The Spanish Bulldog or Alano Espanol is a large-sized molosser breed, formerly used in bull fights. Originating in Spain, these big dogs have a large head, short muzzle, wide, black nose, high-set ears, partially wrinkled face and a thick, low-set tail.Their black-masked face give this fighting dogs are severe appearance.
|Other names||Spanish Alano, Alano Espanol|
|Coat||Short and thick|
|Color||Any shade of brindle, brindle with black, fawn, and sable wolf,|
|Group||Dog fighting, Molossers|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||11 to 14 years|
|Height||Males: 23 to 25 inches; Females: 22 to 24 inches|
|Weight||75 to 88 pounds|
|Litter size||4 to 8 puppies|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Obedient, affectionate, fearless, loyal and devoted|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/ Information||Backwoods Bull Dog Club (BBC), Dog Registry of America, Inc., Spanish Kennel Club, Real Sociedad Canina de Espana|
The Alano Espanol attained their name from the Iranian nomads Alani, who migrated to Spain in the early 5th century along with their dogs that they used for guarding livestock and hunting. These dogs were formally mentioned about in a hunting book of the 14th century named “Book of the Hunt OF Alfonso XI”,where it was described to be a beautifully colored breed. They primarily served as working dogs, assisting their masters in warfare, imprisoning the slaves and later were even used in the bull fighting rings for bull baiting as well as hunting boars along with other large games.
At the beginning of the 20th century, their numbers began declining because of the changing scenarios. In fact, there was a reduction in big game hunting, bullfighting became illegal while modernized techniques were improvised for guarding livestock. By 1963, their numbers fell drastically leading them to the verge of extinction. However, in the 1970s some dog enthusiasts, as well as veterinary students, conducted surveys that showed the existence of this breed in the Basque region of Spain, used for cattle herding and boar hunting. Hence, began the efforts of restoring this breed, with a breeding program initiated and breed standards documented. The Spanish Kennel Club granted it official recognition in 2004. It was even recognized as a breed indigenous to Spain by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture.
It is present in small numbers in Spain, but not acknowledged internationally. To promote it in the United States, examples of this dog have been sent to North America.
Certain canines are regarded similar to this breed like the molossers belonging to the Canary Islands namely the Spanish Mastiff and Dogo Canario, as well as the Cimarron Uruguayo (a South American breed). However, studies conducted at the University of Cordoba, identified the Alano Espanol to be distinct from other groups as far as their genetic inclination was concerned.
The Alanos are calm, with a grave and thoughtful appearance, not requiring attention always. Because of its fighting and hunting instinct, it possesses a dominating nature which can, however, be stabilized under the guidance of a firm master. These big dogs are obedient nature, being extremely protective and loyal towards their family. They even get along well with the children of the family, emerging as their perfect playmates.
Though not aggressive, they are wary and nervous at the sight of a stranger, going on to attack them even without any warning on sensing a threat or danger. Known for their high stamina and intense pain-bearing capacity, they fight to their might when the situation arises, and tolerate any injuries, hence emerging as perfect guard dogs. Because of this tendency, they should be kept confined in a fenced area that is securely locked when the owner is absent, to prevent any unpleasant occurrences.
They may share a comfortable rapport with other dogs particularly those they are brought up with unless they are confronted or challenged by them. However, since they were great hunters, it is advisable to keep them away from smaller pets.
These working dogs mostly love staying outdoors, fit for homes with a large yard or garden rather than apartments.
These dogs with powerful jaws possess a strong bite along with a great ability of gripping and holding using its rear teeth. Though there are no instances reported, caution is required as its bite may prove dangerous.
These fearless dogs are not suitable for first-timers or people with a soft approach. In fact, a firm, steady and patient master is needed to handle these big breeds with care and in a tactful way.
Socialization: Since it has a dominating nature, it is essential to give the Alano Espanol puppies proper socialization training to rule out any unpleasant occurrences with strangers. You can also take the assistance of a professional trainer who is adept at handling big dogs.
Obedience: Teaching them commands like “Come”,“Stay”, and“Stop” would help to keep its dominating attitude in control.
These large-sized dogs need about 3 to 4 cups of dry dog food on a daily basis. Avoid overeating since they have a tendency to bloat.