History & Overview
The Portuguese Sheepdog, or Cão da Serra de Aires, as it is called in its native Portugal, is a medium-sized dog with a relatively long body. By 1970s, the breed was almost extinct, but thanks to the beauty of its coat and its pliant disposition, it came to the notice of breeders, and today its appeal to Portuguese dog owners assures its survival.
Exceptionally intelligent and lively, hardy and very devoted to the shepherd and flock, the breed is wary of strangers and is an excellent guard dog. These dogs are mostly used for guarding and driving flocks and herds in the Alentejo region in southern Portugal.
The Portuguese Sheepdog is good with children, easy to train, gets along with other dogs. Although it is virtually unknown outside its native country, it is a classic dog worthy of international acclaim.
The ideal height is 16 – 22 inches at shoulders. The coat is very long, smooth or slightly wavy, forming long beards, moustache and eyebrows, but not covering the eyes. Colors are yellow, chestnut, gray, fawn and wolf gray, with shadings from light to dark, and black, marked with tan with or without mixed white hairs. Hair is of medium thickness and of goat-like texture; dense and evenly distributed all over the body; there is no undercoat.
- FCI-Standard # 93/27.02.1996/GB
- Bruce Fogle – The New Encyclopedia of The Dog