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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Mucuchies

The Mucuchies, also known as the Venezuelan Sheepdog, is a breed of domestic dog that originated from Venezuela. The breed is thought to have been developed after Spanish mountain dogs were brought into the area in the sixteenth century, serving as guard dogs and herd dogs. These dogs were bred with other dogs that may have included the Pyrenean mastiff, the Spanish mastiff, or various sheepdogs. After years of selective breeding were conducted to develop a strong working dog, the Mucuchies gained popularity and appeared beyond Venezuela.

The Mucuchies holds a short coat of fur that feathers out along its legs, which is typically white, but can hold spots of varying colors including black, tan, or gray. It reaches and average height between twenty-two and twenty-eight inches and a weight between sixty-six and one hundred and ten pounds. This breed is known for its intelligent and affectionate nature, so it makes a good pet companion. However, training and socialization are highly recommended because it can become aggressive with strange people. It also requires a large outdoor space and plenty of exercise to keep it mentally and physically healthy.

The Mucuchies is not recognized by any major organizations, but a club was formed around saving the breed in 1961, after years of bad breeding caused its numbers to decline. The breed was also named Venezuela’s national dog in 1964. Despite these accomplishments, the club that helped to save it disbanded, so it is uncertain whether it will retain purebred bloodlines.

Image Caption: Natural habitat of the mucuchies dog. Credit: gabriel3191/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mucuchies