Spartan Dogs - Perro de Toro Spanish Bulldog 

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

Perro de Toro Spanish Bulldog / Perro de Toro
Names Perro de Toro, Spanish Bulldog, Presa de Toro, Perro Del Toro, Chato de Presa, Dogo de Burgos, Toroperro Bulldog
Origins Spain
Tasks Guard Dog, Fighting Dog, Bull-baiting
Height 54-61 cm / 50-58 cm
Weight 41-52 kg / 39-48 kg
Lifespan 10-12 years
Group Molossers

The Perro de Toro or Spanish Bulldog (also Presa de Toro, Perro Del Toro, Chato de Presa or Dogo de Burgos) is a large sized, short coated, athleticly muscular, molosser type dog that was developed for the bullfights in Spain and today is used as a guard and family dog. For information on the lighter built more athletic type version of the Perro de Toro see Alano Espanol.

The Perro de Toro Spanish Bulldog History

The Perro de Toro is a variation of the Alano Espanol and both descend from an ancient breed that is thought to have arrived when the Alans brought them to the Iberian Peninsula in 406. Many believe the breed is the ancestor of popular molosser breeds like the Great Dane and the Dogue de Bordeaux (the Toulouse type of Dogue de Bordeaux shows are remarkable number of similarities with the Perro de Toro). In those days there were not 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 these dogs 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 most of these dogs were kept in North Spain as guard dogs or pets. The Alano Español was recognised as independent breed by the Spanish Kennel Club in 2004. While the Perro de Toro is still considered by most as just a more bully version of the Alana Espanol, breeders are trying to educate the public on their difference both in appearance and characteristics. Meanwhile like for example with the American Bulldog these different types coexist.

The Perro de Toro make excellent watch dogs and like its more known type (Alano) are infamous for their wide, firm, tenacious jaw grip.

Perro de Toro Spanish Bulldog Appearance

Body: the Perro de Toro possesses a classic, primitive appearance and a heavy but well-proportioned build. The breed's body is very 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. Perros de Toro 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. Perros de Toro have a large, thick neck that features two double chins.

Head: the muzzle is short (slightly shorter than the Alano) 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 several 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 54 up to 61 centimetres and bitches measure 50 up to 58 centimetres.

Weight: dogs weigh 41 up to 52 kilos and bitches 39 up to 48 kilos.

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

Colors: the Toro 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.

Perro de Toro Spanish Bulldog Temperament

Character: Perros de Toro 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 stubborn and independant, but are very reliable, stable, and obedient breed.

Social Build: generally they are very sociable with other dogs, but 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 Perros del Toro 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.

Perro de Toro Spanish Bulldog Socially

Care: Because of the Presa de Toro'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, a Perro de Toro should be bathed only as necessary. Perros de Toro 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 or if they do only by exception. 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: Perros de Toro need good exercise, should be walked daily and where possible allowed to run free for a substantial part of the day. The Perro de Toro needs regular activity all of their lives. Perros de Toro 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. Perros de Toro do best as an outside dog. They are equipped to handle temperature fluctuations, and they can adapt to a variety of climates. Perros de Toro like a big yard where they have plenty of room to run and play.

Perro de Toro Spanish Bulldog Quotes / Trivia

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