There is a wide range of people creating a wide range of new dogs out there. One example would be the American Allaunt, which seems to have been named for something that existed in classical times but have long since become extinct. Here is everything you need to know about this designer breed.
1. Named for the Alaunt
The American Allaunt seems to have been named for the Alaunt. The latter wasn’t a single kind of dog. Instead, Alaunt was a term that covered a wide range of dogs from a wide range of places, which makes sense because of the circumstances of how it came to be.
2. Named for an Alan Dog
For starters, the Alaunt started out as an Alan creation. Those who are unfamiliar should know that the Alans were an Iranian people who lived as pastoral nomads out in the North Caucasus. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that we don’t have a perfect understanding of who they were. However, experts have nonetheless managed to connect them to various other peoples of the ancient world. For example, it is believed that they were one of the peoples who made up the Sarmatians. Similarly, it is believed that they were connected to the Aorsi mentioned in Roman sources as well as the Yancai mentioned in Chinese sources. Having said that, the Alans tend to be best-known in the western world because they were one of the nomadic peoples involved in the long chain of events that culminated in the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
3. Named for a Dog that Spread Far and War
The Alans brought their dogs with them on their travels, thus causing them to spread far and wide. To name an example, when the Huns beat the Goths around 375 AD, the Alans split into two parts. The eastern Alans remained on the steppe before being forced into the Caucasus in later times. Meanwhile, the western Alans went with the Goths on their westward migration, with the result that they winded up everywhere from North Africa to what are now France and Spain.
4. Named for a Dog that Was Developed into Multiple Kinds
Pastoral nomads tend to have a strong interest in domesticated animals. After all, they are reliant on their domesticated animals to a greater extent than their settled counterparts. For example, pastoral nomads moved about on horses. Similarly, pastoral nomads lived or died based on the performance of their herds. As such, it does make some sense that the Alans developed different kinds of dogs for different purposes. Guarding was a common task entrusted to these dogs. Apparently, catching large game was one as well, which says much about the power of these animals.
5. Named for a Dog that Might’ve Been an Ancestor of English Breeds
Alaunts are extinct. However, it is believed that these dogs were ancestors to a wide range of breeds that are still around in modern times. To name an example, it is speculated that Alaunts bred with British Pugnaces, which is important because they are believed to have been ancestors to breeds such as the English Bulldog as well as the English Mastiff. This can sound strange. However, the Romans did hire Alans as well as other non-Romans to serve as mercenaries on a regular basis, with the result that some of them were stationed in Roman Britain. It is very much possible that they brought their dogs with them either before their service or after their service.
6. Named for a Dog that Might’ve Been an Ancestor of Caucasian Breeds
Similarly, Alaunts are thought to have been ancestors of certain kinds of livestock guardians that can be found in the Caucasus. As mentioned earlier, some of the Alans remained on the steppe rather than migrate westwards. Over time, these were driven south into the Caucasus where they eventually merged with the locals, with something similar having happened to their dogs as well. Amusingly, the descendants of Alaunts are thought to have played similar roles in a number of other countries as well.
7. May or May Not Be Related to Actual Alaunts
The American Allaunts may or may not be related to actual Alaunts. By this point, it should be clear that these dogs were very widespread in pre-modern times, which in turn, means that their descendants have become even more widespread. However, even if Americans Allaunts have descent from actual Alaunts, it seems safe to say that such connections would be very faint. After all, while some Alaunts apparently managed to make it into early modern times, that is still a separation of multiple centuries.
8. Does Have Some Resemblance to Their Namesake
Having said that, the American Allaunts do have some physical similarities to their namesake. For example, they are large dogs that look a bit like mastiffs. Similarly, they have short hair. Having said that, these are very generic traits, so they don’t indicate much connection-wise. In fact, it should be mentioned that there are many dogs out there that are marketed under the name of Alaunts, though they tend to be actually a mix of mastiffs, bulldogs, and Pit Bull Terriers.
9. Supposed to Be Smart, Courageous, and Affectionate
American Allaunts are supposed to be smart, courageous, and affection. They seem to see use as guard dogs as well as hunting dogs, so high intelligence makes sense because that makes them much easier to work with. Meanwhile, courage is needed because both fear and flightiness would be extremely undesirable for either one of those two tasks. As for the last, American Allaunts are supposed to be quite affectionate to their owners as well as the rest of their families, thus enabling them to get along with their charges.
10. Seems to Be Very Rare
On the whole, the American Allaunts seem to be rather rare, so much so that there are sources claiming a total population measured in the low hundreds. Whatever the case, time will tell whether it will become a stable breed in its own right or not. Plenty of new dogs are created on a regular basis, but there is no guarantee that any one of them will actually stand the test of time.