Spanish Mastiff

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Is the Spanish Mastiff right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Mastin Espanol

The basics:
The national dog of Spain, this enormous breed was originally developed as a livestock guardian, a role that demanded a large dog capable of deterring predators like wolves and human thieves after the valuable Merino sheep. The Spanish Mastiff's large size and its mistrust of strangers-- or, often, anything out of the ordinary-- means that they can be wonderful family guardians in a rural setting but nervous or even dangerous in a crowded urban environment. This breed is best reserved for highly experienced owners who know how to socialize powerful guardian breeds.

Although considered rare outside Spain, they are now being recorded in the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Service-- a first step toward recognition of the breed in the US.

Appearance / health:
Spanish Mastiffs are the largest of the livestock guardian dogs. They are big strong well-muscled dog with a rectangular profile. They have a massive head with a deep muzzle, strong jaws, full lips, and characteristic mastiff dewlap on the neck. Eyes are small and sport a mellow, carefree expression. Ears are long and pendent. Tail is fringed and carried low.

The Spanish Mastiff is a heavy shedder. It sheds heavily twice a year. Dogs kept indoors may shed heavily throughout the year. Regular brushing or combing is sufficient to stimulate coat growth and remove dead hair. Standard care is needed for eyes, ears, pads, and nails.

An hour's walk twice a day is sufficient to keep them in fine shape. Over exercise must be avoided during the growth phase.

Spanish Mastiffs may suffer from hip dysplasia (a hereditary disease that eventually causes lameness and arthritis of joints), heart problems and entropion (inversion of eyelids). Pano-osteosis (growing pains) is common among growing puppies. Birth may be difficult in some and may require a cesarean. A common ailment found in this breed is bloating.

Behavior / temperament:
Spanish Mastiffs are quite independent by nature as they were bred to guard the livestock without any human support. They are territorial and do not brook any unwelcome guest in its territory. It may also be stubborn sometimes and may refuse to obey commands. It typically keeps an intruder at bay by barking or growling. It may attack if the intruder does not back off. Owners can expect drooling, slobbering, and snoring loudly.

Spanish Mastiffs are intelligent and quick learners. They get bored fast and so repetition may be avoided during training them. Training needs to be firm, consistent, and patient.

They bark at every new sight and noise they come across. They need to be exposed to different sights and noises from an early age to prevent them from turning into excessive barkers, which could be a nuisance in an urban setting.


wonderful protector


dominant position, minimum living space

Spanish Mastiff Training Tip

Spanish Mastiff

From luispw Sep 9 2015 3:02PM


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