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Alano Español Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Care, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Dean Eby

Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

alano espanol

Alano Español Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Care, Temperament & Traits

With a large stature and distinctly primitive looks, the Alano Espanol isn’t a breed for everyone. However, for the people who can handle them, they make excellent companions. They are incredibly hard workers and were bred to work in rugged conditions, so the weather has little effect on them. An Alano Espanol can weigh nearly 100 pounds and has a well-muscled body built for maintaining high-speed runs across long distances.

Breed Overview


22–25 inches


75–90 pounds


11–14 years


Sable, fawn, yellow, wolf gray, black, brindle, black and tan

Suitable for:

Farmers, those who need a working dog, families with lots of outdoor space, experienced dog owners


Fearless, courageous, devoted, loyal, loving, affectionate, dominant, patient, quiet

Alano Espanols are jacks of all trades. They can work, hunt, and get along great with children. Yours could be a watchdog, a guard dog, a companion, or a ranch dog. With nearly endless endurance, you’ll never see an Alano Espanol get tired, even after running or working all day. They move with a surprising grace for such a large animal, with agile movements that don’t waste any energy.

Few dogs have the dominant stature and personality of an Alano Espanol, but despite their outward dominance, they act very submissively toward their owners. They’re very affectionate, quiet dogs that display the utmost obedience but will fight to the death if ordered.

Alano Espanol Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Alano Español Puppies

shot from above of two Spanish Alano puppies in a wooden box on the grass
Image Credit: miguel curiel mena, Shutterstock

If you want to add an Alano Espanol to your family, you may have problems finding one. They nearly went extinct less than 100 years ago. As industrialization progressed, large dogs like the Alano Espanol were no longer necessary for holding cattle or hunting big game, and bullfighting was outlawed. The need for dogs like the Alano Espanol began to dwindle, and in the early 1960s, the breed was believed to have died out. Luckily, a few members remained, and in the 1990s, breeders made a recovery effort to increase their number, but they’re still far from being a common sight.

Because of their incredible rarity, getting an Alano Espanol puppy is not only extremely difficult, but it’s also very expensive. Many canine federations don’t recognize them, so they can’t compete in shows. Neither the AKC nor the FCI recognizes the breed, but the Alano Espanol prices are similar to those of dogs with proven pedigrees.

Since most breeding efforts take place overseas, you must determine the cost of traveling to get your dog and the cost of shipping them back with you, both of which are costly endeavors.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Alano Espanol

The intelligent and utterly obedient Alano Espanol is the perfect canine for working, hunting, or keeping the family safe. They’re surprisingly quiet dogs that rarely bark. Instead, they watch silently, waiting for anything to alert them. They are very wary of strangers, and if they decide that defense is necessary, there won’t be any audible warning.

The Alano Espanol is willing to die for their family. They’re fearless dogs with exceptional tolerance to pain. Though they’re generally very dominant dogs, Alano Espanols are obedient to their owners. They’re very calm and centered dogs who follow orders with undying devotion. Interestingly, they show almost no aggression, even though they’re capable of cornering and holding aggressive animals.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🧑‍🧑‍🧒

You might expect such a giant breed to have problems with little children, but Alano Espanols are known to be excellent with kids and make great family pets. They’re very gentle and patient with children, which is part of why they make such great watchdogs.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Alano Espanols are pack animals. They’re social and do great with other dogs. They were bred to operate as team animals, so they get along well with other canines and enjoy playing with them. However, an Alano Espanol will never back down if a challenge is issued. They’re unlikely to tolerate cats or other small animals, but an experienced owner may have more luck socializing the dog and encouraging them to accept other pets.

Close-up of a Spanish Alano dog lying on a lawn in the garden of a house
Image Credit: miguel curiel mena, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning an Alano Espanol:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Naturally, as a large breed, Alano Espanols eat a lot of food. They don’t have any specific dietary requirements, however. Since they’re not susceptible to any major or minor health concerns, you don’t need to take any special precautions with their food. A high-quality dry food will provide adequate nutrition. You can use a big-breed-specific formula to ensure that your dog is receiving ample nutrients and the kibble is the correct size.

Exercise 🐕

Because they have such incredible endurance and muscularity, Alano Espanols require plenty of exercise. You’ll need to provide more than an hour of exercise each day, and 2 hours would be even better. They also need a lot of space to run and exercise on their own, but aside from that, you should take your Alano Espanol on three walks each day, including one that’s very long. They’re great partners for runners, and you’d find it difficult to outrun one of these canines. As long as your feet will keep moving, so will theirs!

Training 🎾

Alano Espanols are very intelligent dogs that show exceptional obedience to their owners. However, they’re also dominant, which means that you must be even more dominant to earn their respect. Therefore, it’s recommended that only experienced dog owners keep an Alano Espanol. If you don’t have a firm enough hand, the dog won’t respect you as the leader, and you’ll have a very large dog that thinks the house belongs to them. However, if you’re a confident trainer with plenty of experience handling working dogs, your Alano Espanol will be one of the best-behaved dogs you’ve ever seen.

alano espanol
Image Credit: Marcelino Pozo Ruiz, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The Alano Espanol sheds an average amount. They have very short coats, and their grooming needs are minimal. You can brush the coat once a week to prevent the loose hair from accumulating. But remember, they are meant to be outside, so the shedding shouldn’t be much of a factor. Overall, grooming an Alano Espanol is incredibly easy, as they need less maintenance than most breeds. However, they will need their teeth brushed, nails trimmed, and ears inspected regularly to stay healthy.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Alano Espanol is an ancient breed, and they were bred to work in very rough conditions. Originating from an environmentally inhospitable region, they were forced to become very hardy. While many hard breeds aren’t susceptible to multiple health conditions, Alano Espanols take that to a new level.

They rarely get sick and aren’t vulnerable to genetic abnormalities. Even when they come down with a rare sickness or disease, their incredible immune systems fight it off and allow them to overcome illnesses that should have been fatal.

Minor Conditions
  • None
Serious Conditions
  • None

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Male vs Female

Unfortunately, not much is known about temperamental differences between males and females due to their rarity and the small number of existing specimens. However, males are bigger and heavier. Males are usually 23-25 inches tall and weigh 80-90 pounds on average, while females top out at 24 inches and rarely weigh more than 85.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Alano Espanol

1. They’re One Of The Only Molosser Breeds That Don’t Drool

Molosser breeds are large and imposing in nature. They have wide chests, muscular bodies, and above-average strength. Bully breeds and Mastiffs are all part of this group, including American Bulldogs, Pit Bulls, Boxers, English Bulldogs, Great Danes, Rottweilers, Neapolitan Mastiffs, and many more.

One thing that most Molosser breeds have in common is an overabundance of saliva. Most are known for excessive drooling, but that’s not the case with the Alano Espanol. For some reason, though almost every other Molosser breed deals with excessive drooling, Alano Espanols do not slobber or drool, and they don’t even snore, either!

2. They’re Best Kept Outside

Most people feel bad about leaving their dogs outside, preferring to keep them inside with the rest of the family. Of course, not everyone feels this way, and if you think dogs should sleep outside, an Alano Espanol might be the dog for you

Few breeds are as hardy as the Alano Espanol, and they were bred to survive and thrive in rough environmental conditions, including frigid winter temperatures, incredible summer heat, high humidity levels, and a lack of moisture altogether. They can adapt to just about any climate, and even temperatures below freezing don’t bother an Alano Espanol!

3. They Have Stronger Front Than Rear Legs

Alano Espanols are incredible athletes. They’re outrageously strong with endurance capabilities that are second to none. They were often used to chase down large game, including boars, and they were expected to hold them there until the hunter arrived. Their hindquarters are well-muscled and strong, but the front legs are even more muscular. The Alano Espano alsol has larger paws than most dogs of similar stature.

spanish alano dog posing
Image Credit: miguel curiel mena, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an athletic dog without many flaws that generally accompany dogs of a similar size, the Alano Espanol is an excellent choice. Though large and muscular, these Molosser dogs don’t drool, slobber, or snore. They’re incredibly obedient to their owners, but are more suitable for experienced dog parents. They were bred to chase down and hold large game or fight bulls. They have imposing physiques and powerful muscles but are incredibly patient and gentle with children. They’re all-around great dogs, but finding one could prove difficult since they nearly went extinct just a few decades ago.

Featured Image Credit: Miguel Curiel Mena, Shutterstock

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