|Other names||Mastín Español
|Country of origin||Spain|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Spanish Mastiff, or Mastín Español is a large breed of dog, originating in Spain, originally bred to be a Livestock guardian dog and a guard dog whose purpose is to defend livestock from wolves and other predators. The Mountain dog type has a heavier coat, and is more commonly exhibited at dog shows.
Roots and history
The Spanish Mastiff is thought to have descended from Greek dogs brought to Spain via Greek and Phoenician maritime traders starting around 1000 BC. The Greeks used similar dogs in battle because of their strength.
During the conquest of the Americas, Spanish conquistadors used Spanish Mastiffs and other Molossers in battle against Native Americans, like the Taínos, Aztecs, or Mayans. These specially trained dogs were feared by the Indians for their strength and ferocity.
The Spanish Mastiff is a very large and powerful dog, similar in appearance to the other Mastiff breeds. They have a large powerful head, with loose folds of skin and a double dewlap on the neck.
Males in this breed are at least 77 cm tall at the withers, and range from 80–120 kg. Females are at least 72 cm, and weigh 70–100 kg.
This dog has a long muzzle compared to many other mastiffs. It has small eyes and drop ears resembling triangles. This dog's coat is most often reddish or fawn-colored, but can also be brindle, black or 'wolf' colored.
This noble giant is aloof, dignified, calm and intelligent. It is devoted to its family and may politely accept strangers if it has been socialized properly, although it will be wary of them. It can be aggressive toward other dogs. The Spanish Mastiff may be a less-than-ideal pet in urban situations, where its booming voice and massive size could be problematic. It is a wonderful protector of its home and family.
Socialization and training should begin early to ensure this dog a stable and reliable pet. Supervised exposure in puppy-hood to a variety of unfamiliar but non-threatening dogs will help dampen a tendency to aggression toward other dogs. The breed is quite alert and food motivated but can bore easily; training must be consistent and firm but gentle. Once the trainer has established the dog's respect as leader, the Spanish Mastiff will be an extremely loyal pet.
This dog is more inclined to lumber than gallop, but it can move quite rapidly when necessary. A long daily walk will be sufficient, although it will appreciate a fenced area where it can exercise at its own rate.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mastín español.|