Portuguese Shepherd Dog

Cao da Serra de Aires, Portuguese Sheepdog

The Portuguese Shepherd Dog manages to lead the herds in a spontaneous way without requiring any form of education. He does not need any training to understand his work as shepherd. Rumour has it that when this dog brings a flock back to the farm ahead of time, it is simply because a storm is approaching. The breed remained in the hands of the great Portuguese lords for a long time, but today he deserves to go beyond the borders of his country of origin and bring happiness to all.

Height 40 to 48 cm
Weight 12 to 18 kg
Life expectancy 11 to 13 years
Hair Loss Low
Excercise Need High
Home country Portugal

Quick Overview of the Portuguese Shepherd Dog


  • Balanced
  • Lively
  • Intelligent
  • Very faithful


  • Long, slightly wavy hair
  • Rather dark rounded eyes
  • Black truffle
  • Sharp tail


  • Generally enjoys good health
  • Rarely ill
  • Long life expectancy

Temperament of the Portuguese Shepherd Dog

Balanced, lively, intelligent, he is very loyal and ideal for the whole family. Not aggressive at all, he is nevertheless an excellent guardian and herd leader.

He is very sociable with animals and his intelligence greatly facilitates his training and education.

Breed Appearance

Portuguese shepherd

This funny, hairy, medium-size, long-haired dog has such a monkey look that he is nicknamed the "monkey dog/Cao Macaco" in his country, mainly in his native region. His appearance varies between the Berger des Pyrénées and the Berger de Brie.


Between 42 and 48 cm (16.54 to 18.90 inches) for the male
Between 40 and 46 cm (15.75 to 18.11 inches) for the female


Between 12 and 18 kg (26.46 to 39.68 pounds) for the male
Between 12 and 18 kg (26.46 to 39.68 pounds) for the female


His color can vary between brown, yellow, grey with tan red patches and fawn up to red. Some white hairs are tolerated but white patches are not allowed except for a very small one on the chest.


His long hair is slightly wavy but forms curls as well as whiskers. His eyes are embellished by eyebrows that do not obstruct vision.


The robust head of the adult dog is large and its stop is well marked. His rounded eyes are rather dark. His ears are drooping. When clipped, they are straighter. His nose is black. His pointed tail is tapering towards the tip.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 1, section 1 and is #93

Characteristics of the Portuguese Shepherd Dog

Does this dog suit your lifestyle?

Every dog breed has its own characteristics. However, the actual character of a dog can vary from one to another within the same breed.

Find out if the Portuguese Shepherd Dog is your ideal dog breed with our quiz.

That will take you less than 3 minutes!

Take the quiz
Life in an apartment
Good first dog
Tolerates solitude
Tolerates cold weather
Tolerates hot weather
Friendly with children
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other animals
Hair loss
Drooling level
Easy to care for
Robust health
Easy to train
Tendency to bark
Tendency to nibble
Instinct to hunt
Adventurous spirit
Energy level
Level of intensity
Need for exercise

Price and monthly budget

Price you can expect to pay for a Portuguese Shepherd Dog puppy: between and
These prices are indicative and may vary from breeder to breeder
Average monthly budget for a Portuguese Shepherd Dog:
The monthly budget includes the average expenses for food and hygiene products (grooming, anti-parasite...)

Tips About this breed

The Portuguese Shepherd Dog loves the garden and the great outdoors. He can live indoors as long as he has space where he can let go in complete freedom. As his coat is intense and he tends to shed hair, outside is particularly suitable for him as long as he has frequent contact with his family members.

He can live in all conditions because he knows how to adapt easily. He is very intelligent and easy to live with. He loves to be around all members of his family and is an ideal companion for children and adults alike. He is unfailingly loyal towards his household.

He is rather suspicious of strangers but never aggressive or biting. He will rather tend to drive them away by barking.  His great intelligence facilitates his education which must be firm but executed very gently. He quickly understands what is expected of him and follows orders without any issue.

Health of the Portuguese Shepherd Dog

This particular specimen generally enjoys very good health, is rarely sick and has a very long life span.


His rather peculiar coat requires regular and meticulous brushing to ensure its good health. His coat, even if it is slightly wavy, still needs a little more care.

History of this breed

The Portuguese Shepherd Dog is believed to be a cross between local dogs from Portugal and sheepdogs such as the Briard, Catalan Shepherd, Pyrenean Shepherd and perhaps Brie Sheepdog.

The Count of Castro Guimaraes, a great lord of the Portuguese province of Alentejo in the 19th century, sought to improve the local dogs with this crossbreeding.

The icy, very harsh Portuguese winters in the Alentejo province and the dusty, torrid summers created a demand for a breed more resistant to the harsh, difficult climate of this particular region.

A handful of all-powerful Portuguese lords with mostly large estates, used the Serra de Aires Shepherd Dog as a protector and herd guardian of their vast lands filled with predators.

The name Shepherd of the Serra de Aires comes from the area of Monte da Serra de Aires, very close to the Serra de Aires where the crossings were made. It was in 1932 that the breed was made official.

This extraordinary guardian and protector is increasingly appreciated as a companion dog because he is so easy to live with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

best fresh dog food 5 brands

We Tried 5 Fresh Dog Food Brands

Is all the marketing hype worth it? Did our dogs enjoy them? Here’s our dogs’ totally honest review.