Can de Palleiro - Origin, Character and Characteristics

Can de Palleiro: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Also called the Galician Sheepdog, the Can de Pallierons is the...

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Also called the Galician Sheepdog, the Can de Pallierons is the only Spanish canine breed to have been developed in Galicia, an autonomous community located in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Although it is not recognized by any of the most important federations, such as the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) or the RSCE (Real Sociedad Canina de España), the Xunta de Galicia and the Club de Raza Can de Palleiro have joined forces to give visibility to this exceptional canine breed of Galician origin, which stands out mainly for its virtues as a shepherd and guard dog.

In this AnimalPlanet page, we are going to talk in detail about the Can de Palleiro and we will tell you about its origins, its most notable physical characteristics, its habitual character, the care it needs, its basic education and its most common he alth problems.

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  • Europe
  • Spain


  • Balanced
  • Shy
  • Very loyal
  • Smart
  • Active
  • Affectionate

Ideal for

  • House
  • Walking
  • Shepherd
  • The guard
  • Sports


  • Harness

Hair type

  • Short
  • Smooth
  • End

Origin of Can de Palleiro

" The Can de Palleiro canine breed was developed in Galicia, mainly as a guard dog for rural farms and herds. Its name could be translated as hay barn dog, since it was in the haystacks that these animals used to take refuge to rest after long days spent outside, guarding and gathering the livestock."

The history of this breed seems to be very old, since it comes from the native dogs that, already in the Paleolithic era, helped the Galicians in their daily tasks. Later, the breed spread to other parts of Spain as well as the rest of Europe. These dogs share their origins with other more popular breeds such as the Belgian Shepherd, German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd and the Portuguese-born Can do Castro Laboreiro.

Relegated to oblivion for centuries, Palleiro dogs were even considered crossbreeds, until 2001, when they were officially recognized by different official bodies, such as the Xunta de Galicia and the Ministry of the Environment.

Features of Can de Palleiro

In terms of morphology, the Can de Palleiro dog stands out for being a large dog. They usually weigh between 30 and 38 kilograms and reach a height at the withers of 59 to 65 cm in males and 57 to 63 cm in females.

These dogs have a lupoid type body, that is to say similar to that of a wolf. They have a triangular head, an elongated muzzle and a straight profile with a slightly pronounced stop. In addition, like wolves, their ears are erect and triangular, their neck is thick and well-muscled, in perfect balance with the proportions of the rest of the body.Their legs are solid and strong and their joints are flexible and marked. It is common to find specimens with a dewclaw or fifth toe on the hind legs.

The coat is dense and lush, it moults in winter into an even thicker layer to protect them from the weather. The coat is generally uniform in color, with a wide range of color possibilities: cinnamon, chestnut, brown, brown, sable They are always light in color, although darker colors such as chocolate or even black are also possible. There are also dogs whose coat resembles that of the wolf.

Animals with white spots or animals with large white spots are not accepted in the breed standard. The skin of the Can de Palleiro is thick, smooth and devoid of folds or hair.

Character of Can de Palleiro

As a good guard dog, the Can de Palleiro dog is rather wary of strangers.It will correctly alert us to the visit of people passing by the house. Be careful, do not leave the dog outside all the time because this could end up causing behavior problems. Likewise, guarding and aggressiveness should not be confused. The Can de Palleiro dog, like any other dog, must be properly socialized from an early age.

This dog is particularly sociable with members of the household. He will surprise us with his remarkable intelligence and sensitivity. Again, with proper socialization, this dog will be able to live with all kinds of animals and people.

Take care of a Can de Palleiro

" The maintenance of the coat of the Can de Palleiro must include one to two weekly brushings, which will help us remove dead hair, accumulated dirt and detect the presence of parasites and other he alth problems at an early stage. Depending on how dirty they are, they can be washed every 3 months maximum.To wash it, you will need to use specific dog products, which you will find at your vet or in a pet store. It is important to stress that it is not advisable to mow the Can de Palleiro in any case, even during the hottest months."

Food will play an important role in coat quality and he alth. We can opt for homemade croquettes or diets, but they must always be based on quality products. The BARF diet, for example, which is based on raw foods, is gaining more and more popularity due to its many benefits.

Finally, it is important to note that this breed needs daily exercise in order to be he althy. Two to four walks a day, including physical exercises and moments of relaxation, allowing the dog to exercise and be happy. It will also be necessary to devote time to his mental stimulation, by making him do basic obedience exercises, canine skills or canine sports.

Can de Palleiro Education

Dog education must begin at the time of adoption by socializing it from an early age. This will allow him to have a stable behavior with all kinds of people, animals and environments. Early separation from its parent or keeping it confined at home can lead to various behavioral problems in dogs.

A fundamental aspect will be to teach him the basic commands of the dog. To do this, always use positive reinforcement, as this will ensure good learning. You will have to start by training it with rewards that you will gradually withdraw. Then we can teach him more advanced tricks as well as other more complex exercises. Precisely because of his intelligence and abilities, you will see how fast this dog learns!

If there is a problem, the best thing to do is to consult a trainer or a dog handler.

He alth of Can de Palleiro

This is a solid and hardy breed that does not really suffer from hereditary pathologies typical of the breed. However, this does not mean that it should not be vaccinated or dewormed regularly. As soon as you have a dog, you must follow the vaccination schedule and you must take it regularly to the vet.

The life expectancy of the Can de Palleiro dog is between 12 and 15 years.

Photos of Can de Palleiro

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