From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Venezuelan dog breed. For the town in Venezuela, see Mucuchíes.
Mucuchies natural habitat.jpg
Mucuchies in the Venezuelan páramo, their natural habitat in Sierra Nevada de Mérida
Other names Venezuelan Sheepdog
Páramo's dog (Perro de los Páramos)
Country of origin Venezuela
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Mucuchies (Venezuelan Sheepdog) is a dog breed from Venezuela (specifically from Sierra Nevada de Mérida). They have a short coat with feathering along their limbs. The coat color is either white or white with splashes of colors such as honey or tan, or shades of black and gray.


It is a large dog, sturdily built, like all mountain dog, of pleasant appearance and a certain grandeur, brown eyes of kindly expression, although it is an animal of great energy and despite having developed the instinct of monitoring, which always keeps it on alert, it is deliberate and safe movements, as befits its strong body.

  • Color: pure white, white with patches in various shades of honey color and white with black spots. Red or reddish spots, gray spots, tan with white spots or black with white spots are considered defects.
  • Size: are between 55.9 to 71.1 cm (22-28 inches).
  • Weight: for the adult specimens the weight should be 33-50 kg for the male and 30-37 kg for the female.
  • Head: Long, of wedge-shape (triangular), 20 to 23 cm from the external occipital protuberance to the tip of the nose; rounded forehead, slightly wrinkled brow furrows.
  • Ears: medium-sized, triangular in shape but rounded at the tips, placed slightly above the parallel line of the eyes, tight to the head and that only rises in reactions of attention and alert.
  • Eyes: oblique, brown, very expressive with well pigmented eyelids.
  • Lips: thin and glued (not pendulous), lined of black like the nose that is always black.
  • Gill and Ruff: well developed but not exaggerated.
  • Neck: short, strong and musculous.
  • Body: shoulders well placed obliquely, wide and straight back, prominent haunches with the rump declined slightly; ribs more planes rather arched and deep chest. Spine arched up or down is considered a defect.
  • Tail: long to exceed the hocks, with abundant coat, palm or fan shaped, it remains low at rest and it up (never reaching full circle) when in state attention and alert.
  • Coat: rich and thick (woolly), strong hairs, can be straight or slightly wavy.


The origin of the Mucuchies, is believed to be descended from the dogs introduced by the Spanish conquerors at the end of the 16th century as watchdogs and herders. Possible ascendant to listed the Spanish Mastiff, the Pyrenean Mastiff and Algerian Mastiff and the Atlas Shepherd Dog or Aidi and the Great Pyrenees. Over the years these dog breeds were crossing ultimately creating a powerful and versatile working dog. Other suggest that the origin of the Mucuchies comes from the invention of the veterinarian Dr. Wilender Ferrari.

Its importance in the Venezuelan history came after the hero Simón Bolívar reached the town of Mucuchíes in Venezuelan Andes of Mérida state during his struggle for Venezuelan independence and adopt a dog of this breed.

For 1926-27 the Mucuchies was found throughout Venezuela. After the wide distribution of race, its purity and quality was a serious decline in the early part of the 20th century. In 1961 was created a club in order to preserve the race and by 1964 was declared the national dog of Venezuela. Yet the club disappeared, putting in an uncertain future for this dog.

In 2008, in order to preserve the national breed dog, the Ministry of Popular Power for Tourism, led at the time by Titina Azuaje, approved creating the Fundación Nevado (Funev), which has six of these dogs, which will be transferred to Waraira Repano Cable Car System in El Ávila National Park, where similar environmental conditions exist to the Andes. This initiative came after the then President of the Republic, Hugo Chávez, instruct to Minister Azuaje rescue this breed that is endangered, and thinking in the needs required for survival, was established as ideal site Waraira Repano Cable Car, where they will enjoy a climate suitable and special attention will contribute to its reproduction.


Mucuchies dog in Ávila Mont cut version.jpg

Mucuchíes dog was originally a shepherd of flocks dog and a guard dog. The first quality it lost by a shortage of cattle in the Andean moors but instead retained the quality of guardian. Has a strong character, is very active, it is gentle and loving with which are familiar but reacts violently against any stranger, unless it is taught with a voice command to respect people.

  • It should always have double spur on the hind legs and a single in the front.


The Mucuchíes is a very emotional, intelligent, and very active dog. Socialize and training is necessary. Its can be aggressive with strangers.


This dog should be taken for a walk every day, with a long walk or jog. Besides a wide area where its can run and play. Not much grooming is required.

Famous Mucuchies[edit]

View of the monument to the Nevado dog, representing the delivery of this race to Libertador Simón Bolivar.

It was when the Liberator went to a local mansion, the Hacienda Moconoque, where he was received by "Nevado" that, despite being a puppy, was not intimidated before the weapons and threats of the accompanying of Bolívar. De Mendoza explained that Bolívar was surprised at the courage of the dog, who did not miss his men to the hacienda until it got his master. The hero also met there Indian Tinjacá, who had rowed with the armies of liberation and, again from both Tinjacá as Nevado went with The Libertator.

Nevado accompanied him throughout the campaign, fought in several countries and often saved his life. Among some stories that lived together, the president of Funev said that Tinjacá and Nevado were abducted by the royalist army, which did not kill because they thought through the dog would be able to catch the Liberator. However, the dog runs away with the Indian to reuniting with Bolivar.

The death of the dog by a spear occurred precisely during the Battle of Carabobo of June 24, 1821, which sealed Venezuela's independence from the Spanish Crown and took place about 120 kilometers west of Caracas. Nevado also appears in various historical paintings and a known statue along the Indian Tinjacá in Mucuchíes.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]