Spartan Dogs - Alano Español Spanish Hunting Bulldog 

Category: Dogs, Working Dogs, Molossers, Spain, Europe, Hunting Dog, Guard Dog, Fighting Dog, Bull-baiting

Alano Español Spanish Hunting Bulldog / Alano
Names Alano Espanol, Spanish Hunting Bulldog, Spaanse Alano, Alano, Spanish Alano, Spanish Bulldog, Alano Español
Origins Spain
Tasks Hunting Dog (large game), Guard Dog, Fighting Dog, Bull-baiting
Height 58-63 cm / 55-60 cm
Weight 36-40 kg / 35-38 kg
Lifespan 11-14 years
Registry RSCE
Group Molossers

The Alano Espanol or Spanish Hunting Bulldog (also Spanish Alano, Spaanse Alano or Spanish Bulldog) is a large sized, short coated, athleticly muscular, molosser type dog that was developed for the bullfights in Spain but later hunting wild boars was emphasised. For information on the heavier built more bully type version of the Alano see Perro de Toro.

The Alano Espanol Spanish Hunting Bulldog History

The Alano Espanol is an ancient breed that is thought to have arrived when the Alans brought them to the Iberian Peninsula in 406. The name of the breed comes from the Alans or Alani, nomadic pastoralists who arrived in Spain as part of the transhumance in the 5th Century. Many believe the breed is the ancestor of popular molosser breeds like the Great Dane and the Dogue de Bordeaux. Alano Espanols were never bred for their looks. Rather, they have always served a working purpose.

Dogs of this type traveled with Spanish explorers and were used as war dogs (as was their role in Eurasia before migration) in the subjugation of Indian (Native American) 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. Besides their use in the bullring Alanos were also used for hunting big game such as wild boar. Partly due to the difference in duties arose different types, although the heavier built dogs were very powerful they were less suitable for exhausting work while the lighter-built dogs excelled more in athletic fields. The result were the two types that we know today as the lighter Alano Espanol and the heavier built Perro de Toro a more bully type dog.

The large dogs began to disappear as the work they did began to change. Big game became rare, stockyards were modernized and no longer used dogs to hold the cattle, use in bullfights was outlawed, and by 1963 true working Alanos were thought to be extinct. In the 1970s a group of fanciers and veterinary students made house-to house surveys in western and northern Spain, and found a few examples of the dogs in the Basque areas of Enkarterri and Cantabria, being used to herd semi-wild cattle and hunt wild boar. A standard was written and the dogs were documented and bred, and the Alano Español was recognised as independent breed by the Spanish Kennel Club in 2004.

Today, the Alano Espanol is frequently utilized as a companion. The breed has a number of natural abilities including guarding, police work, obedience, agility, weight-pulling, herding, hunting, and tracking. They make excellent watch dogs and are infamous for their wide, firm, tenacious jaw grip.

Alano Espanol Spanish Hunting Bulldog Appearance

Body: the Alano Espanol possesses a classic, primitive appearance and a well-proportioned build. The breed's body is muscular and strong, with an arched rib cage that is not cylindrical and a chest that meets the level of the elbows. Their limbs and shoulders are sturdy, and their front legs are much brawnier than their back legs. Alano Espanols have comparatively large paws, solid withers and shoulders, and physically powerful muscles in their hindquarters. They are almost straight-backed, and their belly is somewhat retracted. Alano Espanols have a large, thick neck that features two double chins.

Head: the muzzle is short (but slightly longer than the Toro type) with the lower jaw slightly concave, and has a very large, broad, black nose. The ears are set high and may be drop or cut short. The skin is very thick, with neck folds and some wrinkles on the face. The breed has a strong set of jaws and their wide, well-developed teeth meet in a firm or inverted scissors bite.

Height at Withers: the dogs have a shoulderheight of 58 up to 63 centimetres and bitches measure 55 up to 60 centimetres.

Weight: dogs weigh 36 up to 40 kilos and bitches 35 up to 38 kilos.

Coat: the coat is short and thick but never velvety.

Colors: the Alano is most often a brindle of any color: leonado(fawn), black and brindle or sable wolf. White chest flashes are acceptable but prevelance of white is not. The face may or may not have a black mask.

Alano Espanol Spanish Hunting Bulldog Temperament

Character: Alano Espanols are very serious and domineering, but you can control them. They are very kind, protective, and gentle with their family members, and they are patient and good with children. They do not bark much, they are a very reliable, stable, and obedient breed.

Social Build: since the breed was used for hunting in packs, it was designed to generally be very sociable with other dogs. They will not be submissive when challenged by another dog or animal. They must be be well socialized with humans and other animals when young, if they are to be safely kept as pets. Strangers make Alano Espanols nervous, and they are capable of attacking without warning if they feel threatened. The breed is very determined, passionate, and loyal. They are devoted hard-workers and have a high tolerance for pain.

Alano Espanol Spanish Hunting Bulldog Socially

Care: Because of the Alano Espanol's short hair, he needs very little grooming. Brushing the coat with a rubber brush can help the shedding process and prevent him from losing excessive amounts of hair indoors. To prevent removing natural skin oils, an Alano Espanol should be bathed only as necessary. Alano Espanols are an extremely hardy breed, as they were created for hard work and rough living conditions. They are not prone to any serious injuries, nor do they snore, slobber, or drool. They have excellent immune systems and make quick recoveries from most illnesses.

Education: the breed needs regular training or a task that keeps them sharp and obedient during their life.

Activity: Alano Espanols need rigorous exercise, as a breed they are designed for work-related purposes. If kept as a family pet, an Alano Espanol should be walked daily and where possible allowed to run free for a substantial part of the day. The Alano Español needs regular activity all of their lives. Alanos can jump quite high and is one of the few dogs that can successfully climb trees.

Usability: often used as a guard dog to protect property and family. They are used to hunt boars and other large game. Alano Espanols do best as an outside dog. They are equipped to handle temperature fluctuations, and they can adapt to a variety of climates. Alano Espanols like a big yard where they have plenty of room to run and play.

Alano Espanol Spanish Hunting Bulldog Quotes / Trivia

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[ 2016-09-05 ] :: Dave
If anyone knows where I can find a alano puppy please let me no. Thanks
[ 2016-06-15 ] :: Ren Kretzmer
I\'ve been affiliated with this breed for over 15 years. Most of the info posted here is accurate however I find it odd that 2 out of the 3 photos posted are NOT of alanos but some other molosser breed/cross. Only the fawn colored dog in the snow appears to be an alano...the other 2 look to include presa, corso, or other lineage.

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