The beast weighed up to 200lbs and stood 7ft tall on its hind legs.
Archaeologists unearthed the bones at Leiston Abbey in Suffolk near where, according to legend, a hell hound called Black Shuck with flaming eyes and shaggy black fur appeared during a storm on August 4, 1577.
The legend said that thunder caused the doors of Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, to burst open and the snarling dog crashed in and ran through the congregation, killing a man and a boy, before it fled when the steeple collapsed.
Marks still visible on the church door are said to be from its claws.
Brendon Wilkins, projects director of archaeological group Dig Ventures, said: “Most of these legends about dogs may have some roots in reality.”

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