You might be a dog lover but you can’t love them as much as Marcus Curtis, who spends his time bringing extinct dog breeds to life.
The breeder creates some of the world’s biggest puppies and sells them for $5,000 (£3,500) each.
Among his litter of huge dogs is Euphrates, dubbed the world’s largest puppy, at almost 13 stones and six feet tall when on hind legs.
The ancient molossus (a mixed breed derived from Europe from 5,000BC) was named after the river near their home in Riverside, California.
Through selective breeding of the Neapolitan mastiff and English bull mastiff, the first litter of molossus was born last year.
Now at 10 months old, the five dogs consume up to 12 cups of food a day or two whole chickens.
Not everyone is too happy about Marcus’s breeding of the large dogs, with some accusing him of playing God.
Marcus says that the giant pets predate a lot of other breeds and are healthier, live longer and are well sized.
‘I’m not creating a new breed, I’m resurrecting a great, great breed that already existed.
‘When I found out that the original molossus breed was not a fighting dog but a pure guardian to protect children, the family and other animals, I thought they were a perfect breed.
‘They lasted thousands of years as a success, I thought it could be an all-round win for mankind now.
‘It has been a dream come true watching the dogs mature and being embraced, we’ve been overwhelmed, it’s been a fun ride.’
Marcus first started researching the breed eight years ago, beginning by looking into their nature and descendants.
He added: ‘I was in shock when I saw the statues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which shows them with their massive bodies, cropped ears, tails and loose skin.
‘After doing more research I found out more about their personalities, what they were used for and it was really intriguing.’
Marcus set about bringing the breed back to life – carefully selecting dogs based on their health history, size and temperament.
He carefully chose canines that would give the Molossus the best gene pool in the hopes of success.
Since the first litter was born, Marcus claims that people all over the world have inquired about the American Molossus.
He carefully studies prospective owners to ensure they can handle such a large dog, vets their previous experience and whether they are willing to continue working on his breeding programme.
‘Our process is a little more rigid than a normal application, I want to talk to somebody, ask them questions, let them know the importance of the breed and ensure they can take care of such a large dog.
‘They have to be willing to properly train them and willing to work with me in the programme, to use them and continue with the resurrection of this breed.’
The daily lifestyle email from Metro.co.uk.