Ca de Bou (Majorca Mastiff, Perro Dogo Mallorquín)

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brindle, fawn and black
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • courageous
  • good with children
  • great guardian and watchdog
  • independent
  • not easy to train
  • doesn't like strange people

The Ca de Bou is a fearless powerful dog with the martial past. There are two types of this breed: a bull dog-like variety created by the Eastern European dog experts and mastiff-like type, which is rather related to the Spanish Mastiff of North America. This breed definitely requires an experienced owner, who will become an absolute authority for it.

The Ca de Bou inherited its intimidating appearance from the ancient Mastiff, which arrived to the Balearics with Egyptian merchants. The large portion of its history these islands were under the rule of Roman Empire and it’s known that Caesars’s armies used Mastiffs as war-dogs. This type of dog was also used in piracy by islanders. In 425 AD the Roman Empire lost its control over the Balearics and they were conquered by the Asian tribes namely Vandals and Alanas. The latter imported there its proclaimed hunting dog - the Alan (in Iberia it’s called the Alano). The Alan was a huge, robust dog, which served for hunting and war purposes. It’s almost certain that this dog was interbred with the original Mastiff to upgrade its size and strength.

In the XVII the Britain extended its rule over the Menorca and other territories according to the Treaty of Utrecht. The British migrants imported their fighting and guard breeds with them into the islands and crossed them with local dogs of the mastiff-type. In the early years of the XVIII century the dog’s fights and bull baiting reached its peak popularity with British inhabitants of the Balearics. They strived to create such a breed, which would be ideal for that kind of entertainment. Thus the English Bulldog also played a certain role in the breeding of the Ca de Bou because of its excellent fighting abilities. Actually the name Ca de Bou is translated from the native Catalan language as «Bull-Dog».

In the Spanish Stud Book for the year 1923 the Ca de Bou was officially mentioned as a separate breed for the first time. The breeding process never stopped during the XX century since the breeders aspired to create the dog as close as possible to the specimen who was described in the primarily standard. In the 80s of the XX century the breeding endeavours succeeded and two perfectly fit dogs appeared. They became the foundation for the subsequent stock of all first-class Ca de Bous.

Though the Ca de Bou remains exceedingly rare breed its future seems to look encouraging. It currently has small but stable following outside its homeland especially in Poland and Russia. The dog requires stern approach to its training but it has a great potential of becoming an excellent pet.

The Ca de Bou is famous for its quiet, reserved demeanour and incredibly strong protective instinct. It usually forms particularly close attachment to one member of its family so it can be described as a one-person dog. However it will sacrifice its life for all humans it loves without hesitation. This dog is surprisingly gentle with kids and can put up with their mischiefs with boundless patience. Of course it’s imperative that it should know its place in the pack order and all members of its human family should take superior position in the dog’s mind view.

The Ca de Bou will be quite polite with strangers as long as its owner treats them the same way. On its own this dog is prone to be very suspicious and even outright aggressive if an unfamiliar person tries to trespass the borders of its subordinated territories. Needless to say that this breed will become an unparalleled watchdog, which will be always vigilant and without the unwelcomed tendency to on-going barking. This brave animal is a natural guardian so it will relentlessly guard your possessions when you are out and won’t back down from confrontation if needed.

The Ca de Bou is deprived of innate aggressiveness in spite of the fact that it was used as a fight dog profusely. Naturally it needs to be socialised at an early age and be introduced to all sorts of sights, sounds and circumstances. So well-socialised specimens will be glad to interact with other canines and will treat them respectfully. It’s worth to remember though that if provoked this dog will fight with mighty ferociousness and its fatal bite may mean the death sentence even for a much larger dog. The Ca de Bou will live peacefully with other pet only if they have been brought up together.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• generative disk disease;
• patellar luxation;
• cryptorchidism;
• obesity;
• gastric torsion.

The Ca de Bou has very short coat, which doesn’t require much grooming. Its owner should brush it a few times a week but even once a week may be quiet sufficient. The dog needs bathing once or twice a year since water may wash off protective oil, which covers its skin. At the same time the dog’s nails should be trimmed on a regular basis as well as its ears and teeth should be properly and systematically attended.

The Ca de Bou responds well to basic training but if you want to teach it more sophisticated commands you will have to invest more substantial amount of time and efforts. Despite its general eagerness to pleasure this dog is somewhat head-strong and self-sufficient. This means that its handler should demonstrate unshakable confidence in its superior position in order to deserve full obedience of this dog.

If you want to achieve maximum results from the training of the Ca de Bou it’s also important to resort only to positive reinforcement in your lessons with it. This dog doesn’t tolerate rough-housing and it usually nurses a grievance for a very long time.

The Ca de Bou got used to endure enormous physic challenges on a fighting arena. Despite of this fact this dog demands average amount of exercise but on a regular basis. While on a walk it should be constantly leashed but it will certainly appreciate an opportunity to surf freely in a safely enclosed area. This dog is notable for an excellent adaptability so it will become a wonderful pet for moderately active family but only as long as its primal necessity to walk is properly satisfied.