Pyrenean Mastiff Breed Information and Buying advice

Pyrenean Mastiff

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Pyrenean Mastiff?

Quick Pyrenean Mastiff Facts

Average Size of Adult
Huge (5/5)
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Grooming Requirement
Medium (2/3)
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Sociability
Medium (2/3)
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Average Life Span
8-10 years (3/8)
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
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Trainability
High (3/3)
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Shedding
High (3/3)
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Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Intelligence
High (3/3)
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Breed Group
Working (7/8)
Hypoallergenic
No (2/2)

Pyrenean Mastiff (Navarra Mastiff)

Overview

The Pyrenean Mastiff is an impressive herding dog that originates from Spain. The Pyrenean is a naturally protective breed that builds strong bonds with their owners. This is one of the largest of the Mastiff breeds so be prepared for big appetites and long walks. The Pyrenean Mastiff is a gentle giant that makes an excellent family pet as long as you have time to take them for daily walks. This breed has a distinctive thick, double coat with a thick ruff around their necks. Although the Pyrenean Mastiff was traditionally used to protect and herd flocks, they love to be in a home environment. 

Physical Appearance 

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a giant dog with lots of hair. These Mastiffs are large but proportionately built. Their heads are large and heavy with a slightly elongated face compared to the square and flat-looking face shape of other Mastiff breeds. The Pyrenean Mastiff’s ears are large, triangular and hang close to their cheeks when relaxed. The Pyrenean Mastiff also has a wide neck, strong chest and a medium-length tail. These Mastiffs are large and powerful yet are surprisingly agile and light on their feet. 


The Pyrenean Mastiff has a long, thick coat that is usually light in colour (white, tan or grey) with a darker coloured mask around their eyes. Their coat can also have patterns of the same colour as their mask and their eyes are usually deep brown in colour. 


How big do Pyrenean Mastiff dogs get?

  • Height - Males: 76 - 82cm. Females: 75 - 82cm.

  • Weight - Males : 81 - 100kg. Females: 81 - 100kg.

Character Traits

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a gentle dog that is naturally protective over their family, making them an excellent guard dog. The breed is courageous, confident and intelligent. The Pyrenean Mastiff is an ideal choice for people living in the countryside in need of a loyal watchdog. Although Pyrenean Mastiffs are loyal and affectionate, they can be quite independent too meaning they don’t need to be at their owner’s side all the time to be happy. Pyrenean Mastiffs are not particularly active (unless they have a job to do) but need to be walked each day and enjoy off-lead play sessions in a secure garden. 


Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs intelligent? Yes.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs affectionate? Yes.

Do Pyrenean Mastiff dogs have high or low energy levels? Medium energy levels.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs loyal? Yes. 

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs playful? Yes, especially when they are young.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs aggressive? No.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs easy to train? Yes, in experienced hands they are easy to train.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs good guard dogs? Yes, they have a natural urge to guard and protect their owners and property.

Ability to Socialise 

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a friendly dog that gets along well with other dogs and will live happily with a family cat (if they have grown up with them). This is a social breed with a low prey drive but they will chase any animals they think are a threat. The Pyrenean Mastiff is naturally wary of people they do not know, a trait that makes them an excellent guard dog. 


Do Pyrenean Mastiff dogs get along with other pets? Yes, they are good with other animals they have grown up with but wouldn’t think twice about chasing away cats and other animals they are not familiar with.

Do Pyrenean Mastiff dogs get along with other dogs? Yes, but they will stand their ground if they feel threatened. 

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs good with kids? Yes, but they are better around older children than younger children.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs good with strangers? No, they are wary of strangers.

Lifestyle Suitability

The Pyrenean Mastiff needs plenty of space, this means they are best suited to living in the countryside or a quiet home with a large, secure garden. Pyrenean Mastiffs are not well suited to an apartment, they are too big and will quickly become bored and frustrated of living in a small space with no outdoor access. The Pyrenean Mastiff is confident and self-reliant, meaning they can be left alone at home for a few hours during the day if needed. As this Mastiff can be sensitive to busy environments, they aren’t well suited to cities and areas of high noise.  


Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs good for first-time owners? No, this is a big breed that can be stubborn and needs owners who understand how to train and handle them.  

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs hypoallergenic? No.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs prone to drooling? Yes, they do tend to drool.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs a good breed for apartment living? No, these huge dogs need plenty of space as well as a large secure garden.

Do  Pyrenean Mastiff dogs shed a lot? Yes.

Do  Pyrenean Mastiff dogs bark a lot? No.

Can Pyrenean Mastiff dogs be left alone at home? Yes.

Can Pyrenean Mastiff dogs handle the heat? They are better suited to colder temperatures.

Can Pyrenean Mastiff dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes.

Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs sensitive to loud noises? Yes, this breed is quite sensitive. 


General Health & Health Issues

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a healthy dog that has a life expectancy of 8 - 10 years. They don’t have any breed-specific health issues. However, due to their size the breed, Pyrenean Mastiffs may suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia which can cause stiffness and swelling but can be treated. They are also known for suffering from gastric dilation volvulus (bloat) which requires immediate veterinary attention. It is important to feed Pyrenean Mastiffs small portions to help prevent bloat.


How long do Pyrenean Mastiff dogs live? 8 - 10 years

Exercise & Play Time

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a medium energy dog that needs an hour of exercise each day. As this dog has a calm nature their walks can be leisurely. Ideally, the Pyrenean Mastiff should spend lots of time off lead (if they have good recall). When at home, the Pyrenean Mastiff needs access to a secure garden where they can play and use up their energy. This breed responds well to regular play sessions and daily short training sessions as it helps to keep them busy and active. 


How much exercise does a Pyrenean Mastiff dog need? 60 minutes per day.

Do Pyrenean Mastiff dogs like water play? Yes, they tend to enjoy water and swimming during warmer weather.

Nutrition & Feeding

The Pyrenean Mastiff does well on a high quality dry food that has been formulated for large dog breeds. This huge dog needs a lot of food each day. As Pyrenean Mastiffs are known to suffer from gastric dilation volvulus, they need to be fed small portions rather than larger meals. A Pyrenean Mastiff puppy requires between 350 - 1120g of high quality dry food each day depending on their age and build. This is a rough estimate, as every dog is different it is important to have a personal dietary plan made for each individual. 


Are Pyrenean Mastiff dogs prone to weight gain? No.

How much should I feed a Pyrenean Mastiff puppy? Between 350 - 1120g per day depending on age and build. This food needs to be split into small portions and offered throughout the day. 

How much should I feed an adult Pyrenean Mastiff dog? Between 630 - 975g per day depending on weight and activity levels. This food needs to be offered as 2-3 meals rather than one big meal. 

Care & Maintenance

Grooming: Although the dense coat of a Pyrenean Mastiff is not prone to matting, they do shed a lot all year round. This means brushing them multiple times a week is necessary to remove dead hair and stay on top of the shedding. The amount of shedding increases in Spring and Autumn so more regular grooming will be necessary during these times. The Pyrenean Mastiff also needs to have their ears checked regularly and their nails clipped when necessary. 


Emotional Care: The Pyrenean Mastiff is an excellent watchdog that is confident, self-reliant and doesn’t mind spending a few hours alone each day. This breed builds strong bonds with their family, enjoys being with them and has a natural urge to guard and protect them. While the Pyrenean Mastiff is not particularly active, they can get bored if they aren’t going for regular walks and getting enough mental stimulation, this can lead to them exhibiting destructive behaviours. The Pyrenean Mastiff is easy to train and does best with short, interesting training sessions that avoid too much repetition. 


History of the Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiffs are a descendant of molossoid breeds and originated in the Pyrenean region between Aragon and Navarra during the Middle Ages. During this time the Pyrenean Mastiff was used to protect and herd livestock and would guard them against wolves and other predators. In the 1600s, the Pyrenean mountains were divided between France and Spain and the French developed a Pyrenean Mountain Dog while the Spanish remained with Mastiffs. 


Pyrenean Mastiff numbers dropped in the 1950s when there were no more wolves to protect livestock from but breed enthusiasts kept the breed alive. It is only recently that the Pyrenean Mastiff has been taken outside of its native region and is being seen in small numbers in the UK and USA. 

Interesting Facts About Pyrenean Mastiff Dogs

  • The Pyrenean Mastiff is a gentle herding dog.

  • Pyrenean Mastiffs are one of the largest dog breeds in the world. 

  • This breed is often confused with the Great Pyrenees

  • The Pyrenean Mastiff was developed in Spain between regions called Aragon and Navarra.

Getting a Pyrenean Mastiff Puppy

Take a look at our buying guide for information on finding and buying your new puppy. Always be aware of scams and bad practices when talking to breeders. At puppies, all of the breeders have been vetted to ensure they are responsible. If you think this is the right breed for you, take a look at our Pyrenean Mastiff puppies page to find puppies in your area. 


How much does a Pyrenean Mastiff cost to buy? £800 - £1800

How much does a Pyrenean Mastiff cost to feed? £80 per month.

How much does insurance for a Pyrenean Mastiff cost? £70 per month.


As Pyrenean Mastiffs puppies are quite rare in the UK, an alternative option is adoption. It’s best to talk to your local rescue centre about rehoming a Pyrenean Mastiff. The following associations may also be able to help: 


Rehome a Pyrenean Mastiff with the Dogs Trust

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