HomeDog breedsRare Dog Breeds Guide | Alano Español the Spanish Bulldog

Rare Dog Breeds Guide | Alano Español the Spanish Bulldog

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spanish bulldog

The alano español is a large and muscular dog who can be a fierce protector of the family.

Although training is essential for every breed, it’s especially important to ensure these dogs don’t exhibit their fighter roots and instead remain loyal companions.

These serious-looking canines are a more rare breed, with a small population in Spain and unrecognized in North America.


Alano Español Quick Stats

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 75-88 lbs.
  • Height: 22-24 inches (females tend to be smaller)
  • Coat: Short
  • Grooming: Low-maintenance
  • Exercise: High-maintenance
  • Color: Gray, red, yellow and brindle colors (black, tan)
  • Lifespan: 11-14 years on average
  • Health: Good
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Temperament: Good
  • Cost: $600-$800


Alano Español: An Overview

Alano españols were brought to Spain by Iranian nomads around the fifth century.. However, since they’re an ancient breed, they don’t have a well-documented history.  You may also hear them referred to as a Spanish bulldog or Spanish alano. The molosser/mastiff type breed was originally meant to hunt, herd and guard. Today, some are still used to herd cattle. Unfortunately, although illegal, some are still used in fighting rings. They are well-known for their jaws and ability to grip prey.

Their protective nature means they’re loyal companions when trained by a confident and persistent person. These large dogs are high energy and need a good amount of exercise each day to burn it off.

Although there’s some alanos in Spain, they aren’t acknowledged or popular in the United States. However, similar breeds are well-known in the U.S. These include the Spanish Mastiff and Dogo Canario.

Alanos are suitable for both cold and hot climates.


Alano Español Grooming

Alano’s are an easy dog when it comes to coat maintenance. Since they have short hair, a brushing about once a month is usually good. However, they shed, so when shedding season is in full swing, more brushings will help keep the home clean. You also won’t need to bathe them more than a few times each year. In fact, bathing too frequently can lead to dry and irritated skin.

As with every dog, you’ll still need to trim their nails as needed.


Training an Alano Español

Training is a non-negotiable for an alano español. If you’ve never trained a dog before or are a new dog owner, an easier-to-train breed is probably a better idea. Alano’s can be stubborn and unlike most large breeds, housebreaking them can be difficult. A person who has patience and firmness will do best with this breed.

Since these dogs were historically fighters, having a dominant and strong personality is essential so that the alano feels he has a leader. Although training her to “stop,” “come” and “stay” is a good starting place, these commands can go out the window if she’s threatened and attacks another animal or person. That’s why it’s better to try to prevent those situations by socializing her early along with learning how to skillfully introduce her to new friends. With that being said, you may want to avoid meeting strangers on walks until you’re confident your alano has been trained and socialized enough in controlled settings.

Luckily, also because of their history, alanos are hardworkers and love being mentally stimulated through training sessions.


Alano Español Socialization and Temperament

Alano espanol, spanish bulldog
Source: Alanjones5, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

A well-trained Alano is a calm and loyal dog. However, because they used to be hunters and sometimes used in fighting rings, they can have a dominant nature. This is why an experienced dog owner is preferred. Alano’s need a strong trainer who can be firm and patient when the dog is stubborn.

As with all dogs, it’s essential that they’re socialized early on. This means safely introducing them to other people and dogs so he learns how to interact with them. With socialization and proper training, alano’s are loyal, caring and protective family dogs. They get along well with children, although they can be very cautious with strangers. For this reason, you should always watch them very closely around new people. They don’t always give signs of upset before they attack, so having them on a controlled leash is a good idea.

Although Spanish bulldogs may try to dominate dogs of the same gender, they generally get along with other household dogs.

Their dominant yet gentle nature makes them a well-balanced dog suitable for families who can take control.


Alano Español Health

Alano’s are thought to be generally healthy dogs with no main health problems. However, as with many large dog breeds, hip dysplasia. It’s worth noting that alano’s have a small population, especially outside of Spain. For that reason, any possible health issues are likely lesser-known than more popular breeds. If you’re getting an alano from a breeder, you can inquire about the dog’s specific family health history.

Another possible issue to watch out for is bloating. Since they need to eat 3-4 cups of food per day, they should be spaced out. If given at one time, the large amount of food eaten quickly can lead to bloating.

An interesting fact is that unlike other similar breeds, alanos don’t excessively snore and drool.


Alano Español Exercise

Alano’s have high energy and as such, they need more daily exercise that the average dog. Because of this, they aren’t ideal apartment dogs and should have a backyard or large outdoor space that’s fenced in. He’ll need about 2 to 3 long walks per day in between training and socialization sessions.

As with most breeds, if a Spanish bulldog isn’t given the opportunity to exercise, he’ll find other ways to get his energy out. Unfortunately, that can mean becoming destructive.


Where to Get an Alano Español

Alano espanol, spanish bulldog

Since alano español are rare, it will probably be more difficult to find a breeder than it is for other breeds. Since the Old Red English Bulldogs Kennel lists alano espanols on their site, you may wish to contact them about upcoming litters.

If you choose to get a Spanish bulldog from a breeder, it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re not buying from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are places where dogs are bred in inhumane conditions. These breeders are interested in profit rather than the well-being of dogs. For this reason, they may be kept in overly crowded spaces with a lack of food, water and care. This makes them more susceptible to health issues that a breeder doesn’t care to treat. Buying from a puppy mill encourages this practice and should be avoided.

Asking the breeder a lot of questions and inspecting the place the puppies live in can let you know whether the breeder is reputable.

Our first recommendation is always to rescue a dog before buying one. You can find breeds in your state and different countries on Petfinder.com. You can also ask a local shelter to keep an eye out for Spanish bulldogs and let you know if they rescue any. However, because the breed is rare, it’s not very likely you’ll find them on rescue sites unless you check frequently over an extended period of time. With that being said, unfortunately, alanos are often still used in dog fighting rings. When these dogs are rescued from these abusive situations, they are given to animal shelters.


Alano Español Pros and Cons

Before you consider getting a Spanish bulldog, you should have a look at the breed’s pros and cons to see if it’s the right decision for you.


  • Good guard dogs— While well-trained alano’s are loving dogs, they have an innate need to protect and can make a great family guard. Since they were originally fighter dogs, they’ve developed a very strong bite and stamina that allows them to fight through, even in immense pain. While well-socialized alano’s are unlikely to exhibit this side, they have it available if there’s a threat to the home.
  • Good family dog— Most alanos are suitable for families and are patient with children and known friends.
  • Less drooling and snoring— If you’re worried about cleaning up slobbery messes and staying up from dog snoring, you’ll need to worry about it less with this breed.
  • Suitable for almost any climate— Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, these strong dogs can withstand the weather as they’re “outside” dogs.
  • No prominent health issues— Alanos aren’t known to be susceptible to any specific health conditions.
  • Low-Maintenace grooming— A brush once a month and a bath a few times a year and your grooming job is practically done.



  • Not for first-time owners— Since Spanish bulldogs need a strong and confident leader, it isn’t a suitable breed for someone whose never had a dog.
  • Hard to housebreak— Some alanos can be harder to housebreak than other breeds and may require more training.
  • Destructive habits— Although alanos can have the tendency to rip up and destroy things, this con can be easily eliminated by giving your canine enough exercise and mental stimulation each day.
  • Not an apartment or city dog— Alano’s have high energy and need a lot of space to run around. For this reason, if you live in an apartment, it probably won’t be enough room. These dogs will do well in the country where they’re free to roam in fenced in areas.
  • Costlier— The alano may be more expensive to raise than other breeds because she requires 3-4 cups of food per day. This means you’ll need to budget a few dollars extra every day for dog food.


Should You Get a Alano Español?

Before looking for a Spanish bulldog, you should ask yourself these questions to make sure you’re able to properly train and take care of him or her.

  • Are you an experienced dog owner?— Have you had other large dog breeds that you’ve had to train?
  • Can you put in the time commitment?— Because Spanish bulldogs need to be fed and walked several times per day, they require someone who is home more often. If you’re not home, you’ll need to make sure another family member is there to take care of the dog. Someone who’s married to their job and only goes home to sleep isn’t suitable for an alano.
  • Can you socialize her?— Alanos are especially important to socialize, so you must be willing and have dogs/people to introduce the dog to.
  • Are you active?— Since Spanish bulldogs need a lot of exercise, you’ll have to be willing to take her on walks 2-3 times a day.
  • Do you have space?— Do you live in a house with a backyard in the country? Or an apartment in the city?


Spanish Bulldog Merch

If you’re an alano lover, you’ll love our top finds:

Cute Alano Españols

Alano Español being trained


Spanish bulldog puppy playing with sibling


spanish bulldog

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