Gran Mastin de Borinquen

90-130 lbs
22-26"
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican Mastiff, Mastín Borincano, Becerillo de Borinquen and Perro Barsino de Hacienda

The Gran Mastin de Borinquen is native to Puerto Rico and was mainly used as guard dogs or in blood sports. This is an old breed that is believed to date back to the 16th century and is directly descended from the Spanish Mastiff and various native dogs. While these dogs are mainly used as guard dogs, they have been used in dog fighting rings and also to hunt wild boar. Their tenacious attitude made them a favored breed in Puerto Rico, however, because of their volatile tempers are not necessarily ideal for families with young children. The Gran Mastin de Borinquen is a loyal breed but needs a strong leader in the home to keep them under control. 

Purpose
Guard Dog
Date of Origin
16th Century
Ancestry
Spanish Mastiff, Perros Jibaros

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Health

Average Size
Male Gran Mastin de Borinquen size stats
Height: 24-28 inches Weight: 99-150 lbs
Female Gran Mastin de Borinquen size stats
Height: 22-26 inches Weight: 90-130 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Skin Allergies
Occasional Tests
  • Yearly Eye Exam
  • Yearly Physical Examination
  • OFA on hips and elbows

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Breed History

The Gran Mastin de Borinquen, commonly known as the Puerto Rican Mastiff, is the only breed native to Puerto Rico. Many believe that the Gran Mastin de Borinquen originated during the 16th century and descends from Spanish Mastiffs brought to Puerto Rico by Spain’s military. These Spanish Mastiffs were crossed with Latin American Molossers and then the Perros Jibaros were added into the mix. Perros Jibaros are simply island dogs of unknown origins. The resulting dog from these crosses was a massive, ferocious dog. Through the years this breed has even been described as being blood thirsty. The breed was used to terrorize Spanish colonists during the Spanish Encomendado. Guards would send these dogs out to attack and kill colonists that did not willingly follow the laws set by the government. For centuries the Gran Mastin de Borinquen was used by the Spanish nobility to protect their estates because of the breed’s size and propensity toward aggression. During the time of slavery in Puerto Rico, the Gran Mastin de Borinquen was used by plantation owners to keep the slaves from disobeying. During this dark time in Puerto Rico, hundreds of runaway slaves were attacked and killed by these dogs. The Gran Mastin de Borinquen is an easily adaptable breed able to handle the cold, wet climate of the rain forest and the hot, humid climate of the plains and valleys. People used to be able to trade for or purchase a Gran Mastin de Borinquen fairly easily, however, the breed is now considered rare and is somewhat difficult to find. Their storied past has contributed to their downfall; however, enthusiasts of the breed understand that their fierceness and aggressive nature stems from their loyalty to their master. In 1979 the Gran Mastin de Borinquen was recognized by the Sociedad Cynologica Caribena or SCC as a rare breed.

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Breed Appearance

The Gran Mastin de Borinquen is a large dog with a robust body and massive head. Their body is well muscled but should not look bulky, they need to be able to quickly traverse various terrains. The Gran Mastin de Borinquen has ears that hang, although some do crop the ears. Their head is broad and boxy. They have a scissors bite. The muzzle is narrower than the skull but still broad with a large nose and open nostrils. The nose is always black. Their eyes are dark brown and somewhat small, they should have an intelligent and alert expression. The Gran Mastin de Borinquen has a short to medium coat that is dense and harsh to the touch. They can be found in fawn, black, brindle or bone white. There can be white spots on their head, legs, tail or chest but white areas should not be overly large.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Gran Mastin de Borinquen eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Gran Mastin de Borinquen nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
white Gran Mastin de Borinquen coat
White
brindle Gran Mastin de Borinquen coat
Brindle
fawn Gran Mastin de Borinquen coat
Fawn
black Gran Mastin de Borinquen coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Gran Mastin de Borinquen straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Breed Maintenance

The Gran Mastin de Borinquen is a relatively low maintenance breed. To keep their coat in top condition, they do need to be brushed at least once a week using a natural bristle brush, soft slicker brush or even a hound glove. Start brushing them at an early age so they become used to the handling. They do not have a strong doggy smell. This breed should not be bathed too often. Bathing often can cause skin issues because the harshness of the shampoos will strip the natural oils from their coat and skin. When it is necessary to give them a bath, use a gentle shampoo or one formulated for sensitive skin. Clean their ears weekly using alcohol wipes or cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide. Make sure the ears are dry after cleaning. Check their nails every few weeks and clip them as needed. Being a mastiff-type breed, the Gran Mastin de Borinquen will drool especially after eating or drinking. It is a good idea to keep a drool rag handy to wipe any excess drool. 

Brushes for Gran Mastin de Borinquen
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Gran Mastin de Borinquen requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Temperament

The Gran Mastin de Borinquen is a loyal breed and will form a close bond with their master. Because of this loyalty and strong bond they can become overly protective and aggressive towards anyone they perceive as a threat to their master. Having been used in dog fighting rings and even as war dogs, they are not the ideal pet for just anyone. They will require continual training throughout their life and a strong master to keep them under control. The Gran Mastin de Borinquen does not do well with other household pets or even other dogs. They should not be left alone with any other animals. They are known to have a volatile temper and therefore are not a child’s dog. They should not be kept in a home with children or even weak or frail adults. The Gran Mastin de Borinquen requires a strong, secure fence to keep them contained when outside. They are not recommended for homes where there is no secure fence. These dogs have been known to attack without warning when they feel their master is being threatened. 

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Activity Requirements

The Gran Mastin de Borinquen is not a high energy dog but they are not slugs either. This breed does need to go for several brisk walks each day. When walking a Gran Mastin de Borinquen, they must be kept on a secure leash and collar and kept under control at all times. They do not do well interacting with other dogs and should never visit a dog park. Playing games in the backyard between walks is a great way to keep them active and happy. Daily training sessions are also a good way to bond with them and get them the daily exercise they require.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.50 - $1.90
Monthly Cost
$39.00 - $52.00

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Gran Mastin de Borinquen size stats at six months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 62 lbs
Female Gran Mastin de Borinquen size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 52 lbs
12 Months
Male Gran Mastin de Borinquen size stats at 12 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 90 lbs
Female Gran Mastin de Borinquen size stats at 12 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 85 lbs
18 Months
Male Gran Mastin de Borinquen size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 115 lbs
Female Gran Mastin de Borinquen size stats at 18 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 100 lbs

Gran Mastin de Borinquen Owner Experiences

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