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The Mucuchies (Venezuelan Sheepdog) is a dog breed from Venezuela. They have a short coat with feathering along their limbs. The coat color is either white or white with splashes of colors such as honey or tan, or shades of black and gray.

Size Mucuchies weigh between 30 and 50 kilograms (66 to 110 pounds), and stand around 55.9 cm to 71.1 cm (22in. to 28in.)

Temperament Mucuchies are a very affectionate, intelligent, and active breed. Socialization and training are necessary for they can be aggressive with strangers.

Origin The origins of the Mucuchíes are not well understood. At the end of the 16th century, Spanish mountain dogs arrived in the Andean region of Venezuela. These were shepherd and working dogs, watching and protecting livestock from predators. It is thought that the Mucuchíes developed from dogs brought to Venezuela by Spanish explorers, and settlers, and that their ancestors may include the Spanish Mastiff, Pyrenean Mastiff and the Algerian Mastiff, as well as the Sheepdog of the Atlas or Aidi and the Pyrenean. Over the years, these dogs were bred to develop a powerful and very versatile working dog. By 1926, the Mucuchíes could be found all throughout Venezuela and beyond. There is a well-known painting of Simón Bolívar on a horse with a Mucuchíes given to him when he crossed the Andes during the Campaña Admirable. Bad breeding practices hurt the stock, and in 1961 a club formed to improve and oversee breeding. In 1964, the Mucuchíes was named the national dog of Venezuela. However, the club has disbanded and the future of this breed is uncertain.

Famous Mucuchies

Nevado was Simón Bolívar's dog and stayed with him in the wars until its death. Simon is Cristina Fernandez's dog, a gift sent to her by one of the brothers of ex-president Hugo Chavez. Progreso and Esperanza are Henrique Capriles's dogs, donated during his presidential campaign in Mérida during 2012.

Care This breed should be taken out on a daily, long, brisk walk and/or jog. Additionally, this breed needs a large area to run and play. Not much grooming required.