|FCI Standard No. 91|
Spanish mastiff, mastín from León (mastín leonés), mastín of the Extremadura (mastín extremeño), mastín of the Mancha (mastín manchego)
|List of domestic dogs|
Origin and history
The origin of this shepherd dog is unknown, but like the other mastiffs of the Iberian Peninsula, it is believed to have descended from dogs that the Phoenicians and Greeks brought to Spain about 2000 years ago . In Spain he is valued as the protector of cattle and the house; it is spread all over the country and therefore has different names depending on the area.
According to a description from 18th century Castile , a herd of 1000 sheep was typically accompanied by five shepherds and five mastín dogs on their seasonal migration, known as transhumance . The mastines were supposed to protect the herd from wolves and cattle thieves. The dogs were well cared for, as much food was carried for a mastín as for a shepherd. Anyone who injured a mastín had to pay a fine of at least five sheep. Possession of such a dog had to be approved by the influential organization of Castilian sheep breeders, the Mesta .
The Mastín Español looks impressive with a size of up to 82 cm and a weight of up to 70 kg. The hair is half-length, fawn, red, black and white, red brindle or black brindle. Its ears are small and drooping.
In addition, there are breeders in Spain who do not breed the Mastín according to the FCI standard, but rather for livestock farming. There sizes up to 100 cm and up to 110 kg in weight are possible.
Bred as a herd guard dog, he still accompanies the few herds of cattle that are herded over great distances in Spain. Shepherds value the mastín very much, it is said that several mastines can also kill wolves and bears together .
However, the mastín is gradually becoming a house and farm dog. With his calm demeanor and patience, he can also be kept well as a family dog.
However, the mastín expects a clear role within the family or the pack. Once this is established, the mastín is an extremely vigilant protector of house and yard.
The breed is on the list of potentially dangerous dog breeds in several German federal states.
In Austria , Mastín Español is on the breed list in two of the three list-leading federal states ( Vienna and Vorarlberg ). Depending on the federal state, a “ dog handler license ” (Vienna) or a special permit from the mayor (Vorarlberg) is required.
In Switzerland , five of the thirteen cantons with rascal lists have Mastín Español on their lists; in these cantons, approval is required for keeping it. Keeping, breeding and importation are prohibited in the cantons of Geneva and Valais .
- Julius Klein : The Mesta. A Study in Spanish Economic History 1273-1836 (= Harvard Economic Studies. Vol. 21). Harvard University Press et al., Cambridge MA et al. 1920, pp. 24–25, (PDF; 17.7 MB) ( Memento of the original of July 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .
- Information page of the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria: keeping fighting dogs (accessed on October 28, 2015)