Spanish Bulldog (Alano Español) Characteristics

The Spanish bulldog is a large breed of dog of the molosser dog type. It is also known by some other names such as Spanish Alaunt, Spanish Alano, Alano Español or simply Alano. It has been used as cattle catch dogs, hunting and guarding.

As the name suggests, the Spanish bulldog breed was originated from Spain. It’s name ‘Alano’ comes from the Iranian tribe of Alani, normadic pastoralists who arrived in Spain as part of the Migration Period in the 5th Century.

These peoples were known to keep large livestock guardian dogs and pursuit dogs which became the basis of the many regional Alaunt types. The first written reference to the breed in Spain is in a chapter of the 14th century “Book of the Hunt of Alfonso XI” in which hunting dogs called Alani are described as having beautiful colors.

Dogs of this type traveled with Spanish explorers and were used as war dogs in the subjugation of Indian peoples, as well as in the capturing of slaves. Bull-baiting, done in the bullfighting ring with dogs of this type, was recorded by Francisco de Goya in his series on La Tauromaquia in 1816 (it was outlawed in 1880).

The Spanish bulldog or Alanoes were also used for hunting big game such as wild boar and deer. They were also used as catch dog in Monteria style hunting. Actually, there are two groups of people with dogs. The chase dogs flush out the prey (which are different breed than the Alano), and chase them towards the second group of men and dogs. The Alano was used for catching the game when they arrived.

Use of dogs in the bullfighting ring was outlawed in the 1880s, so the breed began to dwindle as the work they performed began to change. Big game became rare, stockyards were modernized and no longer needed dogs to hold the cattle.[1]

Spanish Bulldog Characteristics

The Spanish bulldog is a very large dog of the Molosser type. They have large and strong head. Their coat is short and thick but never velvety, and is most often a brindle of any color (leonardo (fawn);black and brindle; sable wolf). White chest flashes are acceptable but prevalence of white is not.

The face of the Spanish bulldog may or many not have a black mask. The head is the shape of a cube and is brachycephalic. The muzzle is short with the lower jaw slightly concave. And their nose is very large, broad and black. Their ears are set high and may be drop or cut short. Their skin is very thick, with neck folds and some wrinkles on the face.

The male Spanish bulldog should be no smaller than 23 inches at the withers. And their average live body weight is between 34 and 40 kg. And the females are somewhat smaller.

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Temperament

The Spanish bulldogs are very sociable with other dogs, since the breed was used for hunting in packs. All large dogs must be well socialized with humans and other animals when young, if they are to be safely kept as pets. Large working dogs, such as the Alano Español, need regular training and activity all of their lives.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Spanish bulldog is between 11 and 14 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. 3 to 4 cups of high quality dry food a day is recommended for a mature dog. Avoid overfeeding since these dogs have a tendency to bloat. You can consult with your vet for better recommendation.

Caring

Owing to its big size and hunting background, these dogs need plenty of exercises every day including long walks at least twice, coupled with ample space to play and run around.

With minimum grooming needs, these short-haired dogs would suffice with a weekly brushing using a rubber brush that would help to remove the coarse hair. Unlike most molossers, this breed does not slobber or drool. Bathe them only when they get dirty as excessive washing leads to a dry skin resulting in itching and scratching.

Health

No record or history of health issues in the breed. However, being a large dog breed, the Spanish bulldogs are sometimes likely to be prone to hip dysplasia and bloating.

Breed NameSpanish Bulldog
Other NamesSpanish Alaunt, Spanish Alano, Alano Español or simply Alano
Breed SizeLarge
Height23 to 25 inches tall at the withers for males, and 22 to 24 inches for females
WeightBetween 34 and 40 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorAny kind of brindle; leonardo (fawn); black and brindle; sable wolf , blue
Lifespan11 to 14 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginSpain

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