Cão da Serra de Aires

 
  • Height: 16-22 inches
  • Weight: 25-40 lb
  • Lifespan: 12-13 years
  • Group: AKC Foundation Stock Service
  • Best Suited For: active singles, active families, house with a yard, farm, herding work
  • Temperament: intelligent, lively, hard-working, energetic
  • Comparable Breeds: Briard, Catalan Sheepdog

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The Cão da Serra de Aires looks like just another sheepdog with its long, shaggy coat but it is actually a unique and interesting dog breed. These dogs hail from the Serra de Aires mountain in the Alentejo region of Portugal which is why they are sometimes called the Portuguese Sheepdog. Cão da Serra de Aires dogs are a lively, energetic breed with a hard-working personality but a friendly temperament. If you are looking for the ideal herding dog or simply a dog that will bond closely with your family and provide endless amusement, the Cão da Serra de Aires may be the right dog for you!

The Cão da Serra de Aires is also known as the Portuguese Sheepdog.

The Cão da Serra de Aires is a fairly new breed, having only been developed within the last 100 years. This breed is thought to have descended from Briards that were imported into Portugal by the Count de Castro Guimaraes and bred with local mountain dogs. This breed bears a striking resemblance to the Catalan Sheepdog, but it is unlikely that this breed played a role in the Portuguese Sheepdog’s development. For the better part of the 1900s, the Cão da Serra de Aires served as a faithful companion to local shepherds but nearly went extinct during the 1970s. The beauty of the Portuguese Sheepdog’s coat and his lively personality curried favor with the middle-class Portuguese which ultimately saved the breed.

The Cão da Serra de Aires responds incredibly well to training and has a great ability to work independently.The Cão da Serra de Aires comes from the Serra de Aires region in Portugal where it was developed nearly 100 years ago from Briards bred with local mountain dogs.

As a medium-sized dog breed, the Cão da Serra de Aires should be fed a high-quality dog food diet formulated for dogs of its size. Because this breed is a high-energy herding breed, however, an active or working breed formula may be more appropriate to meet his needs.

The Cão da Serra de Aires responds incredibly well to training and has a great ability to work independently.

Although the Cão da Serra de Aires might look like nothing more than a shaggy mutt, he is actually a highly intelligent and versatile dog breed. These dogs respond incredibly well to training and they have a great ability to work independently, when needed. The Portuguese Sheepdog is particularly skilled at herding, though it can be trained for a variety of other dog sports including obedience, agility, flyball, tracking, and more. Because these dogs have so much energy and intelligence, they require a firm and consistent handing in training as well as firm leadership throughout the duration of their lives. This being the case, it may not be a good breed for inexperienced dog owners.

The Cão da Serra de Aires is a medium-sized breed that generally stands 16 to 22 inches tall and weighs 25 to 40 pounds at maturity.

The Cão da Serra de Aires bonds closely with family and is always eager to please.Like many herding breeds, the Cão da Serra de Aires can sometimes develop a bit of an independent streak but they are by no means willful dogs. This breed is generally mild-mannered, though he does have a bit of a goofy side and he is extremely lively. The Cão da Serra de Aires bonds closely with family and they are always eager to please and excited to work. These dogs can adapt to a family life and they are generally patient with children, though they are often reserved around strangers and make good watchdogs. The Cão da Serra de Aires can also live alongside other household pets with proper training and socialization.

The Cão da Serra de Aires is still a fairly young breed so there is not a great deal of information available about its health status. For the most part, however, the Cão da Serra de Aires seems to be a healthy and hardy breed. Most of the problem seen in this breed are related to working injuries and parasites like ticks and mites which can be contracted out in the field.

The average lifespan of a Portuguese Sheepdog is 12 to 13 years.

Because the Cão da Serra de Aires is a herding breed he has fairly high needs for exercise. A long daily walk is the minimum exercise requirement for this dog, though they will appreciate some outdoor time and will also do well with training for various dog sports.

The Cão da Serra de Aires bonds closely with family and is always eager to please.

The Cão da Serra de Aires was developed during the 1900s so it is still a fairly young breed. The standard for this breed was only established in 1930 for the first time and the breed was recognized by the FCI in 1945. In 2006, the Cão da Serra de Aires was admitted into the United Kennel Club but it is still part of the Foundation Stock Service for the AKC (referred to as the Portuguese Sheepdog).

One of the defining characteristics of the Cão da Serra de Aires breed is its long, shaggy coat. These dogs are medium in size but their coat often makes them look much larger. The Portuguese Sheepdog has dark-colored eyes and nose with a long, undocked tail. The coat is thick but single-layered and it generally comes in darker colors such as black and grey, though other colors like chestnut, fawn, and yellow are permissible.

The average litter size for the Cão da Serra de Aires breed is 3 to 6 puppies. Because the Cão da Serra de Aires is highly intelligent and fairly active, early socialization and training is essential for all puppies. It is best to start your Cão da Serra de Aires as young as possible with positive reinforcement training and then maintain a firm hand in leadership throughout the dog’s life.

Photo credit: inaquim/Depositphotos.com


Comparable Breeds

Go to Briard

Briard

  • Height: 22-27 inches
  • Weight: 50-100 lb
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Group: AKC Herding Group
  • Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farms/rural areas, watchdog
  • Temperament: Devoted, intelligent, protective, gentle
  • Comparable Breeds: Bearded Collie, Barbet
Go to Catalan Sheepdog

Catalan Sheepdog

  • Height: 17.5-21.5 inches
  • Weight: 35-40 lb
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Group: not applicable
  • Best Suited For: active singles, active families, house with a yard, family with children
  • Temperament: gentle, mild-mannered, intelligent, quiet
  • Comparable Breeds: Croatian Sheepdog, Maremma Sheepdog