(Serra de Aires Mountain dog, Portuguese Shepherd Dog, Portuguese Sheepdog) The Cao da Serra de Aires is a medium-sized working breed with a body that is quite tall for its stature. They appear quite high on their legs. They have a long, deep chest and strong, well-muscled limbs. Their heads are sturdy, wide, and feature a prominent nose and strong jaws. They have a pair of average-sized ears that are usually left natural and hang down to the sides of the cheeks. Their round eyes are dark in color. The coat of the Cao da Serra de Aires is slightly wavy or long, smooth, and straight. This breed exists in a number of colors including yellow-red, chestnut, gray, fawn, wolf, and black. White hairs may be dispersed throughout the coat. This breed has a beard and its forelegs are covered symmetrically with long hair. Their tail is long and reaches to the hocks.
The Cao da Serra de Aires is a clever and loyal sheepdog breed. They are high-spirited and cheerful, and they are very passionate about their work. They form strong bonds with their family. This breed needs consistent, well-balanced training and socializations. They are comparatively intelligent and learn quickly, but they also have a stubborn and dominant streak. While the training process may be difficult, it will be well worth it in the end. Once this breed is trained, they make an unbelievably capable and reliable dog. Despite their propensity to be dominant towards other dogs, the Cao da Serra de Aires generally mixes well with other dogs. They are reserved with strangers and make good watchdogs. Unless taunted or provoked, this breed will not snap or bite.
There are no recorded health issues or concerns for the Cao da Serra de Aires. This breed typically lives for 12 to 13 years.
The Cao da Serra de Aires is an all-purpose herding breed that is almost a hundred years old. They are believed to have descended from Briards that were imported to Purtugal by count de Castro Guimaraes. When the Briards arrived, it is likely that they were bred with the local mountain dogs. While similar in appearance, there is no evidence to link the Cao da Serra Aires with the Berger des Pyrenees or the Catalan Sheepdog. The Cao da Serra de Aires was a leading companion of poor shepherds throughout southern Portugal, but by the 1970’s, the breed had nearly become extinct. Today, the middle-class Portuguese ensure the breed’s survival. The breed is virtually unknown apart from its native land. The breed’s official standard was created in 1930.
The all-weather coat of the Cao da Serra de Aires should be inspected regularly for tangles and mats. Excessive brushing of this breed’s coat will affect its texture and natural look. Stray hairs between the pads of the feet should be removed. They should only be shampooed as necessary.
The Cao da Serra de Aires is not accustomed to life in a small household or apartment. They need sufficient exercise so that they will be calm indoors. They are a working breed and prefer to live outdoors. They have extraordinary stamina and perform very well in agility.
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