Breeds of dogs: Spanish Mastiff

Breeds of dogs: Spanish Mastiff

Origin, classification and history

Origin: Spain.
F.C.I classification: Group 2 - pinscher, schnauzer, molossoid and Swiss cattle dogs.

The Spanish Mastiff (Mastín Español, Mâtin espagnol, Spanischer Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff) is an ancient dog. Its remote origins are common to all Molossians, that is, it descends from the ancient Molossian of Tibet, which arrived in Europe through Asia Minor. It is believed that it was used by Spanish shepherds as early as 4000 years ago. It is considered the oldest Spanish breed. The Spanish Mastiff has for centuries been the protector of herds in transhumance, especially of the Merino sheep, whose history is closely linked to that of the dog. In modern times, with the progressive disappearance of sheep farming, the breed has seriously risked extinction. Today the breed has been rebuilt with good results also in Italy. The breed is still in the recovery phase, so it is difficult to find perfect specimens.

General aspect

Large dog. One of the largest dogs in existence, in size, mass and power. Well proportioned dog, muscular, large and heavy, brachycephalic and mesomorphic, with compact skeleton. It combines elegance with its great power. One of the most fascinating breeds in the world for its morphological characteristics.


He is essentially a guardian, calm and balanced. Fearsome in case of danger for the owner or his property. The problems related to the reconstruction of a race that was being lost also affect the character: some subjects today are very aggressive, others are shy. As a puppy it is rather delicate. As an adult he is a rustic and robust dog. It should be kept in the garden, but with adequate shelter because it suffers a lot from the cold. Must have a lot of human contact.

Spanish Mastiff (website photo)

Spanish Mastiff (website photo)


Height: there is no upper limit and taller specimens are more appreciated, as long as they remain harmonious.
Minimum limit: 77 cm in males; 72 cm for females.
These limits should always be greatly exceeded.

Trunk: well proportioned, powerful.
Head and muzzle: the head is large: the ratio between skull and muzzle is 6: 4. the whole skull, muzzle, seen from above, is square and uniform. The craniofacial axes are slightly divergent.
Truffle: broad and black.
Teeth: strong, complete and correct teeth. Scissor closure.
Neck: very robust, strong and well inserted.
Ears: they are medium in size, triangular, flat, hanging.
Eyes: they are small in relation to the skull, almond-shaped, preferably brown or hazelnut.
Limbs: perfectly straight, they are straight, strong and muscular.
Shoulder: of right proportions and inclination.
Pace: with excellent thrust. Wide strides.
Musculature: excellent physical development. Muscle masses clearly evident.
Tail: it is very large at the root, inserted at medium height, strong and flexible. It goes down to the hocks.
Skin: elastic and abundant. Under the neck it forms dewlap.
Hair: thick, thick, hard, semi-long, smooth.
Allowed colors: the most popular are the uniform ones (dirty white, fawn, reddish, black, wolf gray and brown), but tiger and white-piebald coats are also accepted.
Most common defects: any deviation from the above must be considered a defect to be penalized according to its severity.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

Video: These Are 10 Unique Spanish Dog Breeds (September 2021).