Portuguese sheepdog medium-sized shaggy sheepdog, related to the Catalan and Pyrenean sheepdogs. Active, willing to cooperate, but also a bit stubborn. Very attached to his human flock, distrustful of strangers, vigilant watchman. Tolerant of foreign dogs, unless provoked.
The animal of this breed is very active, willing to work and play. He needs a lot of movement, he is also willing to work “mentally”. Regular, daily exercises are needed to ensure activity and stimulate their gray cells. With persistence, the maniac will bring toys and provoke to dragging or fetching. He loves races.
Cão is curious and likes to participate in everything that happens. Very devoted, he creates strong bonds with the household. He loves their company, but he is distrustful and cautious towards strangers.
He lives in harmony with pets. He is also not feisty about his kinsmen on walks, but when attacked, he can stand up.
This breed is great for sports, such as agility, frisbee or obedience (PT, obedience). Work and training make this dog a great joy. Cão da serra de aires also like water very much and like to swim.
Because of his innate vigilance, he is also an excellent watchdog that reacts to anything that seems suspicious to him with a warning growl or barking.
Training and education
Cão da serra de aires are smart dogs who learn willingly and quickly. They have excellent predispositions to work with sheep, they are agile and full of energy. However, they are stubborn and intelligence helps them manipulate people if they sense a lack of consistency.
Therefore, the Portuguese should be brought up and trained from childhood. An inconsistent owner will definitely get on his head.
Who is this race for?
This dog is ideal for active people who can provide him with the right amount of movement and stimuli of the mind. It is not suitable for spending hours alone, because then he begins to invent himself entertainment that the owner will not necessarily like.
It’s best to have a large house and garden at his disposal. He should also be guaranteed long walks. Then it will adapt well to the urban environment.
Portuguese sheepdog. Advantages and disadvantages
requires a lot of movement and mental activity
distrustful of strangers, he needs careful socialization
the coat requires regular care
willing to cooperate
suitable for dog sports
good family companion
Like many breeds until recently selected mainly for utility, the Portuguese sheepdogs enjoy excellent health. Occasionally dysplasia occurs, which is why responsible breeders examine farm animals in this respect.
The Portuguese sheepdog is not picky and uses food well. It can be fed with ready-made food of good quality as well as with food prepared independently.
The Portuguese sheepdog requires regular brushing, at least once a week. It is advisable to use preparations that facilitate combing and prevent tangles. His coat has a goat structure – it is not soft and silky, so it does not felted excessively.
Cão da serra de aires is one of the native Portuguese breeds. Its original name refers to the Serra de Aires – a mountain range that is an extension of the Serra da Estrela. It has harsh climatic conditions, which is why the dogs that worked there had to be extremely resistant.
The ancestors of today’s Portuguese shepherds drove cows, sheep, goats, horses and even pigs in Serra de Aires and the Alentejo region to the south of them.
As in the case of other herding and guarding breeds, there is no closer data on the origin of these quadrupeds, because the dogs of simple people were not interested.
Probably the Portuguese Shepherd is closely related to other shaggy shepherds inhabiting the neighboring Catalan and Pyrenean mountain ranges, to which it is very similar.
According to another hypothesis, the Portuguese Shepherds are descendants of the French briards brought by Prince Castro Guimarães at the beginning of the 20th century and crossed with the Pyrenean Shepherd. However, due to the lack of reliable documents, this information was deleted during the amendment to the breed standard in 1998.
The breed standard was created by Dr. Antonio Cabral and Dr. Felipe Morgado Romeiros. The breed was only recognized in 1932 by the Clube Português de Canicultura, and the FCI first published the current breed standard in 1996. Its last amendment was in 2008.
In the 70s of the 20th century, the breed was threatened with extinction, fortunately, its fans did not allow it. Gradually, it begins to gain more and more fans. However, these extremely intelligent dogs are still little known and underestimated in Europe and the world. They are quite popular in Portugal and France. Scandinavians and the British are starting to appreciate them.
The first female came Funfun Pienimerenneito (Arielka), imported from Finland a few years ago. The second representative of the breed is Ara My Love Moravia Tauri (Ara) from the Czech Republic. Perhaps they will start breeding Portuguese in our country.
Portuguese Shepherd (cão da serra de aires) – Group I FC, section 1, reference number 93
Character: intelligent dog full of energy; devoted to the shepherd and the herd he looks after; wary of strangers; alert, perfect watchman
Size: dogs 45-55 cm, bitches 42-52 cm
Weight: 17-27 kg
Coat: long, straight or slightly wavy, dense, slightly rough (goat hair is preferred), forms a beard, mustache and eyebrows; medium thick hair, no undercoat
Color: yellow, fawn, brown (chocolate), gray, wolf-like, black, with more or less visible tan; a small white spot on the chest is acceptable
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Vulnerability to training: very high; learns quickly and likes working with people
Activity: high; needs a lot of movement and mental activity
Resistance: very resistant; sporadic occurs sporadically
Possibility of buying a puppy: only abroad
The Portuguese often call this breed “cão macaco,” or monkey dog - because of his agility and the funny faces and poses he takes. Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to tease with cão da serra de aires while playing, knows the full of perversity, the offensive look of a dog who, holding socks in his teeth, asks: “What will you do to me, how will you catch me?”.