Presa Mallorquin

A Powerful Breed With a Genetic History of Expertise in Combat, This Dog Is the Epitome of Protectiveness

A rare breed, the Perro de Presa Mallorquin, also known as the "Ca de Bou," is a Molosser breed originating from the island of Mallorca. The name "Ca de Bou" means "bull-dog" in the Catalan language, with "Perro de Presa Mallorquin" the Spanish translation of that name. It should be noted that "Perro de Presa Mallorquin" does not mean "combat" or "fighting" dog as is often thought. Instead, it means "dog of prey," which refers to its strong predatory instinct and ability to capture its victims with unique biting expertise. In Spanish, for the purpose of clarification, "fighting dog" is translated as "perro de pelea."

The Perro de Presa Mallorquin is independent, introverted, and reserved, but very affectionate with its own family.


The Perro de Presa Mallorquin's origins are somewhat debated. Some say that it is a reconstruction or re-creation of a now extinct Spanish breed, while others say that the original Mallorquin Bulldog breed's last few specimens were mated with other breeds to keep the line going. If the latter is true, modern stock is comprised of a sampling of the last few original Mallorquin Bulldogs found.

In the first millennium BC, the "Dogs of Egypt," among them the Mastiff, became an integral part of the ancient maritime trade conducted by the Phoenicians in the eastern Mediterranean region. During that period, Egyptian goods and concepts spread widely, as far west as the British Isles and eastward to the border of India. As a result of that exposure, the dogs were probably interbred wherever they went, continuing to about 800 BC.

The Carthagean Empire took hold in the third century BC, with the eruption of the two Punic wars against Rome. Minorca and Mallorca became favorites of piracy because of the chaos wrought by these wars, and peace was not restored until the Romans occupied both islands in 123 BC.

Over the next 500 years, inhabitants of the Balearic Islands joined forced with Caesar's armies in the Roman Empire where mastiffs were used as war dogs. Islanders probably also used them for piracy. Roman dogs also likely mixed with local dogs since some of these interbred dogs did not have mastiffs' size, but still shared some of their other characteristics. Once the Roman Empire declined in 425 AD, other tribes invaded including the Vandals and Alans who moved across the Balearics and the Iberian Peninsula. With them came a famous, massive hunting dog breed known as Alanos in Europe, or Alans in Iberia, also used for military combat.

In the 17th century, Minorca and other areas succumbed to British rule following the Treaty of Utrecht, resulting in the arrival of British fighting dogs who were crossed with the Mastiffs on the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Isles.

In the 18th century, fights between bulls and dogs (bull baiting) became very popular and the British who lived there coveted a breed that could specifically prevail in this activity. Thus, these Mastiffs were ultimately influenced by the English bulldog and its capacity to fight. Common wisdom holds that the English crossed their bulldogs with breeds which could have included the Iberian Mastiff, the Alano and the Ca de Bestiar, also known as the Majorca (Mallorquin) Sheepdog.

In 1923, the Perro de Presa Mallorquin was officially established in the Spanish Studbook. However, during the 20th century, the breed experienced a decline, and by 1964, no pure specimens were left. An attempt was made once again in the 1980s to bring the breed back to its original standard, crossing the Perro de Presa Mallorquin with the Ca de Bestiar. From those offspring, specimens were chosen that most closely resembled the original Perro de Presa Mallorquin, and the breed was newly established. These dogs continue to garner attention, with Poland and Russia taking most avid interest. Puerto Rico, Holland, Denmark, France, Finland and Sweden are also attracted to the breed, with the first Perro de Presa Mallorquin introduced to the UK by France in 2001.


Powerful and of medium build, the adult Perro de Presa Mallorquin weighs between 66 and 83 pounds and stands 20 to 22 inches at the shoulder. A powerful specimen because of a significantly large chest, the dog’s jaws are also exceptionally strong with a slight underbite. The girth of the skull exceeds the dog’s height, is extremely intimidating and mammoth in size.

In Europe, Perro de Presa Mallorquins have a much shorter, stockier build, with moderately wrinkled faces, while in Spain, Scandinavia, and other countries, the dog is leaner and taller. Coat colors are generally black, fawn, or brindle, with the latter most preferred, followed by fawn and then black. White patches are permissible on the muzzle, chest, and front feet, with a maximum of 30% allowed for the entire coat. Black masks are also accepted.


Rather aloof and somewhat distant, the Perro de Presa Mallorquin is reserved around strangers and very protective of its immediate family. If you choose to adopt the Perro de Presa Mallorquin as a pet, you will notice that it does not really need a lot of attention from you – but that doesn't mean it isn't devoted to you. Although autonomous, this dog will instinctively protect you and your children. However, you must train the dog from early puppyhood that you are its leader. It is also important to expose the dog at your first opportunity to a wide variety of social situations so that it will become familiar with a full array of different people and circumstances. This dog will naturally be distrustful of strangers, which isn't problematic as long as it respects your commands and obeys your rules. Only a strong, experienced and expert trainer should take on a dog of this caliber.

Despite its large size, this breed will equally tolerate an apartment setting or house as long as ample exercise is provided, several times a day.


The Perro de Presa Mallorquin is known to be genetically healthy with a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.


The coat is short and rough to the touch and requires little grooming.


Ca de Bou (Perro de Presa Mallorquin, Mallorquin Bulldog, Dogo Mallorquin, Presa Mallorquin, Majorca Mastiff).

Retrieved April 20, 2014.

Perro de Presa Mallorquin.

Retrieved April 20, 2014.

Perro de Presa Mallorquin (Ca de Bou) (Perro Dogo Mallorquin) (Mallorquin Bulldog) (Mallorquin Mastiff).

Retrieved April 20, 2014.

Perro de Presa Mallorquin. Mallorquin.html.

Retrieved April 20, 2014.

Perro de Presa Mallorquin.

Retrieved April 20, 2014.

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