Pyrenean Mastiff

Navarra Mastiff, Leon Mastiff

The Pyrenean Mastiff is as pleasant to look at as he is to be around. He has an excellent character and his large size is often enough to impress and discourage intruders. He rarely needs to use force. If the opportunity arises, he will stop at nothing to protect his family and their property. He is a beautiful big dog, very protective of his family.

Height 65 to 80 cm
Weight 55 to 70 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 13 years
Home country Spain

Quick Overview of the Pyrenean Mastiff

Temperament

  • Faithful and calm
  • Affectionate and very noble
  • Not really aggressive
  • Courageous

Appearance

  • Powerful and muscular build
  • Rather compact body structure
  • Rather long thick fur
  • Looks like a big friendly doggie

Health

  • No particular pathology
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Growth to watch
  • Generally healthy

Temperament of the Pyrenean Mastiff

Faithful, calm, affectionate and very noble, the Pyrenean Mastiff is an excellent guardian. His origins as a herdsman are part of his character, and remain today the foundation of the breed's aptitudes.

Fierce and courageous, he is not really aggressive, but he will be a formidable opponent if forced to be so.

Hypersensitive, but stubborn nonetheless, firmness without aggressiveness must be integrated into his education. Very well balanced in his natural environment, he will be totally destabilized outside his domain.

He is patient, tolerant and very gentle with his family members and all children, even the smallest.

Breed Appearance

Pyrenean Mastiff

This large, massive dog has a powerful, muscular but very well proportioned build.

His silhouette is rather compact, and his mass is never heavy or flabby.

His fur is quite long and gives him a big friendly doggie look.

Height

Between 72 and 80 cm (28.35 to 31.50 inches) for the male
Between 65 and 75 cm (25.59 to 29.53 inches) for the female

Weight

Between 55 and 70 kg (121.25 to 154.32 pounds) for the male
Between 55 and 70 kg (121.25 to 154.32 pounds) for the female

Color

The basic color of his coat is white, accompanied by a well defined mask. Some spots the same color as the mask can be found on the body.

The spots are definite, but may be irregular in shape. The colors of the mask are silvery grey, black, brown, medium grey and intense golden fawn.

The tip of the limbs and the tip of the tail are always white.

Hair

His very full coat is not woolly, but rough and quite long, usually between 6 and 9 cm (2 and 4 inches).

Morphology

His large head is strong and quite long. His small eyes are almond-shaped and dark hazelnut tint.

His flat, hanging, triangular shaped ears are medium size.

His nose is black. His strong tail is large at the base and flexible, and reaches the hocks when it is at rest.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 2, section 2 and is #92

Tips About this breed

Even if contact with his owners must be maintained regularly, this large dog would be very unhappy living in an apartment.

If a city dweller wants to own a Pyrenean Mastiff, a large garden could make him happy.

Obviously, the countryside and the mountains are his favourite places to live.

This large and massive colossus can easily become a life companion, but he will always remain a guardian at heart.

Because of his size and his very protective character, he has evolved from protector of herds to protector of houses, people and their property.

All situations are compatible with him, despite his large size, as long as he benefits from the presence of his masters and a large space to move around as he pleases.

Possessing a very strong temperament, his education must be firm but never brutal. This hypersensitive dog will accept the presence of humans or other animals, as long as he is not attacked or threatened by them.

Health of the Pyrenean Mastiff

No pathology affects this large breed, except some cases of hip dysplasia.

The puppy's growth must be constantly monitored and his food must contain the necessary proteins to ensure his good health.

Once adult, the Pyrenean Mastiff is a very robust dog that generally enjoys excellent health.

GROOMING

This mastodon should be brushed regularly, at least once a week.

Apart from brushing, no other special maintenance is really needed.

History of this breed

The origins of the Pyrenean Mastiff, though little known, are believed to be very ancient.

Like most molossus, the Pyrenean Mastiff is probably descended from the ancient Assyrian molossus or the Tibetan Mastiff.

This large dog was widely used in the mountains of Navarre and Aragon to guard and protect sheep against attacks, especially from bears and wolves.

The breed almost became extinct around 1939. It was saved from extinction by the few farmers who kept the Pyrenean Mastiff as a protector of their farm.

These few specimens were used for the reproduction of the breed around the seventies. It is in 1946 that a first standard was created but it was later revised in 1982.

This magnificent guardian is first and foremost a great protector. Bred to protect sheep, his natural instinct is innate, even though he is used as a companion dog nowadays. He remains an excellent guardian as well as an endearing companion dog.

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