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Ca de Bou

Believed to had arrived to the Balearic Islands in the 1200's, the Majorcan cattle dog Ca de Bou looked very different before the 1700's, when the British introduced their bulldogs and mastiffs to the region. Originally, two types of the Ca de Bou existed, these being the bully and the shepherd varieties, but over the years the bully type became the favored one. Numerous crosses were made intended to create a superior bull-baiting and fighting dog, resulting in a somewhat standardized mastiff-type Ca de Bou which survived until the 1900's, when the baiting sports started to lose their appeal and the breed became a farm dog and a property guardian.
By the time the breed was recognized in the 1960's, there was only a handful of pure dogs to be found in Mallorca. A revival program was started in the 1970's, successfully increasing the number of these beautiful Majorca Bulldogs through a series of crosses between the pure and non-pure specimens, as well as controlled inbreeding. The English Mastiff, Bullmastiff and even Rottweiler and American Bulldog are rumored to had been employed in some lines, but these claims haven't been confirmed. The only outside breed that was "officially" used in the re-creation is the Ca de Bestiar, seeing how these two breeds have some common ancestry. However, since the bully type is the preferred one, not a lot of modern Ca de Bou examples reflect the Ca de Bestiar heritage.

Today, the Ca de Bou is becoming an increasingly popular breed, due to its friendly and playful personality. A loyal and lovely family dog, this is an immensely powerful breed, full of courage and drive, making it an excellent watchdog. The traces of its fighting past can still be found in its aggressiveness towards dogs, which is why proper socialization from an early age is crucial. Large-headed, wide-chested and strongly-boned, the Ca de Bou is a very handsome and impressive Molosser. While the cropping of ears and docking of tails was sometimes done in the past, modern dogs are left in their natural state.

The short coat is hard and smooth, preferably yellow, lion-golden or tan in color, but fawn, brown, brindle and black dogs aren't uncommon. Black mask is preferred, although not obligatory. Even though black-n-tan and piebald dogs exist, they aren't valued by the breed purists, but small white markings are acceptable. The average height is around 23 inches.

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