Let's talk Pyrenean Mastiffs

A powerhouse breed with a big heart, the Pyrenean Mastiff is an imposing yet gentle dog. This Spanish original was developed in rugged mountain passes as a flock guardian, but don’t let that immensity fool you into believing there’s anything but a softie at their core. The Pyrenean Mastiff counts intelligence and a dignified manner among their top characteristics. A superb protector, the breed puts family first, and does very well if left alone, but not for too long as they’d miss you. Perhaps they simply see staying home as a way to keep watch until you return.

Official name: Pyrenean Mastiff

Origins: Spain

Close-up of Pyrenean Mastiff in black and white
Drooling tendencies Very high Warm weather? Medium
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? Low
Physical activity needs Low to moderate Kid-friendly? High
Compatibility with other pets High Can stay alone? High

We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

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Illustration of Pyrenean Mastiff
76 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
55 - 110 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
74 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
55 - 110 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 8 months
 Adult age  8 months to 2 years
 Mature age  2 to 5 years
 Senior age  From 5 years

Pyrenean Mastiff mid-air running across grass


Get to know the Pyrenean Mastiff

All you need to know about the breed

Large and in charge. That’s the Pyrenean Mastiff, who could otherwise be described as a massive dog with a hugely humble side. Their dimensions are gargantuan as far as canines are concerned, with a weight that can reach an average 110kg (243lbs) and a height coming in at about 75cm (30in).

If you aren’t experienced with giant breeds, this one may be a bit daunting. However the Pyrenean Mastiff‘s very mild temperament makes them very approachable, easy to train, and to be around in general. The breed knows their own strength and applies it only as needed, with judiciousness seemingly present in their canine decision-making as well.

Seeing protection still as their duty first and foremost, the Pyrenean Mastiff is a welcome addition to any family residing in a rural environment who may need that skill when it comes to livestock. Spain’s largest breed was initially utilised in the Pyrénées Mountains where their girth and strength proved the perfect foil against wannabe intruders, like wolves and bears. Not much gets past this mammoth dog, still, which is courageous when it comes to what they hold dear. Fellow dogs and animals are seen as part of the gang, since the Pyrenean Mastiff has a very low prey drive, just another of their endearing qualities.

Pyrenean Mastiff lying on grass in front of lake


2 facts about Pyrenean Mastiffs

1. Large and in charge

Size doesn’t matter, in fact, it’s appreciated when it comes to a breed like the Pyrenean Mastiff. At a weight that can top out at 243 pounds and a history that dates back 3,000 years, this is one breed that’s clearly staked their claim, and is here to stay!

2. Wipe their mouth

Those who know the Pyrenean Mastiff can list their fabulous traits but one of the downsides of this dog is the drool. Leakage will happen, and potential owners who haven’t yet dealt with the phenomenon should be prepared. Wipe-ups will be needed, frequently, but the payoff with this affectionate breed is well worth it.


History of the breed

The Pyrenean Mastiff traces their lineage back some 3,000 years to molosser-type dogs brought into Spain from Sumeria and Assyria by the Phoencian peoples. The dogs were prized in the treacherous Pyrénées Mountains where they accompanied shepherds to guard flocks. Bears and wolves were no contest for this take-no-prisoners dog.

The breed thrived throughout the centuries until the 1930s and 1940s when predators they’d guarded against started to disappear. The Spanish Civil War and World War II saw their numbers dwindle and come close to extinction. Interestingly, the return of a pack of wolves to their region meant a need for these trusty guardians again.

There are now anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 registrations of the Pyrenean Mastiff worldwide, though they remain fairly rare outside of their native country of Spain. The breed was accepted for registration into the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1982 and the United Kennel Club in 2006.

Side view of Pyrenean Mastiff in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Pyrenean Mastiffs

1. Ears

Medium-sized triangular ears, hanging flat.

2. Body

Giant-sized body, powerful, great strength yet supple.

3. Coat

Dense, very thick coat, somewhat long hair.

Pyrenean Mastiff running across muddy field


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Pyrenean Mastiff
Pyrenean Mastiff standing on grass and dried leaves


Caring for your Pyrenean Mastiff

Grooming, training and exercise tips

This is a breed with a very full, thick double coat, so grooming the Pyrenean Mastiff will need some attention. Brush them a few times a week, using a rake-type brush to get through the density and any mats. It will loosen grass, twigs, or debris that may be trapped in the coat and cause skin lesions or abscesses. Bathe them only as needed (it’s a chore) and inspect the breed’s coat for mats, which can even occur between their toes! Brush your dog’s teeth often to ward off tartar buildup. Trim their nails to prevent cracks and splitting and clean and dry their ears often. The Pyrenean Mastiff will need exercise but this is a moderately active breed so an hour a day is sufficient. Don’t over-walk them when young: Giant breed puppies grow quickly with their soft bones needing to mature at the right pace. Strolls on grass or unpaved routes are optimum since concrete is hard on joints. The calm temperament of the Pyrenean Mastiff means training will be a smooth process, provided firm commands (and the occasional treat) are a part of it. Start puppy training from the get-go so your Pyrenean Mastiff develops the best behaviour possible.


All about Pyrenean Mastiffs

The two breeds are completely distinct. Despite both having origins in the Pyrénées Mountains, the Pyrenean Mastiff hails from Spain and the Great Pyrénées from the French side. The Pyrenean Mastiff is larger and is less inclined to bark as much as the Great Pyrénées, and less inclined to dig in the yard as well.

The decided answer is no. The Pyrenean Mastiff is a giant breed, a very large dog who can weigh up to 110kg (243lbs). That’s a lot of dog, so would-be owners should be experienced with large breeds and ready for all they bring when it comes to training and behaviour.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/