One of the oldest breeds, the bankhar, was used by the Mongols on their eastward march to conquer Europe. They spelled doom to any who got in their way, and they could sense from afar when strangers were about. You would not have wanted to be unlucky enough to be anywhere near them.
as the third photo shows, when they are not trained to be hunter-killers, they make fine companion dogs.
I'm one-third of the way through this book. A small group of knights are stealing through the hordes, to work their way to Mongolia in order to assassinate The Great Khan and remove the threat at the source. The forward scout, somewhere west of Russia, is attempting to avoid an encounter with a bankhar by staying quiet and under a cover of reeds in marshland. The dog is on alert, but hasn't decided yet that an intruder is near.
it's really good so far. Back to the book now to find what happens next. Just interrupted my reading to research the bankhar, and felt like sharing.