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The Spanish Mastiff, rustic and imposing dog

Hardy dog, the Spanish Mastiff is a colossus which attracts the attention by its imposing size. A good pet, he is an efficient guard dog with a dissuasive aspect that protects his family with strength and courage.

Characteristics of the Spanish Mastiff

A large dog, the Spanish Mastiff has a heavy, muscular and powerful body. This mesomorphic and brachycephalic colossus develops a compact bone structure and a resolutely voluminous physique. It measures on average 78 cm if it is a male and 72 cm if it is a female, for a weight going from 60 to 90 kg according to the age and the sex. The Spanish Mastiff is remarkable for its massive and solid head with a broad skull with a sub-convex profile. The stop is not very accentuated while the muzzle is rectangular and decreases when reaching the nose. The Spanish Mastiff has eyes that express nobility, intelligence and gentleness. They are small, dark and almond-shaped. The eyelids seem to be slightly drooping. The ears are small, drooping and end in a point at the tip. The dog has a short, soft and dense coat. The coat can be fawn, white and gray, red, white and yellow or white and black.

History of the Spanish Mastiff breed

The Spanish Mastiff originated in Extremadura, a region in southwestern Spain. It is an ancient breed whose ancestor is said to be the Tibetan Mastiff, which was introduced into Europe thousands of years ago. It is said that the Spanish Mastiff has been used for 4000 years by Spanish shepherds to guard their flocks. For the transhumance, that is to say the migration of the cattle towards grazing areas located at very long distances, they needed a dog able to keep the rhythm and to protect the herds. The Spanish Mastiff was also used as a draft dog and even as a fighting dog. As the activity of shepherding is becoming more and more rare, the perpetuation of the breed is becoming difficult.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Spanish Mastiff

The Spanish Mastiff is a very good guard dog. He is bold in front of strangers and pests. Its low, hoarse and deep bark is a deterrent. This breed can also serve as a pet that is calm, gentle and very intelligent. On the other hand, considering its corpulence, it is not a great sportsman. Its build prevents it from moving around too much. Moreover, because of its size, it cannot live in an apartment, but in a large house with a garden. This aspect must also be taken into account if it must integrate families with children, because although it is attentive and posed, this dog can hurt the little ones without its knowledge.

Nutrition and main health problems of the Spanish Mastiff

It is important to take good care of the health of the Spanish Mastiff, which can be affected by joints. Hip dysplasia is a very common disease causing lameness and pain. Osteoarthritis can also affect the animal as it ages. And that's not all. The breed is affected by a parasitic disease called leishmaniasis. Ear infections are also common. Another thing: given the corpulence of the animal which can weigh up to 90 kg, it is imperative to plan a rather high food budget. Its diet must be meticulous to avoid overweight.