Today’s Alano Espanol – or Spanish bulldog as it is called in English – probably inherited its genes from the large Mastiff dogs, which were brought by the Alani tribe when they invaded the Iberian Peninsula during the 5th century.
This ancient breed is considered to be the ancestors of molosser breeds that are very popular nowadays (e.g. Great Dane or Dogue de Bordeaux).
A group of Alano fanatics, headed by Carlos Contera, spent most of their time in the early 1980s, tracing the demographic location of this particular breed, which disappeared in 1883 after it was banned in all bullfight events (a brutal kind of entertainment in which dogs and bulls fight each other).
They thoroughly searched all of Spain’s secluded areas, including cattle ranches where these dogs were once used for hunting expeditions.
After the long search, they found a few of them both in the southwest of Spain and the central plateaus. Also, large numbers were seen up north (Encartaciones Valley), with approximately 300 dogs.
In the past, the Spanish bulldog has been used primarily in bullfights and in wild boar hunting. Moreover, they were also used in farms to guard livestock and had also participated during wars.
Traits and Behavior
Spanish bulldogs are classified as guardian dogs. They are very dominant and serious but readily submit to their master thus, can be easily trained and controlled. This breed is very affectionate with its owner and the people it knows.
They are reliable, stable, very obedient and bark not so often. The dog may be suspicious and wary towards strangers yet they are not typically aggressive towards other dogs.
Alano dogs will attack with little warning and only if the situation requires it. Spanish bulldogs are expected to have a bit of hunting instincts and therefore often need more time getting used to the presence of small animals.
With its strong jaws, its grip is unbelievably powerful. Once the Spanish bulldog fearlessly gets its teeth in, regardless of the size, nature, or aggressiveness of its opponent, nothing can shake this breed off.
Spanish bulldogs ignore feelings of pain or fear, and will not surrender until it achieves the given orders. In other words, the Alano will fight to the death.
Pet Care and Diseases
Spanish bulldogs are generally healthy. With their strong physique and immune system, they are not prone to suffer from any disease in particular. However, check if hip dysplasia is present.
The Alano Espanol is quite a short-haired dog and requires little grooming or brushing. An occasional brushing with a rubber brush will help him to shed his coarse, rustic hair and will prevent him from dropping a lot of hair inside the house.
This breed has never been bred for looks. Instead, it has been used to work hard in rural areas under tough conditions for many centuries, where only the fittest would survive.
Consequently, it can stand hot or cold temperatures and even dry or humid regions. They are best suited to sleep or live outside the house.
Bathe only when necessary as it will remove the natural oils that protect its skin.
If they are being kept as mere household pets, the owner needs to give them a lot of daily exercises, at least thrice a week in an open space where they can run and play.
Males stand 58-64 cm tall while females are 56 to 61 cm tall. Both genders could weigh approximately 34-40 kg.
Spanish bulldogs have a muscular physique with a proportional body length. The whole body is covered with short hairs. They have powerful legs which allow them to run for miles without being exhausted. Typical physiognomy is fierce and wrinkled.
This dog has a small set of ears that may drop sometimes. The large neck is thick and highlights a double-chin. The tail is short and hanging.
The breed is recognized in a variety of colors, except for white which is not accepted by the experts. The thick fur coat includes colors like yellow and wolf gray, fawns and reds (in either light or dark tones).
The estimated life of an Alano Espanol is 11 to 14 years. The maximum litter size is 14 puppies. Alano Espanol is also known as the Spanish Bulldog, Spanish Alano, Spanish Bulldogge Chato de Presa, Chato Salmantino, Perro de Toro, Perro de Presa Espanol, Dogo de Burgos, Mastin de jabalines, Alano de Carnicero and Mastin de Pelo Corto.
Visit this dog club website dedicated to Spanish Bulldogs. Click this link: