Leonese Shepherd or Carea leonés - Origin, Characteristics and Behavior

Leonese shepherd or Carea leonés: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Leonese Shepherd, also known as the Carea...

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" The Leonese Shepherd, also known as Carea leonés or Aqueda dog, is a dog adapted to driving livestock, especially sheep. He is typical of Castile and León and has never really adapted to apartment life, as he is a dog that needs exercise and being outdoors. When it comes to his he alth, he doesn&39;t really suffer from hereditary diseases and with proper care and he alth checks, like any other dog, he can live a long and full life."

Continue reading this breed from PlanetAnimal to learn all the characteristics of the Carea leonés, its history, its personality, the care it needs, its education, its he alth and where to adopt one!

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  • Europe
  • Spain

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group I

Physical Characteristics

  • Proportional


  • Average


  • 45-55

Adult Weight

  • 10-25

Life expectancy

  • 10-12

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Very loyal
  • Smart
  • Active
  • Submitted

Ideal for

  • Shepherd

Recommended climate

  • Cold

Hair type

  • Short
  • Medium

Origin of the Leonese Carea or Leonese Shepherd

" The Leonese Shepherd is a dog that was bred and used as a shepherd dog, especially for sheep, because it is an agile and intelligent dog, energetic, of medium size and with the ability to accompany livestock on transhumance. Since the Middle Ages, it was sought after in the northernmost regions of the Spanish autonomous community of Castile and Leon until it reached the whole country and became known as the Leonese Shepherd Dog or Carea leonés."

Unlike what happened in the World Wars, the Spanish Civil War did not affect Spanish canine breeds, in fact, the Leonese Shepherd Dog experienced an increase due to its ability to participate in other different activities. Despite this, they are not a well-known or popular breed at all, largely because they are not used to living in a house or being overly affectionate. It was not until 2018 that its official standard was recognized by the Royal Spanish Canine Society.

Characteristics of the Carea Leones or Leonese Shepherd

The physical appearance of the Leonese Shepherd dog does not really differ from that of other sheepdogs. He is of medium size, with a height of 48-55 cm for males and 45-52 cm for females, and his body is well proportioned with long and strong limbs. It has an alert head, with an elongated muzzle, deep-set eyes, and large erect or drooping ears on either side of the head.

The most outstanding characteristic of the Leonese Shepherd is its coat, which features a double coat in harlequin colors, with a combination of black with a dilution of gray and white spots, which can be accompanied by tan spots on the limbs , the face and the upper part of the eyebrows.

Character of the Carea Leones or Leonese Shepherd

The Leonese Shepherd is a very energetic, territorial, courageous and intelligent dog, with particular loy alty and courage to his job as a herding dog. He is a dog accustomed to life in the countryside, not very affectionate and who needs his space to release his great energy. They show affection, loy alty and attachment to their guardian, whom they will blindly obey.

The Carea leonés is a shy dog around strangers that can even be aggressive if not properly socialized.

Caring for a Leonese Shepherd

This dog needs open spaces and lots of play and exercise to release his tireless energy. For this reason, an apartment in town is not the best place for this dog to develop its full potential, but if there is no other option, long walks and games will be essential. Another option is to organize training or competitions to allow them to burn off their energy. They also need mental games to keep their minds active when not tending a herd.

To continue with the care of the Leonese Shepherd, this breed requires a good, he althy and complete diet, which will maintain its musculature, its energy and its good he alth. To do this, it is necessary to follow the caloric and nutritional recommendations set by the veterinarian. You can also consult this article: "What do dogs eat?

Routine veterinary checks are the same as for any other breed of dog. The rest of the care is simple, as he is a country dog, you don't need to wash him too often or brush him too much.

Education of the Carea Leones or Leonese Shepherd

The Leonese Shepherd is a very loyal dog to his guardian, but with other people or strangers he can be almost aggressive if he has not been well socialized from an early age. This will help him in the future to be less shy and more sociable with children, strangers or other animals. For that, please see these articles:

  • How to socialize a puppy?
  • How to socialize an adult dog?

Because they are dogs with an innate ability to herd, they are smart and learn quickly. Education should always be based on positive reinforcement, to which they respond very well.

He alth of the Carea Leones or Leonese Shepherd

The Leonese Shepherd is a he althy and strong dog, accustomed to outdoor life. No hereditary diseases have been identified in this breed, and with proper veterinary care and checkups, they can live up to 12 or 14 years.

However, as with all large, fast-growing dogs, it is important to be careful with hip or elbow dysplasia, which can be very uncomfortable or painful. Therefore, veterinary follow-up and gait monitoring are essential to detect the problem.

Where to adopt a Carea leonès or Leonese Shepherd?

Before adopting a dog of the Leonese Shepherd breed, you have to stop to ask yourself if we are going to offer him everything he needs. This won't be a good idea if you live in a city apartment with few open spaces nearby and you hardly walk around there. This dog needs plenty of exercise, frequent walks and trips to release his energy, as well as play and mental stimulation. The ideal is to adopt one if you live in a house in the countryside.

If this is the case and you are looking for a good herding dog, the Leonese Shepherd is ideal.What you need to do if you want to adopt a Leonese shepherd is find out about shelters, animal protection centers or associations, especially those in Castile and Leon in Spain.

Photos of Leonese Shepherd or Carea leonés

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