Spanish Mastiff
España FCI 91 - Molossoid . Mountain

Mastín Español

The Spanish Mastiff, He is regarded as the oldest Spanish race.



The Spanish Mastiff (also called Mastín español) is a breed of dog trotting type of large size, originally from Spain where it was abundant in almost the entire country and today is in a particular way in León, Zamora, Asturias and Cantabria. One of its varieties is the Mastiff in the Pyrenees.

This is a very old dog and like the other broadcast, descended from the molosser in Tibet (Tibetan Mastiff) He came to Europe via Asia minor.

Race theories argue that at least four thousand years ago pastoralists inhabiting the peninsula already used them as watchdogs of cattle.

Natural resources and the climate of the Iberian Peninsula led to the transhumance, for which reason, for many centuries the Spanish Mastiff has played the role of protector of flocks, especially of herds of 'Merino sheep' whose history is very attached to this dog breed. In some places it is known as 'merinero dog' to accompany the Merino breed sheep.

Spanish Mastiff, He is regarded as the oldest Spanish race.

The transhumant roamed the real Glens Leonese crossing from North to South the Iberian Peninsula, and the Spanish Mastiff was with them defending the cattle of the attack of the Wolf, the dog in addition to with its imposing nature, He was with the protection of its abundant jowl as well as carlancas or carranclas, they are a species of thick metal with spiky necklaces.

Spanish Mastiff videos
Mastin Spanish /Spanish mastiff puppies in kennel Tornado Erben

At the end of the 19th century with the gradual disappearance of the grazing and transhumance, Mastiff Spanish began to be 'unnecessary', If that him I add to the Spanish civil war and its consequent period of scarcity and - also - the sharp decline in the number of wolves, as a result we have that this breed of dog was on the verge of extinction.

During this time many copies of Mastiff Spanish sacrificed, Some were emasculated and other so many purchased by enthusiasts that breeders, guided more by love of the race than by knowledge, start you a totally disorganized parenting.

After the debacle, Fortunately, the recovery of the breed has been achieved though with great difficulty.

The first Spanish Mastiff standard was approved by the Federation Cynologique internationale in the year 1946, based on the characteristics of three natives copies of the Spain Centre, These specimens were a light type, that remained for farming and they were also used for hunting, they were of good size, with long legs and her weight was around the 50 kg.

In 1981 adopted a new standard whose main objective was to recover the much larger Mastiff that was used in the transhumant cattle.

That same year (1981) was founded the Spanish Association of the Spanish Mastiff dog (AEPME) as official club of the breed.

Physical characteristics

It is a dog of large size, braquicéfalo and mesomorfo. Well proportioned, very powerful and muscular. Big and heavy, with skeleton compact.

There is no exact boundaries of measures, but they must be harmonious, in the males expected a height that not is lower to 77 cm. the cross and in the females, not less to 72 cm.. These are essential minimum, but always expected greater height.

The head is significantly large, has a cráneo-hocico relationship of 6:4. If we look at the skull from the top is a square and uniform.

It has eyes small, almond-shaped and hazelnut or chestnut colour.

It has the ears triangular, median, flat and pendants. The legs are long, straight and fitted with good musculature.

The tail, inserted at medium altitude is very thick, flexible and takes her fall, arriving at the height of the Hock.

Its the mantle This thick a thick hair hard, semilargo and smooth. The colors the most prized hair are uniforms (or solids), they may be dirty white, Griffon, reddish, black, Grey Wolf, brown. Are also supported in the standard the atigrados, or white spotted robes.


As it's a race in recovery process, is very difficult to find perfect copies (namely, adjusted completely to the standard).

It is not a dog suitable for beginners, but it could be a very rewarding challenge for any enthusiast with the desire to raise a dog's long history and huge potential as a Spanish Mastiff.

Character and skills

Spanish Mastiff is a dog of rustic character, loving, tame, noble, great firmness and self-confident.

It is generally quiet and affectionate, He is very loyal and devoted to their masters. It is - especially- suitable for children, for those who feel special attraction. Also, usually get along well with other dogs.

Essentially, is a calm and balanced guardian, but it can be very scary if they perceived danger to its owner and properties.

These dogs are very happy living in the open air, and especially given the opportunity for long and quiet walks, This will be necessary if we want our Mastiff to be happy and balanced.


As we mentioned in the section "History", the vicissitudes of the recovery of the breed has led to that chaos--arose at the beginning of the same, and all this slippage in breeding, It has had a direct effect on the character of dog, It is for this reason that today we can find copies too aggressive, and other, Perhaps more timid.

Fortunately, the great work which is carrying out the Spanish Association of dog Spanish Mastiff, focused on the selection in the breeding she is very hopeful since good results being, and over time the problem will be eliminated.

Images of the Spanish Mastiff

Spanish Mastiff videos

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer- Molossoid breeds – Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
  • Section 2.2: Molossian, Mountain type. Without working trial.
  • Federations:
    • FCI – Pinscher and Schnauzer-Molossoid type dogs – Swiss Mountain Dogs and Cattledogs. Section 2.2 Molossoid, mountain type.
    • AKC – FSS
    • UKC – Guard dog

    FCI Standard of the Spanish Mastiff breed


    Alternative names:

      1. Spanish mastiff, Mastín español de campo y trabajo, Mastín ganadero, Mastín Leonés, Mastín Extremeño (English).
      2. Mastin Leones (French).
      3. Spanischer Mastiff, Mastín aus León (mastín leonés), Mastín der Extremadura (mastín extremeño), Mastín der Mancha (mastín manchego) (German).
      4. Mastín español (Portuguese).
      5. Mastín Leonés, mastín español de campo y trabajo, mastín ganadero (Spanish).
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