Dog Breed Group: Guard Dog
Life Span: 10-13 years
Weight: Male: 60-110, Female: 55-109
Height: Male: 30-31, Female: 25-30
Origin of Name: The Pyrenean Mastiff is a large breed of livestock guardian dog from the autonomous community of Aragón in northeastern Spain.
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While the origin of the Pyrenean Mastiff is not clearly known, it is generally accepted that the breed originated from Moloser dogs brought to Spain from Sumeria and Assyria by the Phoenicians about 3,000 years ago. Due to the remoteness of the various regions of the Pyrenees Mountains and the rest of the region now known as Spain, native Molosar dogs were most closely developed by the region in many livestock patron breeds, the Pyrenean Mastiff, the Spanish Mastiff, and the breed. The Pyrenean Mastiff is related to the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, also known as the Great Pyrenees.
In the early Middle Ages, the region that later became Spain was divided between the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon in the north and the Muslim-controlled territories of the south. In the wide and flat area of Castile, the smooth-coated Spanish Mastiff was developed to protect flocks of sheep that traveled long distances. In the Aragon region, the less homogeneous Pyrenees Mountains developed more rugged and long-haired livestock guards. Following trashumante, or ceremonial mass migration to pastures established by the Visigoth King Yuriko in 504 AD, flocks of sheep will migrate through the bear and wolf-infected Pyrenees Mountains with a shepherd 1,000 strong and five mastiffs. And foothills. Named for the area of their trishumante source, Navarran Mustin (also the Mustin of Navara) and Mustin D'Aragon, these livestock defenders were highly respected, and as such, received the same food allocation as shepherds. He also wore a carlanka, a pointed collar that protected his neck, entangling wolves and bears. This migration lasted till the 16th century.
In 1659, Regent Mazarino of France and King Philip IV of Spain signed a decree dividing ownership of the Pyrenees Mountains with the northern region becoming French territory, and the southern region becoming the remaining Spanish territory. The northern, or French, region further refined its mastiff, developing a white, long-haired breed, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, with a more refined head and stature. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog gained widespread recognition due to its popularity and strong breeding programs, while the Spanish mastiff in the south continued its work as livestock conservator and remained more spacious, primitive and less homogenous.
In the 1930s and 40s, the disappearance of wolves and bears from the Pyrenees Mountains, new dependence on rail to transport sheep, Spanish Civil War and World Food Shortages after World War II caused almost total loss of the Aragon mastiff. Due to being too large and expensive to support and have no purpose other than to protect livestock, these great dogs almost went extinct.
With the return of a pack of wolves to the Aragon region in the 1970s, these dogs were once again needed, now known as the Pyrenean Mastiff. Also, a small group of enthusiasts for this breed worked to revive it, finding about 100 specimens of the breed and then narrowing it down to the best 30 that were closest to the standard and which were appropriate temperament and Used to show excellent health. Their breeding program resulted in today's Pyrenean Mastiff known for its great size, strong build, graceful movement and its gentle, non-aggressive and even temperament. Yet the Pyrenean Mastiff still possesses great fighting skills, which have been revered through the defense of livestock for centuries, but they will only be used if they are themselves, their people, their herds, their packs, or their home. For the defense to be pressured to carry out aggressive behavior.
While still relatively rare, the breed has since spread throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Australia, Japan and Mexico, the US and now Canada, somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 worldwide. They are approved by the FCI and are successfully shown at FCI affiliated clubs in most of these countries.