The Majorca Shepherd is well proportioned, athletic and pretty tall dog breed. According to the official breed standard, the Ca de Bestiar height at wither should be between 22-24 inches, which is 55-61 cm and weight should be between 77-88 pounds, which is 35-40 kg. But this is only a breed standard and you can find even larger dogs, with height up to 73 cm, which is 29 inch.
The Ca de Bestiar has medium sized muzzle, triangular ears that are set on high and hangs down to the sides of the head. The eyes are small, round and set wide apart. This breed also has deep chest, muscular loins, straight and strong back and ribs that are well strung.
The Majorca Shepherd should always has a solid black coat. There are actually two coat varieties, a short haired and long haired, which is quite rare. Most dogs have the short, fine and thick coat. The long coat is slightly wavy on the back and can reach over 7 cm in length.
This dog was originally developed to work on farms as a skilled livestock protector and indeed, they are great herders with highly protective and territorial temperament. The Ca de Bestiar is quite suspicious around strangers, which is why they can be trained to be good guards.
On the other hand, when they are with its family, than they are very affectionate, loyal and playful breed. This is a social dog who tends to create a very strong bond with its owner. But it is definitely not a dog for everyone, because of its independent and protective personality, they need good early socialization to not become overprotective and overall, they are not good dogs for unexperienced dog owners. The Ca de Bestiar needs a patient, firm and experienced trainer.
Just like majority of dog breeds that were bred for work on farms, even the Ca de Bestiar is pretty active dog breed who needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. This breed will always be ready for any kind of an adventure or playtime. You will have to také them on daily longer walks and ideally you should let them run freely if possible.
The Ca de Bestiar is not a hunter and they can live with other pets or dogs in the family, especially if they are raised together from the puppyhood. They can be also good playful partners for older kids, but you should always monitor the situation between the dog and the child.
This breed is often times mistaken with the Black Labrador Retriever and many people think that it is a Labrador cross. But that is not a true, the Majorca Shepherd is a separate breed, that has nothing to do with Labs.
The exact origin or ancestry of the Ca de Bestiar is unknown but it is believed that this is pretty old dog breed. One theory suggest, that the breeds ancestors came to the Balearic islands shortly after the conquest of King James of Aragon in the 13th century.
During the 16th and 17th centuries these courageous dogs were already used to guard livestock, homes and farms all over the Balearic Islands.
A selective and controlled breeding program started in the 1970s and in 1982 the breed was accepted by the FCI.
Health and grooming
It is not hard to maintain Ca de Bestiars coat in top condition, because the coat is kinda self cleaning and it does not require almost any bathing. But it does shed, so if you want to minimize the shedding, regular brushing is needed.
This is quite hardy and healthy dog with average lifespan around 13 years. Just like majority of larger breeds, the Majorca Shepherd can suffer from hip dysplasia, patellar luxation or gastric torsion.