Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than American Molossus. Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic may weigh 21 kg / 46 pounds lesser than American Molossus. Both Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic and American Molossus has almost same life span. Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic may have more litter size than American Molossus. Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic requires Low maintenance. But American Molossus requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Molosser dogs
Origin:
Croatia
United States
Height Male:
43 - 60 cm
16 - 24 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Height Female:
43 - 60 cm
16 - 24 inches
51 - 60 cm
20 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
12 - 27 kg
26 - 60 pounds
38 - 48 kg
83 - 106 pounds
Weight Female:
12 - 27 kg
26 - 60 pounds
32 - 43 kg
70 - 95 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
6 - 8
Size:
Medium dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Istrian wire-haired or short-haired scenthound
American Molosser • American Brabanter • American Bullenbeisser
Colors Available:
White with orange markings
Colors are black, black brindle with some white
Coat:
Short and smooth or medium length and wiry
coat type coarse, dense, smooth and long
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Territorial
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

The Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic, also referred to as the Istrian wire-haired or short-haired scenthound is a very ancient dog breed. Apparently the dog has been found in paintings that go way back to the early 1700s.

The dog can either have a short, smooth coat or a rough, wiry longer coat. He has always been popular with hunters, used for hunting rabbits and fox.

An interesting fact with this dog is the correlation between the Dalmatian dog and the Istrian short-haired hound. According to veterinary investigations, there are strong likenesses between the two breeds.

The truth is, the origin of the Istrian has been a matter of dispute for some time but in 2003 the Federation Cynologique Internationale recognized the breed as hailing from Croatia.

Based on the massive dog of Mesopotamia in 5000 BC, the American Molossus is the same dog recreated in the United States by and for the lovers of these giant dogs. The ancient Molossus was fierce to look at, massive in size, courageous and loyal. He was undaunted by any animal and stood up to any man attempting to hurt his master. When Rome fell the descendants of today’s Molossus were scattered and attempts to revive the breed have created carious large dogs. The American Molossus is the first true recreation that hits the mark.

The original Molossus was one of the most primitive of dogs, one of the earliest dogs that men domesticated. Their initials duties were the guarding of herds and homes against all enemies. They were incredibly loyal to their one master and stayed with him and protected him. These dogs also ate carrion and served the villages by eliminating animal carcasses. They could handle any other hunting animals such as wolves and large cats. This dog, although extinct was the ancestor of all the Mastiff-type dogs of today. The Molossus is said to be the ancestor of the St. Bernard, English Mastiff, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Rottweiler, Rottweiler and the Neapolitan Mastiff. Now these breeds have become the ancestry of the American Molossus.

According to Marcus Curtis, the founder of the new Molossus, the nearest relative of the American Molossus is the Neapolitan Mastiff. The Hines Bulldog, German Rottweiler, American Bandogge, and South African Boerboel together with the Neapolitan Mastiff were used to form the American Molossus. The goal of the founder was to make a great family pet and protector. It was specifically bred to be courageous, loyal and protective.

Description

Medium in size, the Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic stands at roughly 43 to 60cm at the withers and weighs roughly 12 to 27kg. The chest of the dog is broad and deep, the skull slightly rounded while the muzzle is strong and rectangular shaped. The nose is dark brown or black.

The ears are floppy and are nearly always in the orange color while the tail is long and is carried low. The coat of the rough haired dog is of medium length. In fact the coat can either be short and smooth or longish and wiry with a woolly undercoat. The color of the coat is white with orange markings.

Temperament:

This breed of dog is sought after for his cheerful personality. He is loyal to his human family and is a social dog, loving to spend time around his family.

He is energetic, confident and strong-willed and this is why, as with most other dogs, he will benefit from training and socialization, as this makes him obedient and responsive to his owner. He is evenly tempered, being gentle and docile.

This is a giant, massive dog in every way and this recently developed standard makes that very clear. The Molossus should be heavy bones, muscular with a lot of loose skin and wrinkles of all kinds, everywhere. He is an intimidating presence, with a massive square head, broad shoulders, height and mass. No, the American Molossus is not athletic, but he certainly is intimidating.

His head is massive in comparison to his body and it must be square. He has extensive wrinkles and pendulous lips and dewlap. The face is all folds of skin and wrinkles. Deep set eyes, drooping upper lids and lower lids as well as an intimidating expression. His brow is well developed with a marked frontal furrow. The nose is large, and the muzzle is about a third of the length of its head. It is short and broad. Everything about the head must be square. It’s neck and body are powerful and muscular. The chest is deep, wide and barrel like. The back is also powerful and muscular. The front legs are heavy and muscular while the hind legs are broad, strong, powerful and wide-stance. Do not remove the front dew claws. His tail is thick and wide then gradually tapers at the tip.

Health Problems

Dental Disease:

There are people who don’t take dental disease seriously in dogs as they think that it simply affects the teeth, when in fact dental disease can affect the dog’s entire body.

Dental- and gum disease is to be regarded with concern as it can be painful and even life threatening. It affects many dogs, and unfortunately your Istarski is also likely to have problems with his teeth. Tartar build-up and infection of the gums can lead to tooth loss but also damage to the kidneys, heart and joints.

Dogs need to have their teeth attended to regularly and if this is something new to you, speak to your vet and find out about special canine toothpaste and toothbrush and how to use them.

Infections:

Dogs can be susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as rabies, distemper and parvo, and that is why visits to your vet are so important. These life-threatening diseases for your Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic are preventable through vaccinations.

Like all Mastiffs the American Molossus faces a variety of potential illnesses, some brought on by its size, some not.

Spondylosis

This could easily be a function of its massive size. It is a degenerative disease and can cause the dog to become lame. In many cases the vertebrae can fuse, or severe pain can result. This is mostly seen in older members of the breed.

Cystinuria

Male Molossus can contract this inherited metabolic disease primarily. It can be life threatening and very serious as it affects the kidney and the bladder.

Wobblers Syndrome

This is essentially Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI) and is caused by the pressure of the nerves in the neck and cervical spinal cord. This compression can cause deformity, pain and abnormal stance/gait. IT has been attributed to the nutrition needs and rapid growth of the Mastiff breeds.

Like all giant Mastiff breeds the Molossus can have skin issues from the wrinkles, dysplasia in the joints which we will address below.

Caring The Pet

Taking care of an Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic dog is much like caring for a child – doing everything you can to keep him healthy and happy, after all, he is a member of your family.

You want to be watching his diet and making sure that it is the best quality there is, full of vitamins and minerals to keep his eyes bright, his nose wet and his tail wagging.

There are excellent commercially manufactured dog foods on the market today and the best ones ensure excellent nutrition for your dog to keep him in optimal condition through each stage that he goes through. Try to include some home-made food into this kibble such as cooked chicken, brown rice and vegetables and it can be to his benefit to just to include some raw meat from time to time.

Make sure your Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic is well exercised, that you check his teeth and ears to ensure there are no infections and to call the vet immediately you suspect something is wrong. Make sure you have him examined as a puppy and that he gets his necessary injections as there are diseases that can kill your dog.

Feeding

Remembering that this is a very, very large dog you need to be careful about nutrition and how fast your puppy will grow. American Molossus puppies need four meals a day until 12 weeks old. Then until they are 6 months old feed then 3 times a day. Finally, from 6-month-old puppy to adult – feed them twice in 24 hours.

At one year either feed them once or two small meals.

Many people feed their Molossus eggs, vegetables, fruit, and cottage cheese as ten 5 of the total for the day but avoid other table foods. The Molossus can become very picky about what he eats if you feed him too many table scraps.

Health issues

In addition to the health problems listed above, the American Molossus is also susceptible to: Ditichiasis – Eyelashes that are in the margin of the eyelids and can cause eye irritation. May require surgery to correct.

Cataract

Could cause blindness if not removed. Ectropian/Entropion: Eversion and inversion of eyelids which cause ocular irritation.

PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a degenerative disease which causes the dog to go blind. It is a disease the affects the retinal visual cells, first causing night blindness then day blindness. A DNA test is available for detecting PRA in all Mastiff breeds.

Dysplasia of the Elbow or/and the Hip

Common in large breeds and especially in giant breeds like the Molossus. Multiple forms and causes but all can cause pain and lameness.

Skin issues

Do to wrinkles and loose skin – check often for moisture and infections.

Panosteitis or Wandering Lameness

The is a problem based on a variety of possible causes. It happens when the puppy is between 6-16 months of age. Lameness occurs over time in one limb or in all. It can be intermittent and might be caused by diet, genetics, stress, autoimmune or metabolic issues or infection.

HOD or Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy

This issue is developmental as the dog’s toes turn either inward or outward, then as the condition advances the dog suffers fever, pain in all joints, lethargy and the inability to stand. This happens when the dog consumes too many calories for his activity level in the development times.

Exercise and games

The American Molossus is not a couch potato. He needs to be walked at least twice a day and loves to play fetch. He will be greatly benefited by obedience training. Do not overdo it with exercise but make sure they don’t just lay around.

Characteristics

The Istrian Wire-haired Scenthound or Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic as he is also referred to is a strong, well built hound which is elegant in appearance.

He has a remarkably striking coat - bright white with orange markings. He has always been an excellent hunting dog, even to this day. This background hunting of his will require that he receives ongoing exercise as well as mental stimulation.

Treat this beautiful dog well - exercise him, groom him, feed him well and love him and you will be rewarded with the loyal and devoted friendship of an amazing dog.

The American Molossus is an intimidating massive giant bred for protection and guard duty. He is incredibly loyal to his family and courageous in his protection of them. They are guard dogs, not attack dogs. Their simple appearance is usually enough to frighten off anyone intending harm on their families. He is in reality a loving giant. He is intelligent and stable with a strong desire to please his owner. He is a calm yet vigilant presence in the home.

Because the Molossus is so large, it is recommended that the puppy be socialized and trained professionally. It takes a strong owner to handle this breed. They need to know the rules and have the rules consistently applied. The owner must be the pack leader.

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