American Molossus vs Australian Shepherd - Breed Comparison

Both Australian Shepherd and American Molossus are originated from United States. Australian Shepherd may grow 8 cm / 3 inches shorter than American Molossus. Australian Shepherd may weigh 16 kg / 35 pounds lesser than American Molossus. Both Australian Shepherd and American Molossus has almost same life span. Both Australian Shepherd and American Molossus has almost same litter size. Both Australian Shepherd and American Molossus requires Moderate Maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Molosser dogs
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United States
United States
Height Male:
51 - 58 cm
20 - 23 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Height Female:
46 - 56 cm
18 - 23 inches
51 - 60 cm
20 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
25 - 32 kg
55 - 71 pounds
38 - 48 kg
83 - 106 pounds
Weight Female:
16 - 30 kg
35 - 67 pounds
32 - 43 kg
70 - 95 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 9
6 - 8
Size:
Medium
Giant
Other Names:
Aussie
American Molosser • American Brabanter • American Bullenbeisser
Colors Available:
Tri-colour - blue, blue merle, black and red merle, white markings
Colors are black, black brindle with some white
Coat:
thick - medium length - straight to wavy
coat type coarse, dense, smooth and long
Shedding:
Constant
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate Maintenance
Moderate Maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

australian shepherdThe Australian Shepherd, known fondly as ‘Aussies’, is actually an American breed, with the first official registry being in the 1950s. Basque Shepherds from Spain settled in Australia at the end of the 19th century, later moving to the United Stated with their dogs in tow. It is from these dogs that the breed originated. In the UK too, this breed of dog has many enthusiastic followers.

For many years, the Australian Shepherd has been recognized for their wonderful abilities as stock- or herding dogs, and today in Australia they continue to work as stock dogs and often take part in herding trials.

More recently, this working dog breed has been selectively bred to develop both Toy- and Miniature Aussies, and the American Stock Dog Registry actually recognizes 3 sizes today.The Australian Shepherd Club of America was also founded in 1957 to promote the breed.

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

Coat

australian shepherd puppySimilar in appearance to the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd is a medium sized dog and has a medium length coat which is straight to wavy with a weather resistant undercoat. The range of coat colours is amazing, and you’ll find blue, blue merle, black and red merle and all of these are with or without tan points. The Australian Shepherd is a drop-eared breed where prick ears are sometimes seen. Some Aussies are born with naturally bobbed tails while most have full, long tails.

Different Eye Colour Combinations

There is variety in the eye colour too, and they are often heterochromatic, which means that they can have two different coloured eyes or the one eye can even be bi-coloured. Most times the eyes are brown, but they can be blue too.

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

australian shepherd dogAussies are a healthy breed and won’t cost you a fortune at the vet. However, like every other breed, they are also prone to certain health conditions such as cancer. When choosing a puppy, always look for a good, reputable breeder who can show you health clearances.

We look at some common health ailments to be alert about

Hip Dysplasia

This is a dog ailment that can be inherited. It is where the femur doesn't fit properly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. Also, as the dog ages, arthritis can develop.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy an hereditary disorder where the seizures your dog gets can be treated and controlled.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans, commonly known as OCD is an orthopedic condition which comes about because of improper growth of cartilage in the joints. It can cause painful stiffening of the elbow joint for instance.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA is a degenerative eye disorder that can finally lead to blindness. Reputable Aussie dog breeders have their dogs' eyes certified regularly by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Your Aussie Puppy Needs Vaccinations

Your newborn Australian Shepherd may well be strong and healthy, but he isn’t immune from life-threatening illnesses. Vaccinations are imperative for your Aussie puppy, with vets usually recommending that puppies be vaccinated for the first time from 6 to 8 weeks of age.

These vaccinations will include the 5-in-one and includes Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Parainfluenza. Later on the puppy will get his first rabies shot and he will also require booster 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

General Grooming

australian shepherd puppiesWith his medium length coat, the Australian Shepherd sheds. In fact this particular breed sheds his hair the entire year round, but you’ll notice that with the arrival of Spring, he sheds more as this is when he is losing his Winter coat. You will most certainly need to brush his coat at least 2x a week to get rid of all those tufts of hair and to also prevent matting.

Feeding

A puppy will need 4 bowls of vet-recommended food a day. How much your adult Australian Shepherd gets will depend on his age, size and activity levels.The quality of food you buy will make a difference as it will keep your Aussie in good shape. Remember to include raw or cooked meat into his diet once a week or so. For more on feeding your Aussie, speak to your vet. Always ensure a constant source of fresh, cool water.

Training and Socialization

The Australian Shepherd is a strong willed dog, used to playing the dominant role with the herding of livestock. He’ll need firm training and socialization if you want to make him an amicable family pet.

Like many herding dogs, Australian Shepherds are loyal to their family and don’t easily take to strangers. Aussies make awesome companions for families with kids who have been taught how to treat dogs and other pets with kindness and gentleness. Just like a dog needs socialization, a child needs to respect a sleeping, feeding dog and to leave him in peace.

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

australian shepherd dogsThe Australian Shepherd is an intelligent dog, learning quickly. As a herding dog, he also has strong guarding instincts and will make a good watch dog. The dog has a balanced, even disposition, and even though he may show some reserve, he is certainly not a shy dog and isn’t aggressive.

He Craves Human Companionship

Your Aussie is a kind, loving, and devoted pet. He loves his human family and wants to spend lots of time with them. Don’t leave him without human companionship as he craves it and forms strong bonds with his family. Provide him with good care and with lots of fun and games and you’ve got an exceptional friend for life.

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.

Comparison with other breeds

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  41. American Molossus vs Abruzzenhund - Breed Comparison
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  44. American Molossus vs Aidi - Breed Comparison
  45. American Molossus vs Airedale Terrier - Breed Comparison
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  49. American Molossus vs Askal - Breed Comparison
  50. American Molossus vs Atlas Terrier - Breed Comparison