A Spanish Mastiff, or Mastin Espanol, descends from the same blood lines as a Neapolitan Mastiff, which hails from the ancient Molosser dogs which existed around 2000 B.C. The Phoenicians brought the breed into Spain via trade routes and the Mastin Espanols were originally used as sheep herding and guard dogs, defending livestock from potential predators.
Today, a Spanish Mastiff is still being used for the same intended purposes it was in the past and in Estremadura, it is considered a native dog. A Spanish Mastiff is quite a powerful dog with a protective nature, the coat comes in a large variety with colorful variations.
Like most other large breed dogs, a Mastin Espanol is not prone to obvious displays of strength. The dog has a calm, alert manner and is capable of raising an alarm when it feels threatened. A Spanish Mastiff is naturally a quiet dog and will not attack unprovoked.
The breed is great with other animals, including felines and loves to be in the presence of its family. The dog enjoys being around people and will work hard to please. A Spanish Mastiff is also highly protective of young children, but is capable of displaying aggression if is senses the children are in danger. For this reason, it is highly advisable to watch your dog in the presence of strangers.
A Spanish Mastiff is also a great guard dog and does not bark unless there is a specific reason. However, when the dog does bark, it is loud and gets attention, you will be able to hear your dog even if he or she is a great distance away from you. A Mastin Espanol is both noble and attentive, very serious about its duties and displays large amounts of patience and easily adapts to any type of climate conditions.
A Mastin Espanol does not require a large amount of grooming or exercise. The dog is a great family companion, guarder of livestock and displays great potential for use in search and rescue missions. A Spanish Mastiff will go to any means needed to protect its family, home and other animals from eminent danger. Spanish Mastiff breeders can be found predominantly in Germany and Switzerland. However, today the breed is also common in the United States and other countries as well. The dog is also regularly shown at international dog competitions.
Like with most other large dog breeds, a Mastin Espanol has a tendency toward being sedentary, needing only a small to moderate amount of exercise. When you decide to own a Spanish Mastiff, you should also be mindful of its tendencies to drool, slobber and snore loudly. The life expectancy of Spanish Mastiff is approximately 10 years in duration and it is highly prone to hip dysplasia and gastric difficulties.
When you own a Mastin Espanol, you need to make sure the dog never overexerts itself from too much running, jumping or climbing when its young. This is because Mastin Espanols grow rather quickly and need to conserve energy for rapid bone, muscle and tendon growth. When a Mastin Espanolf reaches adulthood, regular exercise will ensure the dog enjoys a healthy and fit life.
This article was written by John P Jackson for GreatDogSite, home of hundreds of articles on Spanish Mastiffs and other dogs!