By Dr. Watuwa JamesDr. James Watuwa Last updated: 27th November 2023

Pyrenean Mastiff

Originally bred for guarding herds of sheep, the Pyrenean Mastiff is a breed of large dogs developed in the Pyrenees mountain of Aragon community in Spain. Emphatically muscular and strong, the Pyrenean Mastiff is characterized by a large, moderately long head, slightly triangular muzzle, small, almond-shaped eyes, medium-sized, hanging flat ears, broad, flexible neck, powerful, robust body, deep chest, moderately tucked up belly, straight, vertical legs, and moderately high set tail.

Quick Information

Other NamesMastin del Pirineo, Mastin d’Aragon, Mostin d’o Pireneu, Perro Mastin del Pireneo
CoatDense, thick, medium length, stiff, prickly
ColorWhite, clearly defined mask, spotted ears, distinctly outlined patches of golden yellow, medium gray, black, brown, sandy, light beige, marbled
Breed TypePurebred
CategoryWorking, Guardian, Molosser, Mountain type
Lifespan12-14 years
Weight179-220 lbs
Height28-32 in
TemperamentCalm, intelligent, affectionate, strong-willed
Good with ChildrenYes
BarkingBarks when necessary
Country Originated inSpain
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationAKC/FSS, DRA, ACA, FCI, KC (UK), UKC

Video: Pyrenean Mastiff Playing in Water


The true origin of Pyrenean Mastiff is a mystery, but it is thought to have evolved from the Molossers brought to Europe by the Phoenicians thousands of years ago. Since its development, the dog has been used as a protector of sheep from the attacks of thieves and predators like bears and wolves.

During the 1900s, after the Civil war in Spain, its population declined since it was quite expensive to keep a pet of its size. A group of dog enthusiasts started preserving the breed by protecting those that had the characteristics of ancient mastiffs since the 1970s. In 1977, the Pyrenean Mastiff was acknowledged as a modern purebred dog by the “Club del Mastín del Pirineo de España.”

It is now exported to other countries including the USA where it is encouraged as a pet by the Pyrenean Mastiff Club of America. The FCI acknowledged the breed in 1982.

Temperament and Behavior

Even though its imposing structure could be intimidating to some, the Pyrenean Mastiff is a gentle breed that is typically docile and even-tempered at home. Since it has the protective instinct of a guardian dog, it will not hesitate to fight and defend its family from a threat.

Although it gets along with children, their interaction should be carefully supervised because of the Pyrenean Mastiff’s large size. While it is cool and composed around humans, it is always suspicious toward strangers from whom it will never back away. It is generally good-natured to other dogs with whom it has been raised.



Since it is moderately energetic, the Pyrenean Mastiff does not need a great deal of activity. However, it may become restless and bored in a household with a sedentary lifestyle. It requires several walks a day and occasional outings.


The Pyrenean Mastiff should frequently be brushed to remove matting and to manage shedding. Keep its ears as well as the areas around the eyes clean and dry by gently rubbing with a soft cotton cloth.

Health Problems

Although the Pyrenean Mastiff is not known to suffer from any specific health conditions, it may be affected by elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and gastric dilation volvulus (bloating) owing to its large size.


Since the Pyrenean Mastiff can be strong-willed and independent-minded at times, it needs a firm, persistent hand in training.


Taking your Pyrenean Mastiff puppy on frequent outings will help it in habituating to new people, pets, and the surrounding environment. Give it the chance to sniff and explore at certain points on the outing. Make sure that you avoid socializing puppies in places that are often visited by sick dogs.


Set up small training sessions, lasting 10-15 minutes twice or thrice a day. Start with basic commands and stick with one command in each session. Begin with the “sit,” then “lie down” and “stay,” and finally “come.”


An adult Pyrenean Mastiff will need a diet formulated for large breeds. It, being a working dog, should be given high energy foods containing protein, carbs, and fat.

Interesting Facts

  • The Pyrenean Mastiff is prone to drooling when eating, after drinking, or when it is hot.

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