Shepherd Basque, A Little Known Race

Basque Shepherd, a little known breed

The Basque Shepherd, as his name well indicates, is originally from the Basque Country, and was an unknown race for years. This is due to the fact that he crossed with other races, almost losing his pedigree. It was recognized by the Spanish Canine Society in 1995, although it was never recognized by the International Cynological Federation or FCI.

its origins and existence


Author: Mekanoid

Its origins go back thousands of years ago. Thus confirmed the remains found and some paintings from the medieval period. Although it almost became an instinct, this breed still today, is still highly valued for herding work and as a companion animal.

Another of the causes of its near extinction were the attacks of wolves on cattle, creating great losses to the owners. They blamed their Basque Shepherds for such a disaster and decided to replace them with Mastiffs. This happened particularly in the provinces of Guipuzcoa and Navarre, although this was not the case in Álava and Bizkaia. In the latter, they alternated the work of shepherding the Basque Shepherd with that of guarding the flock and the farm. This made this race continue to be needed, prolonging its existence.

Something that influenced its continuity was the herding dog competitions. Pastor Basque did not go unnoticed, arousing great admiration for his work so well done. This led the Basque Pastor to be recognized as EAT (Euskal Artzain Txakurra), thus giving him a Basque name, recognizing that he belongs to this country and that its inhabitants are proud of it.

Currently, this breed has only 696 recognized specimens. If you have one, you are very lucky! Not only for its rarity, but also for its beauty and pleasant personality, which we’ll look at next.


The Basque Shepherd has two varieties:

  • Goirbeikoa. Its fur is reddish and slightly curly and its tail is long and hairy. Its size is medium, reaching up to twenty kilograms.
  • Iletsua. Its fur is lighter in color, reaching a cinnamon hue and sometimes yellow and not as curly as before. Its tail is short. Size in both varieties is similar.


The Basque Shepherd is an athletic, energetic and agile dog. If you want to have one, you should know that you will have to take it for walks, to run and play so that it burns its accumulated energy. The Basque Pastor will adapt to living outside a home as well as inside, whether big or small. It is an intelligent, sociable dog and, if you want to use it as a guardian or shepherd, you will find that it is a very hardworking dog and dedicated to his work.

His sociable personality makes the Basque Shepherd the ideal dog to be with children. It is not a difficult dog to care for, as its health is excellent and its immune system is very strong. Although we cannot say the same about its coat, although it is a characteristic that makes the Basque Shepherd a rare animal, it will be difficult to keep it in good condition.

You will have to take some time daily to brush it so that it remains clean and shiny, as otherwise knots will form which you will soon be forced to cut.

As you can see, we still don’t know everything about the different dog breeds in the world. Even within our country, today we discover a little more about this great unknown: The Basque Shepherd. A companion dog, adaptable, hardworking, sociable and intelligent that will make you and your family have a good time by your side, and will protect you with your life no matter what.

If you are an animal lover and are willing to help them, choosing a Basque Shepherd as a pet would be a good way to do it. It would thus perpetuate the species, since dog breeders only want to get rich with those most sought after breeds. But our goal here is to help Pastor Basque continue to exist for thousands of years more.

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