Aestatian Fighting Dog
The Aestatian fighting dog is one of the largest dogs to exist in Aversia, and one of the most recent. These dogs are large in height, length, and weight, often even towering over the largest wolves. They average at about 2.5 - 3 feet tall at their shoulders, and averaging around 200 - 250 pounds once full grown.
They are heavily built as well as being quite tall; they are muscular by nature, though it does take a certain kind of training to get them into the condition of those used by military officials. They are big boned as a result, as their bodies need a lot of support to hold their own weight. Their skulls are rather short, with their noses curved upwards ever so slightly; this is because the dogs have been bred to have strong jaw muscles to aid in biting and holding on.
These dogs naturally have rounded, flopped over ears and long, narrow tails. Most dogs, however, have their tails docked soon after birth, and their ears are cropped once they are six months old. This is to give them a more fearsome look, and also to prevent the animals losing their ears or tails in a fight.
Their colors have little range; they are usually solid grey or black, with some individuals displaying small white marks on their chest and on their toes. They will often have white tail tips when they are born, but of course, those are lost when the tails are docked. Any other colors or white marks are considered to be faults, and it's common for breeders of these dogs to cull these puppies soon after they are born.
Due to their size, they tend to have joint problems in their old age, and it often forces them to retire after just a few years of their working life. They also have a rather short life span, usually only living to be around 7 - 10 years of age.
They are largely found more near the northern plains, though their breed may be more spread out, as they are often kept by military officials who like their fearsome look. They are considered Common.
They are largely used as beasts of war, though they don't often actually fight in battles. They are brought along in patrols to alert footsoldiers of threats and to guard camps. They are also used as general guard dogs, especially those found in Aversia. It's not uncommon for high nobles to have a few of these dogs guarding their holdings, due to their intimidating size and their booming bark.
These dogs sometimes see use on hunts, especially for large game animals such as bears, or wolves, or even mammoths, when they are brought to the north. They are highly animal-aggressive and will attack without hesitance. Their use is often to grab and hold large animals so that their masters can catch up and kill the animal.
They also see their use in entertainment, often being set on large beasts such as bears or wolves in arenas to fight with, hence the name 'fighting dog'. These dogs, however, are usually specially trained for this use, and rarely see use outside of the fighting ring.
A more recent use of these dogs are house pets. These dogs have been bred from different lines, and are even a little bit smaller than their more common counterparts. They are also much more docile and lazy, and are more than happy to lie at their master's feet for hours at a time. These dogs will bark at strangers, but they lack the drive to bite and hold intruders.
Aestatian Fighting Dogs are highly loyal to their masters, and will defend what they consider to be their territory. They are, however, not likely to attack people, but rather bark and growl to garner attention from their masters. If pressed, however, a dog can bite and hold onto a person, but they rarely do more than simply hold onto a person. With animals, however, they will often attack without much provocation, and will usually go for a throat bite to either hold or kill the animal in question.
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