The Pyrenean Mastiff is a giant dog breed that originated in the autonomous community by the name of Aragon. This community is located in north-east Spain and their livelihood depends on raising livestock. To keep their livestock safe from different predators, Aragonese shepherds had to have a strong guarding dog that was able to protect the livestock. The massive Pyrenean Mastiff is a breed that was completely up for that challenge. This dog is also known as Mastín del Pirineo.
25-31 in (63-79 cm)
120-240 lb (54-108 kg)
Pyrenean Mastiff originates from the Pyrenees mountains that are located near Aragon in Spain. It is thought that these dogs evolved from the molosser dogs and they were served for protection of sheep from the various predators including bears and wolves. At the beginning of the 1900s need for Pyrenean Mastiff dogs declined mostly because a number of these dogs outnumbered the predators and there wasn’t a need for them protecting the sheep.
Because of that fact these dogs nearly extinct but after the predators returned to Pyrenees Mountains need these dogs to rise again. From that time is widely popular for both working purposes and companions.
Dog Breed Characteristics
The Pyrenean Mastiff is a strong breed that possesses an impressive size. They are fairly muscular and have a firm, strong bone structure. Dogs this size usually give an impression of being slow but this breed should give an impression of alertness and above-average agility. They have rather large heads. Despite these characteristics, they have a peaceful and calm demeanor.
According to this standard, the Pyrenean Mastiff is a guard and protect dog. The FCI places these dogs in Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer- Molossoid breeds – Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs), Section 2.2 (Molossoid breeds, Mountain type). Despite their main purpose, they are not required to undergo a working trial.
The FCI standard described only a minimum height requirement for the Mastín del Pirineo and it is a minimum of 30,5 in (77 cm) for male dogs and a minimum of 28,5 in (72 cm) for female dogs. Their weight should be proportioned to their height and if two dogs have the same quality, the larger dog is always preferred in the show ring.
The Pyrenean Mastiff was registered and recognized by the FCI on the 15th of November 1954.
The Pyrenean Mastiff comes from mountainous regions in Spain and they have developed a thick double coat that keeps them protected from harsh weather conditions. The outer coat is dense, medium-long, and thick while the undercoat is short and soft.
According to the Mastín del Pirineo standard, their basic color is always white and they have a well-defined mask. Their whole body is covered in irregular patches of colors (mostly black or brown).
Pyrenean Mastiff grooming
These dogs shed year-round and to keep their coat free of any tangles or mats, you should brush them at least twice every week. In spring and fall, during the shedding season, they blow their whole coat and brushing should be done daily. That is the best way to help keep your dog’s coat healthy and clean, and keep the mess to a minimum.
Pyrenean Mastiff temperament
Not many of us expect such a large and powerful dog breed to be calm and docile, but that is exactly the case with this breed. They tend to be protective of their family and they start considering them as a part of the “flock” they are entrusted to protect. The Pyrenean Mastiff is a breed that is usually very loving and affectionate with their family and especially the children. However, younger children should always be supervised while interacting with the dog. This is a giant breed and their light nudge can be a problem for small children. Most accidents happen because dogs unintentionally knock kids over.
Mastín del Pirineo - training
You must start training your Pyrenean Mastiff as soon as possible. They might be naturally calm but they should know who is in charge in your household.
They are quite large so it is important that you set some rules and teach your dog what they can and cannot do. This breed responds best to positive training methods and loads of praise and dog treats. You should avoid using pain, punishment, or fear as a training method.
The Pyrenean Mastiff socialization is extremely important. These dogs can be suspicious of strangers because of their natural protective instinct and socialization can play a big role in curbing this type of behavior. Expose your Pyrenean Mastiff puppy to different sights, sounds, situations, dogs, and people so they can learn how to properly behave and react in different situations.
Pyrenean Mastiffs are dogs with a life expectancy of 10-13 years. Like any other dog breed, they are prone to some health problems that every (future) owner should be aware of. To be sure that you'll get the healthiest possible dog, never buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder or a pet store. Pyrenean Mastiff can suffer from
- Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
- Gastric Torsion - Also known as bloat. A dangerous condition that causes the stomach to twist (torsion).
To be sure that your dog will be healthy always buy him from a responsible dog breeder who regularly tests their breeding dogs to secure that their puppies will be healthy as well.
When getting a dog, the most important thing is to get it from a responsible and reputable Pyrenean Mastiff breeder. These dogs are energetic and protective, and getting a poorly bred dog can have catastrophic results. Responsible breeders will breed dogs that don’t only look good but have great characters as well. You must find a good Pyrenean Mastiff breeder that can help you learn about this breed and make an informed choice about getting a dog with these characteristics.
When you bring your new puppy home start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust. Provide him with enough daily exercise for him to be happy. With this dog, you must be firm and you must be an alpha for him to listen to you. If you devote your time and energy to this dog, you can be sure that you will end up with a companion for life.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
World Dog Finder team