Curious about the Ca de Bou (aka the Majorca Bulldog)? Read on to learn everything you need to know about this loyal & protective dog breed! We’ll cover his history, personality, health traits, and more below. Let’s dive in!
What exactly is a Ca de Bou?
he Catalan name “Ca de Bou” is the most used name, but it refers to the dog’s original function rather than appearance. The breed goes by several other names, though. They are also known as the ‘Perro de presa mallorquín’ (Mallorquine Bulldog in English), ‘Perro de presa’ (Castellano for bulldog), and Majorcan Bulldog or Majorcan Mastiff.
As a protective guard dog, these dogs are pretty well-known for their penetrating gaze, their first warning that they give anyone or anything that they perceive as a threat. These dogs are absolutely devoted to their families.
Owners appreciate the breed’s loving spirit and playful nature. They have relatively high activity and movement needs, so they benefit from experienced owners with active lifestyles. Let’s look at their history, then we’ll delve more into personality, appearance, and overall health.
Ca de Bou History and Origin
Originally bred for dog fighting and bull-baiting, the Ca de Bou was a highly prized and valued working dog on the island of Majorca by the 16th century. In 1708, Majorca and nearby islands were conquered by the British Navy.
British soldiers preferred the breed due to their impressive strength and courage. Blood sports were once top-rated on Majorca, hence, why this breed was used in that manner. But when blood sports (thankfully) fell out of popularity, so did the necessity for a dog like the Ca de Bou.
With the outlawing of bull-baiting and dog fighting on Majorca in the 20th century, breeders lost interest in the Ca de Bou, and the breed almost became extinct. At some point in their journey, bulldog enthusiasts brought them back from the brink. However, they still remain among the rarer dog breeds.
Today, these dogs are one of the best choices in Spain for police and active owners as sidekicks. However, the breed is not well known and not recognized by the American Kennel Club or the Canadian Kennel Club. Only the United Kennel Club in America started registering the breed in 2006 as the “Majorca Mastiff.” They’re also by the Real Sociedad Canina de España (RSCE).
How big is the Ca de Bou?
The Ca de Bou is a Molosser-type breed, meaning it has a powerful and massive gait with a sturdy silhouette. Their robust build suggests a strong, heavy, impressive body.
The female breed measures between 20-22 inches tall (52 and 55cm), while males stand from 22-23 inches (55 to 58cm) at the shoulder withers. Females weigh about 66- 74 lbs (30 to 34kg), and males reach weights of 77- 83 lbs (35 to 38kg).
Appearance and Physical Characteristics
Ca de Bous portrays a sexual dimorphism (meaning a distinct difference in appearance between sexes): males have larger heads, though both sexes have enormous, nearly square skulls. The skull circumference is up to 23 inches (60cm in males) and up to 21 inches (54cm) in females.
Other appearance traits include:
- Slightly undershot jaw, giving them the appearance of a slight underbite. It’s not nearly as pronounced as other bulldog breeds, though.
- Large oval eyes that are dark with dark solid brows
- “Rose ears” that are relatively small with a broad base that tapers to a point at the tip while held in a curve when the dog is in action.
- Large solid-black nose.
- A body that’s broad at the elbows with strong muscular limbs supported by powerful hindquarters.
- A tail tapered to a point, though it is wide at the base and held with an upward curve when in action.
- Short, rough coats, typically brindle, fawn, or black.
As mentioned above, these dogs are protective of their families, which makes them generally wary of strangers.
While loyal and protective, the Ca de Bou is a breed of dog that prefers to relax at home with his people. While he may look like he spends his days serenely gazing into the distance and not really paying attention to anything in general, that’s just an act. He’s actually constantly alert and aware of his surroundings at all times.
Territorial and devoted to their owners, dogs of this breed will defend their home courageously if necessary, but they’re quite friendly and affectionate as well. They absolutely love the children in their own families. However, they can be wary of kids that they don’t know, so keep that in mind.
Do they get along with other pets?
Whether or not Ca de Bou dogs get along with other pets – especially other dogs- is the subject of debate (sometimes quite heated). While many say that they CAN get along well with fellow dogs with proper training and socialization, others feel that it’s too much of a risk.
See, the breed has a fairly “dominant” personality. Now, I don’t mean that in the “I’m the alpha dog” sense. We know now that the entire alpha dog theory is a myth steeped in misunderstandings and false equivalencies. Still, when you have two dogs who both have very big and strong personalities and neither wants to give in, fights can very easily break out.
If you decide that you want two dogs, and you want one of those to be a Ca de Bou, just make sure you’re ready to spend the time necessary to train them to get along. Even then, I wouldn’t leave them alone together unsupervised. I’ve seen dogs who grew up together and spent every waking moment attached at the hip suddenly – and violently-get into it with each other.
How Healthy are Ca de Bou Dogs?
With proper care, Ca de Bou dogs can reach up to 12 years without health issues. Generally, these dogs don’t suffer from many health complications, so no special attention is required for their health. But, as with all larger dog breeds, two conditions are known to occur with greater frequency. These are:
When it comes to grooming Ca de Bou, a good brush once a week is good for their coat, and brushing teeth should be done routinely. They do not require extensive grooming; maintaining their hygiene is not hard to achieve.
How Much do Ca de Bou Puppies Cost?
As always, I urge you to adopt, not shop. That said, your chances of finding a Ca de Bou in a shelter are pretty slim. After the breed nearly went extinct, it took quite a bit of effort to bring it back. So the regular price for these breeds is somewhat high. Expect a puppy to cost around $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the breeder.
Are Ca de Bou dogs hypoallergenic?
No. There’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog breed, but some tend to aggravate allergies less than others. Unfortunately, the Ca de Bou is NOT considered one of them.
The Ca de Bou is a wonderful fit for active families who want a protective dog that’s also incredibly friendly and affectionate. Given their rarity, though, if you want one of these beautiful bulldogs, you’ll have your work cut out for you.
Do you have a Ca de Bou? Share your thoughts and experiences below!