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Perro de Ganado Majorero – Adrian el Luchador

By Manuel Curto Gracia

Irema Curto Kennels

About thirteen or fourteen years ago, or maybe more, I went to Fuerteventura with some friends to see perros de Ganado Majoreros. In these cases, one plans the trip with much enthusiasm and illusion -is clear that the illusion is a species of mirage-. The rest of the trips, previous and later to that one, I made them alone. In order to see dogs I prefer to travel alone, because I concentrate myself better in the alive animal, and in the human that tells me things related to the subject of my study, the native dog.

I arrived at Fuerteventura in airplane from Tenerife accompanied by a friend. The rest of the friends (two) travelled to Fuerteventura from Gran Canaria. In Fuerteventura another friend joined the expedition. In two automobiles (one rented) we crossed good part of the island. After giving some rounds asking for the dogs of the land, we finished in front the house of Adrián the Wrestler -of canary wrestle-. Adrián was sleeping the siesta when we arrived. His wife woke him up. Adrián appeared at the door of his house somnolent and just combed. Adrian was -I suppose that he still is- of medium stature, thin and strong, and in those days about forty years old. Somebody said me that for his weight he was a great wrestler. After introduce ourselves we asked him for the dogs, if he still had them. Yes, I have one -he said-, but is not like those of before. Adrián spoke us about a dog that he had given, or sold, a long time ago. It was an extraordinary unit -he affirmed with pride- was large, of good breed, very hard, and very brave.

Adrián told us that a few years ago he had a dog outside the common thing, excellent guardian, and very brave. At that time several wild dogs (not livestock guardian dogs) walked killing ewes and goats in the part of Pozo Negro (South of the island). With his dog and the aid of several friends was in search of the dogs. The search was difficult; to walk by volcanic slopes was exhausting. But my dog ended them, one after another one, said Adrián.

Adrián took us to see dogs by the environs. Those that we saw lacked value. The last week I passed with my motorcycle near the house of… (I don’t remember the name of the alluded person) –Said Adrián while we took a beer in a small bar in the environs of Pozo Negro-, and I saw two brindle females puppies loose there, that people always had good dogs, we are going to see if they still have them.

It was a field house, in a small orchard surrounded with canes of approximately two meters tall; a young man red-headed with green eyes, in the middle of a dust cloud was ploughing the earth with a cultivator, an older one, of about eighty years came to our encounter. Adrián greeted him, and introduced us, and he asked him for the females puppies. No, they had already taken them, said the old man, they were not great thing. Then I asked him, nobody here has a good dog? Not -he said-, before there were many, but now no longer they are, the truth is that the breed has been lost, I do not say that it is not left someone elsewhere, surely, but there is already years that we did not take care of the dogs since we did before, like when I was young, listen, in those years in all the houses of field were perros de Ganado that is like we always have called them here, or dogs of the land, I remember that when a female was in heat, as almost nobody tied them, she gathered around her ten or twelve dogs of those, and their fights were terrible, and there was not one that could approach by the environs because they attacked everything, It was prohibited to have them loose but nobody paid attention to that.

And how they were the dogs of your youth? I asked to the man. They were larges, like donkeys, but as I already said, everything has changed, today no longer we live like before, and sure if is not taken care of, the breed will be ruined.


Manuel Curto Gracia

Irema Curto Kennels

Tarajal - Perro Majorero

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