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  Spartan Dogs - Perro de Presa Mallorquin or Ca de Bou 

Category: Dogs, Working Dogs, Molossers, Majorca, Spain, Europe, Guard Dog, Fighting Dog, Herding Dog

Perro de Presa Mallorquin / Ca de Bou
Names Perro de Presa Mallorquin, Ca de Bou, Mallorquin Mastiff, Mallorca Mastiff, Mallorquin Bulldog, Perro Dogo Mallorquin, Majorca Mastiff, Majorcan Bulldog, Dogo Mallorquin, Presa Mallorquin, Cadebou, Dogue de Majorque
Origins Majorca, Spain
Tasks Guard Dog, Fighting Dog, Herding Dog
Height 55-58 cm / 52-55 cm
Weight 35-38 kg / 30-34 kg
Lifespan 8-12 years
Registry FCI, UKC
Group Molossers

The Perro de Presa Mallorquin (also Ca de Bou, Mallorquin Mastiff, Mallorca Mastiff, Mallorquin Bulldog, Perro Dogo Mallorquin, Majorca Mastiff or Majorcan Bulldog) is a large sized, short coated, athleticly muscular, molosser type dog that was developed in Majorca, Spain.

The Perro de Presa Mallorquin History

The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of four large islands and eleven small islands in the Mediterranean off the east coast of Spain. Its people and language are Catalan based. The bigger of these islands is Majorca (hence the breeds name). In 1232, the King of Aragon expelled the Moors from the Balearics. The Spanish brought with them the Iberican Mastiff. Many of today's Spanish breeds of Mastiffs, claim to be this breed; the Spanish Mastiff, the Pyrenean Mastiff or the old Spanish Alano, some Ca de Bestiar breeders believe that their dog was the breed that King James I brought over. The first written mention of the Spanish Alano was in 1350 in King Alfonso XI's Book of Hunting. The Ca de Bestiars' origin on the island is dated as 16th or 17th century. In the French translation they call the Iberican Mastiff, an Iberican perro de presa (chien de combats) in English this is a Catch dog, this name can be given to any fierce breed whether Mastiff or Alano.

The King brought the Balearic islands into Aragon's Spain. Trading began between Majorca and Barcelona as well as France, stopping the trade they did with Genoa and other Italian Republics during the Moorish occupation. Mastiffs, Alanos and big herd dogs would have found their way to the island through trade and aristocrats settling down and bringing their dogs (Alanos in the 14th century were commonly used in hunting for boar and other wild animals, highly respected by aristocrats). All three of these breeds were probably crossed at different points for various functions.

In 1713, the English took over the Balearics at the Treaty of Utrecht. This is probably when the word Ca de Bou evolved. Ca de Bou is Catalan for Bull-Dog, it is a common mistake to understand this word as a visual element and not a function. In the case of the Ca de Bou it is because of its function as a Bull Baiter that it is named Bull-dog. The Ca de Bestiar was well regarded by the locals as a good herder and guardian. Their sizes and shapes would depend on the function you were looking for. The old Ca de Bestiar had large powerful bodies, strong necks and thick bones (Mastiff type) and there were also the smaller ones like today's. Whatever the function, they could withstand high temperatures. The English during their reign of the island introduced the sport of bull-baiting. The common belief is that the English brought over Bulldogs and crossed them with the local guard/hunting/herd dog which could have been a mix of Alano, Ca de Bestiar and Iberican Mastiff. However, more than likely Majorcan traders also used some Perro de Toro (Spanish Bulldogs, heavier and lower to the ground Spanish Alanos) back to the island to entertain the Englishs' sport of bull-baiting as well. So that it could withstand the terrible heat of the island during the bullfight. The English did not have an easy time in the Balearics.

Forty-three years after the Treaty of Utrecht, the French (1756) invaded with a force of 12,000, after defeating the British under Admiral Byng, captured Port Mahon. Restored to England in 1763, 19 years later the Spanish took it back (1782). The British seized it again in 1798 and it was finally ceded to Spain by the Peace of Amiens in 1803. The English left in 1803 the island of Majorca leaving behind the sport of bullbaiting. Bull and bear baiting were banned in England in 1835, in Spain it was not banned until 1883. The Majorcans must have been impressed with the dogs they had created and passed them into other functions guarding, hunting, holding the bull while the butcher came to end its life.

The sport of bullbaiting was an expensive one and the new sport and trend of dog fighting was spreading across Europe and the Colonies. Different areas and countries had their fighting dogs. Their shape and sizes would depend on taste, climate, surroundings. Still today you can hear some people say this breed is stronger than another. In England where the sport began, Bull and Terrier crosses were used, in the USA they used Pitbulls. In France they used bigger dogs to fight; such as the Dogue de Bordeaux, which was 3 kinds back in the 1800s; Parisian (Mastiff type), Bordelais (bull-Mastiff, dogue type), Toulousain (Perro de Toro type, longer muzzle). In Spain they had Perro de Presas, different types the Spanish Alano, Perro de Toro (Spanish Bulldog), Perros de Tierra (low to the ground dogs). In the Canary islands they had Perro de Presa Canario. In Majorca, the Perro de Presa Majorquin (Ca de Bou) had been perfected for the climate and many functions including that of fighting. Dog fights were not banned in Spain until 1940. The first written mention of the Ca de Bou was in 1907, suggesting that the race was well known in 19th century. The president of the Dogue de Bordeaux club, speaks of them when the best of each breed met in Madrid, for a fight match in the 1920s.

By 1923, the breed is registered in the Spanish stud book, the first official entry is in 1928 and in 1929, the first Ca de Bous are shown at the Barcelona Dog show. The famine of the 1920s and 1930s did not help the breed. In 1946, the standard is created and is not recognised by the FCI until 1964. By 1964 they were no pure specimens left, the trend for new breeds like German Shepherds, Great Dane and Rottweilers didn't help the cause either. The breed was brought back to life in the eighties. It had been crossed with the Ca de Bestiar, the Majorcans were still producing dogs based on functionality. Both Ca de Bous and Ca de Bestiar have their special qualities, so to cross them was not rare. From such specimens, they managed to find those that seem to be more Ca de Bou than Ca de Bestiar. In the nineties, other nations took interest in the breed. In Poland and Russia they found a lot of success. There are rumours of more than 2000 Ca de Bous in Moscow. There are only around 250 in Spain. The race is well appreciated for its function in Puerto Rico, where the Champion Chimo was sent to and other famous Spanish Ca de Bous. Other nations like France, Holland, Denmark, Finland and Sweden also have breeders but not many and the race is pretty unknown. In the 21st century, the Ca de Bou's future looks good. There is a bigger interest in the breed and thanks to the internet a closer link between Ca de Bou owners, breeders and passionate people, who love this breed.

Perro de Presa Mallorquin Appearance

Body: The Perro de Presa Mallorquin is a powerful, muscular, medium sized dog with a compact and lightweight body that appears overbuilt. The back is rather short and slightly arched. The croup is wide. The tail is set low and should reach to the hocks. He is thick at the base and runs towars a gradual stop. The tail should not be above the back line. The front is wide, with a large, broad and deep chest that reaches to the elbows. The ribs are well arched. The belly is slightly tucked. The straight legs are powerful and of heavy bone. The strong feet have well closed toes. The thick and muscular neck shows a little loose skin.

Head: the almost square skull is broad and solid with a wide and flat forehead. The stop is very clearly marked. The muzzle is broad and strong, slightly shorter than the skull and the nose is straight and slightly sloping. The small ears are set high and are worn half folded back, known as pink ears. The oval eyes are far apart. They are quite large and are slightly tilted in the head. Perro de Presa Mallorquins have an undershot bite, but the incisors of the lower jaw must not stand furter than 1 centimeter from the upper jaw.

Height at Withers: the dogs have a shoulderheight of 55 up to 58 centimetres and bitches measure 52 up to 55 centimetres.

Weight: dogs weigh 35 up to 38 kilos and bitches 30 up to 34 kilos.

Coat: the short and coarse coat feel hard when toutched.

Colors: The Perro de Presa Mallorquin comes in brindle, yellow and black. White markings are allowed provided they are not more than 30% of the total surface; a black mask is accepted. The eyes are dark.

Perro de Presa Mallorquin Temperament

Character: dogs of this breed are very confident and intelligent, alert and vigilant. They naturally guard and protect all that it loves and does so very convincing. They are very brave, very hard on themselves and bond closely with their masters and their families. They typically do not bark much.

Social Build: for members of their own family, this dog is very friendly and accommodating. They take their role as watchdog very seriously and this breed will not let uninvited guests go beyond the garden gate. Unknown visitors are nevertheless accepted if the master indicates that it's okay. They are usually patient with children. These dogs can be quite dominant and combative towards same sex dogs. This is particularly the case with males. With members of the opposite sex, they rarely give problems. Living with one or more domestic cats and other pets is quite possible, provided the dog gets used to them at a young age.

Perro de Presa Mallorquin Socially

Care: this breed requires very little coat care. It is sufficient to brush the coat with a rubber brush during shedding. Keep the nails short.

Education: this intelligent dog learns quickly. They do not lend themselves for very long training sessions, but do like to please their boss. During the education much of the focus should be on the socialization with people. You do not have to worry that this will turn him into everybody's friend, the dog will only become more stable and easier to to deal with because of a good socialization. His abilities as a guard and defender do not deviate. A balanced and calm boss with a firm stance in life, gets the best out of this dog.

Activity: the Perro de Presa Mallorquin needs to get quite a lot of activity. The dog may accompany you on walks for hours and finds it fun to play fetch with sticks and balls and the like. When you can't really give him his usual activity for one day, the dog will adjust to that for that day.

Usability: this so far quite rare breed is almost exclusively kept as a watchful companion dog.

Perro de Presa Mallorquin Quotes / Trivia


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