Azores Cattle Dog - Portugal’s rare dog breed

A large dog rustic dog seen speedily weaving in and out between the cattle to bring a runaway back to the herd would be an impressive sight. The intelligent dog has the aggressive personality vital to an excellent herding dog. Fawn, grey or brindled short smooth fur covers the dog’s muscular square shaped body. This herding dog is larger as compared to other breeds of the same classification but it is very agile. The dog’s elegant and efficient working ability is not seen in other dogs. This very rare breed that is seldom seen outside Portugal is the Azores Cattle Dog.

Azores Cattle Dog

 The Azores Cattle Dog has always been viewed as an important aide in herding unmanageable herds of cattle. Back in the 15th century, Sao Miguel Island, the biggest island in the Azores is densely covered with vegetation. To take advantage of the thick and rich vegetation, the sailors of Prince Henry have decided to let loose cattle on the fringes of the island. After fourteen years, the cattle that has proliferated have become unruly. To take the issue in hand, it was decided that a breed of dog with excellent herding qualities must be developed.

The Fila de Terceira is the ancestor of the breed that is now called Azores Cattle Dog and Cao Fila de Sao Miguel. The Fila de Terceira was crossed with mollosers and resulted to the creation of the outstanding herding breed, the Azores Cattle Dog. It was accepted that the breed is already in existence since the 1800s.

Because of the innate herding abilities, extensive training is not really necessary to make the dog learn its herding duties. An Azores Cattle Dog’s aggressive personality is a valuable asset that makes this breed an outstanding guard dog. The primary function of an Azores Cattle Dog is to herd. The aggressive personality is vital in the performance of its duties thus very little effort was made to refine its ferocious temperament.

An Azores Cattle Dog is an efficient cattle herder¦a dependable guard dog - but it is not for everyone especially for a first time dog owner. This breed would need a dominant owner that will be able to make the dog toe the line and one that will understand the special needs of this breed. An Azores Cattle Dog is a working breed. It is apparent that this dog would not fare well in confined spaces. The dog has to be allowed to perform what it does best to herd and to guard.

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