The Spanish Mastiff is sometimes referred to as the Mastin de la Mancha, Mastin Espanol, Mastin de Extremadura or Mastin de Leon and it is native to the Estremadura region of Spain and it is a member of the Molosser family. Its origins have been thought to date back to 2000 years B.C. It is likely that these dogs were introduced to the Iberian peninsula by Phoenecian traders bringing them from Syria or India. This large and powerful breed has been used as a livestock guardian for both sheep and cattle. Today they are kept as a companion dog. They are calm and steady in their temperament and are easy to train. They are loyal and affectionate to their owners and protective of people and property when it is required and wary and suspicious of strangers. The Mastin Espanol is ferocious against the wolf.

The Mastin Espanol is a breed of great strength and stamina, bred and used for guarding farms, cattle and flocks, and also in the hunt for wild boar and other large game. Today, the breed has many other uses, apart from being a house Ð dog Ð in war it has been used as guard, and for mountain communication work. It is a stocky, compact dog, well balanced and agile. It stands 28" to 32"or more, and its coat is not long, but fine and dense, soft to the touch, and with a strong tail, well feathered. The tail and ears (which normally are small with the points folded) were formerly cut, a custom dating from the Mastiffs use as a fighting dog, but now this practice is much deplored, since the tail, in particular, is a striking feature of this distinctive breed.

The expression is intelligent. The head is large, with pronounced stop, and long, powerful muzzle. The neck is short, with a double dewlap; the back sloping and slightly hollow. The quarters are straight and strong, the feet having well defined toes and double or single dew claws. Colors are varied; most frequent are yellows, fawns, reds and blacks, wolf color. Sometimes combined colors can be seen such as: brindles, white mark on chest, and dappled.

The Mastin Espanol does not require a great deal of exercise however a good size yard where the mastin can spend its day undisturbed is preferred. The breed is extremely adaptable to extremes in climate and it is very comfortable both indoors and outdoors. As with any large guardian breed Ð the mastin should become and integral part of the family in order to co exist peacefully in an indoor environment. Socialization is important with this breed as it is with any large breed. The mastin is a very loyal dog and it is happy to be in the company of its family or by its owners side. It is gentle with those that it is raised around including other family pets. However trespassing dogs into the territory of the mastin will trigger the protection instinct in the Mastin Espanol. A Mastin Espanol can catch and kill a wolf working independently with ease this will give you some idea of just how powerful the breed truly is. It is utterly fearless.

As with any large breed Ð there can be health issues associated with the Mastin Espanol as a breed Ð some of these being torsion, heart defects, entropion or ectropion of the eyes, hip dysplasia and canine panosteitis (growing pains).

Nutrition plays a key factor in raising a Mastin Espanol and an owner must be patient with the growth of their dog as there will be many phases which the dog will go through as it passes from puppy hood to mature adult. At certain points the mastin will resemble a "gangly teenager" however this will soon pass and the end result is usually a good mastin.