Azores Cattle Dog – Portugal’s rare dog breed

Posted September 19th, 2011 by gemainz

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. Obviously, the dog has the courage of an outstanding herding dog. The square shaped muscular body is covered with short sleek fur that can be grey, brindled or fawn in color. Although the dog is larger in size than other herding dogs, the size does not make it less agile. In fact its elegant and efficient herding ability is seldom seen in other herding dogs. This very rare breed that is seldom seen outside Portugal is the Azores Cattle Dog.

 From the time it was created and up to the present, the Azores Cattle Dog has always been a most valued dog that has an outstanding ability to herd unruly cattle. Back in the 15th century, Sao Miguel Island, the biggest island in the Azores is densely covered with vegetation. The sailors of Prince Henry have decided to take advantage of the rich plant life by bringing cattle to the island. In fourteen years, the cattle that were left on the island have flourished and grown into unmanageable herds. To take the issue in hand, it was decided that a breed of dog with excellent herding qualities must be developed.

The Azores Cattle Dog also known as Cao Fila De Sao Miguel was developed from the Fila de Terceira breed. This breed was crossed with molloser type dogs creating an outstanding herding dog that was given the name Azores Cattle Dog. The breeds existence was documented since the 1800s.

This dog has an inherent herding ability thus very little training is necessary to make the dog learn the ropes of herding. 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. A herding dog has to have an aggressive temperament to be able to function well thus breeders have made no efforts temper the dog’s aggressive personality.

This breed is a remarkable herder and makes a mean guard dog as well but an Azores Cattle Dog would not be a wise choice of dog 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. It must be realized that an Azores Cattle Dog is first and foremost a working breed. This working dog is obviously not an apartment dweller. An Azores Cattle Dog is an outstanding breed especially if made to guard and to herd.

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