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Alano Espanol (Spanish Bulldog)
Alano Espanol or Spanish Alano is a large breed of dog of the molosser dog type, originating in Spain. The dogs have been used as cattle catch dogs, hunting, and guarding. The breed is also known for its former use during Spanish bullfights, and is sometimes called the Spanish Bulldog in English.
The Alano Español is a very large dog of the Molosser type, with a large, strong head. Males should be no smaller than 58 centimetres (23 in) at the withers, and should weigh 34–40 kilograms (75–88 lb) with females somewhat smaller.
The 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 may or may 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 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.
Despite the sometimes used English name, the Alano is not a bulldog: it should never have a flat muzzle or show signs of prognathism. The cranio-facial proportion should be 65:35, meaning a significantly longer muzzle than for instance the Boxer has.
Since the breed was used for hunting in packs, it is very sociable with other dogs. 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.
No record or history of health issues in the breed.
The name of the breed comes from the Iranian tribe of Alani, nomadic 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 for 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” (Libro de la Montería de Alfonso XI) in which hunting dogs called Alani are described as having beautiful colours. 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. It was outlawed in 1880.
Alanos were also used for hunting big game such as wild boar and deer. The Alano was used as a catch dog in Montería style hunting. Basically there are two groups of people with dogs. The chase dogs (which are a different breed than the Alano) flush out the prey, and chase them towards the second group of men and dogs. The Alano was used for catching the game when they arrived.
In 1840, the English dog dealer Bill George imported a Spanish Bulldog he called “Big Headed Billy”. He was used to increase size in English Bulldogs.
In 1880, use of dogs in the bullfighting ring was outlawed, so the breed numbers 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, using dogs in bullfights was outlawed, and by 1963 Alanos were thought to be extinct.
Spanish Alano, Spanish Bulldog, Alano
Male: 23-25 inches (58 – 64 cm)
Female: 22-24 inches (55-61 cm)
75–88 pounds (34–40 kg)
Black and Tan
Average $600 – $2000 USD
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