Spanish Mastiff

The Spanish Mastiff is a breed that comes from the mountainous regions of Spain and is known as a great livestock guardian for many centuries. Throughout history, these dogs have been called by many names, and the most popular one was Mastín Español. The Spanish Mastiff can be pretty independent and strong-willed, so new owners - beware.

Spanish Mastiff


28-35 in (71-89 cm)

Spanish Mastiff


140–200 lb (63–90 kg)

Spanish Mastiff



Spanish Mastiff

Life Expectancy:

10-12 years

Breed History

Spanish Mastiffs were originally been used for the protection of sheep and shepherds. Because they lived in the mountainous region their coat served as protection. These dogs were so popular in the native land that they could be found in ancient Spanish art.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

The Mastín Español is a rather large breed of dog that is powerfully built and incredibly strong. They are well-balanced and muscular with a kind and alert expression. The most important thing about them is their balance. It bears greater importance than just proportions that are set in their standard.

The Spanish Mastiff has a deep, sonorous bark that can be heard over great distances.

FCI standard

This is a breed that is over 1.000 years old so it is no wonder it is accepted by the world’s largest cynology union - the FCI. The FCI placed these dogs in Group 2 (Pinscher and

Schnauzer- Molossoid breeds- Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs), Section 2.2 (Molossoid breeds, Mountain type). The Spanish Mastiff is not required to have a working trial.

According to the FCI standard, these dogs have a minimum height requirement and it is 30 in (77 cm) for male dogs and 28 in (72 cm) for female dogs. The taller the dogs are, the better they are graded in the show ring.

The Spanish Mastiff was recognized and registered by the FCI on the 13th of November 1954.

spanish mastiff in stance

Spanish Mastiff coat and grooming

This giant dog breed has a double coat, which is not surprising as they were developed to work in high altitudes where weather conditions are tough. The outer, protective coat is of medium-length and the undercoat is thick and woolly. The thick undercoat keeps them well insulated from extreme weather conditions.

The Spanish Mastiff is a breed that is relatively easy to groom and they only need regular brushing and a bath every 2 months. However, they do shed heavily in the shedding season and at that time they should be brushed daily. Keep in mind to check their ears regularly for any signs of redness or infections. Trim their nails if they do not wear them down naturally and try and brush their teeth at least three times a week.

Training a Spanish Mastiff

Like with many other giant livestock guardian dog breeds, these dogs need to be properly trained as they are immensely strong and can easily take over a household if they are allowed to. They can be strong-willed and independent and that means that you will have to know how to properly handle these dogs.

This is a breed that is not recommended for new dog owners so don’t be shy to ask professional dog trainers for help. Start training as soon as possible and that way you will ensure that you have a well-behaved dog that you and your family can enjoy to the fullest.

Mastín Español - socialization

The Mastín Español is a strong breed that will need to be properly socialized so your life doesn’t become extremely difficult. If your dog is not properly socialized, they can have a lot of problems adjusting to everyday life.

Expose your Spanish Mastiff puppy to many different sights, sounds, and people. New situations will teach them how to properly react and handle any situation they might find themselves in.

Children and other pets

These dogs are usually rather affectionate and caring around their family so it is no wonder they are careful and protective of the youngest members of their “flock”. They are usually very gentle around the children they were raised with.

That is not the situation when it comes to other dogs. The Mastín Español needs to be properly socialized to get along with other dogs. They are quite dominant by nature and have a strong protective instinct so they are not the best choice if you are planning on getting a dog you can freely go to a dog park with.

Health problems

The Spanish Mastiff is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 10-12 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • 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).
  • Entropion - A defect causing the eyelid to roll inward.


If you decided that this is the right dog for you, now it's time to find a good and responsible Spanish Mastiff breeder. Buying a dog from such a breeder will provide you with a healthy puppy who will not have health and temperament problems. These dogs became very popular, and many unethical and bad breeders started to breed these dogs to earn money without worrying about puppy health, temperament, and well-being.

Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy.

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. If you devote your time and energy to this dog, you can be sure that you will end up with a companion for life.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at25.07.2020.