The Majorca Mastiff, also known as Ca de Bou (Catalonian for "bull dog"), is a watch and guard dog from Majorca, part of the Balearic Islands off the eastern coast of Spain. It is a very old breed which is believed to have descended from the large, strong and fierce mastiff type dogs of the Iberian Peninsula used for hunting wild boar and deer. Those dogs were brought to Majorca by King James I of Spain who invaded the island in 1200. Famous for their legendary courage and fierce temperament, for centuries they were used as an intimidating weapon by highway robbers and by law inforcement to catch those perpetrators. In the 17th century, the British invaded the Balearics and brought along their own fighting dogs which they later crossed with the local mastiffs to use for fighting against other dogs, bulls, and even against wild animals such as leopards and bears. Besides being popular in the entertainment industry of that time, these dogs also provided valuable service to local farmers guarding their property. The breed was offcially exhibited for the first time in 1928 at a Dog Show in Barcelona.
The Majorca Mastiff is a typical madium-sized mastiff, strong and powerfully build. His short, rough coat can be brindle, fawn, or black, with or without black mask. White patches on front feet, chest, and muzzle are accepted.
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Photo courtesy El Club Español del Ca de Bou
Today, this member of molossian breed group
is well appreciated as family companion for his well-balanced temperament, loyalty, and courage. As a watch and guard dog his is unsurpassed. However, one should never forget the original purpose these dogs were bred for, and, for this reason, Ca de Bou should be allowed around small children only under strict supervision of their guardians.
- FCI-Standard #249
- El Club Español del Ca de Bou
- Dominique De Vito. World Atlas of Dog Breeds