The Pyrenean Mastiff is a very large dog breed with an exceptional temperament. It is one of the oldest and rare breeds from the Pyrenees region in Spain. It originated in the Kingdom of Aragon (Spain nowadays) and was used for several purposes such as herding and protection of livestock from predators. This gentle but highly-protective breed is currently among some of the popular large-sized pet dogs among families with children.
It is a highly intelligent, noble, and protective dog breed which does well with other pets, strangers, and kids. He is highly alert and is always ready to protect his humans when there is a threat.
Today, we have featured this giant on our blog and we are going to add everything you should know about this wonderful breed.
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Pyrenean Mastiff Quick Facts:
Name: Pyrenean Mastiff Origin: Aragon (Spain) Average Weight: 50 to 110 KG Average Height: 63 to 78 cm Colors: Black, Brown, Golden, Grey-Silver, Marbled, Medium Grey, Light Beige, and Sandy Coat: Thick double coat Temperament: Gentle but brave and protective Lifespan: 10 to 14 years Best for: Active families with children Puppy Price: $1000 to $1800
Let’s explore more about Pyrenean Mastiff in detail below.
History and Origin of Pyrenean Mastiff:
The Pyrenean Mastiff originated from the Pyrenees Mountains which are spread over Aragon and Navarra located in Spain. Because of its association with Navarra, it was also known as Navarra Mastiff.
This dog belongs to the Molossus dogs which were large-sized dogs in ancient times. They were used by Aragonians to protect their sheep from bears and wolves. Along with that, the Mastiffs from Navarra and Cataluna are also mixed in the Pyrenean Mastiff of the current day.
The popularity of this beautiful dog decreased gradually until it arrived in the US in 1996 when the Pyrenean Mastiff Club of America was formed to support this breed and its owners.
Unlike its size, The Pyrenean Mastiff is a quiet, intelligent, and friendly breed that can be used as a multi-purpose dog such as a working dog, guardian, and wild hunter, as well as, a pet. Its surprisingly-gentle behavior sometimes makes people think that it is not suitable as a guard, but the truth is that it is among the best breeds that can be used as a guardian dog.
When it comes to children, infants, and other pets, the Pyrenean Mastiff does ideally well with them. Still, you need to be careful because their large size may be a threat to infants and small-sized pets. It is usually shy around strangers so socialization and training at an early age are necessary to avoid behavior issues. Overall, it is a wonderful breed with an exceptional temperament as compared to other large-sized breeds.
Image credit: Canarian via Wikimedia Commons
What’s good and what’s bad about them?
The Pyrenean Mastiff is large enough to scare the predators and qualify as a watchdog. Along with that, it’s intelligence makes it an ideal watchdog.
Whether it’s children, strangers or other pets, this calm-minded dog does well with all of them. So, it’s an ideal dog breed for families.
The Pyrenean Mastiff can easily be ranked among some top intelligent breeds. It’s highly smart and active.
They can be used for several purposes including cart-pulling, guardians, and hunting in the wild.
As compared to other large-sized breeds which are prone to several diseases, the overall health of the Pyrenean Mastiff is excellent.
High grooming needs:
Because of their large size and heavy shedding tendency, the Pyrenean Mastiffs need a lot of grooming. Also, they are not an ideal breed for people with allergies.
Not suitable for small apartments:
They should not be kept in small apartments. Instead, a house with a yard is recommended because they need extra room due to their large size.
Not suitable for first-time owners:
If you are looking to get a dog for the first time, the Pyrenean Mastiff is not for you. Consider getting a small-sized breed such as a Pug, Corgi, or any of the Poodle crosses.
The overall health of this Mastiff breed is good because it has fewer health-related issues as compared to other large-sized dog breeds. Still, they may develop some of the following diseases or inherit them from their parents.
Bloat: It is a high-risk disease for them in which the stomach is filled with gas after it is twisted. As a result, the blood supply is cut off to the stomach and spleen. It can be fatal for the dog and an immediate visit to the vet is highly recommended.
Hip & Elbow Dysplasia: Hip & Elbow Dysplasia is a result of abnormal formation of the joints which can lead to arthritis in dogs. In the case of Hip Dysplasia or Elbow Dysplasia, the dog should be treated as soon as possible to avoid a disaster.
Dental diseases: Most dogs are likely to develop dental and oral diseases if their personal hygiene is not good. Believe it or not, if your dog develops a dental disease or infection, it can further lead to some severe diseases related to the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a common disorder of the dog’s immune system which can affect the stomach and intestinal lining. It is a long-term disease and lifetime medications may be needed to control it.
Grooming and maintenance:
As it has a very thick coat and it sheds too much, it can give you a very tough time taking care of it. Regular brushing may help in maintaining its coat but you may need a professional groomer to cut its hair. Moreover, its eyes and ears should be cleaned regularly to minimize the risks of any infection.
Also, a regular bath and nail trimming is necessary for them to feel good. Their dog odor and smell may be irritating so try bathing them with a scented shampoo.
Overall it is a lazy breed that won’t bother you much. Still, you must walk and exercise them to maintain their physical and mental health. A daily walk and other activities work well to keep them happy.
They are intelligent and calm so they won’t give you a tough time during the training sessions. While training them, consistency is the key or they may give you a tough time occasionally. Be rewarding during the training sessions to get good results.
Pyrenean Mastiff litter size and cost:
A Pyrenean Mastiff can have 1 to 10 puppies in each litter. As it is a large-sized breed, it may take 1 to 2 years for a puppy to become fully grown. Socialization and training from a young age are highly recommended.
A puppy may cost you up to $2000 if getting from a reputable breeder but the price still may vary due to several factors such as the breeder’s reputation and some other aspects.
First, try to find a Pyrenean Mastiff from a shelter or a rescue group. Still, if you are unable to find one, you may check the following breeders for a puppy.
Reis D’Aragon is a Spanish dog breeder who has been breeding Pyrenean Mastiffs and Jack Russell Terriers for a long time. Being an expert and well-reputed breeder, they have been providing the Pyrenean Mastiffs to the locals, as well as, exporting to their clients abroad. If you are looking for a native Pyrenean Mastiff, Reis D’Aragon can provide you with the best puppy.
If you are looking for a Pyrenean Mastiff breeder in the USA, they are among the best breeders based in Alabama. They have been breeding the Pyrenean Mastiffs for a long time and have produced several high-quality litters.
So, it was the Pyrenean Mastiff, one of the biggest and the calmest dog breeds which makes an excellent watchdog. As it is not much popular outside Europe, you may need to spend a bit more time finding a reputable breeder.