Majorca Shepherd Dog

Other names: Majorca Sheepdog, Ca de bestiar

Majorca Shepherd Dog
Majorca Shepherd Dog

The Majorca Shepherd is an all-purpose farm dog. They can hunt, herd, and are also used as watchdogs. Its exact origins remain unknown, but some experts suggest it was brought to Majorca by James I of Aragon in the 13th century. There are short and long-haired versions of the breed, but both have a distinct all black coat with very light white speckling. It has a rough appearance, which matches the dog’s robust personality. These dogs are brave, fearless, and tireless workers.

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Key facts about the Majorca Shepherd Dog

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years
  • Temperament : Intelligent
  • Size : Large
  • Type of coat : Short, Long
  • Price : Between £1000 and £1300

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)

Section

Section 1 : Sheepdogs

Physical characteristics of the Majorca Shepherd Dog

Adult size

Female dog Between 24 and 27 in
Male dog Between 26 and 29 in

Weight

Female dog Between 84 and 93 lb
Male dog Between 84 and 93 lb

Coat colour

Black. White speckles on the chest and legs.

Type of coat

Rough. Dense. Thick.

Eye colour

Honey.

Description

Medium size. Solid build. Long muzzle and pendulous ears. An open and friendly expression. Deep chest and long, straight back. Often mistaken for a Labrador crossbreed. 

Temperament

Affectionate

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A friendly breed, but not particularly affectionate. This is a real working dog with a strong, independent personality.

Playful

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Not very playful, although they will enjoy games that stimulate their natural herding instincts. 

Calm

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This dog is full of energy. They also love exploring or investigating. Keeping them inside for long periods of time will lead to boredom and frustration. This is a real “outside” dog. Suitable for farm owners or dog lovers with large back gardens.

Intelligent

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Highly intelligent animals and, in the right hands, easy to train. Far too intelligent for an inexperienced dog trainer.

Hunter

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More of a herding dog than a hunting dog.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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A brave and strong-willed animal. Will show no fear or nervousness around strangers. 

Independent

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The Majorca Shepherd is a strong-willed dog that is used to working independently. They can be quite headstrong.

Behaviour of the Majorca Shepherd Dog

Tolerates solitude

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Although no dog should be left alone for prolonged periods of time, this one deals with solitude much better than most other breeds. 

Easy to train / obedience

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These independent minded animals can be be difficult to train. Although they’re very intelligent, Majorca Shepherds are notoriously dominant. Handlers need to be firm, confident, and experienced. 

Barking

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This dog doesn’t really like strangers and will often bark when they see one. They’re also very territorial. Barking is their way of saying “get out of my space.”  

Tendency to run away

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A low-flight risk. The Majorca Shepherd is independent and athletic, but they’re also very loyal to their families. They’ll never stray too far from home. 

Destructive

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A naturally aggressive dog that will display destructive behaviour unless properly socialised

Greedy / Gluttony

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Neither greedy or gluttonous. Will be satisfied by one big meal a day. 

Guard dog

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Superb watchdog. Excellent vision. Confident. Very protective. 

First dog

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This dog requires an expert handler or someone who is used to owning a working dog. Training these animals can be a real battle of wills between dog and master, and first time dog owners are unlikely to come out on top. 

Lifestyle

Majorca Shepherd Dog in a flat

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No way! This dog was bred to live and work on the farm. Keeping them locked up inside a flat is a really bad idea. It will lead to boredom, frustration, and long-term mental health issues.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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Hour-long, daily walks are absolutely essential. They should have the opportunity to roam free and shouldn’t be confined to the house. 

Travelling / easy to transport

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These dogs are difficult to transport. Firstly, they’re far too big to travel on planes. Secondly, they tend to get restless and anxious during car journeys.

Compatibility

Majorca Shepherd Dog and cats

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The Majorca Shepherd isn’t used to living with cats or other pets.

Majorca Shepherd Dog and dogs

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Majorca Shepherds are naturally aggressive and very competitive. They’re bold, dominant, and like to be in charge. This can lead to conflict with other dogs.

Majorca Shepherd Dog and children

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This willful, defensive dog is not a good choice for families with small children. 

Majorca Shepherd Dog and the elderly

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Elderly dog owners should probably explore some other options. The Majorca Shepherd is a strong, dominant dog. Elderly people may not be able to assert themselves enough. 

Price

The initial cost of a Majorca Shepherd Dog puppy is between £1,000 to £1,300. The average cost to keep one of these dogs (including vet bills, insurance, and food) is between £50 to £100 a month.

Grooming

Minimal grooming requirements. In fact, the Majorca Shepherd is a self-cleaning dog. It produces natural oils that help maintain its coat. A weekly brush is more than enough. It’s also a good idea to check their ears on a weekly basis as they’re prone to infections.

Shedding

Average shedders, especially during spring.

Nutrition of the Majorca Shepherd Dog

3 cups of high-quality dog food, preferably in one big meal per day.

Health of the Majorca Shepherd Dog

Life expectancy

A very healthy breed with an average life expectancy of 11 to 13 years.

Strong / robust

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This dog is built for action. They have a strong, functional frame with a thick neck and muscular shoulders. Very tough. Very robust.

Withstand heat

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Black-coated dogs generally struggle with the heat, but the Majorca Shepherd is a real exception. Many were exported to hot countries like Brazil, where they work as guard and watch dogs.

Withstand cold

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This dog withstands the cold quite well. Their coats provide protection against the wind and the rain. 

Tendency to put on weight

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No issues with unwanted weight gain or obesity.

Common illnesses

Good to know

Due to this dog’s headstrong nature, it’s important that owners assert their personality over the dog. Owners should be firm and consistent, but never aggressive.

Without proper training, this dog can display aggressive behaviour towards strangers.

They prefer to be the only dog in the family.

Origins and history

Since ancient times, the Majorca Shepherd has worked as a herding dog, a watchdog, and a guard dog. Their origins can be traced back to the 13th century. It remains relatively unknown outside of its native Majorca and the breed standard wasn’t written until the 1980s. In 2006, the UK Kennel Club recognised the breed within the herding dog category. Although well-domesticated, the Majorca Shepherd is still a working dog; it is rarely kept as just a pet.  

Names

Pedro, Isco, Sansa, Amber

Find out more dog name ideas here

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