The Spanish Mastiff, also known as Mastín Españo, is a guardian dog originated from Spain. This large sized dog was originally bred for its strength and skills to serve as a guard dog in the pastures. Spanish Mastiffs are known for bravery and ability to protect different livestock from predators, like wolves and other similar animals that attack livestock herds. This dog is generally believed to be a descendent of the Greek dogs that were first introduced to Spain in 1000BC by Greek Marines who visited the Iberian Peninsula frequently at that time. The Greek people were also known for using similar sort of dogs during warfare, because of their large size and incredible strength.
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The Spanish Mastiff is a robust, stocky, rustic looking dog. It is extremely large as compared to the other breeds and is lengthy with enormous chest. With the power and strength of a heavyweight contender, it is perfect for security purposes. The body is well muscled and rectangular with strong bones. It has well proportioned head, full lips, strong jaw and dewlap on the neck that reveals its identity. This dog has loose skin on its body. The usual colors include yellow, black, red, red-brown, wolf grey, and white. However, white is not a dominant color among these dogs. The eyes are comparatively smaller than other guard dogs. The ears are pendent and pointed.
The tails is usually carried low. Although the Spanish Mastiff is a heavy breed, its movement is flexible and free. In short, it has an appearance of an imposing dog.
The general height of a male dog of this breed is 30 inches. This massive dog can weight anywhere from 100 to 140 pounds. The female Spanish Mastiff is noticed to have an average height of 28 inches and can weigh up to 130 pounds. There are some dogs that can be even larger and heavier than mentioned.
Dogs of this breed are considered as relatively noble, dignified and not excessively demonstrative. These dogs are extremely loyal and ready to sacrifice their life to protect your livestock or you, when necessary. They are noticed to like being close to their owners. Spanish Mastiffs require a firm and consistent pack leader constantly.
They might not take your order if left independent without a confident leader. Mastiffs might appear lazy, but they are watchful and alert all the time and can be surprisingly quick in reacting to the threat. The dog’s temperament entirely depends upon the environment they are kept in and the people around it.
This dog is not for the beginners.
A good Mastiff must be utterly fearless, strong, and stable minded. Therefore, considerable experience is necessary for handling this breed.
The Spanish Mastiff, like many other large breed canines, is slow to mature. Usually, the male dogs reach their prime at the age of three years. The average life of these dogs is 10 to 11 years.
However, some of the Spanish Mastiff dogs might live up to 14 years that is a long time for such a massive dog breed.
spanish mastiff pictures by : Harald and Kerstin Zehnel - http://www.mastin-espanol.net