Pyrenean Mastiff Dog Breed

White & Black Pyrenean Mastiff
  • Other names:
  • Perro Mastin Del Pireneo
  • Mastin Del Pirineo
  • Mastin D'aragon
  • Masti Del Pirineu
  • View all 4...

Pronunciation: [pyr·e·ne·an mas·tiff]

This ancient Molosser breed may look a little like a number of other giant mountain dogs, but those who are familiar with the breed will know the finer differences. These dogs have been around for centuries and are highly prized where they remain "employed" as Livestock Guardian Dogs. The FCI recognized the breed in 1954, shortly before the breed was nearly extinct. The AKC placed the dog in its Foundation Stock Service (FSS) in 2014.

Pyrenean Mastiff Breed Details

Breed Specs
Purebred8-13 yrs.28-30 in.150-190 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

The Pyrenean Mastiff is classified in the Working Dog Group by the AKC and as a Molossoid in the Swiss Mountain Dog group by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). For several centuries, these dogs kept the cattle, people, and property protected against predators. (In the mid-20th century, when their services were no longer needed, they were literally let go in droves — which led to their near-extinction.) Because of their heritage, they are extremely intelligent dogs who are not good for first-time owners even though they are great for families with responsible children headed up by a person who knows how to train this breed or at least similar ones.

In any case, be sure to consider the below lists if you are thinking of getting a Pyrenean Mastiff.


  • Very friendly
  • Extremely intelligent
  • Few health problems
  • Bonds closely with family
  • Highly protective of property
  • Gets along well with other pets
  • Wonderful family-oriented dogs
  • Can make excellent therapy dogs
  • Easy to train for the right person
  • Won't hesitate to face threats to loved ones


  • Costly to keep
  • Can bark a lot
  • Not hypoallergenic
  • Aloof to strangers
  • May drool copiously
  • Expensive to acquire
  • Has annual coat blow-outs
  • Not good for apartment living
  • When threatened, can be very fearsome
  • Must be trained and socialized very early
  • Requires high, strong fencing or walls outside

Pyrenean Mastiff Breed Description

There is a moderate amount of Pyrenean Mastiff info available. This massive Molosser was nearly extinct not too many decades ago, but there are dedicated breeders who have kept this great breed alive and well.

This is a remarkably intelligent dog. They have centuries of working herds and protecting property on their own. Their innate sense of the intentions of people and other animals is uncanny. The breed is well-known for successfully coping with all manner of situations. They have the ability to understand when confrontation is needed and, more importantly, when it is not.

They understand their strength and potential ferocity, and so these dogs tend to be very calm unless threatened. They are also deeply devoted to their family, and they won't hesitate to go into protection if needed. Their loyalty, desire to please, and eagerness to romp will delight you to no end!

These dogs are fine with a minimum of exercise. If you have a yard and wish to let them run freely in it, you absolutely must have a high and extremely strong fence or wall. They aren't good for apartment living. They are big dogs, and while apartment living may be a bit strained because of their size, their low exercise needs help make it easier in other ways.

Pyrenean Mastiff Temperament

When it comes to the Pyrenean Mastiff temperament, these Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD) are gentle, protective, loving, and serious. They are not aggressive, but they will not hesitate to stand between their loved ones and a threat, much like they are bred and trained to do as working dogs.

This breed requires very early obedience training done with patience and positivity. They grow into very large, strong dogs that, if they aren't taught to behave, can be very difficult to handle when playing, walking, or meeting your friends. Beyond obedience training, they need a significant task. Above all, they must have an alpha human or they will simply rule the household, as they don't respect passive "masters."

Socialization and familiarity with all manner of general noises and situations are practically mandatory too. They should also understand that not everything that moves loudly or suddenly — such as children playing and shouting — is a threat. They will be aloof to strangers and tend to keep a distance until they are comfortable, and that is to be expected.

Pyrenean Mastiff Photos

Below are pictures and images of the Pyrenean Mastiff.

White & Black Pyrenean Mastiff
White & Tan Pyrenean Mastiff
White & Black Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiff Health

The size of the Pyrenean Mastiff is the reason for most of this breed's hereditary health problems, but even then, there are not many concerns. It should be noted that there remains not as much known about these dogs as with most breeds. You should be sure to have a full check-up and genetic testing of your puppy as well as all the requisite vet certifications such as those from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) when the dog is able to get them.

You should be aware of the basic issues that can occur:

  • Bloat
  • Eye ailments
  • Joint dysplasia
  • Jawbone problems
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

The typical lifespan for a Pyrenean Mastiff is 8 to 13 years.

  • Bloat
  • Ectropion
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Entropion
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • View all 6...

Pyrenean Mastiff Breed Recognition

The following dog breed registries and organizations recognize the Pyrenean Mastiff as a dog breed:

  • Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • Foundation Stock Service
  • American Canine Association, Inc.