The breed's full name in Spanish is Mastín Español ( pronounced masteen espanknol ) which translates as Spanish Mastiff. However this name really refers to giant purebred dogs which are relatively rare compared to crossbreeds and less heavy dogs which the Spanish call Mastín Ligeros ( translates as light mastiffs ). At Mastin Matters we are very generous in our interpretation of the what is and what isn't a Mastín - in general we are interested in any large dog that has a significant Mastín component which is obvious from their physical appearance. We just call them all Mastíns.
The breed description below is an attempt to generalise about a very varied bunch of dogs - your own Mastín will be a wonderfully unique individual !
Physically Mastíns are typically at least 35 KG in weight when fully grown but the very largest can tip the scales at up to 100 KG. They are heavyset with a broad chest and have lop ears. They have a dewlap ( fatty pouch ) on the neck. They can be any colour, or range of colours, but are most typically browns and white, although white is not usually dominant. It is definitely much easier to know when you've seen a Mastín than describe exactly what one is.
Mastíns were bred for and are widely used in Spain as livestock guardians. This means they are vigilant and independent, and have a loud booming bark which they use to advertise their presence to everyone in the neighbourhood. They are very loyal and affectionate to their owners and family, but can be aloof with strangers until they are better acquainted. They are usually fine with other dogs and also with cats if they have been brought up in an environment with cats present.
Because of their size and nature Mastíns are most suited to owners who are confident, patient and consistent. Previous experience with large breeds is definitely an advantage. Mastíns can be slow to mature physically and mentally. They love the outside and will benefit from access to a decent size outside space where they can enjoy sitting on a vantage point and surveying their territory. Like any dog they do require regular exercise and stimulation and you will find them surprisingly agile.
Some of our dogs have had a very poor start to life and require experienced owners who understand the dog's difficulties, and are happy to work with them to ensure that the best outcome possible is achieved. We are always on hand to help any of our owners or foster carers overcome whatever challenges arise. Our Facebook Group is also a valuable resource where you will find a host of experienced dog lovers willing to offer good advice.