Spanish Mastiff is recognized as an ancient breed and the ancestry is still unknown. However, it is believed that these dogs were brought by the Phoenician traders to the Iberian Peninsula 2000 years ago. They were used as a livestock guardian and as a herding dog in Europe. Dog researchers believe that this breed had also been used in battles between Spaniards against the native people. They were war dogs and more ferocious than the dogs we find today.
|Facts About Spanish Mastiff|
|Breed Group||Flock Guard, Mastiff|
|Country of Origin||Spain|
|Other Names||Mastin Leones, Mastin Espanol|
|Size & Height||28-35 inches, Large|
|Weight||Females: 145-170 Pounds
Males: 185-220 Pounds
|Competitive Registration / Qualification Information||ACA,AKC/FSS,NAPR,ACR,CKC,DRA,UKC,ARBA,FCI,APRI|
|Shedding||Heavy (twice a year)|
|Color||Black, Yellow, Brindle, Red, Wolf-sable, fawn|
|Life Expectancy||10-11 years|
- Mastin Ligero or the Light Mastiff (lighter dog with a refined steppe type)
- Mastin Pesado or the Heavy Mastiff (sturdy or hefty type, more popular in the mountain of Spain and takes part in dog shows or other forms of expositions)
Temperament & Personality
Spanish Mastiff puppies are gentle and goes well with both children and unknown people. However, supervision is necessary when they are with children as they are giant dogs, they might knock the baby due to the excitement. In the adverse situations, it becomes the protector of its family. These dogs are best for village life and not for a condo life as they have a thunderous voice which can disturb the neighbors. They are very willful sometimes and develop strong relations with its human family. It requires socialization as it can be stubborn at times.
These puppies are not high on energy and walking twice a day in a fenced yard where they can play will be adequate. Due to their low activity level, they take a very long time to grow. The owner can also provide it with some puzzle games which will keep the dog busy and provide mental stimulation.
The breed is a heavy shedder and requires high maintenance wherein brushing with a proper brush twice or thrice a week will help to maintain its coat. During the shedding season, they need regular brushing to clean the dead hairs and dirt from its coat. When it is exceptionally filthy, bathe them with a dog shampoo. Other grooming measures like trimming their nails, ear cleaning and tooth brushing are crucial each week to maintain hygiene.
Spanish Mastiff is a big dog and prone to a large number of musculoskeletal issues which includes hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. It can suffer from pano-osmosis or growing pains, and if the puppy grows up very fast, it might suffer from these diseases later in life. Minor problems which affect the dog are heart problems, breathing issues and entropion. Regular tests and random veteran checkups will keep the dog healthy.
These dogs were guards dogs earlier and still possess naturally protective instincts. It takes three years or more to grow which makes training a tough job. However, start its training from the early days as it can’t tolerate another dog. Proper socialization will help the dog to change its behavior. To control their yapping tendency, teach them commands like “Sit,” “Stop,” “No.” It will help the owner to keep the dog in control. Positive training methods like snack treats, hugs and praises will help the dog to pick up training very quickly. Additionally, a firm and consistent trainer is necessary to train this dog as they might get stubborn during the training period. This dog is not appropriate for the first time owners as they sometimes ignore commands.
Commercial dog foods about 6 to 8 cups or homemade food which is abundant in nutrient and protein will be adequate for the dog. Dividing the meals into two halves will keep its digestion on track.