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Portuguese Sheepdog

Sheepdogs that sometimes like to ape around

Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)

Original Name : Cão da Serra de Aires

Type : Lupoid

Male size : 17¾-21 ½ inches

Male weight : 26½-39½ lbs

Female size : 16½-20 ½ inches

Female weight : 26½-39½ lbs

Degree of grooming :

Countries of origin : Portugal


This medium sized breed is exceptionally intelligent and very lively. These very hardy, simple dogs are very devoted to the shepherd and the livestock they are entrusted with. Portuguese Sheepdogs are distrustful of strangers and work at night. They are reminiscent of monkeys in attitude and appearance, which has earned them the nickname ‘monkey dog’ in their native country.They are especially employed in the Alentejo for herding and guarding sheep, goats, cows, horses and pigs. They are popular for the way they keep livestock in the fields and bring back any animals that stray too far.


Strong, broad, neither long nor protruding.



The upper line hardly slopes, while the lower line tucks up. The breast is prominent, the chest deep, well let down and of medium size.



Colors are yellow, brown, gray, fawn and wolf gray, with light, ordinary and dark varieties, and black, with more or less tan markings with or without mixed white hairs, but never with white patches, save a small patch on the tail.



Set high, dropping and without folds if not cropped, straight if cropped; triangular, of medium length, fine and smooth.



Set high, pointed, tapering towards the base and touching the hocks. It falls between the buttocks at rest, more or less arched or curved at the tip.



Very long, smooth or slightly wavy, forming a long beard, mustache and eyebrows, but not covering the eyes.


Present-day Portuguese Sheepdogs are sometimes considered to be descended from two Briards imported by the Count of Castro Guimarães at the beginning of the 20th century.Nowadays, there are a large number of dogs with clearly established but very diverse characteristics. This must be why the shepherds of Alentejo chose a breed so maladapted to the region’s climate.

Did you know ?

Portuguese Sheepdogs are very like Pyrenean Sheepdogs, which rather suggests that they are actually a subdivision of that breed, crossed with the Briard to improve it.


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