Spanish Mastiff

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Mastín Español
Other names Spanish Mastiff
Mastín español de campo y trabajo
Mastín ganadero
Country of origin Spain
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Mastín Español or Spanish Mastiff, is a giant breed of dog, originating in Spain, originally bred to be a guard dog whose purpose is to defend livestock from wolves and other predators. The Mountain dog type has a heavier coat.

Historical context[edit]

For centuries the Mastín Español has accompanied the herds of migratory sheeps that ran cañadas reales crossing from north to south the Iberian Peninsula, defending the cattle of attack of wolfs and other vermin; the Mastín had the protection of carlancas or carrancas, chunky metal necklaces with skewers. Its function is primarily protective, unlike its fellow Carea Dogs, whose function is grazing, driving the herds in response to indications of the shepherd [1] In some places it is known as perro merinero by accompany the sheep breed Merino.

According to some chronicles, at the time of the discovery and subsequent conquest of the Americas, these dogs, along with other large breeds, its were trained and employed at times by the Spanish army as war dogs, used for attack, tracking or monitoring positions especially against Native Americans.

At the end of 19th century, with the disappearance of the Mesta and the move of cattle, the Mastín suffered a setback, which worsened during the 20th century and more dramatically after of the Spanish Civil War and its subsequent period of scarcity

The first breed standardof the Mastín was made by the FCI in 1946. In 1981 was created the Asociación Española del Perro Mastín Español, who organized a breeding program looking for the kind of large and strong mastiff of the past times, and drafted a new breed standard focused on recovering the old cattle dogs, fit as pets, and as guard dog and defense.[2]


The Spanish Mastiff is a very large and powerful dog, similar in appearance to the other Mastiff breeds. They have a large powerful head and serious and vigilant expression

Males in this breed are 70 to 85 centimetres (28 to 33 in) tall at the withers, and range from 50 to 70 kilograms (110 to 150 lb). Females are at least 65 centimetres (26 in), and weigh 40 to 60 kilograms (88 to 132 lb).[3]

It has small eyes and drop ears resembling triangles. This dog's coat is most often fawn-colored, but can also be brindle, black or 'wolf' colored. Reddish tones indicate miscegenation


This noble giant is aloof, dignified, calm and intelligent.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Antón Burgos, Francisco Javier (2014). "Herding dogs in Spain. Origins and functionality". Spanish Associaton of Mastín Español Dog (AEPME). Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ The Spanish Mastiff