This is a very old ancient dog breed from Spanish island of Mallorca. Thanks to the isolation of the island, they remained very similar for centuries and they were not interbred with many other dog breeds. Because of their long history, their origin is surrounded by mystery. Most likely, they are related to Alano Espanol or Fila de San Miguel.
The Ca de Bou dogs were used as fighting dogs, especially in the so called dog sport – bull baiting, which was popular in Spain. Thanks to their strength and brave, courageous and fearless personality, they were doing really good at it. Later, they were also used in the dog fights. Luckily, the Bull Baiting in Spani is banned from 1883 and Dog fighting from 1940. After that, the Ca de Bou lost their original purpose and a lot of breeders stopped breeding them and after the Second world war the breed almost went extinct. Luckily the breed was saved and they are not in danger of extinction these days, but it is still a rare breed.
3) Other purposes
Bull baiting was not the only purpose of the Ca de Bou. Again, thanks to their loyal, fearless and courageous nature, they were succesfully used as skilled and dependable guards and protectors. These dogs were also used as farm dogs.
This is a medium sized, muscular molosser dog, which is a relative rarity, since most mastiffs are giant dogs. The Ca de Bou height is typically between 52-58 cm which is 20-23 inch and weight is typically between 30-38 kg, which is 66-83 pounds. Today dogs are little bit smaller then the original dogs that were bred for work.
Despite its heavy frame, the Ca de Bou is athletic, agile and active dog breed. They definitely need daily regular exercise and they can compete in many dog sports, including agility, obedience or even dog dancing. This is definitely not a coach potatoe.
There are some important between Ca de Bou dogs based on their purpose and place where they were bred. You can especially see it on the dogs that were bred in Eastern Europe, because those tend to have foreshortened muzzles, while the original Spanish dogs have longer muzzles.
The dog breeds name, Ca de Bou, is very descriptive. It literally means Bull Dog in the native Catalan language. They are also named as Mallorquin Mastiff, Mallorquin Bulldog, Perro de Presa Mallorquin or Silverback Mastiff.
This is a very loyal dog breed to its owner and family and they tend to be protective over them. Sometimes even overprotective, which is the main reason why proper early socialization and training is needed. This is also a reason why they are not a good choice for novices or unexperienced dog owners.
The Ca de Bou coat is short and rough to touch. You can find them in three main colors, the fawn which is the most popular, brindle and black, which is the rarest. The coat does shed but it is nothing terrible and a good brushing with a bristle brush will remove most shedding hair.
This is relatively healthy and hardy dog breed with average lifespan between 10-13 years. The major health concerns are hip dysplasia, cherry eye, skin allergies and eye infections. The dogs with shorter muzzle might have problem with breathing in older age.