Spanish Mastiff

Official Standard

Country of origin: Spain

General appearance and character

The Spanish Mastiff is rustic-looking, powerful and big-boned. Especially, he/she has a massive
head and balanced and harmonious build which allows him/her to be extremely functional.
Usually, he/she is adorable, kind and lives his/her own pace. When it comes to bump into
enemies, he/she shows self-preservation.

Its barking is heavy, low and deep, not shrill.

There isn’t confirmed the longest length of height to withers.
Well balanced body of length is preferred.

Male: 77 cm (31 inches)

Female: 72 cm (29 inches)

☆larger size

Male: higher than 80 cm (32 inches)

Female: higher than 75 cm (30 inches)

A broad and deep chest is more important than highest. It is better to have thick limbs and
broad muzzle. Well-balanced body and calm behavior are desirable.
Fatten dog isn’t good.
The Spanish Mastiff has slender waist and should keep well-muscled body that can be touched
backbone by hands.
In Spain, these Spanish Mastiffs have participated in dog show before, but recently, fatten dogs
participates in dog shows.

Originally, the Spanish Mastiff has been bred for guarding livestock.
In the past, the Spanish Mastiff lived with people who moved seasonally and especially when
he/she became adult, he/she moved with sheep and protected people and livestock from wolves
and other predators at moved places.
Because the Spanish Mastiff has thick skin around the neck which is dog’s vital point, he/she
has a little damage in case he/she is attacked by wolves.
So, the Spanish Mastiff isn’t aggressive and is good at protecting.

Even today, the Spanish Mastiff is very rare dog.
Breeders has inherited excellent characters from the Spanish Mastiff’s ancestors and bred as a
family animal.

Head is big, strong and broad. The proportion of the skull and the muzzle is 6 to 4.
Head is set a little bit higher and shaped regular tetragon seen from above.

Skull is slightly arched in profile rather than long and marked occipital crest.
In general, the male is big-boned and skull is wider and bigger and the top of head is flat.

Stop is not accentuated on slight slope.
Originally, it is not more accentual than the Pomeranian but not gentler than the Dachshund.

The upper lip fully covers the lower lip. Not slobber a lot. (The lower lip isn’t down.) The mucous
membranes must be black.

Teeth are small in comparison with large body because the Spanish Mastiff isn’t aggressive.

Eyes are small in comparison with large body.
Usually, Spanish says that the Spanish Mastiff has droopy eyes like them.

Neck is very unique shaped and double dewlap is fully developed.
This is the trade mark of the Spanish Mastiff.
Very thick skin has filled the role of “protection” from enemies.

When viewing from the side, the Spanish Mastiff shapes rectangular and is strong and very
robust. He/She moves slowly like large animals, lions.

Withers are well marked. It is important to be seen their movement when he/she walks.
Loin should be waisted. Not waisted is a sign of obesity or getting fat.

Croup is broad and solid. Its inclination from topline to the ground is gently curved, about 50°.
The height at the croup is equal to the height at the withers, but it is no problem to be higher
than withers.

Topline is straight. Keeping straight is very important, even during movement.
But the Spanish Mastiff has thick and soft skin so his/her back and loin tend to move from side
to side when he/she walks fast or runs.
Because he/she isn’t bred to have athletic ability originally, he/she doesn’t walk and run lightly.

Chest is broad, deep, muscled and powerful with fully breast.
It is said that wide intercostal space can contain rich internal organs, so it is ideal body.

Belly and flanks are moderately tucked-up, stout, ample and tender.
Judges for dog shows in Spain evaluate of loose skin of topline and flanks of the Spanish Mastiff.
It is said that the looser skin is the better. So many breeders try to fatten their dog to have loose
skin and it becomes issues recently.

Thick and solid tail hangs down to the hock. When the Spanish Mastiff is excited and runs, its
tail’s tip carried over the croup with curving like a fencing sword.

Pads are small in comparison with body and strong feet arches well.
Nails and pads are strong and resistant.
The Spanish Mastiff is heavy weight, so there is no need to clip his/her nails routinely.
Relatively speaking, the Spanish Mastiff doesn’t run fast and move a lot, but hair covered with
pads doesn’t need to be cut.
Pads are like cat feet shaped oval. He/She has one or two dewclaws.
Having two dewclaws is a proof of an ancient dog and huge dog.
Also, their amputation isn’t preferable today.

Skin is elastic, thick and pink with darker pigmentation.
Skin color isn’t necessary dark skin.
Skin’s pigment has nothing to do with dog’s health.
The Spanish Mastiff doesn’t have callus on elbows, rump and knees very much.

Coat is dense and thick. Smooth hair cover all over the body, even interdigital spaces.
Two types of coat are distinguished; the covering coat on the back and the protective coat on
ribcage and the flanks.
Legs’ coat is shorter and tail’s is longer and slightly shiny.
Because coat is coarse and short, it doesn’t become fuzzballs.

Any coat colors are accepted. One color coat is yellow, fawn, red and black. Mixed color is tabby
and brindle or different color on chest.


In the country of origin, Spain, the Spanish Mastiff has played an active role as sheep dogs since
ancient times and been bred as a protector against wolves.
The Spanish Mastiff is called “ancient dog” and very historic dog who is drawn on the primitive
There is no record which mentions who is the first breeder of the Spanish Mastiff, but he/she has
existed in the central Europe at least since Neolithic period.
Also, he/she appears on the ruins of Babylon and Assyrian sculptures.
The dog who is drawn on “Las Meninas” (collection at Museo del Prado) by Spanish artist
Velazquez (1599-1660) is the Spanish Mastiff, but there are many differences comparing to the
current dog.
Like other kinds of dogs, the Spanish Mastiff has also decreased rapidly during World War II,
but he/she has bred by a few survivors and increased gradually.

The Spanish Mastiff is very rare and valuable dog in the world, but in Europe, people live with
him/her as a family dog at their house because of regal appearance and obedient character.

Today, the Spanish Mastiff is the national dog of Spain, but there are fewer than 3% of all
breeding dogs in Spain and we can hardly see him/her in the city.
As Akitainu and Kisyuken are designated as a natural monument and preserved in Japan, the
Spanish Mastiff Spanish Dog Association was stablished in Spain and they try to improve the
breeding and stock different types of dogs.

In Japan, Masaki Inoue imported male Spanish Mastiff “Gordon” and female “Gilby” from
Spanish breeder directly in 1998 and Gordon was the first pedigree dog of Japan Kennel Club
(JKC, organization for registering pedigree papers) in Japan.

We heard about the existence of Gordon from a Japanese dog lover and imported from Spain.

In 1999, we had bred them and the first bred Spanish Mastiff was born. Gilby gave birth to 14
babies at that time.

When Gilby became too old to give birth, we have looked for breeder in Spain again.
When we imported Gordon and Gilby, we haven’t visited Spain. But while we have spent with
them and raised babies, we wanted to learn about the Spanish Mastiff and needed to know.
So, we visited Spain to learn about Spain’s climate, nationality, how to care about dogs and how
to breed.

We visited 3 breeders in 3 cities, Agoncillo in La Rioja, Valencia and the old castletown Avila
where is the west of Madrid.
In 2001, just before Gilby who was older than Gordon passed away, we imported the second
female Spanish Mastiff “Avila” from Spain. She gave a birth three times in once a year.

Then because Gordon passed away, Avila couldn’t give a birth and we have tried to import new
Spanish Mastiff from Spain and Italy.

When we visited Spain again, the animal quarantine system was revised stricter in Japan and
no one imported the Spanish Mastiff to Japan.
In Italy, we have almost come to an agreement with breeder, but it has gone.

During the second visit to “Crufts” in the United Kingdom, when we transferred to another
airplane, we met Czech breeder in Amsterdam. And we could import “Porthos” by her.
But at that time, Porthos was the only Spanish Mastiff in our kennel and we had to find his wife
as soon as possible.
We could import the Spanish Mastiff from the same breeder, but she didn’t have many pedigree
dogs. It was very hard to find the Spanish Mastiff that we liked and was matched our policy.

The animal quarantine system was one of our biggest problems, so we have tried to import the
Spanish Mastiff by Spanish and Italian breeder via transit point.
Of course, we have chosen experienced Spanish Mastiff breeder there.

Finally, in 2012, we could have imported “Yuma” from Spain and “Abbie” from Italy via the
United States. They have spent at their birthplace, Spain and Italy, until they were three
months old and then they have spent together in the United States until they were 11 months
old. After that, they came to Japan.

At last, on the New Year’s day of 2013, we were able to meet Spanish Mastiff’s babies after an
interval of eight years. They are babies of Porthos and Yuma.
We had 17 babies at one time. (13 babies grew up.)

In 2013, there are three Spanish Mastiffs at Masaki Collection, one male “ Porthos” and two
female “Yuma” and “Abbie”.

Situation in Japan

In the past, our owner’s Spanish Mastiff had babies, but Masaki Collection is the only breeder
who has specialized breeding skills in Japan, once and now.
The below data is the number of registrations dogs who were registered pedigree papers by JKC
per dog types in 2012. It is only in Japan and announced every year.

No.1: Poodle 93,000 dogs
No. 10: Miniature Schnauzer 7,700 dogs
No. 20: Beagle 3,000 dogs

No. 11: Golden Retriever 7,300 dogs (It is the most as of middle or large dogs)
No. 26: Bernese Mountain Dog 1,700 dogs
No. 34: Great Pyrenees 500 dogs
No. 40: Great Dane 300 dogs
No. 45: St. Bernard 239 dogs
No. 58: Newfoundland 116 dogs
No. 87: Alaskan Malamute 39 dogs
The Spanish Mastiff is no register.

In 2011, there is one pedigree register and this is “Yuma”.

The Spanish Mastiff is very rare dog.
(190 kinds of dogs are approved by JKC.)

So, we always have to import new pedigree Spanish Mastiff from abroad because bred Spanish
Mastiff become all relatives soon and it is impossible to continue breeding.

But if we breed by domestic large dogs (huge dogs), bred dogs tend to be smaller. So, it is our
policy to continue to import Spanish Mastiff who are born and grow abroad to keep their
standard size and body.