Pyrenean Mastiff

Type: Mastiff

Height: 28.5 - 34 inches.

Weight: 120 - 175 lbs

Life Span: 8 - 13 years.

Litter Size: 5 puppies is average.

Country of Origin: Spain

Activity: Low - Medium

Watch-dog: Very High. The Pyrenean Mastiff is always on guard to protect what he deems his property.

Guard-dog: High. They are very capable of protecting their family or family's items.

Description: Originating from Spain, the Pyrenean Mastiff, or Perro Mastin del Pireneo, is a large flock-guarding breed developed for fighting off predators of sheep such as bear and wolf. The breed is rather large, reaching 34 inches in height, and weighing up to 175 lbs. They have medium length fur in the form of a good coat, but not nearly as profuse as the Great Pyrenees Dog. Pyrenean Mastiffs are very calm and have a kindly disposition. They are fine with other animals and dogs, as long as their family or property is not threatened. If property is threatened, the Pyrenean Mastiff can become very dreadful to whoever is endangering his property. It has been said about the Pyrenean Mastiff that he has a "clear concept of his strength". They can be very brave when it comes to defending their own. But with family and friends, this Mastiff is docile and friendly. An excellent guard as well as a calm and sweet friend, the Pyrenean Mastiff can make a home more secure as well as joyous at the same time.

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Other Names: Perro Mastin del Pireneo, Mastin del Pirineo, Mastin d'Aragon

Colors: Basically white and always with a well defined mask, marks similar in color to that of the mask spread over the body, with irregular but well defined shape. Ears always marked. Totally white or tri-colored animals not preferred; the most appreciated colors are pure white, snow white with medium gray marks, deep gold-sand, dusk, black, silver gray, light tan, sand, brindle, red for the marks or yellowish white for the whole not desired.

Coat: Half long, thick and laying flat to the body, the ideal medium length will be of 6 to 9cm at the middle of the back and longer at the shoulder, neck, stomach and behind hind and forelegs, as well as in the tail panache. Never woolly.

Temperament: The Pyrenean Mastiff is meek, docile and extremely intelligent. Pyrenean Mastiffs are very brave and fierce with strangers. They show extreme benevolence with other dogs knowing of its strength. Should a threat arise, the Pyrenean Mastiff is skilled at fighting, remembering its acquired behavior in the fight with wolves. They have a deep and intense bark, but are usually quiet. Pyrenean Mastiffs know their strength and they know how to use it, so they make very good guard dogs. They are protective of their own, kind with family and friends, and friendly when

With Children: Yes, does well with children.

With Pets: Yes, does okay with other pets.

Care and Training: Because of their massive size, the Pyrenean Mastiff needs adequate exercise in an environment that can handle his size! Outdoor daily walks are good for this breed, and they should be kept in good shape with consistency. The coat should be brushed every week and you should check to make sure nothing gets stuck in it, as it can get dirty easily. Nails, ears, and teeth should always be checked and/or trimmed routinely. The Mastin del Pirineo is a very trainable breed, and will obey "from day one", as some owners have stated. They are excellent in learning and very intelligent. They should be trained as puppies, and always use positive reinforcement.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - High.

Special Needs: Adequate space, exercise, and training.

Living Environment: The Pyrenean Mastiff needs plenty of room and exercise. They are very large dogs, therefore unsuitable for an apartment. They need a yard with a fence, and can do well in either rural or suburban environments. The best owner for this breed would be a family living in a rural or suburban area with a fence.

Health Issues: Eye problems, inflammatory bowel disease, and bloat. Bloat is a health issue common to most dogs, being the largest killer of dogs only second to cancer. Breeds with deep chests often suffer from this condition. Another health concern for Pyrenean Mastiffs is a low incidence of hip dysplasia.

History: The Pyrenean Mastiff is a native of the southern slopes of the Pyrenees mountains. The Mastiff was developed in the region of the Pyrenean Mountains that stretches from Aragon to Navarra. They came with Phoenician traders from Assyria and Sumeria, originally thought to have come from the Asiatic Mastiffs. They are thought to have arrived on the Iberian Peninsula at least 30 centuries ago. In Spain they found much use as sheep guards and herders. In ancient Spain, flocks were allowed to wander the fields across political and even war boundaries in search of grass. For this, the Pyrenean Mastiff was used to guard the flocks. Only 5 Pyrenean Mastiffs per 1000 sheep were allowed. But this provided a satisfying number, as the Mastiffs are highly equipped to run off any prey that might have come along. Depending on region, the Pyrenean Mastiff was named either Mastin d'Aragon (for those from the region of Aragon), or Mastin Navarro (for those living in the region of Navarre). The Pyrenean Mastiff was at one time almost extinct but has gained new interest in recent years. Spain recovered the breed slightly with its renewed pride in Spain's Pyrenean Mastiff. Today the breed is still somewhat rare, but its numbers are much higher than previously.

First Registered by the AKC: FSS (Foundation Stock Service - not yet eligible for the AKC)

AKC Group: FSS

Class: Working

Registries: FCI (Group 2)