The primitive Pyrenean Mastiff lived in the providence of Huesca, Spain. History before this time is hard to track because the dogs traveled often with their charges and farmers as they moved about the region looking for better pastures. There is evidence of large dogs of Mastiff type in the areas known to have been migration patterns. Knowing the tradition and time frames of the practice of the shepherds we can deduce that the Pyrenean Mastiff has been at the side of their shepherds in the region for 3 to 4 milenia helping to defend their charges from wolves and bears. In the 1940s there was a decrease in bears and wolves in the region which led to the declining need for the pyrenenan Mastiff to guard livestock. This left very few lines available which led to higher levels of inbreeding. The Spanish Civil War made the situation worse as the economy was affected making it difficult to maintain such large dogs especially if they didn't have a purpose (since there was a large decline of wolves and bears in the region). A group of breeders came together led by Rafael Malo Alcrudo to begin the difficult work of recuperating the breed. They began searching the region to find examples of the breed throughout the region. They were able to gather enough dogs that led to what we have today as the modern Pyrenean Mastiff. In 1977 the Club del Mastin del Pirineo (CMPE) was founded and dedicated to the Pyrenean Mastiff. In every dog's pedigree you will see dogs from the kennel Tajadera del Tio Roy which is the most historical kennel name in our breed. This kennel belonged to Rafael Malo Alcrudo. (Brief history synopsis from the book "Mastin del Pirineo by C. De Lima-Netto written in Spanish published in 2008)
Tune in for more to come.
Photo taken in 1978 of Otto by Rafael Malo Alcrudo.