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Perro de Ganado Majoero – The dog named Major

By Manuel Curto Gracias

Irema Curto Kennels

My dog Major was already almost adult when came to see me at Tamaimo (Tamaimo is a little town in the northwest of Tenerife, in where I lived in those days) a young couple to see if I had some puppy of presa on sale. I did not have puppies at those moments, but they saw Major. I spoke them about the breed. Apparently they did not know it. Few years later Rogelio Galván (breeder of presas at that time) said me that in Tacoronte, in a villa close to the cemetery, was an impressive majorero dog of brindle coat. Without loss of time I was in search of the dog. Its owners were the young couple that had visited me in Tamaimo interested in the purchase of a presa puppy.

I don’t remember exactly if they said me that they had family in Fuerteventura, the sure thing is that from Lajares (Fuerteventura) they had brought that dog when it was a puppy, to which they had put the name Major, and a puppy female, that once adult and after bred her, died. Soon they brought another female of the same town.
This female was inferior in quality to the male. Major was large, strong, brave, with much guard instinct. He was extraordinary.

After ten or twelve years; one Saturday, a friend came to say me that someone was offering an adult majorero. Was a veterinarian who told him that. My friend had not knowledge in dogs, and less in majoreros dogs, so he requested me if I could accompany him to Tacoronte to see the dog. If you think that it is good -he said me- I take it, if then I cannot have it, you can bring it to your kennels. The idea did not seem me bad, if my friend could not have the dog due any cause, it would come to my kennels. Perfect.

My friend and me, we went to see the dog. It was great, strong, with much temperament. How many paths have the life, it was son of Major and the second female that brought from Lajares the young couple that visited me in Tamaimo.

The dog was from an old man. One night the old man arrived at his house from playing cards at daybreak drunk, the dog attacked him, it tore him jacket, and harmed him.

As from that daybreak, the old man was afraid to the dog and he only wanted to get rid of him.

The dog finished in the property of my friend. My friend said me, very happy, if at some moment I cannot have the dog, you take it. OK I replied, but the really important thing is to breed him with some useful female, because mi interest, as you know, it is to follow with the breed of the Perro de Ganado Majorero.

After a time his father-in-law gave to my friend a majorero puppy female that came from a goatherd of Telde (Gran Canaria). The puppy became adult and my friend bred her with the son of Major that then was about nine or ten years old. In friendly conversation I said to my friend that he must not forget that I was interested in that future litter. He said me to don’t worry, that he would keep something and that I could take the rest. The female give birth three puppies. When the puppies were approximately one and half month old I went to see them on my horse. The puppies were really nice, with good type, vivacious. As they were only three, I asked to my friend, when I take mine? My friend looked to me angry and he said, I was offered money for these dogs. What you mean with that? I said, and then I added, how much I must pay you? No, because you sell the German Shepherds in one hundred thousand pesetas, he said me. Then I watched him to the eyes and without raising the voice I said, Until today we have been friends, never more we will be friends, I mounted on my horse and I left him.

After some time, came to visit me a friend, Diego is his name, and he said me that my ex- friend had given him a very pretty majorero puppy. One of these days I will bring it so that you can see it. Then I told him what had happened with my ex- friend. Yes, the truth is that the man is a little rare, answered me. My friend fulfilled his word, one day he appeared at my kennels with the puppy. It was around seven or eight months old and it was very nice.

Seven or eight months later, a friend said me that Diego was selling the majorero dog in thirty thousand pesetas. Thirty thousand pesetas, I exclaimed, and why he sells it? Due he lost one eyetooth in a fight with a presa. When this friend went away I called to Diego. Hello, Diego, I am Manuel Curtó; someone has said me that you sell the majorero dog. Yes, Diego answered me. In thirty thousand pesetas. Yes. Due he lost an eyetooth. Yes. Can you bring it to my kennels today? If you can bring it I will pay you in cash. That same day, Diego brought me the dog that was and still is called Canario. To the few days I took Canario to the veterinarian to make him a hip’s x-ray. He was HD free. What a joy. Canario was and continues being at his ten years old, a magnificent dog, very typical, of which no longer they are. Of Canario I have excellent, and a numerous descendants. His breeder, my ex- friend, is already several years that he has not majoreros dogs. 

By Manuel Curto Gracia

Irema Curto Kennels


Ewa Ziemska

Breeder and researcher of Presa Canario. Lived in Poland, London UK and presently stays in Kentucky, USA and traveled through whole Europe and 22 States discovering the breed. Speaks Polish, English and Spanish. Master of Science of Management and Computer Modeling and Engineer of Production Engineering of Kielce University of Technology. Avid traveler, photographer and dog book collector. Instagram @reygladiador