Spanish Mastiff | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Spanish Mastiff

The Spanish Mastiff breed or Mastín Español are the giant dogs of the Iberian Peninsula, whose fame has been thundering since ancient times. These are good-natured, loyal to humans and incredibly intelligent dogs, capable of serving on a country farm, remaining faithful companions.

This dog never shows excessive aggression, he is always gentle and affectionate with his master and family members. Calmly performs all the tasks, so this pet is great for security activities, and will be an excellent assistant in hunting.


Spanish Mastiff photos

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Physical characteristics

The Spanish Mastiff is a majestic and powerful dog in all situations. This dog rightly deserves the title of Hercules in the canine world!

The standard of the breed determines the size of the animals: for males – from 77 to 88 cm, for females – from 72 to 88 cm. Sexual dimorphism can be traced: males look stronger than females. In addition, they are more attentive and observers. The body weight varies between 70 and 120 kg.


Distinctive features

  • Head: the head is massive, heavy, but proportionally harmonious with the rest of the body. It has the shape of a truncated pyramid with expanded base. The skull is strong, convex. The muzzle is of average, square, stinging gently towards the nose. The forehead is flat.
  • Jaws: The teeth are powerful with sharp fangs. The dental formula is complete. The jaw is wide and athletic. Scissor bite.
  • Ears :
  • The ears are medium, pendant, of triangular shape flattened with rounded ends. Located above the line of external eyes of the eyes.
  • Eyes :
  • The eyes are oval, placed obliquely, small. The color of the iris is hazelnut or hazelnut of variable intensity. The gaze is hard and severe.
  • Frame :
  • The case is rectangular, perfectly constructed, durable. The back is muscular and long. The kidney is wide, convex, gradually descends to the rump. The neck is heroic, but short, with an oblique and high whole. The belly is moderately rolled up.
  • Members: The legs are powerful, well muscular, straight and parallel. Arched type legs, gathered in a ball. The pads are firm and resistant. Strong, short nails. The current animal moves with a heavy trot without swinging on the sides.
  • Pelage: the coat is dense, thick, short, of hard texture. Red, bridged, black, gray color with possible white spots on the chest and legs.

Character and behavior

The Spanish mastiff is a domestic lion who can be compared to the king of animals not only by its size, but also by its character. He is calm, full of dignity and noble in his actions.

He loves his family, they become a huge plush for children. The Spanish mastiff will allow children to do what they want with him and will protect them in a selfless manner from all dangers. So, if a children’s party with cries and is planned at home, it is better to isolate the dog, because it can seriously decide that its pupils need help and rush to clean.

At the same time, being related to the caucasian shepherd and the Tibetan mastiff, the Iberian giant will only respect a strong owner, which he will choose as his leader. This dog is not for sensitive souls. He recognizes only one person sure of himself and mistress of self with whom he can try to compete in force of character.

These dogs have a developed sense of territoriality. At the slightest suspicion of violation of the owner’s property, they react at the speed of lightning, turning into an unprecedented clot. At the same time, only a few seconds are allocated for a bark or a warning roar.


The most common diseases reported by veterinarians:

  • Dysplasia of the joints;
  • Knee osteochondrosis;
  • Adenoma and volvulus of the eyelid;
  • Cataract;
  • Allergic eczema.

Life expectancy

Spanish mastiffs live up to 10-11 years, which is a good indicator among all giant molossians. The age of extinction is 7-8 years, an elderly dog ​​will have to be taken to the veterinarian every month in order to detect diseases at an early stage and prolong its life as much as possible. A young pet only needs preventive examinations no more than twice a year.


The life of the apartment is completely unsuitable for the huge Spanish mastiff, because the apartment will appear as in a cage. For this breed, the best place where living is a house with a spacious territory or a large aviary.

Care for these dogs are as follows:

  • The coat is combed at least 3 times a week.
  • During the moulting period, the hair is indicated daily.
  • The tangles on the ears, the neck and the hind legs are regularly removed with an encheviring.
  • Bat once every 3 months.
  • The claws are shortened 1 to 2 times a month.
  • The teeth are brushed 2 times a week.
  • The eyes and ears are washed with a special lotion or a chamomile infusion.

History of the breed

The first mention of huge dogs in the territory of modern Spain is attributed to the work of the ancient poet Virgil, who, after traveling to the Pyrenees, wrote his didactic text “Georgiki”. In poetic form, the ancient Roman writer talked about four-legged helpers of shepherds the size of a foal, who guarded flocks of sheep and goats, and if necessary, climbed higher into the mountains and looked after rich vineyards.

The main task assigned to the dogs was the protection of cattle during the drives from pasture to pasture. At such moments, the animals were trapped by hunting packs of wolves, but when they saw a large dog, they did not dare to attack. Precisely because of the working purpose, already in the Middle Ages, when fights with animals in pits became popular, the ancestors of modern Spanish Mastiff escaped the fate of gladiators – for their size they seemed clumsy.

World fame for the breed came early – the legendary artist Diego Velazquez in 1656 completes his work “Meninas”, which depicts the family of King Philip IV. At the feet of the court jesters lies a sleeping mastiff, who were then used as guards. After the success of the picture, colorful dogs are forgotten for almost two centuries, although in two provinces – Leon and Extremadura at the beginning of the 20th century, there were 20 thousand individuals.

The first attempts to document mastiffs were made in 1912, when at the Madrid show a dog named Machako won the hearts of overseas dog lovers. However, the civil war that began soon and then the Second World War pushed aside international recognition. Disputes about the acceptable size of dogs continued until the fifties, but the final entry into the register was signed in 1954.

It was not possible to buy a Spanish Mastiff puppy in Russia until the collapse of the USSR. On the territory of Eastern Europe, and specifically – Czechoslovakia – there were several kennels, but the first club puppy came to us only in 1996. The price of a pet-class dog, due to its rarity, starts from 800 euros, breeding Spanish Mastiff with champion pedigrees and an exhibition career will cost 1500 euros or even more.


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