Spanish Mastiff: Temperament, Price, and Puppies For Sale


Sensitivity to strangers
Affection for family
Suitable for first-time owners
Ease of grooming
Energy level

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Here is everything you need to know about the Spanish Mastiff: Its temperament, tips to keep it healthy, where to buy it and its price.

This is one of the dog breeds with lost origins in the dawn of human history. The Spanish Mastiff has always been a valuable helper to man, first as an incorruptible defender of cattle, and now as a watchdog who will go to great lengths to protect its family and territory.

It is a great friend of children, docile, and calm. The Spanish Mastiff will certainly make you feel safe. Let’s get to know this breed better.

The Spanish Mastiff is a Very Old Breed

In the Castilla plateau, remains of large dogs from the Iron Age were found. It is believed that there were molossers in Central Europe as early as the Neolithic period.

The Spanish Mastiffs originated in Asturias, Cantabria, Leon, and Zamora. In the Middle Ages, it escorted shepherds in the transhumance of livestock. Unlike other herding dogs, which led livestock following the shepherd’s instructions, the Spanish Mastiff was exclusively in charge of defending the livestock against predators, especially wolves.

In 1946, the first Spanish Mastiff standard was drawn up by the FCI. In modern times the selection and breeding of this breed aim to maintain the substantial characteristics of the Spanish Mastiff, but in a way that is also good as a companion, guard, and defense dog.

Spanish Mastiff: Physical Characteristics

The Spanish Mastiff’s head is big and robust. Its bearing is not very strong. Its canine and molars are large, strong and sharp. Thanks to them, it has a good and powerful bite. The eyes are almond-shaped, mostly dark hazel.

The Spanish Mastiff has a noble, attentive, intelligent, and sweet expression which changes to a hard one when acting as a guard dog. Its ears, which hang gracefully, are triangular and not very large. The tail is strong, flexible, and when the dog is attentive or moving, it rises.

Its gait is usually a harmonious and powerful trot. The Spanish Mastiff’s coat is thick, semi-long, and straight.

This breed comes in a variety of coat colors, although there is a tendency for uniform colors:

  • Yellow,
  • Beige,
  • Red,
  • Black,
  • Wolf-grey,
  • Fawn.

It can also be seen with a mixture of colors in brindle or striped form or it may have a white collar. There is no limit to its size. The tallest dog is preferred as long as it is harmoniously proportionate.

The Spanish Mastiff’s minimum size is 30 inches (77 cm) for males and 28 inches (72 cm) for females. However, it is estimated that males exceed 32 inches (80 cm) and females exceed 30 inches (75 cm). The weight, which is not specified in the standard, ranges between a minimum of 115 lbs for females and a maximum of 221 lbs for males.

Spanish Mastiff: Curiosities

A beautiful painting by Diego Velásquez depicts members of the royal family and the court together with a magnificent specimen of the Spanish Mastiff.

Spanish Mastiff: Temperament

This is what the Spanish Mastiff temperament standard states: “The Spanish Mastiff is a very intelligent dog, not without beauty, whose expression manifests both these qualities. Rustic, affectionate, kind, and noble. It is very determined when facing other animals and in front of strangers, especially when it has the opportunity to defend and protect farms or cattle. In its behavior, one can see that it is a confident dog, determining its strength because it is aware of its enormous power.”

Due to its large size, it is preferable to have a spacious house with a backyard, if possible, to allow the Spanish Mastiff to exercise at its own pace. Urban life may be stressful for it, as this breed enjoys being alone and interacting only with its family.

It would be ideal to have a house in the countryside. It does not require much physical relief, but certainly walking with a Spanish Mastiff could become a challenge due to its large size.

This breed is a great companion, guard, and defense dog. It is still used as a sheepdog, but nowadays it is used more as a companion dog in large homes or on farms as it is a fearful guard dog of the territory and a family defender.

Spanish Mastiff: Health

It is a generally healthy dog. What is more, some associations in their selected breeding programs require that the male and female dog be examined to prevent hip and elbow dysplasia.

How long does a Spanish Mastiff live? On average, it may live up to 10 years.

Spanish Mastiff: Relationship with its Owner

The Spanish Mastiff is an intelligent dog that likes tranquility. It feels good in a family that respects its characteristics and needs; a family that does not force it to have too many shared activities.

It is a breed that belongs to the group of Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. They are guard dogs that are used to living alone for long periods, or at least with little human contact.

The Spanish Mastiff is one of the dog breeds that live best outside the home instead of being in close contact with the family. It is truly affectionate and devoted to the family nucleus, but it prefers the tranquility of the backyard to the chaotic life inside the house.

Due to its size and unwillingness to socialize, it can be difficult to own a Spanish Mastiff if you live in a city and/or in a small apartment.

Spanish Mastiff: Relationship with Children

The family-oriented the Spanish Mastiff develops a protective relationship with children in the house.

It will always take care of them and it will put up with children’s lack of control as well. However, it is a dog that can weigh up to 221 lbs; therefore, we suggest that you always teach children to respect the family dog.

Spanish Mastiff: Relationship with other Dogs

In general, Spanish Mastiffs are not friendly with other same-sex dogs.

Spanish Mastiff: Puppies and Price

How many breeders of this breed are there in the world? In 2016, 31 breeding establishments were registered, while there were only 11 in 2015. The price of a Spanish Mastiff puppy starts at around 1000 dollars, about 900 English pounds.

Being a rare breed, it is not easy to find a puppy in a store or in a multi-breed breeding facility (sellers that we generally do not recommend).

Given the physical characteristics, we suggest buying it only from breeders who are experts in the breed. The risk of having a puppy whose parents have not been properly evaluated from the point of view of temperament makes it possible to have a dog that as an adult shows aggression or little control, which can be extremely dangerous in a dog of almost 221 lbs.

Spanish Mastiff: Breeders and Puppies For Sale

It is essential that you buy a dog from a reliable breeder so that you can be sure that your puppy has been:

  • Bred for good health and temperament;
  • Well-selected (this means that its parents were chosen without genetic diseases);
  • Properly socialized, so that it is not too fearful or too aggressive;
  • Vaccinated and well-groomed.

In addition, if you adopt a puppy, the reliable breeder will provide you with a veterinary certificate which states that the animal has been dewormed and is completely healthy.

You can always ask for the pedigree, which is essential: it allows you to check the purity of the dog’s breed. An animal with a pedigree has certain characteristics of its breed that differentiate it from the rest.

Now that we have clarified all the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.


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