The Ca de Bou Dog Breed: Everything You Need to Know

The Ca de Bou, also known as the Perro de Presa Mallorquin, is a large and powerful breed from the Balearic Islands.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about this impressive breed, from its origins and temperament to its health and lifespan.

History and Origin of the Ca de Bou

Known by many names, such as Perro de Presa Mallorquin, Mallorca Mastiff, or the Majorcan Bulldog, the Ca de Bou dog has a long and interesting history. The breed was developed in Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands.

It is believed that the breed descended from large Mastiff dogs that the islanders used for guarding cattle. The initial purpose of the Ca de Bou was to participate in blood sports, like bull baiting and dog fighting.

In the 20th century, blood sports were banned, and the breed went almost extinct. Thanks to the efforts of several preservation groups, the Ca de Bou population grew. Today, while not in danger, the breed is still relatively rare outside Europe.

Physical Characteristics of the Ca de Bou

The Ca de Bou is a muscular and powerful breed with a distinctive appearance. Originally bred for bull-baiting and dog fighting, this breed is now primarily used as a guard dog and companion.

Size and Weight

The breed is medium to large in size, with males weighing between 77-84 pounds and females weighing between 66-75 pounds. Females are 20 to 22 inches tall, and males are 22 to 23 inches tall at the shoulders.

Both genders have a stocky and compact build, with a broad chest and strong legs. Despite their size, Ca de Bous are surprisingly agile and athletic. They can run at high speeds and jump great heights.

Coat and Colors

The Ca de Bou has a short, rough, and dense coat that can come in a variety of colors, including black, fawn, and brindle. The coat is easy to maintain and requires minimal grooming.

Distinctive Facial Features

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Ca de Bou is their powerful and intimidating facial expression. They have a large head and strong jaws that give them a bulldog-like appearance.

Their ears are typically cropped, and their tails are docked, giving them a more streamlined and aggressive look. However, it is important to note that these practices are illegal in many countries and should only be done by a licensed veterinarian for medical reasons.

Personality and Temperament

The Ca de Bou is known for their protective nature and loyalty to their owners. However, there is more to this breed than just their protective instincts.

Ca de Bous are incredibly affectionate and thrive on human companionship. They are known to form strong bonds with their owners and will often follow them around the house to be near them.

This breed is also known for its playful nature. They love to play and will often initiate playtime with their owners. Their energetic personalities make them great companions for active families.

The Ca de Bou’s Protective Nature

The Ca de Bou dog is incredibly loyal to its family and will do whatever it takes to protect them. The breed is fearless and will not back down from a threat.

It is important to note that while the Ca de Bou’s protective nature makes them great watchdogs, they may not be suitable for households with young children.

Intelligence and Trainability

The Ca de Bou is a highly intelligent breed and can be trained for a variety of tasks. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

However, they are stubborn at times, which can make training a challenge. It is important to be patient and consistent when training this breed. When approached correctly, the Ca de Bou excels in obedience training and can also be trained for agility and other dog sports.

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

Proper socialization is crucial for the Ca de Bou, as it can be aggressive towards other dogs if not socialized properly. The breed requires early exposure to different people, animals, and environments to ensure that they grow up to be well-adjusted adults.

The Ca de Bou may not be suitable for households with small pets, as they have a high prey drive and may see smaller animals as prey. The good news is that with proper socialization and training, this dog can learn to coexist peacefully with other dogs and animals.

Health and Lifespan

Health Issues

While the Ca de Bou is generally a healthy breed, there are a few health issues that they may be prone to. Some frequent health problems in the breed include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A painful orthopedic condition in which the two bones forming the hip joint do not fit properly and cause impaired mobility 
  • Ear Infections: Ear infections develop if dirt and moisture get trapped in the ear canal, which is common considering the breed’s ear anatomy 
  • Skin Allergies: The breed is prone to skin allergies which can occur due to allergens in the environment or food

Life Expectancy

The Ca de Bou typically has a lifespan of around 12 years, which is relatively long for a large breed. The average lifespan can be impacted by a variety of factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise, and medical care.

To ensure that your Ca de Bou lives a long and healthy life, provide it with proper care and attention. Such care and attention refer to regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced and nutritious diet, and plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Care & Maintenance Tips

Regular exercise is important for the Ca de Bou, as they are an active breed that enjoys physical activity. This includes walks, runs, and playtime in a fenced yard or dog park.

Mental stimulation is also vital for the breed. The Ca de Bou dog is very intelligent and must be provided with puzzle toys, challenging training sessions, and other activities that can help keep it mentally engaged and prevent boredom.

Proper nutrition is critical for Ca de Bou’s overall health. Provide a balanced diet that is appropriate for the dog’s age, weight, and activity level.


Overall, the Ca de Bou is a loyal and protective breed that requires a dedicated owner who is willing to invest in their physical and mental health. With proper training and care, the Ca de Bou can make a wonderful addition to a loving household.

If interested in the breed, do your homework and find a reputable breeder. The Spanish Bulldog is a relatively rare breed, and it may take time until you find a puppy. Also, the price can be high.

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