Pyrenean Mastiff

History

The Pyreanean Mastiff is a large breed that comes from the Pyrenees mountain region of Spain. They are descended from large livestock guarding dogs and were first recognised as a breed in the 1970’s, up until then they were considered to be the same as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. They were facing extinction until the 1950s when an effort was made to bring the species back. They are still considered rare.

Behaviour

Despite their intimidating large size, the Pyrenean Mastiff is an affectionate and docile breed. They are loving towards their family and are gentle with children, other dogs and pets in the home. Their natural guardian instinct makes them wary of strangers and early socialisation will be needed. They will warn you of when someone is approaching the door and keep a close eye on any strangers in the house, ready to step in at a moment's notice. They need to get to know people and should be taken to puppy classes to be well socialized both outside and inside the home. They were bred to guard and they do this very well.

Training should be firm and consistent. Walking to heel should be started from an early age, but in general they aren’t pullers and tend to walk along by your side happily. They have a tendency to stick close to the ones they love. Food rewards will help with training but with this breed patience is key. Being natural guarding dogs, they like to know that everything at home is in order. They constantly have an eye on their surroundings and an ear open for any unusual sounds.They dislike being left alone for extra long periods of time and may suffer separation anxiety. If they get bored they can become destructive, so toys and other items that will keep them mentally stimulated are a good idea.

Despite being such a large breed, the Pyrenean Mastiff doesn’t require heaps of exercise. A couple of short walks over the fields or around the block will do the trick. In general any chance to get out and about and perhaps meet other dogs will make them happy. Taking them to new places helps lessen any problems with over-protectiveness of their ”territory”. Recall when trained is usually good. As is the case with many large dogs, care should be taken when they are still young (up to a year old) as too much walking and exercise will cause bone growth problems.

Their long cats will need brushing fairly often to avoid becoming covered in fur. They are generally clean dogs, but the amount of fur they produce is amazing. Eyes and ears will also need regular cleaning to avoid infections, drooling is also common.

With the large size comes a larger appetite, be careful with this dogs diet as obesity can be common if they are overfed.

Temperament

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a gentle and protective giant. They adore their families but can be suspicious of strangers. Pyrenean Mastiffs are great with anyone who is part of their family which includes other dogs, cats and children. They are particularly good with children and you will really see their gentle nature come out when they are around youngsters.

Health Problems

Health problems associated with the Pyrenean Mastiff include Entropion and Ectropion, both of these being eyelid-related problems, so be sure to follow a good care routine. Canine Hip Dysplasia and Bloat can also be seen, as can conjunctivitis.

Breed Details

  • Status: Rare
  • Life Expectancy: 11 - 13 years.
  • Weight: 180 - 220 lbs
  • Height: 29 - 32"
  • Rare: No

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