Spanish Mastiff is a livestock guardian dog. Spanish Mastiffs have been protecting sheep and cattle in the Estremadura region of Spain for thousands of years. The Spanish Mastiff, or Mastin Espanol, is thought to have been brought to the Iberian Peninsula by Phoenician traders.
The Spanish Mastiff is a massive breed, standing 28 to 32 inches tall and weighing 150 to 200 pounds or more. The head is well-proportioned, with small eyes, dropped ears, and full lips. There is a dewlap on the lower neck. The body is rectangular, with a deep chest. The rear feet have double dewclaws. The skin is loose, the undercoat is dense, and the outer coat is short and straight. The colors include brown, red-brown, wolf-gray, and yellow. The coat should be brushed weekly except during shedding seasons, generally the spring and fall, when more brushing is needed. These dogs also drool.
The Spanish Mastiff does not require a great deal of exercise. However, a good sized yard where the dog can bound around is preferred. They can be playful and are very curious; they will notice anything new in the house or yard right away. This breed was bred to be watchful and protective, even to the point of aggressiveness when needed. They are suspicious of strangers, so early socialization is needed.
Spanish Mastiffs are calm and steady in temperament and are easy to train. Training should continue into adulthood, as these dogs are slow to mature. The Spanish Mastiff needs an owner who understands livestock guardian dogs and their characteristics, especially their desire to protect the home and family. The owner must also be willing to do the training needed to control a large, powerful dog. The Spanish Mastiff dog breed is good with children, although Spanish Mastiff puppies may be rough and rowdy. The Spanish Mastiff dog breed is good with dogs it is raised with but will not tolerate strange dogs. Health concerns include heart problems, eye problems, bloat, torsion, and hip dysplasia.