Spanish MastiffHome » Dog Breeds » Spanish Mastiff
The Spanish Mastiff is an excellent family protector and may be guarded around strangers. Although very large, this dog breed is generally calm and is very intelligent.The Spanish Mastiff is very independent by nature, like most livestock guardian dogs (LGDs). If you're looking for a pooch to worship you or to play Frisbee with, this breed is not for you. Spanish Mastiffs are foremost working dogs, and those kept as companions are aloof. If you like living with a noble, massive guard dog that isn't much trouble, this could be the breed.Spanish Mastiffs are quite laid-back compared to other LGD breeds. Males tend to bond more with family members than females, and all Spanish Mastiffs are extremely loyal to their people. Owning Spanish Mastiffs requires tolerance of snoring, slobbering, and drooling. When they're not snoring by your side, they need moderate exercise, always at a fairly slow pace. They are low-maintenance, needing only to be brushed regularly and bathed occasionally.The Spanish Mastiff sees strangers as a threat. Having control over your dog is essential; unless you stop your dog, it will follow through when it senses a threat. Luckily, these dogs bark deeply as a warning to "intruders" before taking any action.
Spanish Mastiff History
The Spanish Mastiff originated in western Spain in the Estremadura region. Its ancestor is thought to be the first mastiff-type dog, which appeared nearly 2,000 years ago. It has been crossed with many breeds since then. The Spanish Mastiff began to appear in dog shows in the early 20th century, and its standards were recognized in 1946. Today, Spanish Mastiffs are used mostly as working dogs, though they make fine additions to the family if you don't mind their aloofness.Advertisement
Spanish Mastiff Life Expectancy
About 10-11 years. However, some can live up to 14 years or more, which is quite a long time for such a large dog breed.
Spanish Mastiff Appearance
The Spanish Mastiff is a bit like a Saint Bernard, with heavy jowls and loose skin and a look of having had too much brandy. They are immense dogs, with some adult males weighing as much as 265 pounds. They have a typical Mastiff dewlap (hanging skin) on their necks; deep-set eyes; strong muzzles and chests; and long, low-hanging tails. The coat is dense, short, and woolly. The Spanish Mastiff can come in red, fawn, wolf-grey, yellow, or black with black or brindle markings. They often appear contented and disinterested, but are really always alert.
Spanish Mastiff Weight and Height
Height: 28 - 35 inches (72 - 88 cm) Weight: Males 185 - 220 pounds (90 - 100 kg) Females 145 - 170 pounds (52 - 77 kg. Some of the larger males can weigh as much as 265 pounds (120 kg). The Spanish Mastiff is the largest of all the Spanish native dog breeds and is the heaviest of the LGDs.
Spanish Mastiff Temperament
In character and function, the Spanish Mastin is a classic LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog) and is very similar in many ways to his cousin, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog. These dogs are dignified, noble and not overly demonstrative. They are loyal and really do love you, and will sacrifice his/her own life to protect you, your family or your livestock, when necessary. They like to be close to their owners. This breed needs a 100% firm, consistent, confident pack leader at all times. Without it, being independent-minded, they may not take your orders. Although the Mastin may appear lazy and even slothful at times, it is always watchful and alert to everything that goes on around it. It can be surprisingly quick and agile in spite of the breed's massive size and bulk. The type of owner the dog has and the people who are around it have a whole lot to do with this dog's temperament. These are not dogs for beginners. A good Mastin should be a strong, utterly fearless, self-confident and stable-minded dog. Extensive socializing and training in early puppyhood (during the critical stage between 3 and 12 weeks of age) is important if you want your Mastin to become reliable out in public and around other dogs. However, they can be socialized with a little more effort at any age. As one Spanish Mastiff Owner writes, "When Podero (my own Spanish Mastiff) was a young pup, he didn't have any socializing at all until I adopted him at 16 months of age and yet he is very reliable out in public and good with other dogs and animals." This breed is very intelligent and is capable of making its own decisions and solving problems on its own. Although smart dogs, the Mastin can be stubborn with meek owners and is not the easiest breed to obedience train. It learns quickly, but unless you present yourself in a strong pack leader manner, it may only respond to a command the first time and then become bored of it and not want to respond to it any longer. If you do not present yourself with stern, but calm authority, it may have "selective deafness" tendencies, in that it may only respond to you on its own terms and can be slow to respond to a command, especially if it doesn't feel like doing so. Avoid repeating the same commands too often during training sessions, or the dog is likely to become bored. Training advice from someone who understands LGD temperament is a very wise idea. These are generally dominant dogs and should have an owner who is consistent and knows how to display strong leadership, becomes submissive to owners once the Alpha role has been established and are usually submissive towards their "pack" members (the flock or herd it lives with). A rough approach will bring undesirable characteristics to the surface. The Mastin always sticks close to his flock or herd, keeping wolves and other predators at bay. They do not chase predators away that approach, but rather warn them with fierce, deep barking and growling to keep their distance. However, if the enemy decides not to back down, the Mastin will fearlessly and determinedly fight that predator/intruder (be it man or beast) to the death to defend what he calls his own. In Spain, shepherds often put traditional carlancas (spiked collars) on their Spanish Mastiffs to protect their neck in case they get into a fight with a wolf while defending their flock/herd. They are and were never used to herd livestock, only to guard them. They have also been used as draft dogs, pulling heavy carts over difficult terrain and with excellent results for guarding property, such as Spanish vineyards, fruit orchards, homes, large estates and in the past during Spanish Civil War, for guarding munitions. They are relatively calm dogs when adults, but as with all breeds they can be rather "turbulent" (energetic) at times when young, but once mature they are quite low-key and calm dogs. The Mastin, like many large/giant breed dogs, is very slow to mature, especially the males which do not reach their prime until 2 1/2 to 3 years of age. They are generally very tolerant of and patient with children, pets and all other family members. Being so big and strong they can unintentionally hurt a young child, especially young dogs which have a tendency to play rough.
Being a family dog it can be one-person dog, making a strong bond with owners or one of the family. With extreme intelligence it is easy to train and can do best in obedience contests and other dog sports as well. It is a playful herding dog that love their family but somewhat reserved with strangers. Shelties like to play with children and keep on to learn new tricks. They can be a good watchdog. It also loves to spend time with the family a most often it may follow the family members around their home. Being a herding dog, Sheltie likes to run and romped around a fenced yard and wish to be given a “job” to do. They also have an ability to read the human mood and facilitate him with a pleasing behavior and different tricks.Advertisement
Spanish Mastiff with children and other pets
Being a companion or family dog it may tend to be friendly with people and can get along the children but if not properly socialized it can be wary of children. It has a chasing instinct of herding dog so it can be danger for small pets at home because it was bred to herd them.
Spanish Mastiff Care and Grooming
Brush the short, dense coat regularly, especially when the dog is shedding. Keep the ear passages clean.Otherwise a light shedder, the Spanish Mastiff sheds heavily during fall and summer and would need to be brushed more often than once a week to remove dead hair. This relatively inactive breed does not get dirty quickly due to low activity levels. .
Spanish Mastiff Health Issues
Beware of hip dysplasia, heart problems and Entropion (inversion of the eyelids). Also pano-ostiosis (growing pains), which occurs when they are growing puppies. This breed is prone to bloat. It is wise to feed the Spanish Mastiff several small meals rather than one big one. Births are difficult in some Spanish Mastiffs and C-sections are often needed. This breed drools and slobbers and may snore loudly..
Spanish Mastiff Training
Obedience training and early age socialization are important for this breed to accustom the dog with different situations, people, places and dogs. Positive and reward based training will get the best out of this dog..
Spanish Mastiff Exercise
When fully mature, this breed has an average need for exercise. Like all giant dogs, this breed is very slow to mature, especially the males, which keep growing up until 2.5 to 4 years of age and are rather short-lived. They have a fairly low activity level and need only a moderate amount of exercise. Daily walks for about an hour twice a day is about all they need. They tend to be most active when they are young adults. This is not a breed for very active, sporty people who want a dog to jog, run alongside a bike, or play fetch or Frisbee with.Advertisement
Because of this dog’s sheer size, the Spanish Mastiff is not recommended for apartment life unless you plan to be very consistent with your pack walks, putting the dog in a rest mode for most of the day. These dogs are somewhat inactive indoors and should at least have a large yard. This dog's thick coat protects it from cold and wet so it can live outdoors. However, they are easy to housebreak and would love to live indoors close to their family. Since this breed had to endure the climate of the Meseta (a high, inland plateau located in the provinces of Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla-Leon and Extremadura) in central Spain for thousands of years—an area of temperature extremes where it can get well over 38° C (100° F) in summer with little rainfall and below freezing in winter with heavy snow—the Mastin Español can handle both extreme heat and cold with no problems. However, it should have access to shade and water during the summer. They can adapt to any climate, but prefer dry climates over very humid ones. Heat combined with high humidity can be a problem for this breed, as Spain is, at large, a semi-arid country. The Mastin is a double-coated breed, they shed heavily twice a year and "blow" their coats in the Spring; they do shed to an extent year around. If kept as indoor dogs, will shed heavily year around, making the Mastin unsuitable for a neat and tidy home.
Spanish Mastiff Recognition
It is Recognized by CKC, FCI, UKC, NKC, ARBA, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, and AKC/FSS
Spanish Mastiff Group
Mastiff, Flock Guard.
Spanish Mastiff Good Names
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