Breed Type: Herding or companion
Country of Origin: Portugal
Size: Medium
Also known as: Portuguese Sheepdog
Males: Height: 41 – 56 cm Weight: 12 – 18 kg
Females: Height: 41 – 56 cm Weight: 12 – 18 kg
Exercise Requirements:  Extreme
Care Requirements:  Average
Lifespan:  12 – 13 Years
Best Suited as: Herder, Companion

Overview:
The Cao Da Serra De Aires, or also known as the Portuguese Sheepdog, has a beautiful coating. Its appearance invites peoples interest about them more than that of other breeds. The breed is famous in Portugal because a Cao Da Serra De Aires helps their shepherd owners when managing their flocks of cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, and goats. They can easily adapt to changes in the weather. Their coating protects them from extreme heat and cold brought about by different seasons.

Aside from Portugal, the breed gained its fame among other countries as a show pet or a pet companion. In France, most shepherds train the dogs under this breed in order to assist them in shepherding their flocks. They can be considered as quick and agile dogs that are easy to mingle with.

Appearance:
The breed’s coating can either be slightly longer and smoother or slightly wavier than the other breeds. Portuguese Sheepdogs also have no undercoat. The color of their coating may include black, gray, wolf, fawn, and yellowish-red color of chestnuts. The white-colored patches can only be seen on the dog’s chest. Long hair covers the forelimbs of a Cao Da Serra De Aires. These dogs appear quite mature because of their beard. They look gentle with their round and black eyes. The size of their ears is moderate and they usually hang down to their cheeks and sometimes are seen cropped. At first glance, the Portuguese Sheepdog appears to be a bit high on the legs. These first impressions were usually due to their body size. The feet of these dogs are capable of adapting to different terrains, especially in rough landscapes. When looked from the front, the breed seems untidy because of the hair on its head which are longer than from other body parts.

Temperament:
The Cao Da Serra De Aires is an accommodating breed of dog. Compared to other breeds, the dogs under the name of this breed have a very patient temperment. This is the reason why owners considered these dogs as a lovely household companion. In addition, this dog will become an even more efficient companion when given sufficient exercise. Working is more fun for this breed than playing or guarding. Experts would suggest that owners must offer a lot of activities for this breed in order to meet their satisfaction.

History:
Accordingly, the breed is already famous in Portugal for hundreds of years. Shepherds were already using these dogs when tending to their herds of cows, sheep, pigs, and cattle. Some experts presumed that this breed came from the Briards and the local breed of mountain dogs. During the 1970s, the Cao Da Serra De Aires was near to extinction; however, concern owners that recognized the balanced intelligence and usefulness of the breed decided to increase its numbers. They decided that aside from being shabby, the breed is tremendously helpful in tending the flocks. Nowadays, the breed is rare worldwide except for the homeland where the breed originated.

Care and Grooming:
The breed must have a maintained exercise regimen in order to suppress its extreme energy. At the same time, their mental capabilities will be able to stimulate once in a while. If not used as a herd companion, the Cao Da Serra De Aires dogs require lengthy walks. Puppy Portuguese Sheepdogs should learn how to socialize as early as possible. A good socialization with strangers and other animals will help this breed to become more efficient in their purpose than staying indoors alone. Because of their long hair, people thought that this breed requires daily brushing to lessen the shedding. However, weekly brushing is enough because these dogs do not have an undercoat. The effect of brushing is more to manage tangles than shedding. Brushing the fur too much may destroy the look of the coating. Some owners would recommend that a wide toothed comb be used as opposed to a coarse brush. The excessive hair on the dog’s leg pads must be cut. When it comes to bathing, owners need to use a small amount of shampoo in spite of the dense hair that the dog has. Similar to other breeds, the ears must always be inspected from irritations; otherwise, it might lead to hearing deficiencies.

Health:
The health of this breed is not easily affected by season changes. Many activities are a must because this breed has a high amount of energy. However, the size of the space may have an effect to the dog’s lifestyle. When put into large areas such as fenced yard, the more the Cao Da Serra De Aires become lively.

Suitability as a Pet:
Loyalty is the characteristic which describes this breed best. These dogs are child-friendly, intelligent, and always have the determination to learn. Dogs under this breed love to be with their owners or any family members. Their patience tolerates the playfulness of children and their intelligence makes them a bit cautious and careful with unfamiliar faces. Their relationship with other animals are excellent, especially, if they are trained to socialize in their early stage. They tend to dominate with other animals due to their ability to assist shepherds in tending the flocks. Because of their dominance, they tend to become quite stubborn at times. However, their intelligence balances everything.

Training:
The Cao Da Serra De Aires dogs require vigorous training for better results and behaviors. Patience is a must when training this breed because stubbornness might overwhelm their performance during trainings. Without patience, it will be difficult to train these dogs. Strict training is never beneficial; rather, these dogs must be trained in a reinforced training. Once trained successfully, the Cao Da Serra De Aires dogs are the most loyal pet that people will ever have.

Cao da Serra de Aires Organisations in Australia
No club information listed

Cao da Serra de Aires Organisations in the UK
Cao da Serra de Aires – American Canine Association

Cao da Serra de Aires Organisations in the US
Cao Da Serra De Aires – Continental Kennel Club
Rescued a Cão da Serra de Aires (Male Dog) Sticker | Zazzle.co.uk

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