Spanish Mastiff Livestock Guardian Dogs
In 2001 we got our first Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) when our Great Pyrenees, Cleo
joined our old collie mix, Milo in guarding the farm. In the years since, we haven't lost
even one animal to a predator on our property and I give the dogs all the credit.
During the course of my research into Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD's) I became
fascinated by these working breeds and after another year of research, I decided to add
our first Spanish Mastiff to our farm to assist our Great Pyr. I have never looked back and
will never have any other breed again!
With the exception of our first few dogs, all of our imports came from kennels that I had
followed closely for years, or were breeding dogs from those kennels. I appreciated the
consistency in type, health and working ability that the dogs from those kennels were well
known for in Spain.
Isabelle came to the US from the Czech Republic in early 2003.
Moses was imported from Spain in 2004,
Delilah came to us from Poland in 2007.
Aislinn, Brisa, Fiona, Jocelyn & Aliya were bred and born here on our farm.
Zoe (Agora del Viejo Paramo) was imported from Spain in 2010,
Iker de Picu Xiana (Ivan) arrived here from Spain in 2012,
Hosco de Tierra de Orbigo (Bruno) arrived in January 2015.
Azara de la Majada los Robles (Zelda) arrived in January 2016 and our two latest imports,
Toloso Los Zumbos and a 2nd female pup from Majada Los Robles arrived in April of 2016!
*Please click on the photo's below to view our dog's individual pages
Delilah (retired from breeding)
Aislinn (retired from breeding)
Brisa (retired from breeding)
| Iker de Picu Xiana (Ivan)
Photo to come
|| Hosco de Tierra de Orbigo|
| Azara La Majada Los Robles (Zelda)
|| Toloso Los Zumbos (Simon)|
Our Spanish Mastiffs are working with livestock full time.
We don't rotate our dogs in and out of a small pen with a few head of
livestock. They range our pastures with our herd of goats and birds all day, and sleep with
them at night between perimeter patrols. Spanish Mastiffs have a close working style with
livestock and are not as prone to expanding their territories or wandering
as many other LGD breeds. Mine are very respectful of fences.
Because I am extremely dedicated to establishing the breed here in the US in a
responsible manner and am serious about the welfare of the breed, I do not, and never will
cross breed the Spanish Mastiff with any other breed, and will happily offer support and
advice to any Spanish Mastiff owner or potential owner, whether you
have bought a pup from me or not.
This page is devoted to this very rare breed because there is little factual information
about them in this country (especially in regards to their working ability and style).
Delilah & Aislinn
The following is based on the general information I gleaned through my research into LGD's,
my own observations and experiences with the Spanish Mastiff over the past 12 years as well
as the many wonderful owners & breeders in Spain whose support I still appreciate.
The official standard for the breed can be found HERE
To learn more about their temperament click HERE
General care and training, click HERE
The Spanish Mastiff in the USA, click HERE
*When researching this breed, please check out the sites on my links page.
The information found there is the most reliable I have found when it comes to type,
temperament, height, weight and uses. Unfortunately, there are websites as well as many
breed information sites that have incorrect statistics posted and make wild claims of size,
height, uses and ability. Buyer beware.
The Spanish Mastiff is a stocky looking dog, very large and lengthy, with a deep massive chest
and a powerful frame. The body should be rectangular, well muscled and have strong bone.
Rear legs should have the proper angulation to enable the dog to have the movement and
agility necessary to do his job. They should not be cow-hocked and the rump should not
have greater height than the shoulder! Unfortunately, these issues are the most common
defects we see in the breed and and one of the more serious threats to the breeds functionality.
They are considered serious faults according to the FCI standard.
Poor angulation and cow-hocks are NOT problems that puppies 'outgrow'. They are structural
faults that WILL impact the mature dogs movement and structural health! Muscle mass can
only disguise the problem for a short period of time before the stress of overcompensating
wears on the dogs joints and the dog breaks down. If we are to establish the Spanish Mastiff
as a working dog here in the US, this situation MUST be taken much more seriously!
You can read more on this issue on my Blog
The Spanish Mastiff has a massive head with a deep muzzle, strong jaws and a characteristic
dewlap on the neck. The short coat is straight with a dense under-coat and almost woolly texture. The skin should be abundant and loose on the body. Most colors are accepted.
Although a heavy breed (in both weight and appearance), its movement should be agile and
athletic. They are a much more active dog then many of the other giant breeds and
should have plenty of exercise to help support developing bone.
Their temperament should be calm and stable, never timid or overly aggressive. Their use throughout their history bears this out. Shepherds in Spain would not have been able to use an
aggressive or timid dog during the Trashamuncia when they traveled thru villages and towns.
They are highly intelligent and intuitive and will often alert you to issues with the stock and
even attach themselves to you when you are having a bad day. Their intelligence and
personality endears them to their owners like no other breed, and few people have
been able to stop at just one Spanish Mastiff!
D litter puppies at 7 weeks old
| Dover with Valentine the goat |
Isabelle 4 years old
Moses - 3 years old
Minimum Height is is 29 inches for females & 31 inches for males
There is no height maximum but function must not be lost. Preference is given
to dogs of larger size but length must be in proportion.
Average Weight: Males 165-220 lbs. Females 145-185 lbs.
The Spanish Mastiff is the heaviest of the LGD's.
This is a very fast growing breed in it's first year and can easily put on over 100 lbs in
the first 8 months! Diet must be watched carefully as too much weight can harm growing
joints and bones. During this time they can suffer from growing pains.
There is no verifiable data in regards to their life expectancy. They can live 10-12 years
and I've heard of some living up to 14 years. Though not unheard of, this breed
seems to have fewer health issues than some of the more common
mastiff breeds found here in the US. This made this a very appealing dog for me.
I will say this; the Spanish Mastiff is a traffic stopper! I can seldom walk down the street
uninterrupted when I have them with me. This really is a very impressive breed.
Isabelle - 2 1/2 years old
| Isabelle - 3 years old|
In character and function, the Spanish Mastiff is a classic LGD. Please note that like most
LGD's, they are in general quite independent, dignified and noble. However, Spanish Mastiffs
are extremely loyal and would sacrifice their own life to protect you or your livestock. They
develop a very strong bond with their owners and charges, and as a rule, are not at all aloof
with those they know! I have found the breed to be a perceptive and fearless Livestock
Guard that is very tuned in to what is going on around them.
Though intelligent dogs, they can seem stubborn (in a rather sweet way), they have
“selective deafness” tendencies and is not the easiest dog to obedience train due
to their independent nature. I have found that my dogs have very even temperaments
and it takes quite a bit to ruffle their fur. I have been extremely impressed by the personality
and temperament of the Spanish Mastiff and can't see myself ever having any other breed!
| Moses sleeping while baby goat plays|
They are generally very tolerant of and patient with children. Small children seem incredibly
drawn to these dogs and will just walk right up to them on the street (or wherever we happen
to be) and hug them! Other pets should be introduced from a young age.
Moses - 6 years old
| Moses & son Amos at the petting zoo|
Though I am completely enthralled by this unique breed, it is not the dog for everyone.
They are best suited to a firm owner with some experience with LGD's or Mastiff breeds.
Though these dogs have phenomenal instincts, a potential owner must be willing to commit
their time and effort into training their dog! They can be difficult, they do test your patience,
they drool and slobber a LOT, they step on your feet and will try to crawl on your lap (mine
seem to truly believe that they actually fit!). Despite their size, they can make good house pets. They tend to lie around near wherever you happen to be, but you just learn to step over them!
I recommend you research carefully before you commit to a Spanish Mastiff or any LGD.
They require a little bit more work when it comes to training and patience, but they are worth it!
Of our other dogs, there was Maggie, (died in Jan.04, and is still missed) one of our 2 Bull Mastiffs, she had complete control of guarding my daughter and our home. Simon, our Bull Mastiff born with a recessive gene that produced long hair was affectionately known as our 145lb teddy bear. He lived to be cuddled. Clara, our St.Bernard/Plott Hound cross is my daughter's favorite.
She is an incredibly intelligent dog. A joy to work with after trying to train LGD's!
Maggie & Simon Clara Milo
The pack '03
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Please do not copy ANYTHING on these pages (or variations of) without my express written permission.