The Uruguayan Cimarron is a very intelligent versatile working breed, an excellent guard, a family dog and the most faithful companion. Absolute loyalty to their family and master is characteristic for Cimarrons. They also protect their family at the cost of their own lives. In describing the characteristics and working abilities of the Cimarrons, I rely on personal experience with my own dogs and puppies. I select animals for breeding not only on the basis of excellent health, but also on the amazing character, working potential and, of course, anatomy according to the FCI standard.
The most wonderful breed
Cimarrons are the shadow of their masters. They look at their masters as at the God. They are always close waiting for any wish of their master. Cimarrons constantly make people laugh and look for the way to make the day more pleasant. They are a source of permanent joy and positive mood. If Cimarrons enter your life, you will no longer be able to imagine it without them. They love children and if well socialized, they get along well with other dogs, cats and other animals.
The Uruguayan Cimarron is a strong, compact, medium-sized dog. The height at the withers is from 58 to 61 cm at dogs and from 55 to 58 cm at bitches. At both sexes, the tolerance is ± 2 cm. The weight at dogs is from 38 to 45 kg and at bitches from 33 to 40 kg. Strong skeleton and well-developed muscles result in good mobility and agility. 
They have scissor bite. The standard allows the absence of PM1. However, full dentition is ideal. The eyes are medium-sized almond-shaped, curious expression is typical. Medium-sized triangular ears must not be close to the cheeks, they can be in “rose” shape. 
In Uruguay, the ears are traditionally cropped into circular shape. They look like ears of the puma. The neck is strong, not too long. The croup is of good length and broad. The top line is straight. The thick medium set tail reaches to the hock. The deep, broad chest should reach at least to the elbow. The ribs are well sprung but they should not be barrel shaped. 
Cimarrons have straight and parallel limbs, viewed both from the front and rear. The hind legs are well muscled and strong. The gait / movement is effortless with good reach in front and good drive behind. In motion, the limbs are parallel when viewed from the front and back. When the speed of movement increases, so-called single-tracking appears. The smooth short coat has undercoat and is not difficult to maintain. The coat color can be brindle or fawn, with or without mask. White markings may appear on the throat, under the jaw, on the abdomen, on the front of the chest and on the lower part of legs. The white color on the feet must not exceed the wrist or half way up the metatarsus. 
Due to its appearance, Cimarrons arouse natural respect. It is difficult to describe the nature of the breed in general. At all breeds each dog is different and unique. There are also differences between siblings from the same litter. While one puppy is more calm, the other may be more active. Some puppies are so lucky that they constantly laugh and wiggle not only their tail but the whole body.
Others are serious from birth and smile later. In any case, breeding and targeted selection can ensure almost the same character. It becomes then characteristic for the given bloodline or the whole breed. When describing the character of the Cimarrons, I rely on the experience with my own dogs in Cerberus Illusion kennel and on the information obtained from the owners of our puppies. It is always the breeder’s job to recognize the nature of a particular puppy. Only then it is possible to choose the right owner for each puppy.
Uruguayan Cimarron – “recipe for permanent joy”
“Uruguayan Cimarron -“recipe” for permanent joy.”  This is how I would most easily characterize the nature of this breed. Cimarrons feel best in the company of their masters, with whom they usually form a very strong bond. Thanks to this, they can literally read their mind. They perceive the mood and feelings of their masters and adjust their behavior accordingly. Cimarrons don’t bother you if you are sick or tired. They wait for the right moment when you are ready to play or cuddle.
They do anything for their owner
At an early age, they try to understand their owners and fulfill all their wishes. Sometimes, somebody bothers us. Cimarrons can feel this and without any command keep the given person at appropriate distance. They can quickly evaluate the situation and react appropriately.
Cimarrons stay calm if a small child runs directly to the owner and jumps around the dog’s neck because he wants to cuddle the dog. On the contrary, if an adult approaches his master with malicious intent (especially if he approaches from behind), he will immediately stop the person without the need of any command. Cimarron is one master’s dog, but on the other hand, the change of the owner is not a problem.
They love anything that can be done with their family
Although we are talking about a working breed, it does not have extravagant demands on movement or on a number of activities. Cimarrons are also happy as a “couch” dog next to their masters watching TV. Any activity with the owner will brighten these dogs with happiness. Subsequently, we can witness their characteristic “ear to ear” smile. Enthusiasm for activities made together with their owners and complete devotion to their masters make them fantastic working dogs. Their high level of motivation stems from their will to do anything for their master. The working Cimarrons usually look in the owner´s eyes all the time waiting for any command. In a moment, they also transmits their good mood from work to their handler.
The history of the Cimarrons is very sad and merciless. The fate was not at all merciful with the ancestors of these dogs. The colonizers first used them against the native population. Then, when the dogs were no longer needed, they released them into the wild nature. Their owners returned home to Europe. The dogs were left alone and abandoned in the area of present Uruguay. They were left to their own fate. It depended on the abilities of each individual whether they are able to obtain food, water or shelter. Nobody expected that they would learn to act as a pack and endanger even the humans.
The meaning of the term “cimarrón”
The Uruguayan Cimarron comes from Uruguay, as the name suggests. The term “cimarrón” in translation means:
1 / A wild animal, especially a domestic animal that has escaped into the wild.
2 / A plant that grows naturally (without human intervention) in the wild.
In general, the term “cimarrón” was used in Latin America for all domestic that later returned to the wild, e.g. human, animal, plant. This term was originally used for deserters and slaves, who escaped from ships mostly to the mountainous areas of individual islands on the Caribbean coast. Later, the term was extended to domestic animals escaped from captivity, or to plants that were imported, germinated and reproduced spontaneously without intentional sowing. 
History of Uruguayan Cimarrons
Archaeological and historical evidence confirms the existence of dogs in present-day Uruguay before the discovery of America. However, the Uruguayan Cimarron is not their descendant. The ancestors of the Cimarrons are mastiffs and war dogs brought by Spanish and Portuguese colonizers. The Mastiffs came to the country during Columbus’ first voyage. They were fighting dogs in armor, although in the homeland they were used mainly to hunt wild boars, wolves, bears and as shepherd dogs. Gradually, during the individual expeditions of Columbus, Cortes and others, Spanish greyhounds used to hunt hares and deer were also imported. 
The departure of the conquerors from the country resulted in the escape of these dogs into the wild, where they crossed with each other and with local dogs, without any human intervention. Subsequently, they formed into their current form. Overpopulated dogs became a problem in the second half of the 18th century, as they attacked not only cattle but also humans.
“The fact that there were dogs as ants in Uruguay is also evidenced by the report of the Jesuit father Gervasoni from 1730, which states that he has never seen so many dogs in any other country.” 
Killing of dogs ordered by the government
The government issued two decrees ordering the killing of wild dogs. At the same time, the number of dogs that citizens could own was limited. The elimination of dogs continued in the 19th century. Only the most intelligent, strongest and most capable individuals were able to survive this brutal hunt. The dogs that managed to escape these drastic action later became domesticated and were used for working with cattle and for guarding.
The Uruguayan Cimarron was recognized as a breed in 1989 by the Kennel Club Uruguayo (KCU). The FCI temporarily recognized the breed in 2006, but full recognition did not take place until 2017, under standard number 353 within the second FCI group – Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain- and Cattle dogs, section: Molossoid, Dogue type.
Uruguayan Cimarron and the influence of the past
The Uruguayan Cimarron was formed into today´s form by rugged nature. Only the most intelligent, strongest and most capable dogs survived. The influence of the past on the character and unique abilities of Cimarrons is observed in some individuals till today.
Instinct for survival
The influence of the past is related to the strongly developed instinct for survival at Cimarrons. It still preserves in some bloodlines or individuals. In the summer, they intuitively dig a hole in the ground in the shade to lie down and cool themselves. They try to hide their own smell in order predators could not find them by wallowing in the dead bodies of animals, beetles or even caterpillars. If they feel threatened, they can simulate death. If the owner witnesses it, it is a very emotional moment full of fear as the dog does not respond to anything at this time. The first thing that comes to your mind is that your dog has just got a heart attack and really died!
The speed and the agility make amazing hunters from Cimarrons. They can also catch young birds during flight or a doe. Thanks to the great smell, they can find the shelter of smaller animals, even deep below the ground. Then they dig until they find their prey. They are tireless and very persistent hunters. With a Cimarron, who has strong hunting instincts, the owner is never bored. He should have an understanding, and most importantly, a sense of humor for his dog.
When we work with some tools outside, it happens that our Cimarrons approache unnoticed and steal our gloves or garden pliers. Then they watch from a distance when we start to miss the object. Then they grab their stolen prey and proudly, with great joy, show it to us. At such a moment, the given item is the most valuable “treasure” for them. They won’t fetch it by any chance! We can associate this moment with training or work.
Cimarrons play like this with their owner” – “come and chase me” or “we can trade”. In this game, they usually pay barter – i.e. we can offer them something better for which they will be willing to exchange the stolen item. We can try to deceive the dog, but it will not work many times. It is possible to deceive the intelligent Cimarrons only once by one lie. Next time it won’t work because Cimarrons has excellent memory.
Cimarrons get food and find water
The influence of the past is related to the Cimarrons’ ability to get food and find water. We can assume that dogs that previously had to survive in the wild had to have these skills. We can understand when their offspring take fruit from a tree, pluck corn and eat only edible product, or eat the leaves of medicinal plants. They are even able to dig out “weed” roots from the ground.
If they run out of water, even small puppies know that they have to start digging. It doesn’t matter if there was water in a bowl – they will dig there because the water is underground (if the water was in the bowl – logically it must be deeper). It happens that when water drips from a garden hose in the summer and a pool appears in that place, Cimarrons will then dig over there. Interestingly, most Cimarrons have no problem submerging their entire head under water and picking up an object from the bottom. However, there are also some “non-swimmers” who prefer to avoid the water.
The influence of the past and strangers
The Cimarron’s distrust of strangers also stems from the history of the breed. However, we can already completely eliminate this through targeted breeding. However, in the ancient past, there could survive only individuals that were able to notice man from a great distance, correctly reveal his intention, respectively recognize a person with the gun in his hand. Dogs with this ability are the best guardians. They warn their master of an approaching person long before the owner notices him.
Cimarrons don’t bark unnecessarily. If the owner is close, they will only warn him with a gentle growl or body language. They are able to signalize the movement of strangers approx. one kilometer, while a face-to-face meeting appears in about 5-10 minutes. Due to the fact that these dogs had to estimate people and their intentions well in the past, today these dogs are able to warn their masters if a man with bad intentions appears near them.
Usually a stranger does not notice anything. The dogs warn their owners silently. As long as they stays calm, they do not take their eyes off the person so that the Cimarrons can intervene whenever necessary. Cimarrons are naturally vigilant if a stranger holds a weapon-like object in his hand. They are not aggressive dogs, they never attack without reason. However, they protect their family and territory uncompromisingly and do not need any command to do so! They do what one naturally expects from a dog.
Uruguayan Cimarron and working abilities
The Uruguayan Cimarron is a very intelligent dog. Thanks to their past, they have versatile working abilities. They are excellent guardian, hunting and family dogs and the most faithful companions. They feel best with his master, for whom they will do literally anything. As a puppy, they strive to understand everything their masters say. It is a dog of one master, with whom he forms a very strong bond. The dog perceives his master’s mood, feelings and literally reads his thoughts.
You can use the Uruguayan Cimarron for guarding, protection, hunting (wild boar), work with cattle. In the case of search and rescue, they are used to search for people under the ruins of collapsed buildings, tracking or tracing of injured or lost people. When used for hunting purposes, they can track and capture big game. In his country of origin, they work as a service dogs in the army and the police. Thanks to the extensive work abilities of the breed you can used them in various types of dog sports. Someone is doing obedience with his Cimarron. Another prefers agility, bikejöring, caniscross, hard dog racing or other types of dog sports.
Dogs enjoying work
Enthusiasm for mutual activities and complete devotion to the owner make a fantastic working dog from Cimarrons. Their high level of motivation stems from their will to constantly learn new things and do anything for his master. Cimarron, which has excellent working abilities, usually does not take his eyes off his owner. He’s waiting for his master to want something from him. He loves everything he can do with us. He instantly transmits his good mood from the work to the handler.
“If a person works with a Cimarron with love and patience, the dog will reward it many times in the form of a happy, joyful and eternally smiling dog rushing with positivism, which will very quickly spread to his surroundings.” 
Descendants of working Cimarrons
As with other breeds, the offspring of working Cimarrons have better working potential and learn much faster than offspring of non-working parents. This is one of the reasons why Cerberus Illusion kennel works with every dog – currently with the fourth generation. We train Cimarrons in various areas here, mainly based on the potential of a particular dog.
The first two bitches were trained according to the IPO (tracking, obedience, protection). All dogs are trained according to the criteria set for service dogs in the armed forces. Dogs must be able to work in different environments, on different surfaces (slippery floors, underpasses, stairs, at heights, in traffic, etc.) and under different conditions there. The police dogs should evaluate well the given situation and consequently they should protect their handler, but if a small child runs to them and wants to cuddle the dog, he will stay calm. Cimarrons can intuitively evaluate the situation well and act adequately.
Cimarrons in Cerberus Illusion kennel currently successfully pass exams for the single levels of Trick Dog. “Trick Dog” was recognized by the American AKC and the Canadian CKC. Within each grade, the dog must demonstrate skills from different areas. These include the following:
- coordination (movement through obstacles, balancing, etc.),
- work with the mouth (including the utilization of prey drive, fetching, etc.),
- manual commands,
- paw work,
- scent work (search, tracking),
- nose work,
- distance work,
- command chain.
Anakin Cerberus Illusion got the first three titles (NTD, ITD, ATD) as the first Cimarron in the world. Duncan Cerberus Illusion (son of Anakin) got the first title at the age of only three months, second at the age of 4 months and the title of Advance Trick Dog (ATD) as a five-month-old puppy! The daughter of Duncan – Fatima Cerberus Illusion got NTD at the age of 2 months and 5 other working titles (ITD, ATD, NTD-M, ITD-M, AtoZ) at the age of 3 months!
Beowulf, Beulah and Belona currently have NTD, ITD, ATD, AtoZ and more. All five dogs are still in training. At the same time, as the owner of the Cerberus Illusion kennel, I passed the American exams as a CTDI (Certified Trick Dog Instructor).
Exceptional working abilities
Our litters do various activities in their new homes, e.g. they compete in the Hard Dog Race or do agility. One dog passed tracking exam in Germany, and is training with the local firefighters to search for people under the ruins of buildings.
Uruguayan Cimarron is a versatile dog and is a suitable choice for those who primarily want the most loyal companion with whom they intend to spend enough time (even if the dog will serve as a “lap dog” watching TV with his master). The Uruguayan Cimarrons are not a “fashion accessory” in the garden, where they will be alone all day and will only see the owner during the feeding. They are living beings with certain needs and demands, including emotional ones. The choice of the suitable puppy for each family should be the task of an experienced breeder. If the breeder can accurately reveal the real needs of future owners as well as the potential and character of each puppy, he/she can offer the BEST puppy for each future owner and find the BEST home for each puppy.
Author: Gabriella Hurtos, Cerberus Illusion kennel, (Original written in Slovak and Czech language 15th October 2020, translation to English by Gabriella Hurtos 9th December 2021)
This article may not be rewritten, reprinted, reposted, excerpted, translated or otherwise duplicated in any way without previous written permission of the author.
Sharing via social media with the help of implemented share buttons is allowed.
 FCI. 2017. Cimarrón Uruguayo (353). [online] <http://www.fci.be/en/nomenclature/CIMARRON-URUGUAYO-353.html>.
 PANÝRKOVÁ, Iveta. 2018. Uruguayský cimarron – „recept“ na permanentní radost. [online] <https://www.ecanis.cz/clanky/uruguaysky-cimarron-recept-na-permanentni-radost-_927.html>.
 GAGLIARDI, Rosa. Estudios genéticos en caninos de raza Cimarron Uruguaye (Canis familiaris).
 KUČEROVÁ, Sabina. 2017. Uruguayský cimarron je oddaný hlídač a milovník rodiny. [online] <https://www.idnes.cz/hobby/mazlicci/uruguaysky-cimarron.A171205_204216_hobby-mazlicci_bma>.
 HURTOS, Gabriella. Uruguayský Cimarron. [online] <https://mag.webtrh.cz/plemena/uruguaysky-cimarron/>.