Ca de Bou
|Ca de Bou|
|Other names||Perro de Presa Mallorquin|
|Dog (domestic dog)|
The Ca de Bou was historically kept on the island of Majorca for the blood sports of bull-baiting and dog fighting. The breed likely developed during the period of Catalan influence over Majorca between 1270 and 1570 AD, their ancestors were likely mastiff-type dogs used on the island for controlling cattle. By the time of the British occupation of Majorca in the 18th century, both bull-baiting and dog fighting were well established on the island, and the Ca de Bou were favoured by the locals for these blood sports, being renowned for their ferocity and bravery.
With the outlawing of bull-baiting and dog fighting on Majorca in the 20th century, the Ca de Bou lost favour and their numbers dwindled to the brink of extinction. The breed was saved by enthusiasts from mainland Spain who began exhibiting it in conformation shows, eventually it was recognised by the Real Sociedad Canina de España. The breed is known as the Perro de Presa Mallorquin in Spanish, whilst in English they are known as the Majorcan Bulldog or occasionally the Majorcan Mastiff, Ca de Bou is their Catalan language name.
The Ca de Bou is a medium sized extremely muscular breed, it typically stands between 52 and 58 centimetres (20 and 23 in), the breed standard states dogs should stand between 55 and 58 centimetres (22 and 23 in) and bitches between 52 and 55 centimetres (20 and 22 in). The breed standard states dogs should weigh between 35 and 38 kilograms (77 and 84 lb) whilst bitches should weigh between 30 and 34 kilograms (66 and 75 lb). The breed standard states the breed’s short and rough coat is typically brindle, fawn or black in colour. The breed’s massive head has an extremely broad and powerful jaw is well suited to gripping a bull or another dog in the fighting pit.
Selective breeding for the show ring has softened the Ca de Bou’s temperament and they are now biddable and affectionate, although they retain the tenacity and alertness of their forbears. The breed has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
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- Fogle, Bruce (2009). The encyclopedia of the dog. New York: DK Publishing. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-7566-6004-8.
- Morris, Desmond (2001). Dogs: the ultimate dictionary of over 1,000 dog breeds. North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square Publishing. p. 351. ISBN 1-57076-219-8.
- "Real Sociedad Canina de España breed standard: Majorca Mastiff" (PDF). Real Sociedad Canina de España. 13 June 1997. Retrieved 7 March 2021.