Portuguese Sheepdog

The Portuguese Shepherd Dog is a breed originating from the Alentejo region of Portugal. It is a medium-sized dog with a long, rough coat similar to goat hair. In addition, it is exceptionally intelligent, dedicated and affectionate, being an efficient herding and guard dog.

General details

The breed has a medium size and great agility. Its weight ranges from 17 to 27 kilograms and height varies between 42 and 55 centimeters. Its life expectancy is 12 to 13 years. The Portuguese Shepherd Dog belongs to Group 1 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which includes Shepherd Dogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs).

Breed history in brief

The Portuguese Shepherd Dog, or Cão da Serra de Aires, is a breed of dog used in the Alentejo region of Portugal for herding and guarding different types of livestock. This austere and rustic dog adapts easily to the temperature changes of the area and has great endurance to cover long distances across the Alentejo plains. For centuries, it has played a crucial role in agricultural life, showing exceptional herding skills and protecting livestock from predators. In addition to its traditional role, it has also gained recognition as a loyal and affectionate companion in Portuguese households.

Breed characteristics

The Portuguese Shepherd Dog is a medium sized dog, with a rustic general appearance. The head is medium sized, strong and broad. The eyes are rounded and of medium size, preferably dark, and the ears are drooping and triangular in shape. The tail is pointed and reaches the level of the paws, being long and covered with abundant hair. The coat is smooth or slightly wavy, long in length and with a somewhat rough texture, similar to goat hair. It forms a long beard, whiskers and eyebrows, without covering the eyes. It is especially long on the head, body and limbs, including the spaces between the toes. The coat colors can be yellow, brown, gray, reddish and wolf gray, with the presence of black more or less marked with tan. The Portuguese Shepherd Dog is intelligent and affectionate. In addition to its traditional role, nowadays it also stands out as an excellent companion, sport and guard dog. It is alert and vigilant in the presence of predators, and shows a sincere devotion to its shepherd and livestock.

Common health problems

Information on the most common diseases in the Portuguese Shepherd Dog breed is limited. Even so, it is likely to be predisposed to some of the most common disorders in dogs such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, distichiasis, cataract and epilepsy.

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