Ca De Bou or Dogue de Mallorca - Origin, Characteristics and Care

Ca De Bou or Mastiff of Majorca: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Did you know that there is a breed of molossian dog...

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" Did you know that there is a breed of molossian dog originating from the Balearic Islands called the Mastiff of Majorca or Ca De Bou? In Catalan, Ca de Bou means bull dog and it was called this way because in the past these dogs faced bulls in fights. Fortunately, nowadays these sadistic and cruel customs have disappeared and the Ca De Bou are very good watchdogs, super loyal to their guardians and very courageous."

With good socialization from childhood and a good education, the Majorcan Mastiff will become a very familiar animal that will enjoy spending a lot of time with its family and taking long walks every day.Indeed, it is a dog that needs a good dose of physical and mental activity to flourish and be happy. Continue reading this breed sheet from PlanèteAnimal and find out everything you need to know about the Ca De Bou before adopting one!


  • Europe
  • Spain

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group II

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic
  • Muscular


  • Average


  • 55-70

Adult Weight

  • 25-45

Life expectancy

  • 10-12

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Balanced
  • Very loyal
  • Quiet

Ideal for

  • Apartment
  • The guard


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Short
  • Smooth
  • Dry

Origin of Ca De Bou or Mastiff of Majorca

In 1232, King James I conquered the Balearic archipelago. The king was accompanied by several large and strong dogs, including Alano dogs and Iberian Bulldogs.These dogs would give birth to the current Mastiff of Majorca or Ca De Bou.

" In 1713, under the Treaty of Utrecht, the Balearic Islands became an English colony. During English rule of the islands, dog and bull fighting, common sports in England at the time, were encouraged."

It was at this time that the existing dogs on the islands began to be crossed in order to obtain the most suitable fighting dog for the high temperatures of the Balearic Islands. Of course, English Bulldogs and other Molossians were also used in these crosses.

" The result was the Dogue de Mallorca. Bull and dog fights did not only take place in sporting arenas, indeed these dogs were used by butchers to control and help kill livestock. Hence the name Ca de Bou, which means bull dog in Catalan."

Years later, with the return of the Balearic Islands to the Spanish Crown and the banning of dogfighting, Mastiffs of Mallorca continued to be used as guard dogs and as butcher's helpers.

Today, the breed is little known outside the archipelago where it originated, and even in Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands, its population is rather small.

Physical characteristics of Ca De Bou

The Dogue de Mallorca is medium-sized, but so sturdy and muscular that it can intimidate even the bravest. The height at the withers of males is 55-58 cm, and that of female dogs 52-55 cm. The ideal weight for males is 35 to 38 kg and for female dogs 30 to 34 kg.

" The head is strong, massive, broad and tends to be square. The stop is well marked, as is the frontal furrow. The jaws are strong and prominent. Its nose is black and wide. His eyes are large, oval and dark in color. Its ears are high insertions, rather small, set back and curved (ears in pink)."

The Dogue de Mallorca's body is slightly longer than it is tall, robust and muscular. The topline rises slightly from the withers to the croup. The chest is wide and deep. The tail is set low and reaches the hock.

His coat is short and hard to the touch. It can be brindle, fawn or black. White spots on the front feet, chest and muzzle are allowed. The black mask is also authorized for dogs of all colors.

Character of Ca De Bou or Mastiff of Majorca

The modern Ca De Bou retains the temperament of its ancestors. He is a tough, courageous and determined dog. Like many Molossian dogs, the Majorcan Mastiff is also calm and balanced, and very loyal to his family, making him an excellent guardian and protector of his family.

He usually doesn't bark for no reason, but he is very suspicious of strangers and tends to be aggressive towards other dogs if not well socialized, as is the case with other breeds. On the other hand, if he has received good socialization from an early age, the Ca De Bou will be a calm and very homebody dog who will love life at home with his human family.

Care of Ca De Bou or Dogue de Mallorca

Caring for the Ca De Bou's coat doesn't require much effort. Brushing once or twice a week is more than enough. It is neither necessary nor advisable to bathe this dog very often. It should only be washed when really dirty.

These dogs need a good dose of daily exercise. Daily walks can provide much of this exercise while helping to maintain the dog's socialization. Although they are not very large, they do not adapt well to living in small apartments or densely populated urban areas. It is therefore advisable to provide the dog with a large space to live, and if it is outside, so much the better.

The Majorcan Mastiff can be a great family companion if treated with respect, affection, and love, and trained properly, but is generally not the right dog for a novice guardian because it is not easy to train.

Training and education of the Ca De Bou of the Mastiff of Majorca

Due to their natural characteristics, it is obviously important to socialize these dogs from an early age and to start dog training as soon as they are puppies. A Mallorcan Mastiff that is not properly socialized and trained can become a destructive dog. However, properly educated and socialized, the Majorcan Mastiff can be a good pet, provided the guardian understands the breed.

As a rule, these dogs are very friendly with family members, although they are aggressive towards strangers, but they tend to be independent and unloving.

Like all animals, Ca De Bou do not tolerate training based on punishment and abuse (which can hardly be called training), but they respond well to positive reinforcement. A Ca De Bou will not be a canine obedience champion, but nothing prevents him from being an exemplary and well-behaved pet, although, as we have already mentioned, it is preferable that his guardian be an experienced person familiar with dog behavior and care.

He alth of Ca De Bou or Mastiff of Majorca

There are no official data on the most common diseases in the breed, which could be due to the fact that it is a very he althy or little known breed. However, due to its sturdy build and resemblance to other Molossian dogs, attention should be paid to issues such as:

  • hip dysplasia
  • elbow dysplasia
  • gastric torsion
  • ectropion
  • entropion
  • breathing problems

Photos of Ca De Bou or Mastiff of Majorca

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