It was during the trading of Assyrian and Sumerian type dogs in the Mediterranean by Phoenicians over 30 centuries ago that a massive flock of guarding dogs arrived in the Iberian Peninsula. Most of these dogs were left in Spain for employment with great flocks and when spreading through the peninsula, these dogs underwent variations. Those dogs that moved north into the kingdom of Aragon developed into the Pyrenean Mastiff.
Pyrenean Mastiffs working as flock guarding dogs were used by shepherds to look after herds of sheep and they received the same amount of food as humans. As the Pyrenean Mastiff helped protect the flocks from wolves and bears, they were regarded with high esteem.
The Pyrenean Mastiff has a long coat which is mostly white in color. The breed was once in danger of extinction but measures had been taken to preserve it, and it is now regarded as the native dog of Spain. It is a large dog which is above average in size. The Pyrenean Mastiff is a dog that is emphatically strong and muscular in build, with firm bone structure. Though the Pyrenean Mastiff is large in size, it is not heavy or sluggish. In fact, it is quite agile for a dog of its size.
The Pyrenean Mastiff is basically friendly towards humans, though it can be rather obnoxious towards strangers. It is a courageous dog and it never backs away when protecting its house and family from intruders and strangers. It is a calm and noble animal that is very intelligent, and it is loyal and affectionate towards family and friends.
The Pyrenean Mastiff is good natured with other dogs and it is well aware of its superior strength over the other dogs. However, the Pyrenean Mastiff will fight back with great skill if provoked by other dogs. This is an atavistic quality it inherited after years of fighting wolves. The Pyrenean Mastiff has a low and deep bark that comes from inside its chest, and it maintains an expression of alertness at all times.
The Pyrenean Mastiff should be brushed regularly to ensure that its coat is always clean. If you do not clean its coat regularly, your Pyrenean Mastiff will smell and develop skin infection. The most common sicknesses that the Pyrenean Mastiff suffers from are hip disorders and gastric torsion. Due to its large size, it is also prone to bone and hip disorders.
If you intend to breed a Pyrenean Mastiff, you have to make sure that your house is large enough to house it. It is a big dog and it requires good space to move around. Regular exercise is also necessary to keep the Pyrenean Mastiff in tip top condition.