The exact origin of Pyrenean Mastiff is unknown, but it is believed to have developed from the Molossers, which were transported to Europe by the Phoenicians 3,000 years ago. Mastiffs were used by the local people to guard sheep, but Navarrese and Aragonese used them not only to guard sheep but also to protect their owners from bears, robbers, and wolves.
In the early 1900s after Spanish civil war, its population saw a drastic decline due to the inadequate economy and high price to keep a large dog. In the 1970s it was reserved by a group of fanciers who started a project to protect the breed with the remaining dogs in the countryside. Club del Mastín del Pirineo de España recognized this breed as a trendy purebred in 1977. FCI recognized this breed in 1982. This breed is now famous as it was shipped to other countries like the USA where it was supported as a pet dog by Pyrenean Mastiff Club of America.
Facts About Pyrenean Mastiff
|Breed Group||Molosser, Mountain type, Working, Guardian,|
|Country of Origin||Spain|
|Other Names||Mostin d’o Pireneu, Mastin del Pirineo, Mastin d’Aragon, Perro Mastin del Pireneo|
|Size & Height||Large
|Competitive Registration / Qualification Information||ACA, FCI, AKC/FSS, DRA, KC (UK), UKC,|
|Color||medium gray, black, brown, sandy, light beige, marbled, distinctly outlined patches of golden yellow, White, clearly defined mask, spotted ears,|
|Life Expectancy||12-14 years|
|Coat||Stiff, prickly, Dense, thick, medium length|
Temperament & Personality
Its grand structure is threatening to some people, but Pyrenean Mastiff’s disposition best defines calm even-tempered and docile breed. It has a protective attitude, and it does not make any delay in defending or fighting against a danger. They go well with children, but interactions need supervision as these dogs are larger and they can knock down the kid or kids might hurt them while playing. They stay calm and placid around its family, but are very suspicious towards unknown people and might never fail to attack if they see any problematic behavior. It goes well with other dogs whit whom they grow up.
Pyrenean Mastiffs are moderately energetic and lessen activity will suffice their needs. Free play after meals is advisable. Large size dogs tend to develop their size fast, but take a longer time to mature and harden the bones. They require walks and jogs, but owners should gradually increase their walking distance, as sudden long walks will be harmful. Also, walking on unpaved paths or soil is ideal as the concrete path will become hard for their joints. Exercises will be in the form of playtime, long walks, jogs, indoor games, toys, etc. However, being a cam breed, they require adequate exercise to stay physically and mentally fit. But it does not get sufficient exercise it will become bored and might develop some odd behaviors.
They do not require burdensome grooming standards, but brushing their coat three to four times a week will keep their coats shiny and mat free. Do not excessively bathe them, but when necessary, as frequent baths can remove the natural oils and make the coat dry. It has a double coat which sheds twice a year and during this time owners should brush them regularly to remove the dead hairs from the coat.
They grow nails faster like other breeds, which can crack if not appropriately trimmed and hinder regular activities like walking, run, etc. However, cutting them twice a month will serve the purpose. Brush their teeth twice a week to avoid development tartar and oral problems.
Droopy ears are prone to infections due to water, dirt buildup and need regular checking to prevent infections and pain. Clean their ears with Vet prescribed ear solution. Clean their corner of the eyes with a damp cloth to remove tear stains.
There is no known health condition from which it suffers, and there is no proper information if it inherits some genetic problems. But like all giant breeds, they might suffer from hip dysplasia, gastric dilation dilatation-volvulus (GDV) and elbow dysplasia. However, occasional tests like a complete body check-up, blood tests, X-Ray and random veterinarian checks can keep them healthy and minimize the risk.
Pyrenean Mastiff requires a persistent and firm trainer as they are independent and stubborn at times.
Socializing at early ages will polish their skills, take them on an outing in busy places to habituate them to different sounds, unknown people, new streets, etc. Allow them to sniff around and get familiar. But make sure do not take them to places where sick dogs visit.
Make training sessions small within 10-15 minutes twice a day and varied to avoid boredom. Basic commands are essential to correct their behavior, like ‘stay,’ ‘sit,’ ’no,’ ’yes,’ ’come’ etc. Positive training methods will allow them to learn quickly.
They do well with high-quality food whether it is homemade or commercial. However, food should be given upon the vet’s supervision depending on its age, weight and activity level.
Some breeders advise that the puppies should be kept on a high protein, high-quality diet. Large puppy food with phosphorus .6 to 1.2 and calcium .8 to 1.5 and if food lacks 1200 chondroitin and 1400 mg/kg glucosamine it needs to be supplemented. Puppy foods for females are advisable for about 18 months and males unless they are two years old.
They also have the risk of bloating, and heavy exercise is not advisable before or after eating. It tends to gain weight and owners should check with their weight level and calorie consumption. If weight is an issue minimizes giving treats and table scraps.