Azores Cattle Dog

Cao de fila de Sao Miguel, Azores Cattle Dog

The Azores Cattle Dog is rather friendly, warm and very affectionate. His fine guardian skills make him a fearsome obstacle for intruders, who will have to behave well even if he is not aggressive or doesn't bite for no reason. He is an excellent alarm dog and great life companion for everyone.

Height 48 to 60 cm
Weight 20 to 35 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 13 years
Home country Portugal

Quick Overview of the Azores Cattle Dog


  • Intelligent and docile
  • Calm and affectionate
  • Vigilant and very dissuasive
  • Strong temperament


  • Hardy and strong
  • Slightly longer than high
  • Pleasant and muscular build
  • Short, dense, smooth and rough coat


  • Hardy, strong and robust
  • No genetic or specific disease
  • Rarely ill
  • Very appreciable life expectancy

Temperament of the Azores Cattle Dog

Intelligent, docile, calm, affectionate but with a strong temperament, the Azores Cattle Dog is a Bouvier par excellence. With a strong character, he is nevertheless receptive and very devoted to his family.

Vigilant and dissuasive, he must be able to benefit from a good education accompanied by early socialization. This family dog guards and protects his family against all.

The Cao de fila de Sao Miguel is a very friendly companion, pleasant, intelligent, assertive and devoted to his master.

He tends to develop an intense relationship with him, vital and indispensable for his family stability.

azorean cattle dog

Breed Appearance

azores cattle dog

Hardy and strong, the Azores Cattle Dogis a Bouvier dog with a body that is slightly longer than tall.

With a pleasant, muscular build, this medium-size dog with a broad chest gives the impression of a dog fit for work, well balanced and very calm.


Between 50 and 60 cm (19.69 to 23.62 inches) for the male
Between 48 and 58 cm (18.90 to 22.83 inches) for the female


Between 25 and 35 kg (55.12 to 77.16 pounds) for the male
Between 20 and 30 kg (44.09 to 66.14 pounds) for the female


His color can vary from fawn to charcoal sand, light to dark grey or yellow in all its shades but whatever the color, the coat is always brindle.

White patches may be noted on the feet as well as on the chest, chin or forehead.


His short coat is dense and smooth and rather rough to the touch.


The large square head of the adult has a well marked stop. His oval, medium-size eyes are dark brown. His medium-sized triangular ears are drooping but not close to the cheeks. His broad nose is black. His slightly curved bushy tail is medium length.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 1, section 2 and is #340

Tips About this breed

The Azores Cattle Dog is never reluctant to caresses or signs of affection. In spite of his rough appearance, he is a lovely dog who is pleasant with children as well as with other members of the family.

However, he must be educated firmly from a very young age and the family hierarchy must be instilled in him early so that he doesn't dominate everyone.

This wonderful guard and defense dog will know how to be vigilant and attentive, therefore his master must provide him with a good education to avoid unnecessary aggression towards strangers.

He can live just about anywhere as long as he benefits from daily outings and walks to spend his energy.

As he needs to work, guarding or protecting using his courage, intelligence and great qualities will be beneficial to his physical as well as his mental health.

Health of the Azores Cattle Dog

Hardy, strong and robust, he is not affected by any genetic or particular disease. He is rarely sick and his life expectancy is very appreciable.


His short and smooth coat makes it very easy to care for, but a good brushing from time to time keeps his beautiful brindle coat in good health.

No other special care is necessary.

History of this breed

In the 15th century, on the island of Sao Miguel of the Azores in Portugal, large number of herds led to the introduction of the Bouvier dog.

The Terceira's dog was the first to be used and then crossed with various other molossus to obtain the Cao de Fila de Sao Miguel as final result.

The Terceira's dog, now extinct, made room for him in driving and protection of herds.

The breed is widespread in his native region but relatively unknown elsewhere on the planet.

The Azores Cattle Dog is commonly known in his country as a "cow dog" because he is particularly intelligent and, in order to protect the cow's teat and not hurt it unnecessarily, he bites instinctively a little lower when he has to bring them back to safety.

He is all the more appreciated in the driving and protection of large dairy cattle, but also for his great aptitudes as guardian and companion dog.

His ease of adaptation allows him to fulfill multiple functions.

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