The nearest relative is the Pyrenean Mountain dog. These two breeds were much the same until the Pyrenees's were split into almost in two different parts. Breed Description supplied by Breton Kennels.
About The Pyrenean Mastiff:
Ozdoggy would like to thank Breton Mastiffs for supplying this breed information.
The Pyrenean Mastiff, is one of the giant Molosser breeds.
They were originally bred to accompany herds of sheep from winter to summer grazing land, guarding and protecting them from wolves, bears and even thieves on the way. They wore heavy spiked metal collars called "carlunkas' to protect their necks. They were highly sought after and greatly valued.
The nearest relative is the Pyrenean Mountain dog. These two breeds were much the same until the Pyrenees's were split into almost in two different parts. The northern region became France and the southern area became Spain. Both regions developed their dog differently.
The Pyrenean mastiff nearly became extinct during the 1930s. Due to the decrease of wolves and other predators, and the modern mans reliance on rail to transport the sheep and the civil war, and World War II, food was scarce, and the numbers of Pyrenean Mastiffs were reduced dramatically. Fortunately for the breed there was a group of dedicated Spanish enthusiasts who had these dogs, or had heard of them. They combined in their efforts to travel the country, they found about 100 dogs, and selected 30 from which to establish a breeding program. The Spanish club was intent on saving the Pyrenean mastiffs from extinction, and promoting the breed to the world.
Pyrenean mastiffs are rectangular big strong dogs. The minimum height for females are 72cm or 28" and for males 77 cm or 30". The bigger dog is preferred and there are no upper limits regarding the height. Double dewclaws are usual but not obligatory. The PM has a tight, coarse and moderate long coat between 6-9 cm. This is longer on the shoulders, throat, under the stomach and on the backside of the legs. The base colour is always white with a characteristic mask covering both ears. Colours are grey, golden, brown, silver-grey, black, marmorated, and sandcolored not red!
The temperament is steady and uncomplicated. The PM will learn fast and his behaviour is very routine. Even if the Pyrenean mastiff appears sedate it is aware of all going on around it. This kind of behaviour makes the dog very stable even in extreme situations. The Pyrenean mastiff is not an aggressive dog, it will seldom look for trouble. But with strength and agility he is well prepared to take it.
The Pyrenean mastiff will adore the children of the household. He will always protect them and take their side. The owners and family are the ones he loves the most, and will have most confidence in. He thrives under short and simple commands, used from day one. As with any breed of dog a hard and punished education will produce either an aggressive or nervous and uncomfortable dog.
The Pyrenean mastiff tolerates hash climates over long periods due to the long and strong coat. Prolonged humidity he does not tolerate and can get serious skin conditions. A brush once weekly and a bath when needed is pretty much all that is required. A walk daily is required to help keep him fit and healthy, but only when their bones have finished developing. As with all dogs a good diet is important, please refer to breeders for the best possible diet recommenced.