The Alano Espanol, which is also known as the Perro de Presa Español

The history of the Alano Español is rich and spans many centuries. This Spanish dog breed, also known as the Spanish Alano, is among the oldest molossoid breeds in the world.

The Alano Español is often confused with the Cane Corso because of some similarities, but they are two separate breeds with their own characteristics. The Alano Español was originally bred as a versatile working dog for farmers and herders in Spain.

They were used for tasks such as guarding livestock, protecting against wild animals and even bullfighting. These dogs had to be fast and agile to handle livestock and were strong and determined to perform their tasks.

The appearance of an Alano Espanol

The appearance of the Alano Español is impressive and characteristic of the breed. This Spanish bulldog has a powerful and muscular body with a robust build. They have a broad head with strong jaws and a distinctive muzzle.

The Alano Español usually has a short, smooth coat that is available in various colours, including fawn, brindle and black and tan. A distinctive feature of the Alano Español is the black mask around the muzzle, which offers a striking contrast to their coat colour. Sometimes there may be white spots on their chest or paws.

The Alano Español’s head is imposing and exudes power, befitting their status as molossoid-type dogs. Their overall head length is impressive, and the skull is thick at the base. The Alano Español has a feisty character, but is very controllable and trainable with the right approach.

They are known for their cheerful and playful personalities, especially when given the necessary exercise. As social and energetic dogs, they thrive in active environments and can make excellent companions for those willing to cater to their needs.

Hereditary diseases and disorders

Hereditary diseases and disorders can unfortunately also occur in the Alano Español, as they do in many other dog breeds. Here are some common health problems that can occur in the Alano Español:

  • Hip dysplasia: This is an inherited condition where the hip joint does not fit together properly, which can lead to pain and lameness.
  • Elbow dysplasia: A condition in which deformities occur in the elbow joint, which can lead to arthritis and pain.
  • Gastric torsion: A sudden distension and rotation of the stomach, which is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Skin problems: Some Alanos may be prone to skin conditions such as allergies or pyoderma.
  • Eye disorders: Hereditary eye problems such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy can occur in this breed.
  • Heart problems: Cardiac disorders, such as dilating cardiomyopathy, can also occur.
  • Knee problems: Patellar luxation, in which the kneecap slides out of its normal position, can occur.

The character of the Alano Español

The character of the Alano Español is remarkable and can be described as balanced, playful, very obedient and very controllable.

This molosser has a strong personality and is easy to train, which makes it a great companion for experienced owners. Both male and female Alanos have these traits. They are known for their affection and playfulness, both with people and other dogs, making them social pets. The Alano Español needs plenty of exercise to get rid of its energy, and they can be excellent sporting dogs.

Their character is so balanced that they can serve as reliable guardian dogs that will protect their owner if needed, without being aggressive towards strangers. Although they can be dominant, they respond well to a consistent but not harsh approach.

This breed was bred to work and naturally has high speed and powers to jump high from a standstill. This breed was never bred for dog fighting, contrary to the misconception that sometimes exists.

The Care of the Alano Español

The care of the Alano Español requires attention to their active and playful nature. These dogs need plenty of exercise to release their energy, and they thrive on daily running and play sessions. They are suitable for owners who work all week, but need to ensure adequate exercise.

The Alano Español is very controllable by its owner and responds well to training, so it is important to train them with a consistent and positive approach. Because of their social and playful nature, they get along well with other dogs, but a certain amount of leadership is needed to ensure harmonious interactions.

As for nutrition, it is crucial to provide a balanced diet appropriate to their energy level. This strong and healthy molosser needs a healthy diet to stay in top condition.

Socialisation and upbringing of the Alano Español

Socialisation and upbringing of the Alano Español are crucial to ensure that these powerful and playful dogs become balanced and well mannered.

From an early age, when they are still an Alano Español puppy, it is important to expose them to different situations, people and other dogs, to prevent them from becoming fearful of strangers. Make sure they have positive experiences to boost their self-confidence.

Although these dogs are generally very obedient and very controllable, they do need consistent upbringing. However, a harsh approach is not necessary; a balanced and positive training method usually works best.

Use rewards and praise to encourage good behaviour, and avoid punishment methods that can cause aggression. Socialisation helps them interact playfully with other dogs, but leadership is needed to avoid conflict. These dogs are very affectionate and have a strong bond with their owner. They instinctively understand the need to protect their owner when needed.

How much experience does an Alano Español require

The level of experience required to keep an Alano Español depends on several factors, including the individual dog, temperament and the owner’s needs. Although the Alano Español is generally considered a balanced and reliable breed, there are some aspects to consider.

These dogs have a strong personality and are naturally very playful. They need sufficient exercise and mental stimulation to thrive. Experience with other dog breeds like the Cane Corso can be helpful, but it is not necessarily required to successfully raise this breed.

It is essential to show leadership and take a consistent, but not harsh, approach when raising an Alano Español. They instinctively understand the need for leadership and protection.

Those who have experience training dogs will find that Alanos are very trainable, but this does not mean that beginners cannot learn. It is important to remember that each dog is individual, and training should be tailored to their specific needs and temperament.

Is training necessary?

Training is necessary with the Alano Español, as with most dog breeds. This dog breed is known for its strong and dominant nature, and it is essential to provide good obedience training from an early age. This breed needs a firm hand to reach its potential as an obedient companion.

Because of their playful nature and powerful build, Alanos can appreciate agility training, which challenges them physically and mentally. This can help them release their energy and stay balanced.

The Alano Español has traditionally been bred for activities such as participating in Spanish bullfights and protecting livestock. This means they naturally jump high and are willing to show strength when necessary.

The Alano Español’s character, although feisty, is very controllable and well trainable by an experienced owner. However, a harsh approach is not necessary. Instead, they respond well to positive training methods that provide leadership and clarity.

How is it getting along with children?

The Alano Español is generally a gentle and loyal dog, which often makes them excellent companions for children. They have a strong character and are good at handling different situations, including the presence of children.

Because of their playful and energetic nature, Alanos get along well with children and enjoy running and playing. They have a protective instinct, which can help ensure children’s safety. However, as with any breed of dog, supervision is always essential when children and dogs are together.

It is important to introduce and learn to respect handling between children and an Alano Español from an early age. A well-trained Alano can be patient and loving, but a harsh approach is not necessary.

The Alano Español’s character generally makes them suitable for families with children, but as with any breed, individual dogs’ behaviour can vary.

Benefits of an Alano Español

  • The Alano Español is a unique and interesting breed with several advantages and disadvantages.
  • Strong and Healthy Breed: The Alano is known for its robust health and physical strength. They are generally free of many genetic disorders.
  • Loyal and Protective: These dogs are very loyal to their families and have a natural inclination towards protection. They can provide a sense of security.
  • Energetic and Playful: Alanos are very energetic and love to play. They can make great companions for active families.
  • Suitable for Sport: Because of their athletic build and agility, Alanos can excel in various dog sports.

Disadvantages of an Alano Español

  • Strong Leadership Needed: This breed needs a strong leader to thrive. It is important that owners establish a clear hierarchy and show consistent leadership.
  • Social Socialisation Required: Alanos need to be well socialised at an early age to ensure they get along well with strangers and other dogs.
  • Lots of Exercise Required: They need daily exercise and stimulation to prevent boredom.
  • Not Suitable for First Dogs: Due to their strong character and need for clear guidance, Alanos may not be suitable for first-time dog owners.

How old will an Alano Español get?

The life expectancy of an Alano Español varies and depends on several factors, including genetics, diet, exercise and overall health care. In general, Alanos have a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years.

To ensure that your Alano lives a healthy and long life, it is important to take good care of him.
Provide a balanced diet appropriate to his age, activity level and health status. Regular exercise is also essential, as Alanos are very active dogs that need daily exercise to stay fit and happy.

Price of an Alano Español

The Alano Español, or Spanish Alano, is an exceptionally rare breed, even within its homeland of Spain. This rarity makes it quite a challenge to find one in the US, including determining a potential price point.

Price: With the scarcity of breeders in the US, it’s difficult to set a definitive price range. Should you come across a breeder, be prepared for a high cost, possibly over $5,000, reflecting their rare status even in Europe.

Finding an Alano Español:

  • Breeders: It’s unlikely to find breeders in the US specifically focused on this breed.
  • Rescue: Finding an Alano Español through US rescue organizations is highly improbable due to their rarity.

Alternatives to Consider:

If the Alano Español’s robust, muscular physique and working-dog characteristics appeal to you, here are some similar breeds available in the US:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier: A muscular and lively breed, needing an experienced owner due to their strength and headstrong nature. Prices range from $800 to $2,000.
  • Cane Corso: Known for its loyalty and trainability, this large, powerful breed typically costs between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Dogo Argentino: Originating from Argentina for big-game hunting, this breed is large, athletic, and suited for experienced owners. Expect prices from $1,500 to $3,000.

Important Considerations:

  • Importing a Dog: Bringing a dog from abroad involves dealing with regulations, necessary vaccinations, and possibly quarantines, making the process complex and costly.
  • Responsible Breeding: Should you find a US breeder with Alano Español puppies, ensure they follow ethical breeding practices focused on health and temperament.

Tips for Finding Rare Breeds:

  • Contact Breed Clubs: Although a specific Alano Español club may not exist in the US, reaching out to the Spanish national club could provide leads on breeders willing to export to the US, though expect significant hurdles and potential high costs.
  • Rare Breed Registries: Organizations like the United Kennel Club (UKC) or the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) might help connect you with breeders of rare breeds.

Remember: Choosing a dog breed is a significant decision. Given the Alano Español’s scarcity, thoroughly consider other breeds that may offer a better fit for your lifestyle in terms of availability and suitability.


About the Author: Giovanni

After a dedicated 20-year career as a veterinarian, I now share my passion and knowledge on my blog focused on pet wellness. My experience covers everything from preventive care to treating complex conditions. I strive to provide animal lovers with valuable insights on the health and happiness of their pets, from nutritional advice to behavioral guidance.