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Alano Espa√Īol (Read Spanish version)

R.S.C.E. Standard No. 406 (Not Accepted F.C.I.)
Origin: Espa√Īa
Date of publication of the original valid standard:
Utilization: The Spanish Alano is a dog traditionally used for catching fierce cattle in the mountain for their vaccination, branding and driving in general, in big game and in the defence of farms and properties.
Classification R.S.C.E.:
Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer-Molossoid Breeds ‚Äď Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other breeds.
Section 2.1 Molossoid Breeds ‚Äď Mastiff type.
Without working trial.

Brief historical summary

Coming from the Iberian Peninsula, there are references of its existence from 16th century. It is possibly descendant of the hunting dogs brought by the barbarian people after the fall of the Roman Empire. It achieves its splendour during the Middle Age until 19th century, when its popularity as cattle and big game hunting dog places it as favourite breed among a great number of outstanding personages in the history of Spain, who left complimentary bibliographic and artistic testimonies of its importance.

At the end of 19th century, with the prohibition of the participation of dogs in bullfights, the breed falls into decline, but is later favoured by a series of changes in the systems of farming, as well as by the influence of foreign breeds. Luckily, some towns in Spain are faithful to their traditions and keep on developing the work of cattle catching with their dogs as their ancestors did centuries ago. In the 80s, there appears the most important centre of population in the mountainous area called Encartaciones, leading in 2004 to the official recognition of the breed.

General Appearance

Molossoid type dog, balanced, linear profile, elongated harmonious shape, coarse. It is an eminently functional animal, with the constitution of a runner, provided with a great agility, speed and resistance, elastic movements that remind to those of a feline. Brachycephalic, square head, wide and strong skull and very marked stop, short, wide and deep muzzle.

Important Proportions

The length of the muzzle must be between 35-37 % of the total length of the head.
The length of the trunk must be 10 % longer than the height at withers.
The thoracic perimeter must be a 25 % bigger than the height at withers.

Temperament / Behaviour

In the development of its functions, the Spanish Alano has always worked in team with other adult dogs of the same sex and breed, or of others (villains,warren hounds,tracking dogs or mastiff). It is, therefore, a gregarious and sociable molossoid able to unite with other dogs which it lives with. It has great capacity to learn and excellent aptitudes as working dog, combining its functionality, beauty and firmness in working with an innate affection towards human beings. As family dog, it is easy to educate, very affectionate and patient with children. All the seriousness of its physical aspect is indeed a noble and balanced character.


Brachycephalic dog with the head in the shape of a cube, big and strong.

Slightly convex profile, plain between the ears, wide and strong, with evident and rounded frontal sinus. Cranio-facial lines must be parallel, a slight convergence is accepted, although not desirable. Never diverging. With a marked depression between the frontal sinus. Well developed temporal muscles, there is no occipital crest due to the big muscular development. Visible zygomatic arcades. The skin must be smooth, without wrinkles, except those between the ears when the dog is alert.

Stop: Very marked.

Nose: Big and wide nose with quite opened nostrils. Always black.

Muzzle: Less long than the skull, square, very wide and deep, usually represents a 37 per cent of the total length of the head, a bit shorter muzzle is accepted, unless it is under 35 % of the total length of the head. No wrinkles or folds must be seen. The chin is wide and strong, easily noticeable seen from front, its profile must not be elusive nor outstanding.

Lips: Moderately thick; the upper lip slightly hangs, covering the lower one, which is scarcely visible when the mouth is closed. Pigmentation must be always black.

Jaws / Teeth: Well-developed jawbones. Strong and healthy teeth; incisive must be big and be well aligned, canines must be short and wide, very separated. Ideal inverted scissor bite (the external part of the upper incisives is in contact with the internal part of the lower ones), although a slight prognathism is accepted. The lack of P-1 must not be considered a fault.

Cheeks: Well developed chewing muscles, never excessive.

Eyes: Medium size, separated, rounded. Colour hazelnut, amber or yellow, independently of the colour of the coat. Adhered and black eyelids. The serious expression and penetrating look is characteristic of the breed.

Ears: Medium set, very separated, usually trimmed from its base, slightly rounded and pointed, small size. If they are not trimmed, these are folded over the face and small size.


Very strong, straight, relatively short and wide. The skin is a bit more relaxed than in the rest of the body forming a slight double dewlap that will never be exaggerated.


The length of the trunk is like that to the height at withers plus a 10 % of this last, the dorsal line must be straight or slightly rising, never descending.

Withers: Defined, medium set, descending to the back. It is wide, long and strong.
Back: Straight and muscled.
Loin: Lumbar area must be relatively long, wide and strong.
Croup: Wide, strong and slightly sloping.
Chest: Fairly wide, deep and well muscled, seen from profile it descends until the height of the elbow. Its former width, between the armpits, is equivalent to 30 % of the height at withers. Arched ribs, not cylindrical, the thoracic perimeter is approximately equal to the height at withers plus a 25 per cent of this.
Abdomen: Seen from profile, the thorax shows a line rising to the abdomen. The belly must be tucked up, never whippety.


Set at medium height, thick at the root tapering to the tip. Length until the hock. In repose, it can be hanging or with the shape of a very opened hook; in action, it rises a bit arched to the loin without curling. The hair can be thicker than in the rest of the body, without forming fringes.



General Appearance: Long, straight and vertical, seen from front and from profile. Strong bones and well developed.
Back: Long, wide and oblique. Strong and long musculature. The angle of the scapular-humeral angle is about 100 degrees.
Arms: Long and strong humerus, provided with a well developed musculature. It must be parallel to the middle plane of the body.
Elbows: Parallel to middle plane of the body, not very closed to the thorax.
Forearms: Long, straight, seen from front and from profile. Strong bones and marked musculature.
Carpus (Carpal joint): Short and strong
Metacarpus (Pastern): Long and strong. They must be fairly angulated, never vertical.
Feet: Wide, typically coarse, with strong and thick pads, arched toes, firm and slightly separated. Short and strong nails. Neither the cat feet nor the hare feet are desirable.


General Appearance: Strong, long and well developed musculature but not exaggerated. Vertical and right angulated.
Thighs: Long and well defined musculature.
Knees: Parallel, the angle formed with the thighbone and the shinbone is about 120 degrees.
Legs: Long, strong bones and musculature. Strong and visible tendons.
Hock joints: High, its medium height is equivalent to a 30% of the height at withers. The tibio-tarsus articulation forms an angle of about 130 degrees.
Metatarsus (Rear Pastern): Long and strong, perfectly vertical. Slightly thinner than the metacarpus. Without spurs.
Hind Feet: Similar shape to the forefeet, but a bit smaller.

Gait / Movement

On the gait, the weight falls upon the forequarters, giving the aspect of a rhythmic movement, similar to that of the big felines. The head is carried low. The trot is large and long, similar to the gait. The gallop is fast and elastic with big extensions and flexions of the trunk. Very quick and resistant. In the judgements, the gait and the trot will be valued.



Thick, close to the body but a bit elastic, being looser in the neck and head.



Short and thick, dense, with a short and thin subhair.



  • Brindle in all shades; the black can be present in all its shades. With or without black mask.
  • Fawn in all shades, from sandy to red; the blank can be present in all its shades. With or without black mask.
  • Black or brindle: shows a distribution that in other breeds is called black and tan, although in the case of the Spanish Alano, the tanned marks are brindle. With or without black mask.

All the coats can show white stains on the limbs, chest and neck. However, it is desirable to see the less white the possible.


Size and weight

Males: 58 to 63 cm.
Females: 55 to 60 cm.

Males: 30 to 40 Kg.
Females: 25 to 35 Kg.

Note: There must be harmony between the weight and the size, accepting a difference of 2 centimetres.



Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Minor Faults:

  • Absence of one or two premolars, except p-1.
  • Marked wrinkles in the cranio-facial region.
  • Marked prognathism.
  • Slightly curling tail when the animal is in action.
  • Scissor or pincer bite in dogs over a year.

Important Faults:

  • Cranio-facial lines clearly convergent.
  • Excessively hanging lips.
  • Curved lower jawbone.
  • Excessive wrinkles on the cranio-facial region.
  • Incorrect proportions of the head.
  • Descending dorsal line.
  • Excessive light or very heave structure.
  • Clearly not straight limbs.
  • Shyness in adult dogs.
  • Unjustified aggressiveness towards other dogs or people.
  • Very extended white marks.
  • Curling tail when in repose.
  • Tail that easily surpasses the hock.

Eliminatory Faults:

  • Total or partial depigmentation of the nose or mucus.
  • Predominantly white dogs or other colour that is not previously described.
  • Crooked mouth.
  • Clearly diverging cranio-facial lines.
  • Presence of spurs or traces of its amputation.
  • Monorquid, criptorquid or castrated.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


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