The Portuguese Sheepdog has been used to herd livestock in Portugal for hundreds of years and is still used for herding today.The Portuguese Sheepdog is a herding breed through and through – they will even try to herd people! This should be kept in mind when they are kept in the company of children and other animals. A loyal breed, they enjoy the company of children and other animals, provided they are socialized to them at a young age. The Portuguese Sheepdog makes a fairly good watchdog, as it is suspicious of but not aggressive towards strangers.
The breed is quite intelligent and very responsive to obedience training, provided the training is consistent. The handler of a Portuguese Sheepdog should be experienced and confident. The Portuguese Sheepdog is a good dog to keep in a suburban or rural setting. It will be calm indoors provided it gets enough exercise, but because they are working dogs they prefer living indoors – for this reason they are not well suited for apartment life.
A moderately sized dog, the Portuguese Sheepdog stands between 16 and 22 inches in height and weighs between 17 and 40 pounds. They have a long, wavy coat that is similar to goat hair. The head is quite shaggy. Common coat colors for the Portuguese Sheepdog include shades of brown and yellow, fawn, wolf or black or gray. They have a beard, mustache and eyebrows. The Portuguese Sheepdog’s tail is carried low and curved at the tip. Their ears are medium sized and hang next to the face.
The Portuguese Sheepdog is known as the Cao da Serra de Aires in its native Portugal. This breed was developed in Portugal in the 1800s. The exact history of this breed is unclear. Some people believe that Portuguese Sheepdogs originated from French Briards, while others believe that it may have descended from the Berger des Pyrenees and the Catalan Sheepdog. Inspire of its long history the Portuguese Sheepdog had almost died out by 1970.
Luckily a group of breeders entranced by its beautiful appearance and kindly manner sought to revive the breed.The Portuguese Sheepdog should not be kept in an apartment. It is imperative that this breed receives plenty of exercise. Moderate grooming is required to keep the dog’s coat from matting.The Portuguese Sheepdog is generally a very healthy dog, though some individuals are prone to hip dysplasia.