Herreño wolf, a new breed in the making


wolf from El Hierronew breed in the making

Carmen Pérez began rescuing this breed in the 1990s and is slowly but surely following the steps so that this species become recognized as a race. Originally from El Hierro, the westernmost Canary Island, formerly used for grazing and looking like a wolf small, this race, still in the phase of an ethnic group, seeks to find its space among those who want a active dog for work or sport. Its breeders are not in a hurry to be recognized as a breed until they have balanced specimens without genetic problems.

By Miguel PELE

This dog is physically characterized by a light weight, which does not usually exceed 22 kg in males, a little less in females, always depending on the food they receive. His color, usually grayish, size, appearance and structure of the head, and at some point because he is somewhat introverted, they resemble the wolfbut being smaller in size (an Iberian wolf doubles its weight) it was given the name of El Herreño wolf.

Generally, males tend to be somewhat more dominant, sticking out their family protective instincts, of the pack, as in many other races, to be the leader. But these aspects, which are still deeply rooted, are worked on from puppyhood, making them see that they are not the leader but part of a family. It is a very friendly animal of the family and since puppy his intelligence stands out, his ease in learning and taking advantage of what he learns, because he likes to play games, run, play sports, aspects that he thanks his owners for. It’s a little shy around strangerscharacter that must be worked on because it is his way of being.

The beginnings

Carmen and Manolo Pérez follow in the footsteps of their father, from Casa Pancho, a dam breeder. His brother went to live on the island of El Hierro, where he met these copies of El Hierro wolf dog and 25 years ago He sent the first pair of wild wolves to Gran Canaria, since they were born in the field. He began to work for the race until they managed, not without initial rejection, that it be recognized as an ethnic group in 2009. It did have the support of the Government of the Canary Islands, so that they could work with it as a breed.

On the part of the breeders they believe that it is too early for this breed to be recognized, it must still have “a time to go see the records, how is working with the litters, to continue helping and advising people so that they do not do crazy things with the crosses. Well, when you go to breed, a very different world opens up with contests for the best dog, abroad. Now as an ethnic group samples are made and the dog is seen as a wholethere is no better specimen and the important thing is that the crosses are made with the head”, explains Carmen.

For this, it is necessary to see how the evolution of the breed, of the litters, is going, how the dog is projected abroad, because it is a dog for work, not for sedentary people. If before it was a herding dog, today there are some specimens for these purposes, a world of sports work is opening up: agility, canicross…thanks to their health because, for the time being, the crosses have been made with a head, no consanguinity is being introduced and no genetic disease has been detected.

They want to take all the little steps in the right direction and in the words of this breeder “on our part there is no rush to get recognized as a breed. It will be done when there are balanced specimens, a morphology and a certainty that a breed without genetic problems is being offered”.

It is recommended for active people, not for staying home alone for many hours “because on the way back you will find a very nervous animal and It’s not the dog’s fault, it’s the owner’s”.

Currently this dog is in the two capitals of the Canary Islands, but “also on the island of Fuerteventura where one is grazing and the other doing work in the field, with which its territory is opening up”. There is also a female dog on the peninsula, whose owner has obtained some good award on Discdog. In addition, there are people who consult them to start working on obedience and doing agility. These owners want their dogs for work and for now they have not carried out crosses, an aspect that they usually consult with Carmen, who usually advises them and directs them if there is any specimen in the area.