The Spanish Mastiff is a very old breed, thought to have descended from dogs brought to the Iberian peninsula of Spain around 1000 BC by Phoenician Greek traders. He served as a herder and guardian of livestock herds, and was the forerunner of some other mastiff breeds, including the St. Bernard and the Dogo Argentino.
Like his fellow mastiffs, the Spanish Mastiff is a very large and powerful dog, weighing anywhere from 110 to 140 lbs. He has a slightly longer muzzle than some of his mastiff cousins, and loose folds of skin that hang in a double layer around his neck.
The Spanish Mastiff can be wary of strangers and aggressive toward other dogs, so consistent training and socialization with other dogs and humans from an early age is recommended. Once a firm leader has helped him learn his place in the family, he makes a very loyal and protective pet. Due to his large frame and loud voice, apartment living isn’t quite his style. He does best in settings where he has plenty of room to move and exercise at his own pace.
Booming bark aside, Spanish Mastiffs are still prone to some hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health — not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Spanish Mastiffs are prone to include eye conditions such as entropion; bone conditions such as panosteitis; joint conditions such as hip dysplasia; and digestive conditions such as gastric dilatation volvulus (GVD or bloat).
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Spanish Mastiff inherits anything more than a droopy double chin, you’re covered.