The Mucuchíes is a native Venezuelan dog that was developed from dogs of Spanish conquistadors, that reached the land of toadys Venezuela in the end of 15th century. They brought different dog breeds with them, such as Spanish Mastiff, Great Pyrenees and Pyrenean Mastiff. Over the time, all these dogs crossed together, probably even with some local dog native to South America and this blending of breeds is believed to be the beginnings of the Mucuchies dog.
This dog breed has one of the cutest names and it is actually named after a small Venezuelan town Mucuchíes in the state of Merida. They are sometimes also named as Perros de los Peramos, which refers to the Páramo ecosystem.
Even though this is quite rare breed, one Mucuchíes is celebrated in Venezuelan and South American history as a dog of Simon Bolívar. Simon Bolívar is known as a liberator, who gained independence from the Spanish empire for Venezuela. It is believed, that when he and his men stopped at the gate of the town Mucuchíes, a puppy blocked his way and bravely barked at them. Bolívar was impressed by the dogs courage and he decided to take him. He named this puppy as Nevado, which means Snowy, and Nevado accompanied Bolívar on his journey for independence and it is believed, that he even saved his life several times.
For centuries, Mucuchíes dogs are mostly used to protect and guard livestock from dangerous predators. They typically go around the livestock in circles and calmly but carefully monitor the situation around them. These dogs love to work and they are excellent for this purpose. They have great qualities for it, such as big courage, strong and endurant body, independent mind, loyalty to its owner and to its flock and of course naturally protective instinct.
But the Mucuchíes is not only a great worker, but also loyal, intelligent and pretty sensitive dog breed, that quickly creates a strong bond with its owner and family. They are typically also good and gentle with kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. Even though very intelligent, the Mucuchí is also independent dog that needs experienced owner who will properly train and socialize the dog, so it is not overly protective. But overall, with the proper and active owner, this can be amazing companion dog.
The Mucuchíes has the typical look of a mountain dog with strong constitution that exudes great power. The average height of this dog is typically between 22-28 inch, which is 55-71 cm and weight between 66-100 lbs, which is 30-45 kg. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The coat of this dog is very dense and thick and it is protecting the dog from mountainous climate so they can work outside for long hours. The coat is in short to medium length and the thick coat is either straight or slightly wavy. The Mucuchíes comes in white color with or without patches of apricot, brindle, black, grey, honey and some other colors.
Great fact is, that the maintenance and grooming needs of Mucuchíes are minimal. Of course, regular brushing is always beneficial as it will remove any loose and dead hair and minimize the shedding and it will also remove any dirt from the coat and keep it as clean as possible, but no other grooming need are necessary. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
9) National dog
A group of breeders who loved Mucuchíes created a breed club in 1961 to ensure proper uniformity in the breed and already in 1964 the Mucuchíes was designated as Venezuelas national dog. And even though they have high status in Venezuela, these dogs were once close to extinction. Luckily, the breed survived, but it is still very rare and it is very hard to find them outside Venezuela.
There are no scientific studies about the breeds health, but it seems that this is very hardy and usually healthy dog breed with no breed related health issues. The average lifespan is around 11 years, which is average for dog of this size. Of course, they may suffer from time to time from some health issues that are common for large dogs, such as joint problems, bloating, some allergies or infections, but none of these problems is extremely common with this breed.