Cao de Castro Laboreiro

Castro Laboreiro Dog, Portuguese Cattle Dog

The Cao de Castro Laboreiro is highly appreciated for his wonderful protective qualities. He is a large dog that is pleasant to live with and be around. His vigilance makes him a dog appreciated as much for guarding and protecting as for companionship, and even for research in security and police work.

Height 52 to 60 cm
Weight 25 to 40 kg
Life expectancy 10 to 13 years
Home country Portugal

Quick Overview of the Cao de Castro Laboreiro


  • Affectionate and loyal
  • Never unnecessarily aggressive
  • Docile with family
  • Excellent protector


  • Very pleasant body appearance
  • Severe but very noble expression
  • Coarse and rough resistant coat
  • Oblique almond-shaped eyes


  • Rather robust
  • No particular pathology
  • Generally enjoys good health

Temperament of the Cao de Castro Laboreiro

This excellent guard dog is affectionate and loyal to his family, but never unnecessarily aggressive. His hard and severe gait is just a front to repel intruders. The Cao de Castro Laboreiro is docile with his family, but is an excellent livestock protector against wolves and family guardian against strangers.

Used to protect livestock from wolves, it is obvious that this hound has wonderful guarding and protecting skills. Nevertheless, he is very pleasant as a companion, search and guard dog.

However, this dog needs a proper education.

Breed Appearance

cao de castro laboreiro

The Cao de Castro Laboreiro is a mastiff type, practically rectangular in shape. This vigorous dog has a very impressive appearance. This hound, with a sometimes striking coat, displays a very pleasant morphological appearance with a severe but noble expression. He has the beautiful look of a nervous, agile and sometimes even hostile mountain dog even if he is not a fighter.


Between 55 and 60 cm (21.65 to 23.62 inches) for the male
Between 52 and 57 cm (20.47 to 22.44 inches) for the female


Between 25 and 40 kg (55.12 to 88.18 pounds) for the male
Between 25 and 40 kg (55.12 to 88.18 pounds) for the female


The most common coat color is wolf with dark, medium or light stripes. Dark stripes are usually more numerous.


His resistant hair is coarse and rough to the touch. It is very abundant, slightly opaque and very smooth. It has no undercoat and is generally about 5 cm (2 inches) long.


His head is lighter than it is big and average size. Without being emaciated, it is quite dry. His almond-shaped eyes are oblique, medium size and light to very dark brown color generally matching the coat. His drooping and almost triangular ears are medium size. His nose is generally black. His tail almost reaches the hock at rest, but extends over the back and stretches upwards in action.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 2, section 2 and is #170

Price and monthly budget

Price you can expect to pay for a Cao de Castro Laboreiro puppy: between 500 € / $ 1 / £1 and 1000 € / $ 1 / £1
These prices are indicative and may vary from breeder to breeder

Tips About this breed

Reliable and loyal, the Cao de Castro Laboreiro protects his livestock or family from intruders and strangers. His education must be firm and adequate in order to control him completely and ensure that he does not become unnecessarily aggressive.

Of a rather friendly nature and even if he is hostile with strangers, he is rarely aggressive unless the need arises. He is easy to train because he is still quite docile.

He can live just about anywhere despite his size because once his energy is spent, he is calm and peaceful. He is compatible with all family situations, single or otherwise.

He has no problem with children and likes having them around.

Health of the Cao de Castro Laboreiro

This rather robust dog is not affected by any particular pathology. He generally enjoys good health, is rarely ill and his life expectancy is appreciable for such a large dog.


A good regular brushing is enough to keep his coat beautiful and healthy. No other special care is necessary.

History of this breed

This breed, even though it is very old, does not really have an official origin. Named after the village of Castro Laboreiro, it is said to come from one of the oldest breeds on the Iberian Peninsula, along with the Estrela Mountain Dog.

The Lima and Minho rivers and the Suajo and Peneda mountains limit his distribution and dogs are rather rare.

Specimens can be found up to altitudes of 1400 m (4,590 ft.) and in places such as Central and Southern Portugal as well as in the Douro province and along the Minho River.

The Cao de Castro Laboreiro is appreciated as a companion dog but also for driving and guarding herds as well as for security. He is also used and appreciated by police and security guards.

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