Breed: Mastiff, Flock Guard
Height: 28-35 inches (72-88 cm.)
Weight: Dogs: 185-220 pounds (90-100 kg.) Bitches: 145-170 pounds (52 -77 kg.)
Coat Type: Medium length, thick and soft with an almost woolly texture
The Spanish Mastiffs are believed to have been descended from the ancient Molosser dogs that were originally bred to work independently as livestock guards. The breed was also used as draft dogs, to help pull heavy carts and for guarding property. Spanish Mastiff is a large breed of dog that needs special family environment to be in the best of moods. Even though the breed is not affectionate in nature, Spanish Mastiffs can get along well with the family. They hate the sight of any unknown animal or a person and can get very aggressive towards the same. However, the canines can be calmed down with proper socialization and training from an early age. This article provides you with detailed information on the Spanish Mastiff dog breed.
The Spanish Mastiff is also believed to be, like other mastiffs, descendants of the Molosser dogs who used to travel throughout Europe along with Alexander the Great. These dogs were brought to Spain by the Phoenician traders and since then have been proudly guarding flocks on the Iberian Peninsula. The breed has a long history in the country, even though its standard was created only a few decades ago in 1946. The breed is very popular and common in Spain, but outside the country it is quite unpopular. The breed is believed to have played a role in the development of Saint Bernard and other breeds not well known in the West. Spanish Mastiffs were even used during the conquest of America, in battles against Native Americans by the Spanish conquistadors. These specially trained dogs were feared by the Indians, because of their strength and ferocity.
Spanish Mastiff is a massive breed with large, square head and a muzzle. The dogs have a similar facial expression like those of a Saint Bernard. Their features include small eyes and medium-sized pendant shaped ears. They have folds of skin around their face, giving them a slight hound dog appearance. Like any other mastiffs, the Spanish Mastiffs too, have broad and a muscular body which portrays the great strength that they have. The dogs have straight front legs and possess thick, hairy tail. Their entire body is framed by sagging skin, similar to their face. Their thick coat lies close to their body and they come in a number of different colors like solid yellow, grey, red, black, red brown or even spotted in any of these colors.
Spanish Mastiffs are a dignified, calm and intelligent breed of dogs. They love to stay aloof, but can become too affectionate and devoted to their family. If socialized properly, they can even accept strangers over a period of time. Spanish Mastiffs are great protector of their family and home and can be extremely aggressive towards other dogs and pets. It is important to start socializing and training a Spanish Mastiff at an early age in order to make it a stable and reliable pet. The dog is quite alert and food motivated, but can get easily bored without regular training. The breed requires an effective and a strong trainer. It is ideal to keep these strongly build massive dogs in country situations rather than in urban setup.
Some of the common problems faced by Spanish Mastiffs are bloating, heart diseases, entropiaon and hip dysplasia. Some of them might also face whelping difficulties and hence require cesarean. Few of the puppies can also be prone to Pano Ostiosis, which can cause them unexplained pain and lameness. These dogs can also drool, slobber and snore loudly.
The Spanish Mastiffs needs brushing at least once in a week. Their ears should also be cleaned regularly. The dog, because of its heavy built up, does not require much exercise. It is mostly calm and requires regular walking schedules, twice a day, to release the piled-up energy.