The body is rectangular in shape, consisting of a strong bone structure. The head is massive and well-proportioned.
A deep muzzle, full lips, and dewlap on the neck give away this breed’s mastiff heritage. They possess double dewclaws on each hind foot, much like the Great Pyrenees.
The Spanish Mastiff’s fur includes a dense under layer and the straight top layer, which produces a wooly texture.
Loose skin covers the body while longer fur grows along the tail and spine area.
The eyes are generally relaxed and small, giving the Spanish Mastiff a carefree expression.
The Temperament of the Spanish Mastiff
Spanish Mastiff puppies will become protective adult canines. This breed displays traits typical of livestock guarding dogs.
They are loyal and will defend with their lives if necessary. A strong bond can be formed with proper interactions and training.
The Spanish Mastiff loves its human owner and prefers to spend time with their family. Consistent, firm leadership is required to keep this independently-minded pet on its best behavior.
At times, the Spanish Mastiff will appear lazy; however, this is not the case. The dog is always alert and mindful of its surroundings.
Good Spanish Mastiff breeders will produce canines that stand between 28 and 35 inches (72 and 88 cm).
The males weigh between 185 and 220 pounds (90 and 100 kg) on average but can grow to 265 pounds (120 kg).
Females usually weigh between 145 and 170 pounds (52 and 77 kg).
Health Problems of the Spanish Mastiff
Spanish Mastiffs are prone to heart conditions, Entropion, and hip dysplasia.
Growing pains (pano-ostiosis) is also common in puppies as they develop.
The breed should also be fed multiple smaller meals each day because they can suffer from bloat.
Spanish Mastiff puppies should not be adopted by families with tight living spaces. This dog gets big, and is a frequent drooler and snorer.
The breed also needs ample exercise and strong leadership, which can make life in limited spaces difficult.
Country homes with wide-open spaces are ideal as well as homes with a generous fenced in yard.
The Spanish Mastiff requires an average amount of exercise. Their physical requirements aren’t excessive, but still must be met to keep the canine happy and manageable.
This breed needs around 45 minutes of exercise a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Most people assume that this breed is considered “lazy.” When the Spanish Mastiff wants to, they can be very active and alert!
These dogs are part of the working group and known to watch over livestock or animals.
Long walks a couple of times a day are recommended. This dog is not a runner and is not recommended for anyone who wants a jogging companion.
The Spanish Mastiff is one of the bigger dog breeds we have ever talked about. They need a diet of high protein food to give them energy.
This dog breed needs four cups of dry and wet food mixed a day.
Depending on the type of dog food you purchase (hopefully, a high-quality brand for working dogs) will factor the price you pay. On average, you will spend between $2.50 and $3.00 a day on food.
This breed can experience bloat, so it is best to separate out the food in smaller portions throughout the day. A perfect food schedule for this dog would look like:
- Breakfast portion
- Snack portion
- Lunch portion
- Dinner portion
Life Expectancy of the Spanish Mastiff
The average Spanish Mastiff will live for 10 to 11 years with some individuals living for up to 14 years.
The Spanish Mastiff requires regular brushing to remove shed hairs. The Spanish Mastiff is in no way hypoallergenic friendly as they shed a good amount of their coat during the spring and summer months.
If you bathe your dog during the months that they are shedding heavily it will help to get some of the hair out faster.
Ears and face should be kept clean and dry as well.
You will also want to trim the long hairs around the footpads because they can become tangled and knotted.
Also, you may want to have drool rags around for this dog because they drool almost constantly.
Origin of the Spanish Mastiff
Spanish Mastiffs are believed to be the descendants of Greek canines brought into Spain by Phoenician and Greek traders in 1000 BC.
Similar dogs were favored for their strength and often used in battles. Spanish conquistadors utilized this Mastiff when fighting the Native Americans.
These war dogs developed a powerful reputation among Native Americans because of their ferocity.
The Spanish Mastiff was shown frequently in dog shows throughout the early 20th century; however, a standard was not set until 1946.
Records gathered by the Spanish Shepherd’s Association describe how this powerful canine has been used as an effective wolf hunter since the 1400s.
Spanish Mastiff breeders have not established any sub-groups for this breed.
Spanish Mastiff puppies can be found in:
Coloration can be broken or spotted, however, white should not be dominant in the pattern.
They typically have a black nose with brown eyes. This is the most natural look, and you don’t really see any Spanish Mastiff’s looking different.
Cool Traits / Characteristics
The Spanish Mastiff is recognized as the heaviest livestock guardian dog, as well as the biggest Spanish native breed.
They don’t typically make any noise but when they do they have a very deep almost intimidating bark.
When doing obedience training with this breed, it can be challenging because the Spanish Mastiff likes to do what it pleases, and it is very intelligent.
This breed is excellent with children, but when it comes to other dogs they can be territorial and sometimes even show aggression towards other dogs and cats.
Good for the First Time Dog Owner? Training?
The Spanish Mastiff is a big canine that requires a strong leader. It is not a good choice for the first time dog owner.
They need a house with a big yard, and they are typically seen out in the country being used as a farming livestock guard dog.
If you have other dogs, you should think twice about getting this dog as a friend for your dog. The Mastiff is very territorial and doesn’t do well with other dogs.
Of course, you can curb this by raising your Spanish Mastiff to get along with other dogs from puppy age.
Spanish Mastiff Puppies
A litter size of Spanish Mastiffs can be up to ten puppies!
As you know, these dogs are very big and can grow to over 200 pounds. The puppies may take longer than two years to get full-grown.
Make sure you are feeding your puppy a high-quality large dog breed puppy food. Ask your veterinarian how long they need to eat that type of food before switching to adult dog food.
Famous Spanish Mastiffs
There is a very famous Spanish Mastiff known throughout Spain. The popular painting named Las Meninas features a Spanish Mastiff.
This painting can be found in Madrid at the Museo Del Prado.
No common Spanish Mastiff mix breed is currently recognized.
Close Relatives of the Spanish Mastiff
There are a few breeds out there that are closely similar to the Spanish Mastiff, they are:
- American Mastiff
- Pyrenean Mastiff
- The Great Pyrenees
- Neo Daniff