How is a Garafiano sheepdog? Features and care

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The Garafiano sheepdog is a breed not yet recognized by the International Cynological Federation (FCI), but registered with the Royal Canine Society of Spain (RSC). It is a breed of large, furry and noble bearing dog, originally bred for herding.

This breed is also a good companion for sports activities, as it enjoys exercise and the outdoors. In addition, it stands out for its loyal personality. Do you want to know all its details? Let’s go there.

Index of contents

  • 1 History of the garafiano sheepdog
  • 2 Physical characteristics of the garafiano shepherd
  • 3 What is the personality of the breed?
  • 4 Care needed for a garafiano pastor

History of the garafiano sheepdog

This breed is native to the island La Palma, located in the Canary archipelago. The island has only 706 square kilometers and for years it has been isolated. For this reason, the Garafian shepherd developed with little intervention from other races.

The name receives it from Villa Garafia, where this shepherd is abundant. The area has few communication channels and develops livestock activities. The garafiano shepherd serves as a watchdog for this cattle.

Although it has not yet been accepted by international federations, there is a breed standard in the RSC and a Spanish Association of the Garafiano Sheepdog.


Garafiano Sheepdog (Image

Physical characteristics of the garafiano shepherd

We are before a medium to large dog. He is tall and short-necked, with a muscular and solid bearing, without being heavy.

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The head is conical, ending in an elongated snout with truffle and black lips. The ears are tall and pointed.

The eyes are oblique, they appear brown with black eyelids. His expression is affable and attentive. The tail curves without reaching the back, it is graceful and has a profuse coat.

The coat is long, rough and abundant. It is perceived longer around the ears, the back of the legs, the neck and the tail. Color is fawn or yellow, although some specimens may be melaninic, that is, the coat is brown or black.

In puppies we will see a brown coat with white spots on the chest and fingers.


Height between 57 and 64 cm in males and between 55 and 62 cm in females


Weight of between 28 and 35 kg in males and between 24 and 30 kg in females


Long and abundant hair, throughout leaved or yellow


Affable, protective and suspicious character with strangers


Good health


Estimated life expectancy between 12 and 14 years



Garafiano Sheepdog (Image

What is the personality of the breed?

The Garafiano sheepdog is ideal if we have children at home, because it loves to play. In addition, its protective personality make it a excellent watchdog.

He is suspicious in front of strangers, shows barking and a defensive attitude. This is good if we want you to take care of the house, although it is convenient to socialize it so that it is friendly with visitors and other pets.

It’s easy to train and learn quickly. If we want you to accompany us on walks, take care of the field or be a pet dog, adequate training for these tasks will suffice. He gets along well with other pets and rarely shows aggressive attitudes.

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Care needed for a garafiano pastor

The long coat requires several brushings per week, between 2 and 3. This can be adapted according to the amount of hair that is released, but it is essential that it be done regularly. It is advisable to purchase a long haired dog brush and be aware of the formation of knots.

Exercise is one of their main demands. It is convenient to take it for a walk every day for more than an hour, it needs long walks and games with other dogs. Physical activity strengthens family ties, but also prevents our dog from developing a destructive personality and keeps him in shape.

Regarding health, there are no known congenital or hereditary diseases. Your organism is resistant and will develop few health problems if we comply with the annual visits to the vet, the vaccination schedule and the corresponding deworming.