Before I start, I want to say that this is not a repeat of my previous question. It’s merely a continuation of the topic, with updates to the nature of both fictional animals involved, with a more refined question.

Now, let’s start with the Voswuinian Liguars. Unlike they were previously, they are not merely “scaled up Ligers that behave like Jaguars”.

  • First change is that they’re smaller:instead of the previous measurements, adult males can grow to a length of 14 feet 3 inches, which is still quite large, but not as big as they were previously.
  • Second change is that, while their skull is still roughly the same shape, their teeth are proportionally longer. For reference, the shape of a Liguar’s skull would look very much like that of a Liger’s but with teeth comparable in proportions to a Smilodon’s.
  • Third change is in their behaviors; they are not behaviorally the same as Jaguars anymore. A Liguar’s and a Jaguar’s only shared behavioral traits are their tendency to strike from behind and land a bite to the back of the head to penetrate the brain and their tendency to swim.
  • Fourth change is also behavioral: Male Liguars are still mostly solitary, but will hunt together with females during mating season, whereas females will hunt in groups with their cubs or other females year-round.

Other than those changes, Liguars are the same as they were previously.

As for the Voswuinian Mastiffs, I’ve decided that they are no longer an actual breed, but rather a mix-breed. Specifically, they are the result of breeding an unnamed breed of very strong domestic dog originating from Brihara (another nation on Lyrial), with a breed of domestic dog from Earth, the second of which, as the title suggests, is the topic of the question. For reference on the Briharan dog breed’s strength, they are basically canine equivalents to a full grown Lion.

As with the previous question, Voswuinian Mastiffs are livestock guardians designed to protect herds from predators, with the Liguars included among them as the greatest threat. However, the way they defend the livestock is different, as they are mainly a deterrent: they’re big enough to cause severe damage to a lone Voswuinian Liguar and are also typically in groups of around 3 to 4, thus making sole Liguars avoid the guarded livestock out of self-preservation.

However, because Liguars hunt in groups of 2 during mating season, they will occasionally attack during this time of year. So, in the case of an attack, Voswuinian Mastiffs will instinctively use strategy to defeat Liguars. They will use their agility to dodge attacks from the slower, stronger Liguars before biting the Liguar’s legs with enough force to break their leg bones. As such, it’s more of a conflict between an agile dog and strong cat, rather than a strong dog and a strong cat. That said, a Voswuinian Mastiff is still strong enough to have a chance at surviving a slash to the legs from a Liguar’s claws, though they would not survive a bite to the back of the neck.

Now, for the dog to be agile enough to dodge a Voswuinian Liguar’s attacks and also strong enough to survive a slash to its legs from a Liguar, what kind of physique would it need?

Edit #1: Because I’ve been told that most true dog breeds only exist for at most 250 to 500 years, I’ve decided to change the question: instead of “for the dog to be agile enough to dodge a Voswuinian Liguar’s attacks and also strong enough to survive a slash to its legs from a Liguar, what kind of physique would it need, and what real world breeds could result in that kind of physique when mixed with the unnamed Briharan breed?”, it will now be “for the dog to be agile enough to dodge a Voswuinian Liguar’s attacks and also strong enough to survive a slash to its legs from a Liguar, what kind of physique would it need?” In other words, the mix breed will no longer need to be considered.

  • $\begingroup$ Just a note: Dog breeds are not subspecies, they are ephemeral human creations. Almost all of the breeds existing today are less than 500 years old, and the vast majority of them are less than 250 years old. Moreover, the dogs of today do not look very much like the dogs of supposedly the same breed 200 years ago. If you want some sort of timeless fantasy, you may want to look up the fabled basal dog breeds. Or maybe consider using a dog type instead of a breed. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ (My point is that if you name a specific breed, chances are that that breed is a modern creation, and dog-lovers will know exactly who created it and when. For example, the German Shepherd was created by Max von Stephanitz and Horand von Grafrath around 1900.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ I knew dog breeds were not subspecies, but I did not know their existence was so short-lived… this is definitely something I need to consider, considering my world legit has a timeline where the bulk of major events in it span across a time much longer than known human history irl. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ To be clear, you're talking about ~750kg liguars now? $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 0:55

2 Answers 2


Irish Wolfhound would be a good pick. As the name suggests they can take on packs of wolves and were used for war. They're huge dogs with no fear of anything. Built like greyhounds, agile, fast, but enormous, the Romans were given some to use against lions and bears.

Bull Mastiffs are another choice, they're around the heaviest dogs and bred for fighting. They're solid dogs.

Wikipedia link on Irish Wolfhounds


As I said in How big would a dog like the one described need to be to survive an attack by the big cat I’ve described?, A dog bred to defend livestock against liguars would need to be big, strong and agile, which are rather contradictory goals.

The mechanics of bones and joints means that for a given mass of muscle, an animal can be stronger, by having its muscles attach further from the joint, or faster, by having its muscles attach closer to the joint, but it's a trade-off between the two.

By adding more muscle, an animal can be both stronger and still fast, but muscle has mass, which slows a creature down.

So, the best compromise is going to be a tall dog with a muscular body and long, fairly slender limbs for its size, since like a pendulum, the closer the mass is to the fulcrum, the faster the limb will be able to move.

The dog will ideally have a long, narrow, relatively light head with a wide gape and long sharp teeth, but with large jaw muscles, to be both a physical and visible threat.

I would imagine that such dogs would weigh between 150 and 200 kg, so that they are big enough to be a threat to a liguar, but still small enough to be more agile than the 750kg cats.

I would fully expect that a small pack of such dogs could easily defend a herd against solitary liguars.

However, here comes the frame challenge:

By making liguars non-solitary hunters, even if during a small window of time, you drastically change their psychology. A pack hunter, especially one that is trying to impress a mate, is no longer cowardly. They have friends who can help injured group members to hunt and survive long enough to heal. I can easily envision a pair or liguars deliberately stalking a separated dog, and killing it quickly and together, just to get it out of the way. It is common for predators to attempt to kill other predatory species if it can be achieved reasonably safely, and as a pair or a pride, the cats' odds go way up.

So, pairs or prides of liguars could easily slaughter their way through a small pack of dogs over a night or two, and then it would be open season on the herd they were protecting.

In this scenario, it would make sense for the dogs to be armoured with spiked metal armour so that they could survive a surprise attack from a group of liguars and potentially have a liguar injured in the attack on the dog. However, predators are seldom dumb, and they may well find a weakness to exploit even in this situation.

  • $\begingroup$ Although I somewhat disagree with the weights given - The key part here is the Pack element: 2 Dogs are enough to reasonably take on a Lion - One to attack from the front, one to attack from a Flank. But the moment the Lion has friends, even if the Dogs outnumber the Lions - the Dogs are as good as dead. Team Tactics really is the most OP skill in the Game of Life. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDemonLord The weights are something of a guesstimate. It's the pack aspect that's the most important, IMO. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 5:25

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