The Pyrenean Mastiff (Mastín del Pirineo in his native country) originated in the Middle Ages, in the Aragon region of Spain along the southern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains, where he guarded flocks of sheep from wolves and bears. As modern developments led to a decrease in that region’s sheep herding, followed by the onset of the Spanish Civil War and World War II, their numbers were reduced dramatically. Luckily, a group of breeders re-established the Pyrenean Mastiff, and they are now popular again in their native Spain.
The Pyrenean Mastiff is a very large Molosser breed, with an average weight of around 175 lbs. He is very solid and rustic-looking, with a longish coat that needs frequent brushing to counteract regular shedding. Developed alongside the Spanish Mastiff, the Pyrenean Mastiff has a longer coat, and he is always white with a darker colored mask around the eyes and on the ears. Because of his heavy coat, he does best in cooler climates.
He is calm, steady and even-tempered. Highly intelligent, he learns quickly, and thrives with activity and obedience training from an early age. He is loving and protective of his family, particularly the children, and well-socialized Pyrenean Mastiffs are generally friendly with all people. In terms of exercise, a couple of daily walks should suffice to keep him fit and active. If possible, daily outings should be used as opportunities to meet new people and work on his socialization skills.
Despite his easygoing attitude, the Pyrenean Mastiff is prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health — not to mention your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Pyrenean Mastiffs are prone to include eye conditions such as entropion and ectropion; hip problems such as hip dysplasia; stomach problems such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat); and bowel conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Pyrenean Mastiff inherits his mom’s bad hips or his dad’s bad eyes, you’re covered.