Carea Leonés

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Carea Leonés
Other namesLeonese Shepherd
Carea Llïonés
El Pastor Leonés
OriginLeón (Spain)
Breed statusNot recognized as a standardized breed by any major kennel club.
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
Carea Leonés at work.

The Carea Leonés (or Leonese Shepherd) is a breed of herding dog from León, Castile and León, Spain (Europe), and is used as a sheepdog. For centuries, they tended flocks of Churra (sheep) in the mountains of the historical region of León.[1]


The Carea Leonés is a dog whose morphology and character have been molded by its environment, both physical and human. Regarding the physical, it can say that this breed is rooted in the regions of the province of León and Zamora. This was so because it are agricultural areas where crops shared its existence with sheep herds. For such coexistence come to fruition, and due to shortage of shepherd men who were at any particular time, and the number of heads could be high, it was necessary to resort to a helper who will control cattle to temptation, and this was the Carea Leonés.[2]

Ancestor of other breeds[edit]

When Spain colonized America, they introduced Churra sheep for food and fiber. They also brought their Carea Leonés to manage the huge flocks. These dogs contributed to the type of herding dogs found throughout California and the Southwestern United States including the Australian Shepherd.[3]


A Carea Leonés with yellow eyes. It is common to see these dogs with blue or yellow eyes.

Their coat is smooth and short or moderate length and slightly wavy, and ranges from black to dark liver or merle with white and or tan trim.

Size and weight[edit]

They range in size from 18 to 23 inches (45 cm to 58 cm) and in weight from 30 to 70 pounds (14–32 kg).


This breed is used as a working dog and as a companion. Because of its intelligence, the Carea Leonés, like most sheepdogs, is easy to train.[4]


The function of Carea Leonés it is to carry and control livestock, whether sheep, bovine or equine, it is a stubborn and courageous animal with the cattle, not allowing these daunted it. This is an important detail and valued by shepherds, and the dog should be strong with some bite to the respect earned it by the cattle so it can control a large number of sheep and impose to the size of cows or mares, with the possibility of receiving a kick. In mountain areas these are used more for that type of cattle and take to the home the sheep, for the large herds spend most of the year, in the plain, paramos and shores where the carea is very necessary.[5]

It is a very smart and intelligent animal, with great learning ability and willingness to work. It is a dog with good personality but is subject to the orders it receives from its owner.[6]


The Carea Leonés can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Careas exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.[4]

Famous Carea Leoneses[edit]


  1. ^ Carea Leonés in the Sierras of Castile and León
  2. ^ "The environment of the Carea Leonés". Origin and adaptation carealeones.blogspot
  3. ^ Breeds From A Common Root
  4. ^ a b Hartnagle-Taylor, Jeanne Joy; Taylor, Ty (2010). Stockdog Savvy. Alpine Publications. ISBN 978-1-57779-106-5.
  5. ^ "Carea Leonés" Tsobu de Laciana
  6. ^ "Carea Leonés" Tsobu de Laciana