Basics of Dog Breed : Portuguese cattle dog

Posted on September 30 2018

Basics of Dog Breed : Portuguese cattle dog

The Portuguese cattle dog is a large dog whose type is close to the mastiff. Robust and rustic, he is the mountain dog par excellence. Its morphology, both vigorous and harmoniously developed, as well as its brindling wolf gray color are characteristic physical features of the Portuguese cattle dog breed. His serious look, even severe, is too.

Breed Information:

Other names: Dog of Castro Laboreiro, Portuguese Bouvier, Castro Laboreiro Dog
Origin:  Portugal
FCI Group: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid breeds and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other breeds
FCI number: 170
Hair type: Short
Shape of the head: Long

Race history

Portuguese cattle dog is a very old breed . It is his home village, Castro Laboreiro, that owes his name. It is located in a mountainous region of northern Portugal . It is therefore natural that the Portuguese cattle dog has established itself as the main dog of shepherds and farmers of the region . Its hardiness, its robustness and its character have built its legend with locals. Little by little, he also distinguished himself as a watchdog and family. The Portuguese cattle dog breed was definitively recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) on May 24, 1955.

Physical characteristics

His hair: short (about 5 cm), dull, smooth texture, well laid and quite thick. Even shorter and denser on the head and ears, below the elbow and hock. There is no undercoat. 
Its color: gray wolf (called "wolf"), ideally "mountain color" (brindle, based on different shades of gray and charcoal black more or less dark) depending on the locals who rub shoulders with the breed. 
Its head :moderately large, rather light, dry, covered with fleshy skin but not wrinkled, elongated and rectangular in shape. The stop is not marked and is closer to the truffle. The truffle is black, well developed, large and aligned with the chamfer. The snout is long, straight and strong, the lips well split and not very apparent. The jaws are powerful and articulated in scissors, even in pincers. 
Its ears: almost triangular in shape, of medium size, not very thick, attached rather high, falling on both sides of the head, turned forward when the dog is attentive. 
His eyes: almond, medium size, oblique, light brown to dark in agreement with the dress. Showing a severe and serious expression. 
His body :moderately long, robust. The neck is well developed and well attached to the whole, with the head up and right. The back is moderately long and strong. The rump is short, muscular and slightly inclined. The chest is oval. The belly has very little volume, contrasting with the sternum. 
Her tail: strong at its attachment, tied high, reaching the hock and falling between the buttocks at rest. Going over the top line when the dog is awake. Covered with a long, thick hair.

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 25 kg and 35 kg Between 55 cm and 61 cm
Male Between 30 kg and 40 kg Between 58 cm and 64 cm

A Portuguese cattle dog breed dog is classified as a large dog .

Behavior and character

Portuguese cattle dog is a dog with a balanced temperament . As a family, he demonstrates remarkable loyalty and docility . He is naturally suspicious of strangers . A trait of character related to his favorite areas: custody and surveillance. Portuguese cattle dog is proving to be a protector of first-rate flocks . It removes any attempt to approach wolves or any other predator.


The Portuguese cattle dog's education must be done with a  balanced blend of firmness and sweetness . Brutality and injustice are to be excluded from his apprenticeship. Loyal and willing to please his master, he is a most pleasant companion and a dedicated working partner.


The race of Portuguese cattle dog is not attributed to a particular predisposition to any disease. It is a resistant dog with a healthy overall health .

Maintenance & Hygiene


Portuguese cattle dog does not require a thorough interview . Regularly brushed, it stays clean and healthy.


It is recommended to  brush the dog once a week  to maintain the cleanliness and appearance of her dress.

Physical activity

The Portuguese cattle dog must be able to  enjoy long daily outings to spend . He needs regular activities alongside his teacher, with exercises stimulating both his physical abilities and his mental abilities.

Living conditions

Portuguese cattle dog prefers to live in a house with a large fenced garden , ideally in the countryside, only in an apartment.

Price and budget

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 500 € 1000 €

Recent Posts