Herreño Wolfdog - Origin, Traits, and Care

Wolfdog Herreño: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Herreño wolfdog, also known as the Herreño lobito...

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

" The Herreño Wolfdog, also known as the Herreño lobito or Herreño Shepherd Dog, is a dog originating from the Canary Island of El Hierro. Traditionally it was a dog used for guarding sheep and goats, but the decline of traditional herding has brought it to the brink of extinction. Fortunately, today there are associations responsible for recovering this breed of dog, or rather this ethnic group."

If you want to know more about the Herreño wolfdog, continue reading this article from PlanèteAnimal, we will tell you everything about its origin, characteristics and the most important care.


  • Europe
  • Spain

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic


  • Average


  • 45-55

Adult Weight

  • 10-25

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Shy
  • Very loyal
  • Smart
  • Active
  • Dominant

Ideal for

  • Shepherd

Origin of the Wolfdog Herreño

The Herreño wolfdog originates from the Canary Islands, more precisely from the island of El Hierro. This island is the one with the largest number of Herreño wolfdogs, but there are also some specimens in Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma, and even in parts of the Iberian Peninsula.

" The origin of the wolfdog of Herreño is not known exactly, because during the Castilian conquest of the Canary Islands, which took place in the 15th century, the existence of wolfdogs was mentioned called canchas by the aborigines, who could be the ancestors of the wolf-dog of Herreño. However, it is not known if they were present in the Canary Islands before the Castilian conquest."

Originally, the Herreño Wolfdog was used as a guard dog for sheep and goats. However, the decline of traditional herding has brought the Herreño wolfdog to the brink of extinction.Today, it is considered that there are only a few dozen animals that meet the breed standard, although fortunately there are associations that work to recover and maintain this breed.

" In reality, the Herreño Wolfdog is not a breed in itself, but is considered an ethnic group by the Royal Canine Society of Spain (RSCE). From a colloquial point of view, the two terms are often used as synonyms. However, strictly speaking, there are key differences between ethnic groups and dog breeds."

For an ethnic group to become a breed, breeders need specific selection work, in a consensual manner and around a common racial standard, in order to obtain both genotypic and phenotypic homogeneity and stability. individuals. In other words, we could say that the ethnic groups are the preliminary step to the official recognition of a dog breed.However, in the case of the Herreño Wolfdog, the selection process necessary to constitute a breed as such has not yet been developed.

Characteristics of the Herreño Wolfdog

The Herreño Wolfdog is a medium-sized breed. The average weight is 22 kg for males and 18 kg for females, with a height at the withers of 54 and 52 cm for males and females respectively.

This is a sturdy, heavily built dog with a primitive, wolf-like appearance. It resembles the wolf in its morphology, its movements, its coat and its colors. The most remarkable morphological characteristics of the Herreño Wolfdog are the following:

  • The head: it is triangular and the muzzle is long and narrow.
  • The truffle: it is generally black, but in lighter or coppery specimens, it can be liver-colored (brown).
  • Eyes: small and brown in color. The eyelids and the edge of the lips are pigmented black.
  • Ears: straight, high set, triangular in shape and oriented from back to front.
  • The neck is wide and proportionally short compared to the rest of the body. The rib cage is well formed and the abdomen is tucked in, giving it a slender bearing.
  • The tail is wide from the base and has a dark spot at the tip.
  • The limbs are well balanced and have fine to medium bone.

The colors of Herreño's wolfdog

The coat of the Herreño lobito is short and there is a difference between the summer coat and the winter coat, the latter being longer and thicker. The color of the coat is generally gray (more or less dark depending on the individual), although we can also observe reddish shades of the fur, even individuals of white or light cream color.Most of them have a light-colored mask around their mouths and a light-colored mask around their eyes.

Herreño wolf-dog character

The Herreño Wolfdog has traditionally been used for its excellent herding skills for small livestock (sheep and goats), as it is a very hardy dog. But he is also an excellent companion dog, as he is particularly loyal to his guardian and, in general, to all the members of his family.

It should be noted that the Herreño Wolfdog is a restless dog with a strong character. You should also know that he can be a little wary of strangers.

Herreño Wolfdog Care

In addition to the basic care (food, walks, grooming, etc.) that should be given to any dog, regardless of breed, special attention should be paid to the following care of the wolf dog from Herreño:

  • Brossage: when the seasons change, especially with the arrival of autumn and spring, it is important to do it every day, because it is during this period that the coat moults. from summer to winter coat, and vice versa.
  • Exercise: The Herreño wolfdog is a particularly active and restless animal, so it needs a regular exercise program to maintain good physical and mental he alth. These are dogs that require long daily walks, especially when you have one in an apartment.

Training the Herreño Wolfdog

As mentioned before, the Herreño Wolfdog tends to be wary of strangers. This is why it is advisable to socialize it with people outside the family from an early age. Likewise, it is advisable to carry out this socialization work with children, especially in the case of companion dogs.

On the other hand, it should be noted that the Herreño Wolfdog is a dog with a temperament and can be dominant with other dogs, especially males. That's why it's also important to start training them from an early age to prevent unwanted behavior at a later stage.

Herreño Wolfdog He alth

In general, the Herreño wolfdog is considered a he althy and robust dog and it has a life expectancy of between 12 and 14 years. However, like all dogs, the Herreño Wolfdog is not immune to disease. To prevent them, it is important to

  • Follow the appropriate vaccination and deworming schedule to protect against infectious and parasitic diseases. You can view the dog vaccination schedule here.
  • Perform regular veterinary checks (at least once a year) to detect any he alth problems early.
  • Ensure basic care (balanced diet, clean and fresh water with free access, regular physical exercise, daily brushing, etc.) to maintain good physical and mental he alth.

How to adopt a Herreño wolfdog?

As we said at the beginning of this article, there are currently few examples of Herreño wolfdogs and most of them are found in the Canary Islands. Therefore, if you are thinking of welcoming a Herreño wolfdog into your family, we recommend that you check with the animal protection associations located in the Canary Islands. You can also consult the associations that are dedicated to the recovery of this breed, so that they inform you if they have Herreño wolfdogs waiting to be welcomed.

However, remember that the most important thing when it comes to welcoming a new member to the family is not that they meet any racial norm, but that you can welcome them into your home and adapt to their needs and way of life.

Herreño Wolfdog Pictures

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!