Can de palleiro or Galician Shepherd Dog

This Galician breed is related to the German, Belgian and Dutch shepherds and to the Portuguese Can do Castro Laboreiro, as it is believed that they share Indo-European origins. The Can de Palleiro is lively, intelligent and very protective, and enjoys the company of his family. Its anatomy highlights its athletic morphology, without fur, and lupoid.

Both his body and head are reminiscent of a wolf. Despite not having the official recognition of the main bodies that regulate the matter, in 2001 the Ministry of Environment and the Xunta de Galicia established an official standard. If you would like to know more about this ancient breed, read on.

Characteristics of the Can de palleiro

The Can de palleiro, or haystack dogs as they are translated from Galician into Spanish, are large, slender and very agile. They have a deep chest, a powerful neck and muscular legs with the particularity that their joints are marked. Their tail is medium-sized, broad at the base and very bushy.

Its head is triangular, with an elongated muzzle like that of wolves, and the stop is not very pronounced. The ears are triangular and always erect. The eyes are slightly slanted and brown. The coat is short and dense. With the winter moult it becomes even thicker to protect them from low temperatures.

  • Height between 59 and 65 cm in males and between 57 and 63 cm in females.
  • Weight between 32 and 38 kg for males and between 30 and 35 kg for females.
  • Short, dense and somewhat rough to the touch. The most usual colors are beige, cinnamon, brown, chocolate and black. White coats or coats with white spots are not allowed. Some specimens may have light roots and black or darker tips.
  • Affectionate, active and protective character
  • Strong health
  • Estimated life expectancy between 12 and 15 years.
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Can de palleiro or Galician Shepherd Dog

Temperament of the Can de palleiro

The Can de palleiro is very intelligent. With perseverance and positive reinforcement, their training is easy. They forge a strong attachment with their family and display all their sympathy and sweetness with the smallest of the house. They love to play with them.

They have a sensitive point that, together with their protective instinct, makes them an excellent pet. They will feel useful protecting you and will appreciate your company and attentions. With strangers, on the other hand, they are not so affable, although they are not usually aggressive. They are active dogs that are best suited to live in rural houses or with access to the countryside.

Can de palleiro or Galician Shepherd Dog

What care does the Can de palleiro require?

As we have said, physical exercise is indispensable. In this sense, you should provide between 3 and 4 walks a day, alternating the moments of activity, such as running, with those of recreation (sniffing, urinating). The canine obedience and sniffing exercises will serve as a mental stimulation. His coat does not require excessive care.

It will be enough to brush him a couple of times a week to remove dead hair and detect possible parasites. Bathe him at least quarterly and never cut his hair, it could cause skin or respiratory problems. Their diet is as important as physical activity in order to keep their muscles in optimal tone.

Can de palleiro or Galician Shepherd Dog

History of the breed

Some experts affirm that these dogs already existed in the Paleolithic. However, the most established theory points to the Visigoths, Celts and Normans as the ones responsible for their introduction in Galicia. They have always been used as herding dogs for flocks of goats and sheep and to guard rural estates.

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After both world wars they began to be crossed with other shepherd breeds. It is estimated that only about 1300 dogs exist according to official estimates. Therefore, in order to prevent their extinction, the Xunta de Galicia supports the Can de palleiro Breed Club by organizing, for example, adoption programs.

Can de palleiro or Galician Shepherd Dog

Curiosities of the Can de palleiro

Some dogs have a dewclaw or fifth toe on their hind legs. Did you know that the Can de Palleiro is a cousin of the German Shepherd? Undoubtedly, this is a breed that deserves all the efforts being made to preserve it.

Can de palleiro or Galician Shepherd Dog
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