Majorca Shepherd Dog
A Majorca Shepherd Dog
|Other names||Majorca Shepherd Dog|
|Origin||Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)|
|Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Majorca Shepherd Dog (Catalan: Ca de bestiar, Spanish: Perro de pastor mallorquín) is a domesticated breed of dog, used in the Balearic Islands of Spain, both for guarding sheep and as a general purpose farm dog. It is a medium-sized dog with black fur or black with white markings on its chest. It comes in both shorthaired and longhaired varieties.
Since ancient times it was used as shepherd dog for all cattle, even bird, and as a guard and defense in the houses of possession. While the timing of its arrival is unknown, some assumptions suggest that came either with the conquest of King James I of Aragon or shortly thereafter, and over the centuries the Majorcan shepherds and foravilers conferred it very own and distinct features not only from other islanders dogs, but also its neighbors around the Mediterranean.
In the 1970s was begun its selection and controlled breeding, and already in 1980 was drafted the standard to determine the characteristics and to have a valid reference to both the valuation and advice for reproduction, billboards carried out by the Club of "Ca de Bestiar" and that has been a cornerstone for its recovery. This racial prototype was accepted by the RSCPFRCE (Royal Central Society for the Promotion of Dog Breeds of Spain) and also recognized by the top world body: the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) on 13 September, 1982 with num. 321 classifying it as Group 1. Section 1 Shepherd dogs.
The Majorca Shepherd Dog is a tall, up to 73 cm and up to 40-kg (88 lbs.) shepherd and guard dog. Most of the breed is short-haired, about 1.5 to 3 cm long on the back, with a very fine, thin undercoat. In the long haired variety, the hair is slightly wavy on the back and can reach over 7 cm in length in the winter. In the long-haired variety the undercoat is well distributed and not thick, showing varying shades of black. The ears, which are slightly bent from the side, are relatively small, triangular, thick and set high on the head. The color of the fur is described by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as follows: "The only acceptable color is black in the shades jet, normal and pitch black. White is only permitted on the chest, a thin tie at the neck and the front and rear (...) ". Räber mentions an additional dark brindle coloration.
The Majorca Shepherd Dog was never bred for beauty and has a rough appearance. Temperamentally they are protective, potentially aggressive, and courageous. Although it is unusual for a black dog to tolerate heat well, the Majorca Shepherd Dog can tolerate the high temperatures of the Mediterranean climate, and they have been exported to Brazil where they have been successfully used to protect private property.
- "Chien de Berger de Majorque" FCI Standard N°321 Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine. 30 August 2002, Fédération Cynologique Internationale
- "Ca de Bestiar (Majorca Shepherd Dog) Breed" Go Pets America, Inc.
- "Der Ca de Bestiar" in Räber, Hans Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde: Ursprung, Geschichte, Zuchtziele, Eignung und Verwendung volume 1, Franckh-Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart, page 377, ISBN 3-440-06555-3