Cao da Serra de Aires

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26-40 lbs
16-22"
Portugal
Portuguese Sheepdog, Portuguese Shepherd Dog

The Cão da Serra de Aires is a very old hunting breed that is hard working and loyal. Originally bred as a livestock guardian dog, many have found their way into homes as companions. They look like a typical sheepdog, but they are clever, lively and friendly dogs that like to clown around and have fun. Many people call them the Portugal Sheepdog since he is native to the Serra de Aires Mountains in the Alentejo region of Portugal. Because of their loyalty, the Cão da Serra de Aires makes an excellent family companion. They love spending hours playing games with children and learning new tricks. 

Purpose
Livestock Guardian Dog
Date of Origin
1900s
Ancestry
Briard, Pyrenean Sheepdog

Cao da Serra de Aires Health

Average Size
Male Cao da Serra de Aires size stats
Height: 16-22 inches Weight: 26-40 lbs
Female Cao da Serra de Aires size stats
Height: 16-22 inches Weight: 26-40 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually Very Healthy
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Yearly Physical Examination

Cao da Serra de Aires Breed History

The Cão da Serra de Aires is native to Portugal and was developed to be a livestock guardian dog, sheepdog and a general farm dog. This is a newer breed that is thought to have developed within the last 100 years. Although their exact origins are not really known, researchers believe the Cão da Serra de Aires developed by crossing the Briard with the Pyrenean Sheepdog. Briards were imported by the Count de Castro Guimaraes to be bred with local Portuguese mountain dogs and possibly the Pyrenean Sheepdog. Some locals claim that the Catalan Sheepdog was also used in creating the Cão da Serra de Aires. They were mainly found in the Serra de Aires Mountains located in the Alentejo region. Through most of the 1900s these dogs were seen faithfully serving local shepherds but in the 1970s their numbers sharply declined. Local breeders began trying to resurrect the breed in the late 1980s and by the end of the 1990s their population had rebounded slightly. The largest population of Cão da Serra de Aires can still be found in the Alentejo region guarding and driving large flocks of goats, sheep, cattle, pigs or horses. A group of local breeders developed the breed standard in 1930 and 1932 the Clube Portugues de Canicultura was formed. In 1945 the Federation Cynologique Internationale officially accepted the standard and the breed. In 2006 the United Kennel Club accepted the Cão da Serra de Aires into their registry. The American Kennel Club has not yet allowed them into the Foundation Stock Service.

Cao da Serra de Aires Breed Appearance

The Cão da Serra de Aires generally has a thick, long, shaggy coat. Their coat can either have a slight wave or it can be straight and smooth. Their coat should never be curly or frizzy. They do not have an undercoat. The Cão da Serra de Aires can be chestnut, gray, yellowish red, fawn, black or wolf gray. They should not have any white hairs; a small patch on their chest is acceptable. Because of their long coat, they do have a beard that gives them an old, wizened expression. Their eyes are round with a gentle expression and are dark in color. They have ears that are moderate in size and hang down beside their cheek. The Cão da Serra de Aires used to have cropped ears, however with cropping being banned in Europe, their ears are now left natural. They have a prominent nose that is usually black but can be self-colored. 

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Cao da Serra de Aires eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Cao da Serra de Aires nose
Black
brown Cao da Serra de Aires nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
red Cao da Serra de Aires coat
Red
fawn Cao da Serra de Aires coat
Fawn
gray Cao da Serra de Aires coat
Gray
black Cao da Serra de Aires coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Cao da Serra de Aires straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Cao da Serra de Aires Breed Maintenance

The Cão da Serra de Aires should be groomed regularly, at least once a week, to keep their long, thick coat from tangling. Use a pin brush and a metal comb when grooming. Tangles will generally occur behind their ears, on their legs or under their belly. Pay close attention to these areas when grooming. Clean their ears each week when grooming to prevent any infections. Be sure to dry their ears well to keep any moisture from causing problems. The Cão da Serra de Aires does not have a strong dog smell and should not need a bath often. Expect to bathe them two to three times a year or as needed when they find something nasty to play in. Shedding is minimal since they do not have an undercoat. People with allergies tend to do well with the Cão da Serra de Aires since they are a single coated breed. 

Brushes for Cao da Serra de Aires
Pin Brush
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Cao da Serra de Aires requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Cao da Serra de Aires Temperament

The Cão da Serra de Aires can be a very independent breed. They are not willful dogs but can be slightly stubborn at times. Generally, they are mild mannered and easy to train. The Cão da Serra de Aires is loyal and loves to be with their family. They are patient with most children but will not tolerate children that are mean to them. They are reserved towards strangers and will display aggression if someone threatens their family. Early socialization is required for them to fully accept other pets within the household. Carefully monitor them with smaller pets until they are comfortable with each other. Provide a secure fenced area for them to romp and play when you do not have time to play with them. Give them plenty of toys to keep them from becoming destructive and busy. While not necessarily vocal dogs, the Cão da Serra de Aires can become barky when left alone with no job to perform. 

Cao da Serra de Aires Activity Requirements

Being a herding dog and livestock guardian dog, the Cão da Serra de Aires does require daily exercise and a specific task to perform each day. While not necessarily a high energy dog, they do still need time to exercise each day and some type of job to keep their minds active. Providing interactive toys when you are not available is a good way to keep them happy. Take them for a long walk or hike daily or let them run and play at the local dog park. The Cão da Serra de Aires is a social dog and would do well having a canine friend in the home if you do not have a lot of time to play with them each day. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Cao da Serra de Aires Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1.8 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Cao da Serra de Aires Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Cao da Serra de Aires size stats at six months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 16 lbs
Female Cao da Serra de Aires size stats at six months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 16 lbs
12 Months
Male Cao da Serra de Aires size stats at 12 months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 22 lbs
Female Cao da Serra de Aires size stats at 12 months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 22 lbs
18 Months
Male Cao da Serra de Aires size stats at 18 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 33 lbs
Female Cao da Serra de Aires size stats at 18 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 33 lbs

Cao da Serra de Aires Owner Experiences

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