History & Overview
The San Miguel Cattle Dog, known in its native Portugal as Cão Fila De São Miguel and Cow Dog, originated in the island of Saint Miguel in the Azores. Its history is linked to that of the now-extinct Terceira Mastiff. The breed was documented as early as 19th century.
Robust and hardy, the San Miguel Cattle Dog is a cattle dog par excellence. It is equally a good guard dog for properties and people. A very determined character towards strangers but docile with its owner, he is very intelligent and very obedient. While carrying out its duties driving dairy herds, it bites low to avoid harming the cows’ udders.
While breeders nowadays are developing this breed in Portugal and Belgium, the San Miguel remains a rare breed. These dogs are best with experienced dog owners. If properly socialized and trained early in life, this breed can be friendly.
The ideal height is 19 – 23 inches at shoulders. The coat is short, smooth, dense, of harsh texture, lightly fringed on the tail, in the anal region and the back of the thighs. The color is fawn, pale fawn with black overlay, gray, going from light shades to dark; always brindled; white mark permissible on the forehead and from chin to chest; can have small white marks on both front feet or both hind feet or on all four feet.