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pyrenean mastiff dog breed pictures 1 scaled - Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiff

The Pyrenean Mastiff, also known as Mastín del Pirineo, comes from northeastern Spain. The exact origin of the breed is unknown, but it is speculated to have evolved from Molossers. Humans relied on them to be guardians and protectors of livestock.

Although these are purebred dogs, you may still find them in shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if this is the breed for you.

Pyrenean Mastiffs are kind and gentle, which makes for a perfect family fit. The breed has a calm temperament and does well with family or alone. The dogs are great with kids, but you should always supervise due to the breed’s size. In addition to being an excellent family dog, your Mastiff will also be a great protector. They do well with other humans but can be wary of strangers if they sense a threat.

Breed Characteristics:


Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.

Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!

Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.

Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

All Around Friendliness

Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family

Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.

**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash in public!

Health And Grooming Needs

If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.

If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.

Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!


Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.

Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.

Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.

Physical Needs

High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.

Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.

Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group:Working DogsHeight:24 to 31 inchesWeight:130 to 200 poundsLife Span:10 to 13 years

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More About This Breed


  • Pyrenean Mastiff coats are solid or pied pattern and come in a variety of colors. Notable color patters are white and beige, white and black, white and brown, white and silver, and many more!
  • The Pyrenean Mastiff will require regular trips to the groomer for blow outs during shedding season, so keep that in mind. They may not be a good choice for allergy sufferers.
  • The Pyrenean Mastiff gets along well with kids; however, given their size, its’ important to supervise them around small kids.
  • They Pyrenean Mastiff is a guard dog and can be overly protective or even aggressive if they feel their home or family is threatened.
  • The Pyrenean Mastiff is a self reliant breed and does well with or without people. They probably won’t mind you leaving for a few hours, so long as their needs are met.


The Pyrenean Mastiff breed dates back as early as the 1200’s and originated in the Pyrenees mountains near Aragon, Spain. This breed is thought to have evolved from Molossers, and the dogs were raised with with sheep and lived to protect them from wolves and bears. This breed wore a special collar to protect them from predators called carlanca.

While Pyrenean Mastiffs were trained keep livestock safe from predators, things changed in the early 1900s when transporting livestock became easier, and the population of predators diminished so much that this breed outnumbered the predators. The need for the dogs declined, as did interest in the breed.

Because of this, the Pyrenean Mastiff was near extinction. But wolves returned to the Pyrenees Mountains in the late 1970s and created a need for this breed again. A group of breed enthusiasts has also set out to revive the breed, and even though these dogs are rare, they’re no longer near extinction.

This Pyrenean Mastiff first left their native land in the late 1970s and can now be found all over the world. The breed was recognized by the Fédération cynologique internationale (FCI) in 1954 and is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as part of their Foundation Stock Service.


The Pyrenean mastiff is considered a large breed dog and can range in sizes between male and female. The males can range from a height of 27 to 31 inches and a weight of 140 to 200 pounds. The females can range from a height of 24 to 30 inches and a weight of 130 to 180 pounds.

However, many dogs may be smaller or larger than average for their breed.


The Pyrenean Mastiff is a gentle and noble canine with a calm temperament. This breed doesn’t require excessive exercise or stimulation but should still have time to play and walk. The Pyrenean Mastiff is great with family and kids under supervision, and they get along well with other dogs when socialized properly. The only thing to be weary of is that this breed is a guard dog and can be overly protective or even aggressive if they feel their home or family is threatened.

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a self reliant breed and does well with or without people. That’s not a reason to leave them alone all day because all dogs do well with love and companionship. But they probably won’t mind you leaving for a few hours, so long as their needs are met.

The Pyrenean Mastiff should be socialized at a young age to ensure that this gentle creature does well with families, children, and other animals.


The Pyrenean Mastiff overall is a relatively healthy dog with only a few things to keep an eye out for.

First thing to be aware of is Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or bloat. A few things that you can do to prevent the condition are to feed your dog small portions of meals frequently throughout the day, rather than one or two large meals, and to try to avoid foods that are higher in fat and oils.

The second thing to be aware of is the possibility for hip and elbow dysplasia.

As with everything concerning your dog’s diet and health, you should always consult your vet!


The Pyrenean Mastiff, like all dogs, should have routine checkups and vaccines to keep your pet healthy!

Clip their nails as needed, before they get too long — usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer or vet can help with this.

One of the toughest jobs when caring for any animal is maintaining their oral health. You should brush your dog’s teeth a minimum of three times per week. Your vet can instruct you on how to brush your dog’s teeth properly and help with recommending dental chews.

If you notice your dog dragging their bottom or “scooting” they may need their anal glands expressed. You can do this yourself or, better yet, let your vet or groomer handle this unpleasant task.


The Pyrenean Mastiff does well on a high quality diet formulated for large breed dogs. It’s important that you feed this breed an age appropriate food because of their size.

The Pyrenean Mastiff can be prone to Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or more commonly known as bloat. Because of this you should split up your canines meals into two or three servings.

You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your breed’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs.

Coat Color And Grooming

The Pyrenean Mastiff has a thick coat consisting of either a solid or pied pattern that comes in a variety of colors. Notable color patters are white and beige, white and black, white and brown, white and silver, and many more!

The Pyrenean Mastiff will require regular trips to the groomer for blow outs during shedding season, so keep that in mind. They will need brushing weekly as well and bathe only as needed.

The Pyrenean Mastiff can adapt to just about any weather climate. They are bred to travel with their flocks, so they’re used to experiencing many different weather conditions. It’s important to remember that dogs need to live indoors with their families, even if they love being outside for long periods of time.

Children And Other Pets

The Pyrenean Mastiff gets along well with kids; however, given their size, its’ important to supervise them around small kids. It’s also imperative to teach youngsters to be respectful and kind in all their interactions with dogs. Play between dogs and kids should always be supervised, even with well-trained dogs. That said, the Pyrenean Mastiff is suitable for families with older children.

The Pyrenean Mastiff gets along with other dogs if properly socialized. They may not get along with dogs they’re not familiar with and can become aggressive if they feel threatened. This breed is an excellent addition to the family so long they have an experienced pet parent!

Rescue Groups

Rescues specifically for Pyrenean Mastiffs might be hard to come by, as this is a rare breed in the United States. However, you can always check with your local shelter, and you may want to try a rescue that caters to all kinds of dogs. You can take a look at the following:

  • Wright-Way Rescue
  • Angels Among Us Pet Rescue

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