Free shipping on orders over €15

Pastor Garafiano: origin, qualities and care

Pastor Garafiano: origen, cualidades y cuidados

Lobo Azul |

The Garafiano Shepherd , also known as the Garafia Shepherd , is a dog that we have heard little about. However, it is well known and appreciated in its native region: the Canary Islands, as well as in Spain and nearby countries. The history of the Garafiano Shepherd also has an interesting history, knowing it allows you to appreciate this breed even more.

  • Size : Medium - Large.
  • Weight : Between 24 and 35kg.
  • Hair type : Long, abundant and blonde.
  • Character : Affable, protective and distrustful of strangers.
  • Health : Healthy
  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years.

Origin of the Garafiano Shepherd

The Garafia Shepherd is a dog of Hispanic origin and, more precisely, it is a native of one of the Canary Islands, which is known as La Palma, specifically in the north of said island, in the municipality of Garafia . Hence its name.

However, mentioning the region of origin is not enough. As its name indicates, it is a shepherd dog. In his early years he lived with humans, dedicating himself mainly to herding, taking care of the goats and sheep that made up the capital of the island's inhabitants. It was special for these tasks thanks to the fact that its physiognomy is ideal for moving through steep areas.

Garafiano Shepherd breed

This is how Pastor Garafiano lived for many years. As the island's inhabitants have abandoned herding and working the land, this dog has ceased to be a herding dog and has become primarily a companion dog , a task that it also fulfills splendidly.

It is relevant to mention that during the 60s, due to the indiscriminate and irresponsible crossing of this breed with other shepherd breeds, the Garafia Shepherd was on the verge of disappearing as a breed.

Faced with this terrible situation, a timely working group emerged to defend it from the danger of becoming extinct. This became known as the Working Group for the Recovery of the Garafiano Shepherd Dog , and was later renamed the Spanish Association of the Garafiano Shepherd Dog (AEPPG) and is active today.

Physical characteristics of the Garafiano Shepherd

In terms of appearance, the Garafiano Shepherd is relatively similar to a wolf , however, its size is medium to large with a rather small head in relation to the size of its body. Their characteristic split ears can be located quite far apart on the back of the head.

Their eyes, oblique, brown and close together, usually have a bright brown hue, with an always alert look. These, together with its hairy cheeks and not very prominent chin, give it a friendly and non-aggressive appearance . In addition, its teeth are pincer-type, a quality that was extremely useful since it does not mistreat livestock (goats and sheep).

It is a strong, agile and muscular animal. The specimens of this breed are covered by a large amount of fur, especially on the chest, back and genital area, this allows them to protect themselves from the cold. They are light brown, similar to the color of a lion's coat, and the cubs are dark brown and as some specimens grow, they may develop white spots, mainly on the tail. In relation to the latter, it has a characteristic saber shape.

Character and behavior of the Garafiano Shepherd

Regarding its character, the Garafiano Shepherd is usually friendly, docile and self-confident. Being an animal of great intelligence and a strong and agile physical build, the Garafiano Shepherd is active and lively . It is a dog that needs to enjoy, play and exercise regularly, since it has enough energy that needs to be released.

After having lived for so many years, perhaps centuries, with man, the Garafiano Shepherd has become very healthy accustomed to him, being harmless and rather too calm with respect to the people who approach him. However, it presents the natural canine response to strangers: in such cases, it usually barks, sniffs, moves its tail or folds its ears in order to maintain a safe distance from those it does not know.

After getting acquainted properly, he is totally friendly and playful. It is a breed that has gone from having a work function to being a companion dog precisely because of its affable personality and the indisputable trust it has earned from its owners over the years.

Although for some years he was crossed with other shepherd specimens, it seems that the Garafiano Shepherd did not suffer in terms of his predominant personality. On the contrary, it has remained constant over time as a docile and helpful dog .

Behavior with other dogs

As with humans, the Garafiano Shepherd is not usually aggressive towards other dog breeds. It can move its ears and tail in the presence of an animal it does not know, but it is rare for it to initiate any type of intimidation or attack. In general, they are polite and cautious dogs, not violent.

This also relates to his high level of confidence. This is a dog extremely aware of its strengths and possibilities. Therefore, it is the ideal type of dog to live in a community, it does not usually cause fuss or problems to other humans or their respective pets.

It is a completely sociable dog, even when it performs herding duties, the Garafiano Shepherd is not usually territorial, on the contrary, although it does keep a certain distance from strange animals and people, once it adapts to them they do not represent any inconvenience. Pastor Garafiano concentrates on his task with great confidence.

Differences between males and females

Regarding their behavior, females and males do not differ significantly. However, a greater temperance can be seen in the male because he does not present the behavioral changes typical of gestation and birth of puppies.

Females, for their part, can be a little more temperamental when it comes to protecting their puppies. Female Garafiano Shepherds also tend to resolve their differences with other animals by distancing themselves or looking for a more intelligent solution; males, in the rare cases that present them, usually resolve them through mutual challenges.

The Garafiano Shepherds of both sexes are not very prone to conflict and tend to move away from it in search of a restful place until they regain the lost tranquility.

Care of the Garafiano Shepherd


As we mentioned before, the Garafiano Shepherd is a muscular and strong animal , it is an extremely energetic and active animal. These factors lead to the need for a nutritious diet that helps you recover proteins, minerals, fluids and vitamins after each daily action.

They require a diet with a high energy value. It is recommended to determine this diet under the recommendation of a veterinarian, however, the basic recommendations are usually the following:

  • Feed it with nutrient-rich dog kibbles (900 grams daily for adults)
  • Vary your meal with soft foods (few times a week or month)
  • Provide animal and vegetable protein (helps bones and teeth)
  • Give treats infrequently and in small proportions

When the Garafiano Shepherd reaches the adult stage, it is also recommended that it be fed twice a day on a constant schedule. The bowl should be placed at the height of the dog to avoid digestive problems and even discomfort at the neck level.

As for puppies, they can also eat kibble suitable for their age and size. You must be very rigorous and not overdo it in feeding the little ones as this can trigger a process of overweight.


Since it is an energetic dog, it is normal to take it for a walk and let it run around outdoors. For this reason, it will be important that you make a considerable investment in hygiene products for your pet. It will also be necessary to attend to all the details: keeping their ears and eyes free of wax and lice is extremely important to maintain their good appearance and health.

Due to its abundant coat, the Garafiano Shepherd requires brushing, preferably daily, at least two or three days a week. This helps prevent annoying flea and tick problems. It is equally important to adhere to a strict bathing and drying routine in order to prevent infections or fungus on your skin. For this, it is important to consult with the veterinarian about the recommended frequency for bathing, although it should not be more than once a month.


Your health will not only depend on your hygiene, physical activity will also be necessary to complement the diet-hygiene-exercise triad. If the Garafiano Shepherd is not exercised frequently, it can develop anxiety and increase the likelihood that it will destroy some objects at home.

Otherwise, this is a fairly healthy breed that is not threatened by the development of relevant diseases, as long as it is given the necessary care, including the vaccines it deserves from the moment of birth. By fulfilling these factors, it is very likely that you will succeed in the great responsibility of raising and caring for a beautiful Garafiano Shepherd , a loyal, intelligent and affectionate companion pet par excellence. Maybe someone is waiting for you, Pastor Garafiano has won your heart, don't think about it anymore.

Other articles that may also interest you:

Previous Next