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The Spanish Mastiff Temperament (Fearless, Protective) A Helpful Breed Guide

Understanding the Spanish Mastiff temperament comes down to knowing that his life revolves around his family. He’ll do everything in his power to ensure they’re safe, loved, and right by his side.

These qualities make him a wonderful pet for a lot of different households. But some of his other characteristics wouldn’t mix well with first-time dog owners like his strong-willed personality.

It’s evaluating little things like these traits that’ll help determine if the Spanish Mastiff is a fit for your home. So please, read on and learn all you need to ensure you can make an informed decision about getting one.

The Spanish Mastiff Temperament & Personality

As we go through the following Spanish Mastiff traits, we’ll start to understand what type of situation would suit them best. And as we go along, try to think about whether or not your household represents his ideal environment.

Loving & Affectionate

There’s nothing a Spanish Mastiff loves more than his family. And he’ll showcase this love by always wanting to be around you. He’s even been known to follow who he perceives as the pack leader around the house.

In other words, he doesn’t understand the meaning of privacy. But this constant crowding of you is just his way of showing how much he loves you. He’ll also showcase this feeling by affectionately trying to kiss you once and awhile.

It also worth noting this love and affectionate isn’t just reserved for the pack leader either; he will gladly showcase his love for every member of your family even sometimes other animals. In the end, the Spanish Mastiff is a clingy, lovable giant.


The Spanish Mastiff temperament has a calm demeanor that endures itself to most dog owners. He’s quite content lying around watching movies or sleeping the day away. In fact, he’s sometimes downright lazy, and it can be a hassle to get him moving.

It also essential we note that he prefers his environment to share this calm feeling. He doesn’t enjoy feeling rushed and wouldn’t do well in a place with a lot of activity like a city. It makes him feel on edge can cause him a bit of anxiety.

He instead would be more at peace in the countryside or a rural setting that mimics his personality: a place where doesn’t feel the constant pressure of having to guard his family against the non-stop movement.

Fearless & Protective

Coming from his livestock guardian dog past, it should be no surprise the Spanish Mastiff temperament features a protective side. As a result, he’s one of the best guard dogs you could ever have inside your home.

He’ll do anything in his power to protect his family from what he perceives as threats. And if an intruder makes the wrong decision by entering your home, he’ll fearlessly defend you against them. Even if it comes down to life and death, he’ll make sure his family is safe.

However, this protective quality does have a significant downside as it does make him have an innate distrust of strangers. It’s not uncommon for a Spanish Mastiff to bark at their owner’s friends or passersby.  But you can fix this behavior by properly socializing them at an early age.


As a highly intelligent breed, the Spanish Mastiff can be stubborn. He will often think he knows what’s best and will act accordingly. You probably can imagine how annoying this trait is to deal with during training sessions.

Given this information, it’s quite apparent he needs an owner who can be confident and consistent with his training. This type of owner will allow him to reach the best version of himself as a companion. If he doesn’t have this kind of handler, he's been known to ignore commands completely.

This high level of intelligence also means that mental challenges should be a big part of his daily routine. You must find some way to exercise his brain, or he’ll start becoming restless and entertaining himself.

Trust me; nothing he finds entertaining will be something you find assuming.  As a result, get him some puzzle toys or find some creative ways to challenge him throughout the day.

Dog Aggressive

The dog-aggressive part of the Spanish Mastiff temperament only comes out when he isn’t properly socialized. And if they grow up together with another dog, the interactions between the two should be pleasant.

But with dogs he doesn’t know he can get a little feisty, which can be quite problematic given his massive size; therefore, make sure you get them used to other dogs as soon as possible. It’s in the best interest of everyone.

The Spanish Mastiff History

The first documented sighting of the Spanish Mastiff was located in the Iberian Peninsula. Many experts believe he was brought there by Phoenicians and Greeks about 2,000 years ago. He began building popularity among Spanish citizens and soon became a favorite breed all across Europe.

The Spanish Mastiff is native to the Estremadura region of Spain where he was used as a livestock guardian dog. He would protect flocks of sheep and other livestock from getting eaten by larger predators. The first recording of him performing this role dates all the way back to the 1400s.

During this time, he was even used by Spaniards to fight against indigenous people who they were conquering. Many Spanish Mastiffs were trained in defensive and attack commands, which allowed them to be used as a weapon.

But by the early 20th century, he was mostly seen as a show dog and would be put into dog shows or contests. And surprisingly, no breed standard was established from him until 1946, which is odd given his popularity.

These days he’s mostly seen in his native country and has even become the national dog breed of Spain. It’s quite a rare sight to see him anywhere else, but his beloved Spain.

A Guide to Spanish Mastiff Training

The Spanish Mastiff temperament makes training them quite tricky. He tends to ignore commands, which can be frustrating and requires patience on your part.  It also doesn’t help he sometimes can develop an independent personality.

A crucial step in making sure this independent nature doesn’t present itself is socializing them early. It’ll give him exposure to the outside world, which will move his training along much quicker.

It’ll also provide him with an understanding that he doesn’t need to rely on himself for mental and physical stimulation. We should also note that the Spanish Mastiff has a three-year puppy phase, which makes training difficult as well.

This extended puppy period’s why their training must start as early as possible to ensure the commands become second nature. The best way to approach these training sessions is with positive reinforcement techniques.

It’s also crucial you show them strong, consistent leadership or the training might not take. As a result, he’s probably not an ideal pet for a first-time owner. But once the training does start to work, he’s uniquely suited for defensive training with his livestock guardian background.

The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan a world-class Dog Trainer from New Zealand is worth taking a look at. This online resource has hundreds of fun informative dog training videos that can help you learn the basics and more.

The Spanish Mastiff Grooming Requirements

Concerning their grooming, the Spanish Mastiff has a moderate level of upkeep. He isn’t hypoallergenic by any stretch of the imagination thanks to his double coat. This double coat will shed seasonally, which will cause issues around your home during these periods.

A weekly brushing should be enough to limit the damage the loose hairs will cause. During these brushing sessions, you should a pin brush and a metal comb: you might need a de-shedder when he’s heavily shedding.

It’s also essential that you bathe him when the heavy shedding starts as it’ll help contain the issue. Trimming the hair between his foot pads is another must for a Spanish Mastiff owner. If you don’t, knots will start to form, and dirt or other substances could become trapped.

And since he’s a Mastiff, drooling will be a common issue as well. You should expect to be cleaning up drool regularly after strenuous activities such as eating, drinking, or any exercise. Other than these requirements, the rest of the grooming maintenance is rather standard:

  • Trim nails once a month
  • Check ears regularly for build-ups
  • Teeth need regular brushing

Relevant Spanish Mastiff Health Issues

Unlike many other large breed dogs, the Spanish Mastiff isn’t vulnerable to a lot of conditions or illnesses. But like with every dog breed on the planet, there are some health issues that he's prone to developing.

And if you plan on being a Spanish Mastiff owner, you should have an understanding of the following health issues:

The good news is you can address most of these issues with a vet visit every few months. Regular check-ups will ensure you have a firm grasp of your dog’s health and where there might be some concerns.

Other than regular vet visits, you can further protect your Spanish Mastiff from hip dysplasia by talking to the breeder. You should ask them about whether or not the puppy’s parents have OFA certified hips. If they do, it’ll be less likely hip dysplasia will be an issue down the road.

You can also significantly reduce the risk of bloat occurring by moderating their eating habits; the faster they eat, the more likely this condition will occur. As a result, you should serve their daily food in multiple portions throughout the day rather than all at once.

Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your Spanish Mastiff friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.

Finding Your Spanish Mastiff

If it seems the Spanish Mastiff temperament is the perfect fit, finding one could be a tad difficult in the United States. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re adopting or buying, seeing a Spanish Mastiff outside of Spain is a rarity.

But don’t worry this issue doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You’re just going to need some patience and follow the steps we discuss below.

Spanish Mastiff For Sale

If you’re looking to buy a Spanish Mastiff, the first thing you should do is check the American Kennel Club marketplace.   As of right now, there aren’t any puppies available from reputable breeders listed here; but if one does become obtainable, this place will have it.

And if there aren’t any available, you should try going onto Puppyfind.com. This site is another source that’ll help find Spanish Mastiff breeders around the United States. It’ll give you some leads on where you could find a Spanish Mastiff for sale.

When you do find one, set up a meeting with the breeder to ensure they’re a reputable breeder. The following bad breeder warning signs should help you with your determination:

  • Numerous Spanish Mastiff puppy litters on the property at the same time.
  • They always have puppies for sale.
  • You can buy a puppy online with a credit card.
  • Give you the option of buying a puppy without papers for a lower price.

If you’re comfortable enough to proceed, the price of Spanish Mastiff puppies is typically between $1,000 and $1,500. What side the cost falls on will largely depend on things like family history, medical costs, shipping expenses, etc.

Spanish Mastiff For Adoption

If you prefer to adopt a Spanish Mastiff, you have a couple of available options. You could contact a rescue like Gentle Giants Rescue, which specializes and finds larger breeds new homes.

Another option would be going down to your local shelter and seeing whether or not they have one. It’s highly doubtful that they will, but it’s worth a look anyway. And it lets them know you’re interested in case a Spanish Mastiff does find its way there in the future.

There are also sites like Adoptapet.com, which will tell you where’s the nearest adoptable Spanish Mastiff. But when you do find one, you should ask the organization the following questions about the dog:

  1. Does he/she have a high energy level?
  2. How old is he/she?
  3. Are there any biting incidents you need to know about?
  4. Is he/she good with other animals?
  5. Does he/she have any issues with certain people such as men, children, or strangers?
  6. What is his/her personality like?
  7. How well-trained is he/she? Is he/she housetrained?
  8. Are there any health issues?

These questions will give vital pieces of information that’ll make the dog’s adjustment period much simpler. It'll allow you to determine whether or not the dog will be a good fit as well.

If you end up satisfied with the answers, you should expect to spend around $300 adopting a Spanish Mastiff.

Conclusion: Is the Spanish Mastiff the Right Dog For You?

If you’re looking for a lovable, giant guard dog, the Spanish Mastiff temperament would be the perfect fit for you. He’ll both keep your home safe and be the best companion a dog owner could ask for all while drooling on all your clothing.

But if you’re a first-time owner living in a city, you should move onto a different breed. After all, his stubbornness and anxiousness could end up representing a real problem for you.