Alano Español Dog Breed Facts & Info | Spanish Bulldog

The Alano Español dog breed, also known as the Spanish Bulldog, is a native giant many owners would love to have.

The detailed information in this Alano Español facts will examine their characteristics, history, temperament, challenges, and other important aspects.

You get to know whether Alano is fit for you and your household or if it’s best to surf away in search of another breed.

If you already own one, you’ll gain vital knowledge and tips on taking care of your pet. If you’re just getting information for the love of it, you’ll find a lot on the Alano here.

We believe there’s a dog for everyone but no one dog can be for everyone. For some people, Alano is exactly what they want. Others may be skeptical.

This is what makes the search for a pet both an adventure and a puzzle.

You go out to ask questions, read articles (like this one), watch YouTube videos, and use other resources at your disposal just to ensure that your dog fits your lifestyle, experience, personality, and environment.

We commend you for how far you’ve gone, and we believe this article will help you achieve whatever pet goal you have. 

Alano Español Dog Breed Information – Spanish Bulldog Facts

Spanish Bulldog - Alano Español Dog Breed Facts & Info
Dog Breed GroupGuard dogs, Molossers
Height22 to 24 inches
Weight75 to 88 pounds
CoatShort, dense
Color(s)Brindle, black, fawn
Life Expectancy11 – 14 years
TemperamentDominant, serious, obedient, affectionate
Bred ForHunting, guarding
Nickname(s) /Other Name(s)Spanish Bulldog, Spanish Alaunt
Recognized by the AKCNo
Recognized by the UKCNo

Alano Español Characteristics

Child Friendly4/5
Pet Friendly4/5
General Health4/5
Grooming Needs2/5
Exercise Needs4/5 
Energy Level4/5
Tendency to Bark2/5
Tendency to Drool2/5
Tendency to Snore1/5
Tendency to Dig3/5

Interesting facts about Alano Español Dog Breed

Fact #1: Alano Español was once used in bullfights

Back then, when activities like bullfights were the norm, Alanos participated in them.

Their size and strength made them an excellent choice for such.

The Spanish bullfight was a tradition practiced in Spain and other countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.

Dogs were particularly used in the bloody sport known as bull baiting. This continued till 1880 when certain laws forbade the use of dogs in bullfights. 

Fact #2: Unlike other Molossers, Alanos don’t snore excessively

Molossers are known for being ‘noisy’ when they sleep. This brings a lot of concern for their owners, especially those who have difficulty sleeping when distracted.

If you’re someone who likes the Molosser type but can’t stand snoring, Alano is your solution. 

Alano is similar to other Molossers in looks and size, but not in the snoring habit. While others keep you awake at night, Alano is a quiet sleeper. 

Fact #3: People once thought they were extinct

After the use of dogs in bullfights got outlawed and Alanos were no longer needed to do some works like pulling cattle and hunting big game, they began to lose relevance.

It got to a peak when, in 1963, people considered them extinct. 

Fortunately, they are now household guards and sweet pets who get along with everyone in the family. 

Fact #4: They were both hunters and guardians

Two major roles the Alano Español played in history were hunting and guarding. They helped hunters go after big games, using their size as an advantage. 

They were also bred to be guard dogs, a role they continue to play today. Again, their size is an advantage.

Who wouldn’t think twice about breaking into a property with a large dog in it?

Fact #5: The breed owes its name to a nomadic tribe. 

Before sitting in 21st-century homes, Alanos used to be companions of an old nomadic tribe called the Alans.

This tribe was first seen in the 1st century A.D and originated from Scythia. 

The movement of this nomadic tribe brought the Alano into Europe. The first form of this breed resembled the Tibetan Mastiff.

After a while, they developed into what we know today as the Alano Español. 

Breed History & Origin

The Alano is an old breed and much of its history has been lost in the sands of time. There are various hypotheses about them that are considered as accurate. 

One of them concerns the nomadic tribe, Alani. It was suggested that this tribe brought in the ancestors of the Alano into Spain in the fifth century. 

Though not much, there are some documents that kept a bit of Alano’s history alive. One of such is the Libro de la Monteria de Alfonso XI. 

In it, there were hunting dogs called Alani which were described as having beautiful colors. They were also used as war dogs alongside Spanish explorers.

The Alano Español is an ancestor to several modern molosser breeds like the Great Dane and Dogue de Bordeaux. 

While they got into other countries besides Spain, they have survived in the latter for more than a millennium. 

Once, they disappeared after losing relevance at the wake of the ban of bullbaiting. Through the efforts of Carlos Castaneda and his colleagues, the Alano Español was restored. 

Besides bullbaiting, they were used as war dogs, hunters of big prey, and as guards. They also were cattle handlers, a role they still play today. 

In 2004, a standard for the Alano Español breed was formulated. After that, the Spanish Kennel Club formally recognized the breed. 

Unfortunately, the American Kennel Club (AKC) hasn’t recognized the breed yet. 

Alano Español Temperament & Intelligence

Spanish Alano Bulldog Outdoor

While people may be intimidated by their size and serious looks, Alano is one of the gentle giants in the doggy world. 

They are sociable, hardworking, and friendly. They do not consider strangers as enemies unless they perceive a threat. 

Around both adults and kids, they show love and affection. Families would enjoy the comfort and gentleness the Alano brings. 

They are versatile, which adds to their top qualities. In old times they hunted, herded cattle, guarding property, went for wars, and fought bulls. 

Modern-day Alano hunts, herds cattle, guards properties and are used in the police force. 

They also make good watchdogs because of their observational skills developed over the years. They aren’t wary of strangers, though, nor do they bark excessively when well trained.

Sadly, they are still fighter dogs today, though using dogs to fight is an illegal activity. 

They are not rebellious and will obey their masters, but they are not fit for new owners because they have a dominant, independent spirit.

They are large as well, and their size can be daunting to someone with no experience handling large dogs. 

However, with an owner who knows exactly what it takes to train a large dog, the Alano is trainable. 

Overall, Alanos are gentle, devoted, hardworking, and energetic. They know how to do a lot of things and can assume different roles.

They can play with kids today then attack a burglar tomorrow. 

They’d also go into the wild to hunt and herd cattle for anyone who needs such assistance. 

Is a Spanish Alano a good family dog?

Alano Españols are loved by family members because they are gentle, loving, and ready to work. The fighter, guardian, and worker in them did not vanish with time.

They’d do anything to be sure you are safe. Who wouldn’t love to have such a breed?

Some people shouldn’t, though. If you live in an apartment, the Alano is very difficult to housebreak.

Plus, his size and energy may be too much for a cramped space. New owners and those who can’t be dominant to a dog are advised not to get this breed.

Though they learn fast, they are also stubborn. It takes time to train them. 

If you have experience, a wide yard (preferably in the countryside), time to commit to your pet’s welfare, and patience to train them, Alano will make a good family dog in your home. 

Are Alano Español good with kids?

Spanish Bulldogs do well with children and show love to them. They are gentle and patient, even with smaller kids. We can safely rate them kid-friendly as they would not intentionally harm your kid.

Their size, however, maybe too much for small kids. During playtime, they may knock over your kid by accident. It is best to leave them around kids who are a bit grown up. 

Also, though they are kid-friendly, do not leave them with your children unsupervised.

It isn’t right to leave your kid alone with any dog as accidents can happen. There are moments during playtime you have to intervene. 

Kids should equally be thought how to handle large dogs. Alano may be tolerant of rough play, but it shouldn’t be a license for your kids to yank his ears or pull his tails. 

Is Alano Español good with other dogs and pets?

Spanish Bulldogs get along with other dogs and are not inclined to aggression towards them. This is good if you want to have a house with multiple dogs.

In history, the Alano has worked side-by-side with some other dogs, so he knows how to co-operate with them.

However, if he feels threatened, he never backs down from a fight. Remember his bull-baiting days. 

With proper socialization training, they can also get along with other pets. Their hunting instinct is towards big prey like bears, so they can coexist with smaller animals like hamsters and cats.

Male vs Female Alano Español

The male and female of any species or breed come in full packages.

They have their strengths and weaknesses. They also have their similarities and differences.

Sometimes the differences are overt, other times they are subtle.

With dogs, the differences depend on the breed in question. Some males are larger than their female counterparts, others are the same size.

Personalities vary as well. In some breeds, the male is more aggressive. In others, they are laid-back.

Understanding these little details would help you decide which particular gender you want to go for. 

If you want to neuter or spay your pet, gender differences may not matter much. Spaying/neutering is the removal of a dog’s reproductive organ.

It has its pros and cons. Thus, you should consult your vet for advice before you decide whether or not you want to do this. 

A notable difference between the male Alano and the female is in their height. While they both share similar weights of 75 to 88 pounds, the males are taller than the females by an inch. 

Another obvious difference is in their genitals, just like in humans. The male genitals stick out but the females don’t. Females also have reproductive qualities. 

Furthermore, male Alanos tend to chew more than females and are more destructive.

Caring for a Spanish Alano

Everyone needs care—humans and animals alike. As children, we look to our parents and guardians to take care of.

This need is so vital that it is considered abuse for a parent to neglect a child.

Too many people have been separated from their kids due to their inability to take care of them. 

This need doesn’t change as adults. In romantic relationships, we all look for a partner that cares for our well-being. We gravitate towards caring individuals and shun unkind people.

Dogs are no different. Even independent breeds depend on us for their needs to be taken care of.

As a pet parent, you are responsible for your dog’s feeding, training, neatness, health, and fitness. It is a commitment, one you should not treat lightly. 

As outdoor pets, Alanos should not be confined to a little space. They do better in rural areas where they have big yards to play around. 

Boredom is not a friend of the Alano, neither is too much sleep. They are energetic workers who like to keep busy. If you’re a hunter or got some other work for them, you won’t have a problem. 

If you don’t, then give them enough exercise and activities to do, so they won’t invent theirs to the detriment of your property.  

Similar to many other large dogs, training an Alano isn’t easy. Though gentle, they are also stubborn and may not always want to cooperate. 

They are also dominant and would want to do things their own way. It is up to you to remind them who the leader is. 

Finally, take care of their health, feeding, and grooming. 

Alano Español (Spanish Bulldog) Food and Diet

It is an obvious rule that dogs need to eat. This doesn’t mean you should feed them as you wish. 

Each breed comes with a specific diet and ration that you ought to follow. The way a German Shepherd would eat won’t be how a Retriever would. 

Individuality matters too. Some dogs are picky, others gobble down their meal. Some would choose what to eat, others happily take whatever you offer them. 

An overweight dog shouldn’t get the same amount of food as one with exposed ribs. A sick dog wouldn’t eat like a healthy one. These individual idiosyncrasies matter. 

So, while we offer a guide for Alano dogs, find out exactly what your individual Alano needs.

Through observations and suggestions from a veterinarian, you would be on a good path. 

In general, Alanos need fresh, high-quality meals fit for large dogs. Nutrients like water, vegetables, healthy fat, and protein shouldn’t be lacking from the meal.

About 3 to 4 cups of dry food per day is an average requirement. However, if your veterinarian counsels more or less than 3 to 4 cups, go with that advice. 

Avoid overfeeding and Alano or you’d endanger his health. Obesity in a dog is never a good thing, especially for a large dog.

If your Alano is putting on excess weight and finds it difficult moving, increase exercise hours and reduce meal.

Note that age matters in feeding and diet. An Alano puppy shouldn’t eat adult food to avoid complications.

Seniors have a specific nutritional requirement as well. For instance, they need less carbohydrates and more protein. 

Alano Español Exercise

Alano is a worker who likes having activities to keep him busy. He’s always going to find something to do because he has to let the energy out.

If you don’t give him a constructive activity, he will become creative. The problem is, his creativity may not be appealing to you.

Digging, chewing and excessive barking are some things he’d end up doing. 

Controlling his energy level is where exercise comes in. Alanos needs moderate but regular exercise.

They can go for at least three walks daily to be satisfied. Also, they should be given free space to move around.

This is why you shouldn’t keep them indoors or in a cramped space.

In addition to walks, here are other physical activities that can keep your Alano occupied:

  • Hike
  • Fetch
  • Frisbee toss
  • Jogging

Also Read:

Do not limit exercise to the physical. Mental stimulation is also needed. 

Activities that can work on a dog’s mind include puzzles and learning new words. 

Puppies of any breed are delicate and still developing. They may be energetic, but they shouldn’t be allowed to partake in any tough activity.

The Alano pup is not an exception. Start off small, then gradually add to the level of exercise as the puppy grows older.

Finally, exercise your Alano even when he is old and would rather lie around all day.

They’d end up obese and may suffer from joint problems. Of course, senior dogs need lesser exercise than young ones. 

Alano Español Training and Socialisation

Training an Alano is tough, but achievable if you maintain your status as leader of the pack. 

Many people wish they can get a fully trained, well-mannered dog who knows exactly what is right or wrong. 

In reality, the responsibility is yours to make sure your pet is domesticated to the fullest. 

When you fail to do this, the dog is left to rely on instincts and bad habits, with no understanding of boundaries and limits. The end result is a canine who’s a societal risk. 

You need to know if you are capable of training the breed you are interested in. Some breeds are obedient and docile. 

First-timers can easily get them to obey through basic training methods. However, dog breeds like the Spanish Bulldogs are too dominant for a newbie. 

Their gentleness doesn’t mean they will comply with your instructions. Remember, they were guard dogs who doubled as hunters.

Instincts make them think on their own. You need to be firm, yet gentle when working with them. Put them on obedience training and socialization, amidst others. 

To get them to comply, use positive reinforcements like affirmation, food rewards, encouragements, toys, and other forms of motivation.

Don’t use harsh treatments and punishments, even when they are stubborn. It will be counterproductive. 

To gain better results, start training Alanos as puppies to get them accustomed to your leadership, rules, and limitations.

It’s easier to work on a puppy than a big dog, especially for a stubborn breed like the Alano. 

Alano Español (Spanish Bulldog) Grooming Needs

Spanish Bulldogs have a short coat that’s easy to maintain. 

You don’t need a professional groomer before you take care of their coat. You can do it yourself with minimal effort.  

A healthy Alano is a low shedder who sheds a little hair only during the natural circle. 

If you’re someone with little grooming skills and no time to devote to a high-maintenance breed, the Alano is a good choice for you. A weekly brush is enough to keep the hairs in place and remove dead ones. 

Like many dogs, they don’t need regular bathing. Too much water is a disadvantage to them.

Take care of their teeth, nails, and ears. The teeth should be brushed with a recommended toothpaste and toothbrush. 

Nails need to be trimmed. When they get too long and start scraping the floor, they make a dog uncomfortable and can lead to an injury. 

Clean their ears with a cotton ball and an ear cleaner.

If you detect signs of infection or injury on your dog like sores, red eyes, an inflammation, and otherwise, get them to the vet. Ditto for symptoms of illnesses.

It is best to start grooming an Alano—and any dog, in fact—from puppyhood. 

Alano Español Health Conditions

Alano is a very strong and healthy dog. This breed has no known medical condition they are vulnerable to. 

However, it is good to still keep in mind some they can fall victim to. These are:

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition that occurs when the joint gets loose. Symptoms include pain and abnormal movements. 

Because this goes down from a parent to a child, it is prudent you go through the medical background of any puppy you wish to get.  


Though not a common occurrence to the Alano, they are large dogs and still suffer from it.

Bloating occurs when a dog’s stomach gets filled up with food, gas, fluid, or otherwise.

Giving your dog a heavy meal once or making them do exercise immediately after a meal puts them at risk of bloating

 This is a serious condition and should be treated as such. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Alano Español known for?

Back in the days, the Alano Español was known for being a good fighter.
They participated in bullbaiting till it got outlawed. They were also used as war dogs, hunters, and cattle herders.

How big is a full-grown Spanish Bulldog?

The Alano Español (Spanish Bulldog) is a big dog who’s a gentle giant. They weigh 75 to 88 pounds with a height of 25 to 27 inches.

Do Alano Español like to cuddle?

While the Alano Español is sociable and loving, they are not indoor pets and are difficult to house-train. They are not good candidates for a cuddle on a sofa.

Is it hard to care for and train Alano Español?

Spanish Bulldogs are low-maintenance dogs with a short coat that can be easily groomed. They also have an exercise level you can keep up with and do not always fall ill.

Training can be challenging with them, but overall they are not hard to take care of. 

How Long do Alano Español live for?

Spanish Alanos are a healthy, strong breed who live long, all things being equal. They have a life span of 11 to 14 years.

How much is a Spanish Bulldog?

Because they are rare in the United States and other countries besides Spain, they don’t come cheap.

A Spanish Bulldog puppy has a price range of $600 to $2000. To adopt an adult Alano Español, be ready to part with up to $300. 

Do Spanish Alano shed?

Spanish Alanos are low shedders. You don’t have to worry about your environment getting filled with hair or about hiring a groomer to take care of dead hair.

Is the Spanish Bulldog right for you?

Alano Español is a gentle, loving, and hardworking breed. They are ready to fight to defend you and will not back down even in pain unless you tell them to do so.

This quality—as well as their size—makes them excellent guardians. They are also sociable, kid-friendly, and flow with other dogs and pets.
However, you have to be sure the Alano is right for you. 

You should take in various considerations like your level of experience, lifestyle, environment to determine whether or not you should get this dog breed. 

Related: Complete Alphabetical List of Dog Breeds

To Wrap Up

The Alano Español deserves a pet parent who can handle all the needs and meet up with the challenges of this large breed.

If this is you, this article on Alano Español facts and dog breed information is a good starting point to know if the Spanish Bulldog is right for you.

With the guidance of an experienced leader, Spanish Alanos are wonderful household companions and workers. 

They are worth the commitment, effort, and time.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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