FCI Standard No. 92
Pyrenean Mastiff Mastin de los Pirineos; Mastin des Pyrenees; Pyrenean Mastiff
Standard Provided by ABIDS (All Breed International Dog Shows)
Group: II ...................... Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossians and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs.
Section: 2. .................... Molossian Type
Subsection: 2. .............. Mountain Type
Origin: Spain Info: Standard No 92 / 05.02.1996 / GB TRANSLATION: Mrs. C. Seidler.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD: 26.05.1982.
UTILIZATION: Guard and defense. Any specimen that is too shy, nervous or uneven in temperament must be excluded from breeding. Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Previously, the Pyrenean Mastiff was used for defense against beasts of prey, in particular against wolf and bear. Nowadays he is an excellent guard for country estates and their owners as he is easily trained.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: That of a very large dog, above average size and of medium proportions. Harmonious, emphatically strong and muscular. Firm bone structure. In spite of his size, must not give the impression of being heavy or sluggish. Coat not exaggerated in length.
TEMPERAMENT /BEHAVIOR: Friendly towards humans, calm, noble and very intelligent, at the same time courageous and proud towards strangers from whom he never backs away. In his behavior towards other dogs, he is good natured and aware of his superior strength. Occasionally, he will fight with great skill, an atavistic quality which goes back to hundreds of years of fighting wolves. His dark bark comes from deep within his chest. His expression is alert.
HEAD: Large, strong, moderately long. Length of skull is 5:4 in proportion to bridge of nose. Longitudinal axes of skull and muzzle are very slightly diverging to almost parallel. Seen from above, skull and muzzle must be long and even in shape without marked difference between width at set-on of muzzle and width at temple. Seen from side, head must be deep and not bulging.
General appearance: Broad, strong, slightly convex in profile. Width of skull equal to or slightly broader than length. Occipital bone pronounced.
Stop: Gentle, barely emphasized, but still visible.
Nose leather: Black, moist, large and broad.
Muzzle: Seen from side, bridge of nose must be straight. Seen from above, the muzzle is slightly triangular, tapering very gradually from its set on to the nose leather, without, however, getting too pointed.
Lips: The upper lip should cover the lower without any hint of slackness. The lower lip forms a marked labial corner. Mucous membranes should be black.
Teeth: White, strong and healthy.
Canines: Large, long, pointed, well adapted to each other, so as to be able to catch any prey.
Molars: Large and strong.
Incisors: Rather small. Scissor bite. All premolars should be present.
Eyes: Small, almond shaped, hazel color. Dark eyes preferred. Expression is alert, noble, sympathetic and intelligent, but can be extraordinarily stern towards an opponent.
Eyelids: Black pigment. When dog is alert, lids fitting close to 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 on above line of eyes. In repose, hanging close to cheeks. When dog is alert, clearly standing away from cheeks. One third of the upper and rear part should be slightly pricked. Ears should not be cropped. Gums: Black with very pronounced transverse membraneous ridges.
NECK: Should be the shape of a blunt cone, broad, strong, muscular and flexible. Skin thick and slightly loose. Distinct double dewlap, well formed, yet not exaggerated.
General Impression: Rectangular, powerful and robust, giving the impression of great strength, yet supple and agile.
Withers: Well pronounced.
Upperline: Straight. Staying horizontal standing and moving.
Back: Strong and muscular.
Loins: Long, broad and strong, gradually getting narrower towards the flanks.
Rump: Wide and strong. Compared to the topline and the ground level, 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 ribcage. 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 tail is definitely long, soft and forms a beautiful plume. In repose it hangs low and reaches at least to the hocks. The last third is always lightly curved. In movement and when the dog is alert, it is carried in sabre from with definite hook at tip but without the entire length being bent or resting over the back.
General impression: Seen from the front, vertical, straight and parallel. Muscles and sinews clearly visible. Length of forearm three times length of pastern. Good strength of bone, strong pastern.
Shoulders: Well muscled. Shoulder-blade sloping, longer than forearm.
Upper arm: Very strong. Elbows very bony, close fitting to ribcage. Forearm: Bone sturdy, straight and strong.
Angulations: Angle of upper arm to shoulder-blade approximately 100°. Angle of upper arm to forearm: Approximately 125°.
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 strong and robust. Skin between toes moderately developed, hairy.
General impression: Powerful, muscular. Adequate angulations, seen from the side. Seen from rear and side, limbs are vertical. Hocks straight and vertical. Hindquarters must have the ability to provide forceful drive with elegance.
Upper thigh: Strong and muscular. Hip joint: Angle approximately 100°.
Lower thigh: Long, well muscled and good strength of bone. Angulation from upper to lower thigh: Approximately 120°.
Hind pastern: Well defined with clearly visible Achilles tendon.
Angle at hocks: Open, approximately 130°.
Hind feet: Cat feet of light oval shape, slightly longer than front feet. Dewclaws, either single or double, are either present or missing. Their removal is permitted. In dogs of equal quality, double dewclaws are preferred.
SKIN: Elastic, thick, pink in color, with dark pigmented patches. All mucous membranes should be black.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: Preferred movement is the trot which should be harmonious, strong and elegant. No tendency for legs to swing outward. No pacing.
Texture of coat: Dense, thick and of moderate length. The ideal medium length, measured on middle section of topline, should be 6 to 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 bristly as elsewhere on the body. The coat should be bristly, not wooly in texture.
Color: Basic color white, always with a well defined mask. Sometimes there are irregularly distributed distinctly outlined patches of the same color as the mask. Tricolor or pure white dogs are undesirable. Ears always spotted. Tip of 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 clear cut. At the roots, the coat should be as light as possible, ideally really white.
The most desired colors are, in order of preference, pure white (snow-white), with medium gray, intensive golden yellow, brown, black, silver, light beige, sandy or marbled patches. Undesirable are red patches and yellowish-white basic color.
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.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: Within medium proportions. The length of the body measures barely more than the height at withers. Well balanced and harmonious all over. 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.
FAULTS: 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.
- Bridge of nose slightly arched when seen from side.
- Any missing premolar.
- Pincer bite.
- Topline not straight. Wavy, rolling movement at walking pace but not in an exaggerated way.
- Very slight shyness.
- Coat slightly wavy.
- Coat in middle section of topline a little longer than 9 cm.
- Muzzle too pointed or too blunt.
- General weakness in legs and feet.
- Extremities not vertical.
- Slightly overshot mouth.
- Absence of several premolars and canines if loss is not caused by an accident.
- Slight fault in way incisors close.
- Slight saddleback.
- Height much greater at croup than at withers.
- Front legs swinging out sideways in movement.
- Cowhocks, either standing or moving.
- Coat very wavy or curly. Coat in middle section of topline shorter than 6 cm or longer than 11 cm.
- Lack of mask or lack of patches on ears.
- Cropped ears or docked tail.
- Pronounced entropion or ectropion.
- Generally unbalanced temperament.
- Generally weedy or sluggish.
- Tail carried lying over rump, lack of plume.
- Lack of hook on end of tail.
- Split nose.
- Very markedly over or undershot.
- Lack of pigment in noseleather or mucous membranes.
- Absence of white color. Absence of white on tip of tail or lower parts of the legs.
- Coat in middle section of topline only 4 cm or shorter or longer than 13 cm.
- Patches not clearly defined and with little contrast to basic color which points to a cross with another breed.
Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.