The Spanish Mastiff as seen by a dog trainer

The Spanish Mastiff as seen by a dog trainer

Advice from a pet trainer


The Spanish mastiff has traditionally been bred by villagers as a working dog. This breed was mainly used by shepherds or ranchers who were constantly evolving it to fit their needs. Its presence in the Iberian Peninsula ranges back to the middle age, when it was dedicated to guard and defend the herd.

As is always in these old breeds, there are several theories about their origins. One of them is based on research that was done on the skulls of ancient wolves and concluded that the Spanish mastiff is an evolution of the Iberian wolf. There is a theory that states that the Spanish Mastiff arrived in the Iberian Peninsula from the east through different paths, and that their ancestor is the mastiff of Tibet.

Physical attitudes:

It is a strong dog, but it is not an athlete, a heavy animal dedicated to the guard. Some smaller variations are often used for hunting.


It is a strong minded breed, serious and makes a good guard animal. The Spanish Mastiff is very territorial. Although they will tolerate other dogs of the breed, but will be hostile to stranger dogs or people. Regarding relationships with children, in general it is very good, being calm and patient with them. Other than that, the breed is a tender animal, but firm and serious with strangers.


Simply brushing and bathing and general hygiene care.


The cost of feeding is high typically exceeding the 900 g per day.


We should not be misled by their good-natured look; the Spanish mastiff is a guard dog, that guards the cattle and its presence is vital in the absence of the Shepherd. When the Spanish mastiff receives orders, just as with the Saint Bernards and Molosoid breeds, it is usually very stubborn and tends to go and do their own thing. The training has to be done with patience, firmness and understanding. It is necessary to start as soon as possible and in most cases, 6 months of age is a good point.


They like walks but they are not the type of dog to go running with or do sports with.

More Breeds

You can check Mario’s advice on other dog breeds here

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