20 Ca de Bou Temperament Traits You Must Know

The Ca de Bou temperament is courageous and independent. He is a Spanish bulldog from the island of Mallorca.



He has the calm and gentle disposition to be a great family dog. But he is also an intelligent dog with a stubborn streak and powerful instincts.

For this reason, the Ca de Bou is not a good choice for a first-time dog owner. This breed needs an experienced trainer who can be a strong leader.

The Ca de Bou Temperament and Personality

Intelligent

The Ca de Bou is a smart breed who is capable of learning easily.

Independent

Like many intelligent dogs, he likes to do things his own way. He is not the easiest dog to train. He needs firm and patient guidance.

Stubborn

The Ca de Bou temperament can be very stubborn with an owner who hasn’t established his or her dominance.

Crafty

The Ca de Bou learns quickly how to manipulate humans. If he’s not properly disciplined, he will always have the upper hand.

Some say if he gets away with something once, he will expect it forever.

Gentle

His disposition is calm and sweet. The Ca de Bou temperament is very tolerant with children and not reactive.

Devoted

The Ca de Bou temperament is loyal and devoted to every member of his family.

Loving

He shows great love and affection for his people. He is not a one-person dog but loves adults and children equally.

Friendly

He has a pleasing personality and is very friendly to people he knows.

Playful

The Ca de Bou temperament is very playful, especially with kids. He’s always happy to play, inside or outside.

Athletic

He is agile and far more flexible than he looks. He is good at dog sports and loves to work closely with his owner in these activities.

Courageous

The Ca de Bou temperament is extremely brave. His ancestors were bull baiters and dog fighters.

Reserved

This breed has a calm and quiet disposition. Even with suspicious strangers, he will remain calm but expectant.

Quiet

The Ca de Bou temperament is naturally quiet. They don’t normally bark a lot.

Territorial

This is an excellent Ca de Bou temperament trait if you’re looking for a watchdog. Otherwise, this natural distrust of strangers and other dogs can be a problem.

You would need to socialize him to strangers early, especially if you have frequent visitors.

He also needs to be socialized to other dogs from the very beginning.

Protective

The Ca de Bou temperament is extremely protective of his family, including the children.

One Ca de Bou owner says about this breed that the Ca de Bou will never let anyone into the house when no one in the family is at home—with no exceptions. She adds that he is determined and cannot be bribed.

He will also instinctively but calmly move his body between his owner and a suspicious stranger.

Adaptable

He is equally content to be relaxing at home or to be working or playing outdoors. He can adjust from relaxed to protective or territorial in an instant.

Tenacious

The Ca de Bou will not back down when confronted. This is directly related to his ancestors’ jobs as bull baiters and dog fighters. It can be a problem if he’s not properly trained.

Dominant

He can be good with dogs if they’re raised together. Otherwise, he will need firm training and socialization.

Confident

The Ca de Bou has a calm, self-assured demeanor. He is not shy. He can be aggressive in certain situations.

Aggression Tendencies

If he is meticulously trained, this is not likely to be a problem. (See Training.)

Ca de Bou History

The Ca de Bou, or Perro de Presa Mallorquin, originated in the Balearic Islands of Spain. Ca de Bou roots go back to the 11th century.

Initially, there were two types of Ca de Bou—the cattle dog and the bulldog. Today, the bulldog is far more common.

This breed was created from crossbreeding native Spanish Bulldogs with English Bulldog and mastiff fighting dogs brought to the islands in the 18th century.

Breeders were trying to create an exceptional fighting dog.

The Ca de Bou was used in bullfights until 1883. His job was to bait the bull to distract it from the toreador. When bullfighting was outlawed, they became dog fighters.

Then in 1940, dog fighting was outlawed in Spain. At that time, the Ca de Bou became watchdogs and farm or cattle dogs. Their population declined since then to near extinction.

In recent years, breeders are working to bring the Ca de Bou back. In the 1980s, they started crossing some of the last few Ca de Bou with the similar Ca de Bestias to save the Ca de Bou breed.

This created the Ca de Bou as we know it today. It also created a more versatile dog who could do just about any job a dog can be trained to do.

The resulting dog is technically a crossbreed, but the United Kennel Club (UKC) and Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) (World Canine Organization in English) recognize the Ca de Bou as a standardized breed.

It is a very rare breed, but it is becoming more popular. Availability is increasing in Europe and North America.

Ca de Bou Training

This breed needs a strong leader who understands pack mentality. He is willful and strong-minded if not properly trained as a puppy.

Some recommend working with a professional trainer with this breed. Unwanted Ca de Bou behaviors need to be corrected from the very beginning.

The Ca de Bou traits of dominance and independence need very firm and consistent training. However, it needs to be balanced with patient, gentle training methods.

This can be a challenging task even for the experienced dog owner.

If you try to manage this breed with harsh correction, he is likely to become aggressive. As a fighter, he was designed to be combative. And he doesn’t back down.

The Ca de Bou must be well socialized to strangers and other dogs from an early age.

When training, it’s best to keep sessions short. The Ca de Bou learns quickly and becomes bored easily.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Ca de Bou dog take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

Ca de Bou Appearance

General Appearance

The Ca de Bou is a medium-sized breed with a strong, muscular build. They have a wide chest and an elongated body.

Their coat is short, dense, and rough to the touch.

He has a large, square-shaped head. The male has a larger head than the female. They have powerful jaws with an undershot bite.

Ca de Bou Size

Ca de Bou weight is 66 to 88 pounds. His height is from 20 to 23 inches.

Colors

The most common Ca de Bou colors are yellow, gold, or tan. They can also be fawn, brown, black, or brindle. Some will have small white markings. They often have a black mask.

Ca de Bou Must-Knows

Other Names

Mallorquin Bulldog, Mallorquin Mastiff, Majorca Mastiff, Majorcan Bulldog, and Perro de Presa Mallorquin.

Ca de Bou Lifespan

This breed’s life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.

Living Situation

If he gets daily exercise, the Ca de Bou can do well with apartment living.

Fighting Dogs

The Ca de Bou is a direct descendant of Molossian dogs. Molossians are ancient European breeds used as fighting dogs and war dogs. They were bred to be fierce and fearless.

Many people mistake these traits for aggression. This is not necessarily true. The Ca de Bou is a perfect example of this.

The Ca de Bou has the calm and loving disposition of a great family dog. He is gentle enough to be trusted with children.

He does have a strong protective instinct and will challenge other dogs or humans if he feels it’s necessary. But he will become aggressive only if confronted.

That said, most fighting breeds will develop aggressive tendencies if they are mishandled by their owners.

No one should adopt a fighting breed because they like the idea of an aggressive and ferocious guard dog. That dog will eventually become a problem.

The key is firm and consistent training.

It is critical that fighting breeds get expert training and socializing from the very beginning. They have dominant natures. They need a trainer who is able and willing to assert a stronger dominance.

Those dogs that don’t get that early training are the ones that end up in shelters and on the news.

Ca de Bou Health Issues

The Ca de Bou is a healthy dog. He is prone to hip dysplasia and bloat, like many larger breeds. He has no breed-specific health conditions.

Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your Ca de Bou friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.

Caring for the Ca de Bou

Ca de Bou Grooming

This breed has light to moderate grooming needs. A weekly brushing should be all that’s needed.

He should be desensitized to grooming from the beginning. This is especially important for tooth brushing and ear cleaning.

Ca de Bou Diet

He should do well on any high-quality dog food.

Ca de Bou Exercise

This breed has a moderately high exercise need. At the very least, he needs a long walk or jog every day.

Even better, he is a good candidate for dog sports, including agility and rally. Obedience competition is an especially good activity for the Ca de Bou. It will help to establish your authority.

Finding a Ca de Bou

Ca de Bou Breeders

Finding a Ca de Bou for sale will require patience. This is a very rare breed worldwide.

However, as people are getting to know the Ca de Bou, he is gaining popularity. Breeders are working hard to bring the numbers of Ca de Bou back up.

Most of these breeders are in Spain, but a few American and Canadian breeders are starting to work with the Ca de Bou. An online search would be the best way to find them.

At the time of this writing, there does not appear to be a breed club in North America specifically for Ca de Bou. The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognizes the breed, so they may be a good resource for finding a responsible breeder.

If you are fortunate enough to find a breeder, you will want to verify that they are reputable.

Rare dogs can be very profitable, so they are often targets for puppy mills. You will want to get word-of-mouth referrals from people who have dealt with a Ca de Bou breeder.

The best way to do this with a rare breed such as the Ca de Bou is online. There are forums and social media groups for nearly every breed.

Connect with current Ca de Bou owners and ask about their breeder experience. Ask for names of breeders whose primary concern is preserving the health and welfare of their Ca de Bou puppies.

Importing a Ca de Bou

The fastest way to get a Ca de Bou puppy may be to look into importing one from Spain. Puerto Rico and France are other possibilities. Again, an online search is the way to find them.

At the time of this writing, Ca de Bou price information is unreliable but appears to be between $800 and $1200. Of course, if you import your dog, you will also have to pay shipping fees.

Ca de Bou Adoption – Shelter or Rescue

Because this dog is extremely rare, finding a Ca de Bou for adoption will likely be very difficult.

Again, an Internet search may be the best way to find a Ca de Bou rescue or adoption.

As time goes on and the breed becomes more popular, there will likely be more dogs available. You may want to check often.

Is the Ca de Bou the Right Breed for You?

We can’t emphasize enough that the Ca de Bou is not a dog for inexperienced dog owners. It is not a breed for a person who is not able or willing to be in firm control.

If you aren’t sure of your ability to do this, you may want to consider a different breed. Otherwise, you may be doing yourself and the Ca de Bou a disservice.

But if you are able to commit to giving him the training and socialization he needs, this breed can be a wonderful family dog. He just needs to know who’s in charge.

The Ca de Bou temperament traits of gentleness and loyalty make him a great addition to any family that’s willing to do the work.