Pyrenean Mastiff breed standard -
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Pyrenean Mastiff
mastin de los pireneos, pyrenean mastiff
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FCI- standard N ° 92

30. 08. 2002 г.

(Mastín del Pirineo)

Пиренейский мастиф. Стандарт породы.

Origin Country: Spain. 

Date of the publication of the official valid standard: 26.05.1982

Utilization: Guard and defense. Previously, the Pyrenean Mastiff was used to protect from predators, in particular from wolves and bears. Today he is an excellent keeper and a guard for houses and their owners. Easily trained.

F.C.I Classification:

  • Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer- Molossoid breeds – Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
  • Section 2.2 Molossoid breeds, Mountain Swiss and Cattle Dogs.

General Appearance: This dog is very large, above average height, has medium proportions, strong, muscular, harmoniously built and firm bone structure. Coat not exaggerated in length. Despite his size, he should not give the impression of a heavy or sluggish dog.

Important Proportions: Within medium proportions.

  • Well balanced and harmonious corpus. It’s length is a little over the height of withers.
  • Length of skull in relation to bridge of nose = 5 : 4.
  • Breadth of skull : Equal to or slightly larger than length.
  • Relationship of height at withers to girth of chest is approximately 7 : 10.

Behaviour / Temperament: Very friendly with humans. Calm, noble and very intelligent, at the same time courageous. Proud towards strangers from whom he never backs away. In its behaviour towards other dogs, he is good natured and aware of his superior strength. In need it  fights with great courage, thanks to its innate fighting skills — inherited from wolves — it’s distant combative ancestors. Differs by its low bark that comes from deep within his chest and its alive look in its eyes.

Head: Large, strong, moderately long. Length of skull in proportion to the bridge of its nose is 5 : 4. Longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle are either slightly diverging or almost parallel. From above, the skull and muzzle must look long and even, the same shape. The width of the muzzle at the nose leather, must not differ from the muzzle’s width at the temple. From the side, the head must look deep but not bloated.

Cranial Region: 

  • Skull : Broad, strong, slightly convex in profile. Width of skull should be equal to or slightly broader than length. Occipital bone is pronounced.
  • Stop: Gentle, barely emphasized, but still visible.

Facial Region:

  • Nose leather: Black, moist, large and broad.
  • Muzzle: From a side, the bridge of the nose must be straight. From above, the muzzle is slightly triangular, tapering very gradually from its set onto the nose leather, without, however, looking pointed.
  • Lips: The upper lip should cover the lower without any flews or slackness. The lower lip forms a marked labial corner. Mucous membranes should be black.
  • Jaws/Teeth : Scissor bite. Teeth white, strong and healthy. Canines: large, long, pointed, well adapted to each other, as to be able to easily hold prey. Molars: large and strong. Incisors: rather small. All premolars should be present. Gums black with pronounced transverse membraneous ridges.
  • Eyes: Small, almond shaped, hazel colour. Dark eyes preferred. Expression is lively, noble, sympathetic and intelligent, but can be extraordinarily stern towards an opponent. Eyelids: black pigmented. When a dog is cautious, lids fitting close to the eyeball are preferred. In repose, a slight slackness of the lower lid, which shows a small stripe of conjunctiva, is typical of the breed.
  • Ears : Medium size, triangular, hanging flat. Set above line of eyes. In repose, hanging close to cheeks. When the dog is cautious, clearly standing away from cheeks. One third of the upper and rear part should be slightly pricked. Ears should not be cropped.

Neck: Shaped as of a blunt cone, broad, strong, muscular and flexible. Skin thick and slightly loose. Distinct double dewlap, well formed, yet not exaggerated.

Body: General appearance: Rectangular, powerful and robust, giving the impression of great strength, yet supple and agile.

  • Upperline : Straight, horizontal standing and moving.
  • Withers : Well pronounced.
  • Back: Strong and muscular.
  • Loins: Long, broad and strong, gradually getting narrower towards the flanks.
  • Croup: Wide and strong. Compared to the horizontal its inclination is 45°. Height at rump equal to height at withers.
  • Chest: Broad, deep, muscular and powerful. Point of sternum protruding. Ribs spaced widely apart with rounded rib cage, not flat. Proportion of height at withers to girth of chest : approximately 7 : 10.
  • Belly and flanks: Belly moderately tucked up. Groin deep, flanks very broad.

Tail: Set on medium high. Thick at root, strong and flexible. The coat on the tail is long, soft. In repose it hangs low and reaches easily to the hocks. The last third is always slightly curved. In movement and when the dog is alert, it is carried in sabre form with a definite hook at tip but without the entire length being bent or resting over the back.



  • General appearance: From the front, absolutely vertical, straight and parallel with muscles and sinews being clearly visible. Length of the forearm is three times the length of pastern. Good strength of bone, strong pastern.
  • Shoulders: Well muscled. Shoulder blade sloping, longer than forearm. Angle of shoulder blade to upper arm approximately 100°.
  • Upper arm: Very strong.
  • Elbows: Tough, close fitting to ribcage. Angle of upper arm to forearm approximately 125°.
  • Forearm: Bone sturdy, straight and strong.
  • Pastern: Seen from side, slightly sloping, practically in continuation of forearm.
  • Front feet: Cat feet. Toes tight with strong, well arched toe bones. Nails and pads are strong and robust. Skin between toes moderately developed, hairy.


  • General appearance: Powerful, muscular. Adequate angulations, seen from the side. From the rear and side, limbs are vertical. Hocks are straight and vertical. Hindquarters must have the ability to easily provide forceful push with elegance.
  • Upper thigh: Strong and muscular. Hip joint angle is approximately 100 degrees.
  • Stifle: Angulation from upper upper to lower thigh approximately 120°.
  • Lower thigh: Long, well muscled and good strength of bone.
  • Hock: Angle open, approximately 130 degrees.
  • Hind pastern: Well defined with clearly visible achilles tendon. Dewclaws, either single or double, are either present or missing. Dewclaws can be removed but in comparison to other dogs with equal qualities double dewclaws are preferred.
  • Hind feet: Cat feet of light oval shape, slightly longer than front feet.

Gait / Movement: Preferred movement is the trot which should be harmonious, strong and elegant. No tendency for legs to swing outward. No pacing.

Skin: Elastic, thick, pink in colour, with dark pigmented patches. All mucous membranes should be black.


Fur: Dense, thick and of moderate length. The ideal medium length, measured on the middle section of the topline, should be 6 — 9 cm. The coat is longer on the shoulders, neck, under belly, at the back of legs as well as on the tail. On the plume, the texture is not as harsh as elsewhere on the body. The coat should be harsh, not soft in texture.

Color: Basic colour white, always with a well defined mask. Sometimes there are irregularly distributed distinctly outlined patches of the same colour as the mask. Triple colour or solid color dogs are undesirable. Ears always spotted. Tip of the tail and lower parts of legs are always white. Mask should be clearly defined. It is an advantage if the outline of the patches is well defined. At the roots, the coat should be as light as possible, ideally really white. The most desired colours are, in order of preference, pure white (snow-white), patches medium grey, intensive golden yellow, brown, black, grey silver, light beige, sandy or marbled. Undesirable are red patches and yellowish-white basic colour.


Height: There is no upper height limit. When quality is equal, the bigger dog is always preferred. Lower limit : Dogs: 77 cm. Bitches: 72 cm. It is, however, desirable that all dogs should exceed the lower limit considerably. Dogs should be above 81 cm, bitches 75 cm.

Flaws / Defects: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

  • Bridge of the nose slightly arched when seen from the side.
  • Pincer bite. Any missing premolar.
  • Topline not straight. Wavy, rolling movement at walking pace but not in an exaggerated way.
  • Coat slightly wavy; coat in the middle section of the topline a little longer than 9 cm.
  • Slight shyness.

Serious Disadvantages: 

  • Generally weedy or sluggish.
  • Muzzle too pointed or too blunt.
  • Slightly overshot mouth.
  • Absence of several premolars and canines if loss is not caused by an accident.
  • Slight faults in the occlusion of the incisors.
  • Cropped ears.
  • Saddleback.
  • Height much greater at the croup than at the withers.
  • Tail carried lying over the croup; lack of plume; lack of hook on the end of the tail; docked tail.
  • Extremities not vertical.
  • General weakness in pastern, rear pasterns and feet.
  • Cow hocked, either standing or moving.
  • Legs swinging out sideways in movement.
  • Coat very wavy or curly; coat in the middle section of the topline slightly shorter than 6 cm and longer than 11 cm.
  • Lack of patches on ears.
  • Generally unbalanced temperament.

Disqualifying Faults:

  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Lack of pigment in nose leather or mucous membranes.
  • Split nose.
  • Very marked overshot mouth, undershot mouth.
  • Coat in the middle section of the topline only 4 cm or shorter or longer than 13 cm.
  • Absence of white colour; absence of white on the tip of the tail and on lower parts of the legs.
  • Solid white coat colour : lack of mask.
  • Patches not clearly defined and with little contrast to basic colour which points to a cross with another breed.

Dogs with explicit behaviour or physical anomalies must be unconditionally disqualified.

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Source: original text on FCI website page. FCI