Burgos Retriever Dog

As its name suggests, the Burgos pointing dog (or Burgos pointing dog in English) is a breed of dog native to the province of Burgos, in Spain , where they have been historically trained for falconry and small game hunting. However, as human societies and activities evolved over time, these retrievers have experienced a series of morphological and behavioral changes. And today, thanks to their naturally calm and docile character, they can become excellent companions for people and families with very diverse personalities and lifestyles.Therefore, if you would like to share your home with a furry dog ​​with these characteristics, or if you simply love to delve deeper into the canine universe, we invite you to continue reading this AnimalWised file, where we will discover the history of the Burgos retriever , its temperament and most important care for your optimal health. Shall we begin?

Origin of the Burgos retriever

The lack of precise written records leaves the history of the Burgos retriever somewhat confusing and makes it difficult to know exactly when the first specimens of the breed originated and how they managed to develop the morphological and behavioral characteristics that identify it today. However, it is assumed that these furry dogs share an ancestor with the Portuguese retriever , the peninsular retriever , an ancient dog breed native to the Iberian Peninsula, whose presence in this region has been documented since at least the 10th century. However, their most characteristic features Characteristics would be strongly influenced by later crosses with the Navarrese Pachón , Spanish hounds and pointer dogs with a finer body build.

There is also a certain consensus that the first individuals considered to be representatives of this breed developed throughout the region of Castilla y León , and not only in the province of Burgos (although they have gained greater notoriety there). The oldest representation of these retrievers that we know today is found in a painting from 1765, titled “ Portrait in hunting dress of Prince Charles ” and made by Rafael Mengs.

Initially, the Burgos retrievers were known as pointing dogs and their breeding was directly related – and almost exclusively permitted – to members of royalty and Spanish nobility , who used them mainly as assistants in falconry. A few decades later, the breed began to become popular among the less wealthy classes and quickly gained popularity among bird hunters, and especially partridge hunters (hence its current name!).

However, it is estimated that the morphological features that identify the current Burgos retriever began to develop at the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century, since it is difficult to find specific mentions of them, or representations of their modern appearance, in the old works dedicated to the history of pointer dogs and their ancestors. In fact, in the famous book “ The Pointer and His Ancestors ” by William Arkwright, published at the end of the 19th century, nothing is specifically said about pointing dogs or Burgos retrievers, although its author has dedicated more than a decade to traveling through different countries in Europe – and a lot in Spain – to investigate the origins of the English pointer . And although some authors claim that this could be due to the fact that the breed was little spread outside its homeland, there are also theories that claim that it was not so easy, at that time, to differentiate the Burgos Retriever from other pointing dogs. natives of Spain.

In any case, it was in 1911, when the Royal Canine Society was founded, that the first retrievers in Burgos began to register. Starting in the 1980s, associations of native breeds of Spain began to emerge that actively contributed to the recovery of many Spanish dog breeds that were on the brink of extinction due to the effects of the Two World Wars on the European continent. . Currently, the Burgos retriever is recognized by the main international canine federations, even by the FCI, which includes it in Group 7 of the so-called “pointing dogs”.

Characteristics of the Burgos retriever

It is a large dog with very well developed muscles , which has a rustic body structure, but which preserves harmony in its proportions. According to the official FCI standard, the desirable height at the withers is 62 to 67 cm in males and 59 to 64 cm in females, highlighting a high index of sexual dimorphism, since males are notably more homogeneous and larger than females.

The head of the Burgos retriever is large and strong , with a well-developed skull that, seen from above, is moderately rectangular with a progressive taper towards the nose, but without forming a pointed snout. The “stop” is little accented. On the face of Burgos dogs we find almond-shaped eyes of hazel or dark brown color with a noble and sweet look that, eventually, can be confused with an air of sadness. The snout is straight and wide along its entire length, with a wide nasal ridge. The lips are drooping , but not flaccid, and the mucous membranes exhibit a brown color. The bite is scissors. Finally, a very characteristic feature of the Burgos retriever is its long triangular ears , which are inserted above eye level and fall gracefully in a corkscrew shape when the dog is at rest.

Colors of the Burgos retriever

The coat of the Burgos retriever is short, smooth and dense , distributed almost uniformly throughout the entire body, with the exception of the extremities, head and ears, where we see finer and softer hairs to the touch. Regarding colors, white and liver are considered basic, which are combined irregularly , giving rise to layers variegated in liver, gray liver, muscated in liver and many other variations that arise depending on the level of predominance of the liver color and the extent of white spots. However, the official FCI standard clarifies that black or tan on the eyes and/or extremities is not permitted.

On the other hand, the same standard defines as a “highly desirable” characteristic in Burgos retrievers the presence of a clear white spot on the forehead and ears , always spotted with a homogeneous liver color. Likewise, we remember that the presence of other color combinations or spots on a dog’s coat does not determine its beauty, much less its personality and character. Therefore, if you have adopted a Burgos retriever that is not 100% pure, you will still be able to enjoy an extremely docile and balanced best friend.

What is the Burgos Retriever puppy like?

The first step to ensure that a Burgos Retriever puppy can develop optimally, physically, psychologically and emotionally, is to wait for it to complete the weaning period before separating it from its mother and siblings. This is because the mother dog, while feeding and caring for her puppies, also transmits to them the basic principles of social behavior and communication of dogs, as well as the limits of play. And this first learning will be key to preventing behavioral problems and aggressive behaviors associated with play that can manifest even in the dog’s childhood or adulthood.

Likewise, like any puppy, your little retriever will develop numerous exploratory and playful behaviors that will allow him to explore his new environment and interact with the stimuli and individuals found there. For example, it is not unusual for fully grown puppies to put almost everything in their mouths, bark for no specific reason, and lightly bite their guardians’ hands while playing. To prevent these behaviors that are so cute in a puppy from becoming dangerous or unpleasant in adulthood, it is important to encourage good eating habits from an early age, gradually accustom the puppy to being left alone, and direct the bites to the most appropriate resources ( teethers and toys, for example).

In terms of physique, the Burgos retriever puppy stands out for its long ears and noble look.

Character of the Burgos retriever

Their temperament is naturally calm and docile , which favors the establishment of a bond of loyalty and devotion towards their guardian and family. Although it is not usually considered one of the easiest dogs to train , its versatility and great predisposition to training mean that the Burgos Retriever responds very well to positive reinforcement and can develop successfully in different canine activities and sports.

Likewise, we must not forget that it has been a breed historically trained for small game hunting, which is why an adequate socialization process will be key to promoting better quality interactions with its peers and preventing accidents when living with other animals and small children. , which can occur when a dog with a highly developed hunting instinct is not properly educated and socialized from an early age.

Burgos Retrievers also tend to show a lot of patience and self-confidence , so behavioral problems associated with excessive fear and aggression are usually the result of poor socialization and/or exposure to counterproductive educational methods ( such as physical punishments and scolding, for example) or other types of animal abuse.

Care of the Burgos Retriever

In general, raising a Burgos retriever does not involve any extra effort in addition to the essential care to provide any and all dogs with a good quality of life. Are they:

  • Preventive medicine : apply essential vaccines with the correct frequency, do periodic deworming to prevent infestations of internal and external parasites, and take him to the vet once or twice a year to check his health.
  • Complete and balanced diet that completely meets the nutritional requirements of their age and size;
  • Physical activity : Retrievers are quite active and daily walks are essential not only to exercise their body, but also to keep their mind and behavior balanced. Beyond walking your dog at least three times a day, you can consider complementing its daily physical activity with some dog sports, such as Agility, Frisbee , flyball or canicross if you are also a lover of running and the outdoors.
  • Mental stimulation : a dog that has a sedentary routine is much more prone to suffering symptoms of stress and behavioral problems associated with destructiveness and aggression. Try to introduce intelligence games to your dog regularly and enrich his environment so that he can entertain and exercise himself even when he is left alone at home.
  • Hygiene and hair care : maintaining the coat of the Burgos Retriever is simple, but you will need to brush it once or twice a week to avoid the accumulation of dead hairs and impurities in its coat (this frequency may increase during shedding periods) . On the other hand, baths should only be given on occasions where it is really necessary to do a deep cleansing of the hair and skin, since in excess they can weaken your health by eliminating the natural layer of fat that covers and protects your body. And whenever you want to bathe your dog at home , remember to use natural products or products suitable for canine use.
  • Freedom of expression : it is one of the basic freedoms of animal welfare and means allowing your dog to be what it is: a dog. That is, giving him the freedom to behave and express himself like a dog, without imposing humanization practices or systematically reprimanding him for carrying out instinctive behaviors or behaviors inherent to canine nature. As a guardian, it is your responsibility to teach your furry friend what it means to “behave well” before reprimanding him for “misbehaving,” and to understand that the methods you use to educate your dog directly impact both his behavior and the quality of his bond with you. .

Education of the Burgos retriever

The education of any and all dogs, whether mixed breed or purebred, is a gradual process that should begin upon arrival at home, and ideally from the first months of their life (although the same rule applies if you adopt to an adult dog). If you need help, at AnimalWised we tell you How to start training a puppy .

During this same period, and preferably before the third or fourth month of life, it is highly recommended to begin socializing the Burgos Retriever puppy to allow it to assimilate a greater diversity of friendly species and a greater number of resources to manage its own emotions. For safety reasons, it is not recommended to take unvaccinated puppies outside, but we can begin to socialize them by introducing them to other dogs and animals that we know are healthy, vaccinated and dewormed within our home or in a safe environment, as well as people. who do not belong to their family nucleus. Once the vaccination schedule for puppies has been completed and the first internal and external deworming has been done, you can start walking your companion through squares, parks and other outdoor places so that he can interact with a greater diversity of environments, stimuli and individuals. .

This will also be the perfect time to teach your puppy to eliminate outside and start introducing him to some basic obedience commands to stimulate his intelligence and encourage more stable behavior inside and outside the home. Here we enter more properly into the field of dog training, which is not the same as education, but is equally beneficial for the physical and cognitive development of the Burgos retriever. And if you would like to train your dog at home (and we strongly recommend that you do), remember to follow a progressive logic when teaching him, always starting with simpler commands and working on them one by one until your furry friend is able to reproduce them correctly. a fluid way. In this sense, it is also important to pay attention to the duration of the training sessions, which should last 10 to 15 minutes so as not to be overwhelming, and the environment where you choose to carry them out, since an excess of stimuli will easily deconcentrate your child. dog. For more tips, be sure to read our article “ What a dog training session should be like ”.

Last but not least, if you have decided to adopt an adult Burgos retriever, at AnimalWised we offer you a series of practical tips for training an adult dog and we also tell you How to correctly socialize dogs in adulthood .

Health of the Burgos retriever

When they are provided with all the care detailed in the previous sections, the Burgos retrievers become healthy and strong dogs, with an approximate life expectancy of 12 to 13 years , and can reach 15 years of age in optimal conditions.

However, they have a significant genetic predisposition to diseases common in large dogs, such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia . Additionally, its charming floppy ears unfortunately make it more prone to ear infections , and a moderate incidence of epilepsy is also reported in the Burgos retriever.

Where to adopt a Burgos retriever?

At ExpertoAnimal, we do not support the sale and purchase of pets , as we understand that abandonment is a reality that hits almost all countries hard, generating serious complications for animal welfare and public health. For this reason, if you are interested in adopting a Burgos retriever or a mixed breed with similar characteristics, we recommend that you contact animal shelters or shelters located in your home region to schedule a visit and learn about the dogs available for adoption. There you will have a good chance of finding a best friend who is compatible with your personality and who will also be an extremely loyal and grateful companion. And if you still have doubts about the basic adoption process, we recommend the following reading: “ How to adopt a dog?” ”.

However, if you still choose to go to a breeder in search of a Burgos retriever puppy, make sure that the establishment is duly registered with the authorities and that it complies with the health, hygiene and ethical standards for the responsible breeding of dogs.

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