Can De Palleiro

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
fast facts

About Can De Palleiro

22-26 inches
55-84 lb
10-14 years
not applicable
Best Suited For
active singles, active families, house with a yard
intelligent, protective, loyal, strong
Comparable Breeds
German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd
Can de Palleiro Basics

The name Can de Palleiro translates literally to “haystack dog” and this breed is extremely rare, even in its home country of Spain. This breed is rustic in appearance, having a muscular body, straight profile, and excellent balance. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a Can de Palleiro you will enjoy this breed’s high intelligence, strong character, and loyalty.

The name Can de Palleiro translates literally to “haystack dog.”


The origins of the Can de Palleiro can be traced to Galiza where it is also known as the Galician Shepherd. This breed is widely known throughout the northern regions of Spain, though it is actually quite rare and in danger of extinction. The Can de Palleiro is of Indo-European descent, evident from its rustic characteristics, with its ancestors likely being native dogs of Galicia brought by the Galicians during the Paleolithic era during the expansion from the British Isles and the European continent. The breed shares some of its origin story with the German Shepherd, the Belgian Shepherd, the Dutch Shepherd, the Cao de Castro Laboreiro, and the Berger Picard.


The Can de Palleiro is thought to have descended from native dogs of Galicia that were brought by the Galicians during the Paleolithic era. It also shares some heritage with other shepherd breeds.


As a large-breed dog, the Can de Palleiro should be fed a high-quality dry food formulated for large breeds. This is a working breed, so he may respond well to an active or working breed formula. You still need to be careful about overfeeding, however, to prevent obesity.

The Can de Palleiro is a strong and independent breed, though not inherently stubborn or strong-willed.


The Can de Palleiro is a strong and independent breed, though not inherently stubborn or strong-willed. This dog was bred to work on his own with little direction, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t be trained. This breed will respond well to a firm and consistent leader using positive reinforcement methods. Early socialization and training is recommended, as is true for all dogs.


The Can de Palleiro is a large dog, standing 22 to 26 inches tall and weighing anywhere from 55 to 84 pounds at maturity. Males of the breed tend to be larger than females.


The Can de Palleiro’s primary characteristic is his protective instincts. This breed was developed to guard livestock and farm property, so he has an innate strength and independence but is still gentle and calm. The Can de Palleiro is reserved, particularly around strangers, and he takes a little while to warm up to new people. This breed is fiercely devoted to his master and to other people in his family – he can even be sweet and calm around children. If you plan to keep this dog with children or other household pets, however, early socialization and training is recommended.

Common Health Problems

Because the Can de Palleiro is so rare, little is known about the breed’s health problems. As an ancient breed, it can be assumed that the breed is relatively unbothered by genetic health problems, though there may be other issues that come into play. Large dogs such as this one tend to have trouble with bloat, hip dysplasia, and other musculoskeletal issues.

Life Expectancy

The average lifespan for the Can de Palleiro is unknown because it is so rare. However, due to its size, it likely has a lifespan between 10 and 14 years.

Exercise Requirements

The Can de Palleiro has excellent stamina as a working breed, but he is generally not an overactive dog. This breed does require plenty of daily exercise, however, and will appreciate having some outdoor space in which to roam.

The Can de Palleiro’s primary characteristic is his protective instincts.


The Can de Palleiro is a rare breed and has not yet been accepted by the AKC.


The Can de Palleiro has a thick double coat like most shepherds, designed to protect the dog from the elements. This breed’s coat stands out from the skin and is slightly coarse to the touch. It is generally off-white to light tan in color with slightly longer fur around the collar and on the underside of the tail. Daily brushing is recommended to control shedding, though this breed only requires occasionally bathing.


The average litter size of the Can de Palleiro is unknown because there is such a limited number of these dogs left. As a shepherd breed, this dog can be a little aloof and independent, so if you plan to keep one as a pet you should start with socialization and training as early as possible. Also, because this breed grows fairly large, you should feed puppies a large-breed puppy formula until they reach about 80% of their adult size then switch to a large-breed adult recipe.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

More by Kate Barrington