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According to one of the versions of Dogue’s origin, the ancestors of these dogs were brought to the territory of France, Spain and England by Phoenician traders. Some graphical evidences prove that large war dogs with square heads and broad shoulders existed on the territory of Mesopotamia and Egypt before Roman Empire flourished. So, taking into consideration ancient Dogue bones, one may suppose that born merchants, Phoenicians took Assyrian dogs into their swift rowing boats and transported them to the west coast of Europe. Why should they do that? At closer inspection this theory does not stand up to examination.

A comparison of Assyrian dogs’ depictions with Roman war dogs’ images would certainly reveal substantial likeness. One may discover that not only shapes of dogs, but also faces of humans are alike. Still, according to specialists’ examination, it’s not the matter of simple outward resemblance: artists of the ancient world produced their images in accordance with canonical samples, so the same generalized images of humans, dogs and other creatures were used by artists for centuries. The art was representing types, not portraits. Thus, none can be certain that huge war dogs on Egyptian and Mesopotamian artwork were Mastiffs’ ancestors. They could be any other indigenous big fighting dog breed.  

Moreover, it’s highly improbable that Phoenician traders would transport massive war dogs in their boats. The conditions there were very restrained and living creatures, especially huge war dogs seems to be too risky and fragile merchandise - moreover the one, that needed substantial feeding.