Mucuchies

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66-100 lbs
22-28"
Andes Mountains/ Venezuela
Snowy, Paramo's Dog

The Mucuchies dog breed is an extremely rare breed of dog that originated in the mountain of Venezuela at some point prior to the 1800s, after dogs that had travelled with Spanish conquistadors from the 1500s and 1600s began breeding with each other and with other dogs that were found locally. While they were popular locally until early in the 20th century, by the 1960’s they were nearly extinct. Concentrated breeding programs are underway in the mountains of Venezuela that are designed with the intent to re-establish the breed, although the success or failure of those programs are still to be determined.

Purpose
Shepherd, Flock and Family Guardian
Date of Origin
Unknown
Ancestry
Unknown

Mucuchies Health

Average Size
Male Mucuchies size stats
Height: 22-28 inches Weight: 66-100 lbs
Female Mucuchies size stats
Height: 22-28 inches Weight: 66-100 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
Occasional Tests
  • Blood And Urine Analysis
  • X-rays or other radiographic imaging

Mucuchies Breed History

When Spanish conquistadors reached what is now Venezuela in 1498 they were accompanied by their dogs, a mixed lot of Spanish, Algerian, and Pyrenean Mastiffs, along with Pyrenees, Atlas Ovejero, and possibly others. Once the conquistadors had conquered the indigenous people and settled in their dogs began interbreeding, with each other and, some speculate, with an unknown dog breed originally native to that area of South America. This blending of breeds is believed to be the beginnings of the Mucuchies dog, possibly with additional infusions of mastiff in later centuries. In the 1800s during their liberation campaign, Simon Bolivar and his men stopped at a Hacienda in the town of Mucuchies but were blocked at the gate by a puppy who barked ferociously, bravely protecting it’s master’s property. The puppy’s owner called the young dog off and when Bolivar expressed how impressed he was, the owner gave the dog to him as a gift. Bolivar named the pup Nevado, a name meaning snowy, and they became constant companions along with a man by the name of Tinjaca who was chosen to care for the dog while on their travels. Navado was credited with saving Bolivar’s life several times throughout his campaign for independence, but he was speared with a lance during the Battle of Carabobo in 1821, losing his own life but helping to secure the independence of the Venezuelan people. The Mucuchies breed remained popular in the area for quite some time, but by the mid-1900s, poor breeding practices had led the Mucuchies breed to the brink of extinction. In the 1960s Santiago and Carlos Cruz attempted to reinvigorate the breed with the importation of Great Pyrenees dogs, but the attempt was unsuccessful in restoring the Mucuchies and later disbanded. The Navado Foundation, a group with ties to 63rd Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has since been formed in an attempt to save the breed. 

Mucuchies Breed Appearance

The Mucuchies are a larger breed of dog, somewhere around two feet tall at the shoulder and occasionally reaching a hundred pounds or more in weight, with a straight back and deep chest, although they are still typically much smaller and more slender than their Mastiff ancestors. Their wedge-shaped heads have slightly domed skulls and broad straight muzzles that end in a large nostriled black nose and they sport large, expressive brown eyes with dark eyelids and medium-sized triangular ears that are set just above the eye line and hang down to the sides of the head. These dogs come in white or white with patches of color such as apricot, brindle, and black and their medium-short, thick coats often exhibit thicker hair with a more pronounced wave in the chest area and while the feathering on their legs is fairly light, the feathering and fur on their long tails are abundant.  

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Mucuchies eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Mucuchies nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
pied Mucuchies coat
Pied
white Mucuchies coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Mucuchies wavy coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Mucuchies Breed Maintenance

This dog breed only requires bathing a few times a year and overly frequent bathing can strip the coat of natural oils and reduce the dog’s resistance to extreme weather. It is particularly important to fully rinse this dog's coat after shampooing as their thick coat can trap soap residue, which can cause dirt and dust to stick to their coat. While the coat is thick, it is also fairly short and only requires brushing once or twice a week to keep it dirt, debris, and tangle-free. Their hanging ears also should be checked regularly to ensure that they are free of moisture and dirt, in order to avoid infections.  

Brushes for Mucuchies
Pin Brush
Comb
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Mucuchies requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Mucuchies Temperament

The Mucuchies dog is a courageous and confident guardian for flocks of sheep and people alike. They are sensitive and intelligent animals that quickly form a strong bond with their families and are known to be both loyal and trustworthy. It is important to note, however, that if these social dogs are isolated too often or for too long they are prone to developing separation anxiety and even become aggressive. While they are good with children, they can become overprotective of them, particularly if socialization training is not given enough attention when the dog is growing up, and younger dogs may knock smaller children down in their enthusiasm. Although the Mucuchies dog is naturally very intelligent they have a notable stubborn streak coupled with a tendency to get bored and impatient with repetitive or overly long training sessions; they are most responsive to short, upbeat training sessions that include varied activities. 

Mucuchies Activity Requirements

This is a rather active dog for its size and requires forty-five minutes to an hour of vigorous activity per day. As these are fairly large-sized canines, it is essential for the health of their bones and joints to be cautious and not cause undue strain to the legs and hips while the bones are still growing. During adolescence, activities like vigorous running, jumping up on or down off of elevated surfaces, and standing on their hind legs for extended periods can contribute to improper formation of the skeletal system. These dogs require more room than you will typically find in an apartment-type environment and are better suited to a home with a yard.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
7 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Mucuchies Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

Mucuchies Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Mucuchies size stats at six months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 58 lbs
Female Mucuchies size stats at six months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 58 lbs
12 Months
Male Mucuchies size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 74 lbs
Female Mucuchies size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 74 lbs
18 Months
Male Mucuchies size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 83 lbs
Female Mucuchies size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 83 lbs

Mucuchies Owner Experiences

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