Spanish Bulldog - Perro de Toro
The rare Spanish Perro de Toro is believed by some to be just a heavier variant of the Alano Espanol, but there are obvious physical and temperament differences between these breeds. Others are convinced that this is a direct descendant of the Toulouse Mastiff, while a number of people claim that the Spanish Bulldog was developed by crossing the Alano with the modern Dogue de Bordeaux. There is no doubt that the Alano Espanol and the Perro de Toro Espanol are closely related, seeing how they both come from the same stock of old Spanish working dogs of the Alaunt ancestry, but they are simply not the same breed. Most of the confusion comes from the practice of some breeders to refer to the shorter and stockier Alano specimens as the Perro de Toro, as well as from the use of Spanish Bulldogs in the Alano Espanol revival program. It could be argued that the breed's contribution to the salvation of the Alano is being rewarded with its own extinction.
Fanciers of the Perro de Toro Espanol point out that this magnificent Spanish dog has been a true breed much longer than the modern Alano Espanol, but like the Spanish Bulldog itself, these claims are also being widely ignored today. Regardless of its origin, this courageous bulldogge is an impressive worker, once used for bull-baiting, fighting and livestock controlling duties, today being an excellent hunting dog and a lovely family pet. It should be noted that in recent years, some Presa Canario, Dogue de Bordeaux, Bandogge, Ca de Bou, Alano Espanol, Boxer and Bullmastiff crosses have been reported as being sold as Spanish Bulldogs in Europe, but their sharper temperament, greater size and incorrect coloring can be used to differentiate them from real Perro de Toro representatives.
Strong, protective and alert, the Perro de Toro Espanol makes a capable watchdog and a convincing guardian. This is an immensely powerful breed, quite agile and athletic. While very driven and active, it needs only a reasonable amount of exercise. The Spanish Bulldog is trainable and obedient, but this mighty Molosser requires broad socialization and supervision around other dogs, due to its dominant and confrontational nature. The ears have traditionally been cropped in the past, but nowadays the ears and the tail are usually left in their natural state.
The smooth coat is short and thick, usually coming in darker fawn, red and brown colorings and almost always brindled, with small white markings allowed on the chest. Average height is around 22 inches.