The Pyrenean Mastiff has a long history, he originated in Spain, throughout the southern slopes of the Pyrenean Mountains, stretching between Aragon to Navarra. He was once known as the “Navarra Mastiff (Mastin d’Aragon), he was bred by farmers who wanted a large dog as an all-purpose guardian for both property and sheep.This mountain dog is descended from an ancient livestock guardian dog type. It has been documented since 1977 as a modern purebred breed by the Club del Mastín del Pirineo de España in Spain. The breed is now being taken from its native region and promoted as a pet in other countries like USA by the Pyrenean Mastiff Club of America. It was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1982.
The Pyrenean Mastiff comes as a ‘Molosser’ breed which implies that size and structure are of immense importance. The Pyrenean Mastiff is a very large dog with a thick, abundant, coarse, coat, slightly longer round the neck. He comes in most frequently seen colours of white with markings of any shade of grey, golden, badger, sand, black, or marble markings on the side of his head and ears. The Pyrenean Mastiff has double dew-claws.
IMPORTANT. A Pyrenean Mastiff with exaggerated features is the result of bad breeding. Credit; The Breed Club Connection.
This strong, rustic breed is self-reliant and calm. It is even-tempered and docile at home and is protective with children. It is gentle with other dogs as well as other pets and people it knows. However, if challenged, the Pyrenean Mastiff will not hesitate to defend its family or itself from a perceived threat. Although it is gentle and kind with a loving temperament, it takes its work seriously and needs a strong, experienced leader. Certainly this large breed should be socialized from puppyhood to encourage confidence, but it will always be in its nature to remain suspicious of strangers.The Pyrenean Mastiff as a rule is not a useless barker. The mastiff does however have a resounding bark and will alert the owner to a possible problem or intruder whether it be night or day!
As a rule the Pyrenean Mastiff is a very healthy breed due to the fact that there have been few changes in its genetic type. Health problems that may affect the Pyrenean Mastiff include entropion, ectropion, abnormalities of the jaw, bloat and torsion, inflammatory bowel disease and occasionally hip dysplasia. Fortunately the incidence of hip dysplasia in the Pyrenean Mastiff breed is still relatively low and with selective breeding should stay this way.
If you’re buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy’s parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been clinically tested for and cleared of a particular condition.