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The descriptions of Alano were common in the hunters' literature until the end of 19th century. We find them by the descriptions of chasing dogs, podenco and other typical specimen of monteria-style hunting packs.


At that time a cynological association was beginning to shape, and the notion of the breed as we know it today was born. In Spain, however, the working breeds were still considered in the categories of type, no one would care for the dog's look, and only the psycho-physical characteristics were meaningful. The practical valors were also appreciated by enthusiasts from other countries. For instance, many Spanish dogs are imported to England, such as the Spanish Bulldog. The presence of Alano-type dogs along with its sub-types was unacceptable for the cynological taxonomy and for considering Alano a breed. The records of dogs with their detailed description is available, and it leaves no doubt that they regard Alano.


Many descriptions of Perro de Presa and Alano from 19th century come from English and French authors. That's unavoidable if it comes to Bulldog or Dogue de Bordeaux. While the English and the French were busy searching for the dogs suitable to richen their breeds, Alanos were disappearing from the Spanish landscape. The most recently documented dog of Alano type comes from 1930. Before it happened, some specimen were described in detail, some of them even have their pictures. The particularly bright and well documented example of utilizing Alanos to breed Bulldogs comes from England from 1873.

 


In that time the breed of Bulldog was fixed and the fights of dogs against dogs and other animals had been attracting numerous fans. The breeders were stating, however, that the Bulldog was degenerating, that it was too small and required the addition of the primal blood. One of such involved breeders was Mr Adcock, who decided to find the big and gallant bulldogs in Spain. One needs to remember that in Spain, except from corrida, so called celebrations of bulls were organized - during these celebrations bulls were fighting against themselves or against dogs. Adcock brought a dog named "Toro", that was regarded as an unusual specimen. As "The Field" magazine described him:

"a massive dark chestnut or carroty brindled dog, with blackish muzzle, he has very deep flews, high temples, large nostrils, and is very much underhung, and, for his size, short in face.His eyes are tolerably full, and a good deal of the white is shown; the stop, or indentation between the eyes, is large and deep, and runs high up the head. The skin about the head is very loose, and falls into wrinkles and folds when the ears of the dog are erect; and a deep double dewlap runs from the angles of the mouth to the sternum. His ears have been cut out, very little of the burr being left, and this greatly detracts from the apparent size of the head. His neck is arched, short, very thick and muscular, and covered with quantities of loose skin; the shoulders broad and flat at the top, standing well out from the ribs; the forearm very thick, and slightly bowed; feet large and round, and furnished with very strong claws; the chest is great, and not only broad, but deep, and the ribs are very round. There is a considerable fall at the shoulders, and from that point the loins begin to rise, the arch terminating at the insertion of the tail. This is placed very low, has a downward crook at the root and another at the end, is very short and fine in bone, and is never erected so high as the level of the dog's back. The loins are strong and muscular, as are the hind-quarters, the stifles turning out slightly, and the hocks are rather close together. The whole of the hind-quarters are small, as compared with fore-quarters, and are considerably higher. The coat is very fine and smooth, and the hair very fine in texture. In showing condition Toro weighs 90lb [...]"


There aren't many pictures of the dogs called Spanish Bulldogs by Englishmen, Neron photographed in 1923 being the example. It is surprisingly alike Carpintero, recovered for breed reconstruction in the 90. Noticeable is the similarity to the contemporary offspring of English Bulldog - American Bulldog.


The interest of Englishmen in dogs of Alano type provided the name for such dogs in Middle-European countries, including Poland - the name is "Brytan". That's how we call the dogs that have been used for hunting big animals since the Middle Ages. Nowadays this name is used to describe the robust dogs that look like "fighters". When I showed on a trial for hunting dogs, the judge of the Polish Hunters' Association warned me that "I had nothing to look for with that Brytan". Obviously he used that word subconsciously, but correctly. In Poland, hunting with dogs and mêlée is forbidden because of the "selective" character of hunting.