The Spanish Mastiff is a breed of guardian dog. The breed is extremely rare, particularly in North America. The gentle giant, although being incredibly strong, powerful, and gigantic, is the courteous and noble Spanish Mastiff. They are affectionate with their human family, which includes well-behaved children, and they welcome approved visitors.
Spanish Mastiffs are loyal and protective, and they will always defend their property and humans. Many Spanish Mastiffs do not get along with other dogs, and they should not be trusted around cats or other small pets. They normally do best when they are the only pet in the house. They get along well with farm animals like as sheep and cattle, which they will protect from predators.
Since the Middle Ages, the Spanish Mastiff has been employed to guard and defend livestock from wolves and other predators in Spain. Spanish Mastiffs are particularly well-known for keeping an eye on Merino sheep, who are treasured for their superb wool, which is used to manufacture excellent clothes. The breed, which is extremely protective, is also used on farms to protect people and property.
The Spanish Mastiff is self-assured and unyielding in the face of animal predators or human aggressors. The breed is recognized by the United Kennel Club in North America, where it is part of the Guardian Dog Group. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) also recognizes the breed on a global scale.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has not yet completely recognized the breed; nonetheless, it is a member of the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service, which puts the breed on the route to potential full registration.
The Spanish Mastiff likely originated from an ancient Molosser-type dog and it played a role in the development of other Mastiff breeds. The breed has a short coat that can be yellow, black, red, brown, or grey, as well as broken colors and spotted patterns. The tail is fur-fringed, and the hair on the center of the back may be slightly longer than the rest of the body.
The Spanish Mastiff’s coat is short and dense, thus it does not require much maintenance or grooming. The breed is categorized as a gigantic breed, and some examples have grown to weigh more than 200 pounds. Males weigh 110 to 150 pounds on average, while females weigh between 88 and 132 pounds.
- Weight: 44 to 75 kg
- Coat length: Medium, dense and thick
- Amount of shedding: Low
- Color: Varieties
- Pattern: Varieties
Though the Spanish Mastiff has a headstrong and independent disposition, it establishes very deep loyalty relationships with family. These dogs have natural protective instincts and will not hesitate to defend those they care about. Even though they can appear lethargic at times, Spanish Mastiffs are regal and dignified.
When necessary, these dogs can move quickly, and they are always on the lookout, even if it appears that they are not. This breed requires extensive socialization because they are naturally stubborn and their size makes them a potential concern around other dogs and people. These dogs get along well with youngsters for the most part, although interactions should always be supervised.
The breed has natural protective instinct, which is why it has been used as a guard dog and livestock guardian for many years. These dogs are kind by nature and build very close ties with their owners, but they can acquire a willful, independent personality. It’s also worth noting that the breed can take three years or more to grow out of the puppy stage, so training can be difficult.
Positive reinforcement training methods and maintaining a firm and constant hand in leadership over the dog are your best bets. Because this breed will sometimes reject commands, they are not suitable for rookie dog owners. Early socialization and training is essential for this breed.
- Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
- Active: Low
- Intelligence: High
- Vocalize: Low
Responsible breeders have strived to maintain the highest quality breed standards as set by kennel clubs such as AKC. Dogs bred according to these standards tend to inherit genetic diseases. Among the diseases that need to be considered include:
- Pan osteitis: A “growing pain”, unexplained pain and lameness that may shift from leg to leg, usually between 5 and 14 months of age
- Cardiomyopathy: A genetic disease of predominantly large and giant breed dogs
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