Function: sheep guardian
Friendly towards humans, calm, noble, and very intelligent, at the
same time courageous and proud towards strangers from whom he never
backs away. In his behaviour towards other dogs, he is good natured
and aware of his superior strength. Occasionally, he will fight
with great skill, an atavistic quality which goes back to hundreds
of years of fighting wolves. His dark bark comes from deep within
his chest. His expression is alert.
for: Origonally a flock guard, nowadays an excellent
guardian of family and property, best suited to families on well
fenced small acreage.
This is a very large dog.
minimum height for
Dogs 77 cm (30 ")
minimum height for
Bitches 72cm (28")
grey, golden, brown, silvergrey, black, marmorated, and sandcolored
Dense thick and of moderate length. longer on neck, back
belly tail, Bristly not wooly.
Appearance: See breed description below
The Pyrenean mastiff, also called Mostin De Aragon or Mastin Del
Pirineo. Their distant relatives were most likely big dogs brought
from Mesopotamia & Asyria to Spain. They are one of the giant breeds
listed as Molosser breeds. The function of the Pyrenean Mastiff
was to accompany herds of sheep from winter to summer grazing land,
guarding and protecting them from wolves, bears and thieves on the
way. They wore heavy spiked metal collars called "carlunkas' to
protect their necks. The Sheep & Herd Federation, was formed in
Spain, the federation was very powerful due to the sheep driven
economy. These mastins were highly sought after and greatly valued.
For several hundred years the breed was isolated because of the
location, in addition to the climate, this heavily influenced the
makeup of today's Pyrenean Mastinos. The nearest relative most likely
the Pyrenean Mountain dog. These two breeds were probably common
until the pyrenes were split into almost in two different parts.
The nortern region became France and the southern area became Spain.
Another relative is also found in Spain, in the Spanish Mastiff.
This breed is from the lower located parts of Spain and because
of the climate and location it is now a different breed in many
ways a much shorter coat being one of the examples. The Pyrenean
mastiff nearly became extinct during the 1930 `s, with the eradication
of wolves and other predators, and the reliance on rail to transport
the sheep as well as both civil war and world war II, food was scarce,
and the numbers of Pyrenean Mastiffs was reduced dramatically. Fortunately
for the breed there was a group of dedicated Spanish enthusiasts
who had these dogs, or had heard of them. They combined in their
efforts to travel the country, they found about 100 dogs, and selected
30 from which to establish a breeding program. The Spanish club
was intent on saving the Pyrenean mastiffs from extinction, and
promoting the breed to the world. To this end these dedicated enthusiasts
have accomplished their mission.
The Pyrenean mastiff are a rectangular big and strong dog. The minimum
height for females are 72cm or 28" and for males 77 cm,or 30 " The
biggest individual is always preferred. There are no upper limits
regarding the height. The head is big and wide with a slight but
definite stop. The ears are medium sized are placed highly above
the eyeline. Colour of the eyes are brown with a calm and intelligent
look. The nose is powerful which gives the face a deep profile.
The throat is strong and heavily coated which helps the dog to protect
itself during possible attacks. The shoulders are massive, bent,
with powerful muscle substance. The backline is straight, but a
slightly swaying backline allowed. This trait was found often among
the old mastines. The bone structure is powerful and massive. The
front legs should be separated to make room for a wide and deep
breast. The back legs have to be strong and angled well enough to
give powerful impulsion. Double dewclaws are usual but not obligatory.
The PM has a tight, coarse and moderate long coat between 6-9 cm.
This is longer on the shoulders, throat, under the stomach and on
the backside of the legs. The base colour is always white with a
characteristic mask covering both ears. Usually there are several
spots on the rest of the body, but they have to be well defined
and with the same colour as the mask. Colours are grey, golden,
brown, silvergrey, black, marmorated, and sandcolored not red!
The temperament is not complicated, the PM will learn fast and his
behaviour is very routine. Even if the Pyrenean mastiff appears
passive, it will always be aware of everything that goes around
it. This kind of behaviour makes the dog very stable even in extreme
situations. This of course in addition to that the fact that this
dog is aware of its power, strength and size. The Pyrenean mastiff
is not an aggressive dog, it will seldom look for trouble. But with
a smoothness and quickness in the movement, he is well prepared
to take it. The male, as a lover, will not accept any competition
from other dogs. He has almost no time to eat and just in this situations
he will leave the female. The female is almost the opposite, very
feminine and would like to be flirted with by 2 or even more males.
When visiting places where an PM is located, you will always be
meet by deep barking. The Pyrenean mastiff assure you that you are
walking on private property and after an complete inspection the
he will follow you to the door….. or keep on barking if he doesn't
like what he has inspected. The behaviour is very dependable. Saying
this he is willing to give his friendship away, especially to children
!! The Pyrenean mastiff will adore the children of the household..
If you, as an adult, are angry with the children, he will always
protect them and take their side. The owners and family are the
ones he loves the most and will have most confidence in. The Pyrenean
mastiff likes short and simple commands, used from day one !! With
an hard and punished education you will get a nervous and uncomfortable
dog. The Pyrenean mastiff tolerates well a pretty hard climate over
long periods due to the long and strong coat. It will search for
the highest part on the property and lay down there for hours just
doing almost nothing but being aware.
Thanks To Finn Espen Nergård for allowing the use of this text.
a brush once weekly and a bath when needed
A walk daily is required to help keep them fit and healthy
a good diet is important, please refer to breeders for best possible
diet recommenced, or for Diet and other general dog health information
Finn Espen Neurgard & Anne Briglia