The Cimarrón Uruguayo Dog Breed: Everything You Need to Know

Looking for a loyal, affectionate, and protective dog? You must definitely consider the Cimarrón Uruguayo. Strong and tenacious yet loyal and affectionate, this breed is perfect. 

In this article, we will explore the history, physical characteristics, temperament, and health of the Cimarrón Uruguayo, so you can decide if this is the right breed for you.

History of the Cimarrón Uruguayo

The Cimarrón Uruguayo is a molosser-type dog that traces back to the time of the Spanish Conquest in South America. The breed probably descended from the dogs that accompanied Spanish conquistadors on their expeditions.

The breed’s name itself comes from the word “cimarrón,” which means feral or wild in Spanish. These dogs were initially wild and were used for hunting and guarding livestock in Uruguay.

Origins in Uruguay

The Cimarrón Uruguayo became a popular breed in Uruguay during the 17th and 18th centuries. The breed was used to hunt wild boar, puma, jaguar, and other wildlife. They also served as protectors of livestock, including cattle and horses, against predators and rustlers.

During this time, the Cimarrón Uruguayo was highly valued for its strength, agility, and loyalty. Breed members were trained to be fierce protectors of their owners and their property. They were also known for their ability to adapt to the harsh conditions of the Uruguayan countryside.

The Breed’s Role in Uruguayan History

In Uruguay’s rich history, the Cimarrón Uruguayo played a significant role. These dogs often accompanied gauchos, the Argentine and Uruguayan cowboys, on their cattle drives. The breed’s strength and tenacity were crucial in controlling the wild cattle and horses on these drives.

As the breed’s popularity grew, the Cimarrón Uruguayo became a symbol of Uruguay’s national identity. Members of the breed have been featured in literature, music, and art, and their importance in Uruguayan culture is still recognized.

Recognition and Preservation Efforts

The Cimarrón Uruguayo was recognized as Uruguay’s national dog breed in 2006, and breeders have established standards to maintain the breed’s physical traits, temperament, and health.

Despite its growing popularity, the breed’s future remains uncertain. The Cimarrón Uruguayo is considered a rare breed, and ongoing efforts are made to preserve its genetic diversity and promote responsible breeding.

Physical Characteristics

Size and Weight

The Cimarrón Uruguayo is quite large, which makes it excellent for guarding and protecting its owner. However, despite the size, the breed is known for being incredibly agile and quick on its feet. 

Male Cimarrón Uruguayo dogs stand between 23 and 24 inches tall, and females are slightly shorter, standing around 21.5 to 22.5 inches. Males typically weigh between 84 and 100 pounds, and females around 73 to 88 pounds. 

Coat and Color

The Cimarrón Uruguayo has a short and smooth coat with a well-developed undercoat. The coat is usually brindle, but pale yellow (so-called bayo pattern) is also common. Breed members can have a black face mask and white markings on the chest and toes.

The Cimarrón Uruguayo’s coat is thick and provides excellent weather protection. This is a practical feature as it keeps the dog comfortable when facing the often harsh climate of Uruguay.  

Distinctive Features

The Cimarrón Uruguayo is a compact and large dog with well-developed muscles. It has a broad head with a slightly curved forehead and strong jaws. This gives the dog an imposing presence and makes it clear that it is not to be messed with.

The breed’s ears are triangular and erect, radiating a very alert appearance. The eyes are dark, deep, and expressive, while the tail is thick at the base and tapers towards the tip.

Temperament and Personality

The Cimarrón Uruguayo is a fascinating breed that has a unique temperament and personality. This breed is famous for its natural instincts, loyalty, and affection towards its family, and its ability to protect its territory.

Natural Instincts

The Cimarrón Uruguayo is instinctively protective of its family and territory. These instincts make it an excellent guard dog and protector. It is not uncommon for members of the breed to be wary of strangers and other dogs. 

The Cimarrón Uruguayo is also a fearless breed, which can be both a positive and negative trait. However, with early socialization and training, the Cimarrón Uruguayo can become a well-behaved and well-adjusted companion.

Behavior with Family

The Cimarrón Uruguayo is loyal and affectionate with its humans. This breed forms strong bonds with its owner and is gentle and patient with kids.

However, because of its intimidating size, this dog can accidentally knock small children down. Therefore, it is best to keep all interactions closely supervised. 

Socialization with Other Animals

The Cimarrón Uruguayo can be wary of strangers and other dogs. It is essential to socialize the breed from a young age to prevent it from becoming overly aggressive towards other animals.

Some breed members have a more pronounced prey drive due to their heritage of working as hunting dogs. If you have another small animal in the house, it is imperative to invest time and effort in early and proper socialization. 

Exercise & Mental Stimulation 

It is essential to provide the Cimarrón Uruguayo with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation opportunities to ensure overall wellness.

The Cimarrón Uruguayo thrives in an environment with lots of room to run and play. The breed is not suitable for apartment living unless taken outside very often. 

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Like all breeds, the Cimarrón Uruguayo is susceptible to certain health issues. The breed is prone to conditions such as: 

  • Hip Dysplasia: An orthopedic and genetic condition in which the bones forming the hip joint grow at different rates, causing incongruency. Dogs with hip dysplasia are prone to arthritis and experience pain and impaired mobility. 
  • Elbow Dysplasia:  Also an orthopedic and genetic joint condition in which there is a misfit between the three bones forming the elbow. Once again, it causes early-onset arthritis, pain, lameness, and mobility issues. 

Preventative Care

To keep the Cimarrón Uruguayo healthy, regular exercise and a balanced diet are essential. The breed’s short coat requires minimal grooming, but it should be brushed regularly to remove any loose hair and prevent matting.

Owners should also be sure to keep their dog’s teeth clean and their nails trimmed to prevent any issues. Vaccinations and parasite control are also very important for the overall health of the Cimarrón Uruguayo. 

Expected Lifespan

The Cimarrón Uruguayo has an average lifespan of between 10 and 12 years. With proper care, many breed members live longer than the expected range. 


If you are looking for a loyal and protective companion that has a rich history, the Cimarrón Uruguayo might be the perfect breed for you. However, you should be prepared to commit time and effort to training, socializing, and proper care.

If you are willing to put in the work, you will be rewarded with a faithful and loving companion that will make a great addition to any family. Cimarrón Uruguayo dogs are a true blessing for experienced owners. 

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