Spanish Mastiff – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Discover what makes Spanish Mastiff so unique. Could this breed be your next dog? Read on and discover.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
26 to 35 inches
140 to 220 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

If you want to welcome a really large and intelligent dog into your home, you have found your companion – the Spanish Mastiff is for you.

This is a remarkably intelligent dog who can physically overcome any owner if not trained right.

They are rustic but equally affectionate. This breed will always be gentle toward his humans, and fearless toward the unknown, both people and animals.

They were bred to defend and protect cattle and farms, which means that they take protection duties seriously. This isn’t a breed to mess around with.

You can either handle owning this breed or not. This means that Spanish Mastiff isn’t for first time dog owners, but for more experienced owners who know how to handle large dog breeds.

They come with massive power that needs to be controlled. This is a dog of massive size, very muscular, and well-balanced body.

They have surprisingly low-pitched bark. Spanish Mastiffs come in many colors, including fawn, red, black, gray, yellow, or brindle.

They can often have white markings. This breed is always ready to please his humans, and will easily step in to fight wolves if needed.

Crosspassing isn’t an option when this breed is on the watch.

Quick Facts

Real name: Spanish Mastiff –
Other names: Mastin Español, Mastín Español de campo y trabajo, Mastín Ganadero, Mastín Leonés, Mastín Extremeño
Origin: Spain
Breed type: Working Dogs
Weight: 140 to 220 pounds
Height: 26 to 35 inches
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Litter Size: Up to 16 puppies
Color: Commonly fawn, apricot, or brindle. Reddish shades may be present
Coat: Double coat of a bit of wolly appearance

Spanish Mastiff History

Spanish Mastiff is an ancient breed. Their roots can be traced back to the 10th century when these large-sized dogs were used to guard flocks.

Since their coat was created to protect them from harsh weather, they could easily spend entire days in the snow work.

Spanish Mastiffs are ideal guard dogs who were capable of fighting wolves. They were mostly present in the area of northern and southern Spain – they were always moving toward the cooler areas.

These powerful dogs are very much appreciated in Spain. The breed’s influence can be seen in literary works of famous Spanish authors, and many paintings.

The year 1946 was a huge milestone for his breed’s popularity, as the first breed standard was made by the FCI.

Another important year was 1981, when the Asociación Española del Perro Mastín Español was formed.

The main purpose of this association was to organize a breeding program looking for a large and strong mastiff and creating a new breed standard.

Spanish Mastiff Physical Appearance

One look at this breed is enough to realize that this is a large size dog.

In fact, these dogs are very large and strong dogs that weigh over 200 pounds.

Appearance-wise they are similar to Tibetan Mastiff and Neapolitan Mastiff. The most common traits of this breed include a large head, a well-balanced body, a rectangular build body, and a medium-length coat.

It’s also common for these dogs to have loose skin folds. They will always have a short muzzle, dropping lips, and a black mask around the eyes and nose.

They stand between 26 to 35 inches and can weigh between 140 to 220 pounds. Their eyes are always small and of dark shade.

As for the coat color, they come in different colors, including fawn, apricot, and brindle.

Important: These dogs are known for drooling – they do droll more than other dogs.

The main reason for their drooling is related to their large jowls. Saliva tends to accumulate in their oversized jaws. It is common for this breed to drool after exercise, after drinking water, or after eating.

Spanish Mastiff Personality

Are large size dogs are just bigger cuddlers or people should be scared of them?

First of all, those who know their way around dogs, know that there are no reasons to be scared of dogs of any size.

It all comes to a dog’s psychology and understanding of it.

Still, knowing a dog’s personality traits can help understand the dog better, and even help with the training process.

The Spanish Mastiff is a perfect guarding dog. As such, these large size dogs are great family dogs who will protect what is theirs.

They will do well with families of any size, especially since they tend to bark very little.

Spanish Mastiffs are highly protective dogs, and they will do anything in their power to protect their territory, including their family members.

Children should know how to behave around dogs. They should know not to pull their ears, tail, and not to disturb them while they are eating, resting, playing, or sleeping in their crate.

No matter how gentle they may be around children, they should always be supervised. They may be aggressive toward other dogs.

These dogs need large space and they may be seen in busy city areas, but an urban surrounding may be less-than-ideal for these massive dogs.

Spanish Mastiff Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your Spanish Mastiff home.

Did you know that dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age?

This breed is never recommended for first time dog owners, not for those who cannot physically handle this dog. Walking them isn’t an easy task.

They should always be walked on a leash, and a muzzle should be an option.

These giant dogs can be lazy from time to time so make sure training sessions are fun, short, engaging, consistent, and reward-based.

No dog should ever experience any harsh training methods, and Spanish Mastiff is no exception.

If you feel like you could use help, think about hiring a professional dog trainer, or enroll your Spanish Mastiff in puppy classes.

What About Exercising Your Spanish Mastiff?

Exercise is what keeps your dog healthy and strong.

If you want your dog to have strong joints and reach his senior years without any major health issues, think about a proper exercise regime.

Next to regular training sessions, a proper exercise regime is highly recommended.

As large size dogs, they should be satisfied with regular walks, more intense walks, gentle hikes, and even agility courses. Make sure that you don’t over-exercise your puppy.

Puppies must not experience any form of harsh exercise as they are growing.

Provide a daily 45 to 60-minute walk to keep him healthy and happy. Also, a large and fenced yard would only be a plus.

Spanish Mastiff Grooming

To have always clean and neat Spanish Mastiff you should provide regular grooming. Grooming isn’t only regular brushing – it goes beyond that.

Grooming is regular care, that usually includes:

  • Monthly nail trimming
  • Bathe time when needed
  • Weekly brushing
  • Ear cleaning when needed
  • Weekly gums and eye check

Spanish Mastiffs shed, especially during the shedding season that occurs in spring and autumn.

These dogs are never considered to be allergy-friendly. To make brushing sessions short and stress-and-tangles-free use a slicker brush.

You can also use a rubber grooming brush for more smooth moves. If your veterinarian recommends it, brush his teeth. Make sure that you use a dog-friendly toothbrush.

Spanish Mastiff Health

Are you thinking about buying a puppy?

If so, you should deal only with responsible dog breeders. This is the only way to know for sure how healthy your puppy is.

Since this is a rare breed, you will be directed to reputable breeders. Still, make sure that you take your pup to the vet’s office as soon as you bring him home.

Do not forget to serve him a treat for being a good boy. As a large size dog, the Spanish Mastiff is prone to many health issues that large dogs are prone to, including the bloat.

Know how much you should feed your Spanish, how often, and why feeding after an intense workout should be avoided no matter what.

To keep your Spanish Mastiff healthy and happy, you should provide good overall care and regular veterinary checkups.

Spanish Mastiff Nutrition

Once you get your Spanish Mastiff home you are directly responsible for his weight.

Large size dogs are commonly prone to gaining weight easily. This can happen easily when dog owners don’t know how much to feed their dogs.

If you have any doubts about choosing the best dog food talk to your veterinarian and learn how to read dog food labels.

You should choose food that is rich in protein and healthy fast.

Dogs also need fibers to keep their gut in order. Did you know that some dogs may be allergic to gluten?

If you notice anything unusual in your dog health-wise, talk to your veterinarian.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the Staes, and you don’t want your Spanish Mastiff to be part of this negative trend.

Is Spanish Mastiff For You?

Spanish Mastiffs are loyal and protective dogs who will be a great addition to a family of any size.

They are large size dogs and they will need huge living space as well as back yard to chill and run.

Proper training and early socialization are a must when it comes to having a well-behaved canine citizen.

As mentioned earlier, this breed isn’t for first time dog owners – no matter how much novice owners might find this breed fascinating.

This breed needs an experienced dog owner who will know how to handle a large size dog using only positive reinforcement methods.

If this is you and you want a protective and loving purebred working dog, then the Spanish Mastiff is the breed for you.

Popular Spanish Mastiff Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: