Top Ad 728x90

The Cao fila de São Miguel, a rare dog breed outside Portugal

Also known as the "cow dog", the Fila de São Miguel is a cattle dog that performs brilliantly in defense, guarding or companionship. Despite its many qualities, it is a rare breed outside its native Portugal.

Picture Credit : Wikipedia

Characteristics of the Cao Fila de São Miguel

It may not have the look of the most beautiful dog breeds, but its rustic appearance makes it exceptional. The Fila de São Miguel is distinguished by its well-muscled, strong body with a straight back and ample chest, ending in a large, high-set tail of medium length. Dog fanciers agree that the Fila de São Miguel has an athletic physique that gives off an impression of power. The Fila de São Miguel has a strong, square-shaped head with a rounded, broad skull and a pronounced stop. Its facial region is distinguished by a large black nose, a straight muzzle and well developed and powerful jaws. Oval shaped, the eyes are of medium size, quite expressive and dark brown in color. The ears for their part are attached high, of average size, drooping and in triangle. Generally, they are cut in a round shape, but this practice is forbidden in France. The hair is short and dense. The coat is brindle and can be sable, fawn or grey.

History of the breed Cao fila de São Miguel

The Fila de São Miguel has its origins on the island of Saint-Miguel located in the Azores, Portugal. In the 20th century, a multitude of herds were introduced to the island as well as dogs that were used to guard them. The Terceira dog is one of the first existing breeds on the island and now extinct, which helped create the Fila de São Miguel. Crossbreeding with mastiffs was also carried out. The Fila de São Miguel was mainly fed on curdled milk, which is why it is nicknamed "cow dog". And although its existence goes back a long way, it was not until 1980 that it was given an official standard. The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) will officially recognize it only in 2007.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Cao Fila de São Miguel

The Fila de São Miguel develops a strong guarding instinct, which is why it is still used today in Portugal to guard dairy cows. It preserves this quality even if it integrates a family as a pet and thanks to its instinct of protection, will rescue them from danger and intruders. Its physique of a bully is also very dissuasive. The Fila de São Miguel does not always know how to show affection, but this does not prevent him from being faithful, playful and calm. It is an intelligent being and endowed with a lot of softness with which the interactions remain very pleasant. Moreover, as he is receptive, his learning will not give any difficulty.

Diet and main health problems of the Cao Fila de São Miguel

The Fila de São Miguel is spared from hereditary diseases. However, it is advisable to monitor certain pathologies typical of large dogs such as hip and elbow dysplasia. As far as food is concerned, he can be fed with kibble or homemade food. The consumption of curdled milk as it was done in the past is not adapted.