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Cao de Castro Laboreiro

The Northern Portuguese protector

Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid Breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs

Original Name : Cão de Castro Laboreiro

Type : Molossoid

Other Names : Portuguese, Cattle, Dog

Male size : 21½-23½ inches

Female size : 20½-22½ inches

Degree of grooming :

Countries of origin : Portugal


Cão de Castro Laboreiro are mastiff–type lupoid dogs characterized by an almost rectangular body. They are vigorous animals of pleasant overall appearance, sometimes with a rather striking color. Their gait is free, easy and energetic.


Of medium size, light rather than coarse, lean without being emaciated.



Horizontal back of medium length, strong, broad, short, very muscular loins, harmoniously joined to the croup, which slopes slightly.



Wolf colors in light, medium and dark shades. The dark shades are more widespread.



Of medium size (4¾ inches long and high), not overly thick, almost triangular, but rounded at the tip.



Well dressed and saber-shaped, set on at the croup a little higher than usual.



Thick, resistant, a little rough to the touch, slightly dull, smooth, very close across almost the entire body and abundant.


Loyal and docile with people they know, Cão de Castro Laboreiros do a great job protecting livestock from attacks by the many wolves that still prowl the mountains of northern Portugal. They are simply awesome watchdogs, seeming never to switch off even for a moment. These dogs carry themselves nobly but they are hardy mountaineers and that severe expression they wear is fearsome. They may even take a hostile tack, but they will never turn openly belligerent.Cão de Castro Laboreiros are named after the Portuguese village of Castro Laboreiro. The breed has a very long history and, although there is a lack of clarity as to their precise lineage, it’s very likely that Cão de Castro Laboreiros are among the oldest Iberian dogs, together with Estrela Mountain Dogs. Their homeland is demarcated by the Peneda and Suajo mountains and the Minho and Lima rivers, where they are sometimes found at altitudes of up to 4,593 ft. Selected specimens are also found farther along the Minho and in Douro province, although few live in central or southern Portugal.

Did you know ?

Cão de Castro Laboreiros have a very distinctive bark: highly resonant, generally starting with low tones and ending in a long high pitch, rather like screeching.


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