top of page

Breed -

Around From 
Original Country/Kingdom 

Pastor Garafiano


Breed History

Pastor Garafiano

A Spanish breed of sheep dog native to the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. The name comes from the comarca of Garafía, in the north of the island, where the breed was most common, although specimens can be found throughout the island. The breed was officially recognized by the Real Sociedad Canina de España in 2003.

This is a distinct canine population, it is a native to the comarca of Garafía, on the island of La Palma, where it was used by shepherds to bring the herds of goats. Because of this, the animal thrives well in steep and rocky areas. It has very heterogeneous characteristics, because there has only been performed a functional selection. Its core competency is the grazing of goats and sheep in rugged terrain, by the geography of La Palma. Its origin lies the pre-Hispanic times, although the crossings with other races (most importantly the Belgian shepherds) after the conquest contributed to the development of the Pastor Garafiano.

For a time, this breed was on the verge of disappearing due to out-breeding with other dog breeds. Successive crosses, especially from 1960s with other breeds of shepherd dogs, demonstrated the necessity to work for its recovery and selection from the few pure specimens of the race that kept the shepherds of the island. To avoid the disappearance of the dog breed the working group to recovery of the Pastor garafiano was created, which became the Spanish association of the Pastor Garafiano Dog. Among the objectives of the association are the censuses, the creation of breeding centers, the participation in dog shows and fairs, etc.

The breed has been brought in samples of indigenous breeds that have been held in the Canary Islands, as well as international exhibitions held in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas. The Department of Ethnology of the School of Veterinary of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has conducted several studies on the breed, which were presented at the symposium of indigenous breeds held in Córdoba in March 1992.

bottom of page