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The Portuguese Shepherd is a lively, loyal and affectionate dog

Pleasant to live with, lively, loyal and affectionate, one thing is certain: there is no lack of these qualities in the Portuguese Shepherd or Serra de Aires Dog. Behind its disheveled look lies an excellent working dog, but also a pleasant pet.

Characteristics of the Portuguese Shepherd Dog

When you think of the Shepherd Dog, you immediately think of the German Shepherd or the Australian Shepherd, marked by a very muscular body, a long muzzle and above all, short to medium-length hair. The Portuguese Shepherd is proof that not all shepherd dogs in the world are alike. Unlike its counterparts, this breed has a sublong physique and a medium size. The females measure between 42 and 52 cm and the males between 45 and 55 cm for a weight of 12 to 18kg. By its simian look, the Portuguese Shepherd is called "monkey dog" in its native country. It has a large head without being massive, an almost square skull and a pronounced stop. The eyes range from hazel to amber and are round and medium sized. They express softness and intelligence. The ears for their part are of a medium size, rounded and set high. The dog has long eyebrows, whiskers and beards. The hair is particularly distinctive of the Portuguese Shepherd. It is long, a little wavy and very dense. The coat can be yellow, brown, fawn, charcoal fawn or gray.

History of the Portuguese Shepherd Dog breed

The Portuguese Shepherd is said to come from the Alentejo region, located in the south of Portugal. Many rumors circulate about its true origins. It could be descended from the Pyrenean Shepherd with which it shares many similarities or the Catalan Shepherd. When the Romans arrived in Portugal, they would have brought back dogs that would have contributed to the birth of the breed. The Portuguese Shepherd Dog is used to guard and drive herds of horses, cattle, sheep and pigs. It received official recognition from the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) in 1954.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Portuguese Shepherd Dog

Also known as the Serra de Aires Shepherd, the Portuguese Shepherd is a mischievous animal with a strong character. It is certainly not made for inexperienced masters, even if it remains relatively easy to educate. Moreover, this dog is always ready to obey orders and to please his master. It is a lively animal, strongly attached to its family, even if it can be a little clingy sometimes. He is loyal and exceptionally intelligent. He also gets along very well with children. In addition to his role as a companion dog, he performs brilliantly as a guard dog, as he is naturally suspicious and threatening towards strangers. It needs a lot of physical exercise and must live in a house with a garden.

Diet and main health problems of the Portuguese Shepherd

The Portuguese Shepherd is a very robust dog that can live up to 13 years. It tolerates icy and rough places as well as hot and dusty areas. As far as food is concerned, it is not a difficult animal. High quality kibbles will suffice.