Breed standard

Portuguese Sheepdog

Origin: Portugal  
Utilization: Sheepdog for herding and watching over livestock  
Height: Males 45-55 cm and Females 42-52 cm  
Weight: 17-27 kg  
Colour: Yellow, brown, grey, fawn and wolfs-grey  
Coat: Strait or slightly wavy; long; with slightly harsh texture preferable goat-like  
without undercoat or woolliness
Middle age: 12-13 Year  
  Brief historical summary:  
  De Cao da Serra de Aires, Sheepdog used in the Alentejo region for herding and  
  watching different kinds of livestock; sheep, cattle, horses, goats and pigs.  
  An austere and rustic dog perfectly adapted to the area's temperature changes and with  
  great endurance for covering long distances herding livestock through  the  
  Alentejo plains.  
  General appearance:  
  Medium sized dog, medium long (sub-longilinear), with appreciable rusticity and  
  sobriety, extremely agile and swift, with ample and suspended movement.  
  Long hair of goat-like texture, without undercoat. It has simian-like attitudes and  
  appearance, which is why it is known in its native region as "monkey dog".  
  Important proportions:  
  The length of the body is approximately 10% more than the height at the withers.  
  The depth of the chest is less than 50% of height at the withers. The muzzle lenth  
  is 2\3 of the skull lengt; the width of the skull is slightly less than its length.  
  Behaviour / temperament:  
  Exeptionally intelligent and very lively. Very devoted to the shepherd and the  
  herd, it can be somewhat wary of strangers and vigilant at night. Nowadays it is  
  also an excellent companion, sporting and guard dog. It is known for its skilful  
  ability to keep livestock in the pastures and also for searching stray animals. It is  
  always vigilant and successfully alerts for the proximity of predators. The breed  
  is extremely devoted to its work and its shepherd. The work is conducted with  
  joy and pleasure.  
  Medium sized (mesocephalic), strong, broad, neither long nor massive.  
  Cranial Region:  
  Skull: Tending to square, slightly longer than broad; divergent longitudinal axes of  
  the skull and muzzle; convex on both axes, but more laterally. The supercilliary arches  
  are not prominent. The frontal furrow is pronounced and extends to the middle of  
  the forehead; the area between ears is almost flat with apparent occipital protuberance.  
  Stop: Well defined.  
  Facial Region:  
  Nose: Well defined, slightly raised and with ample nostrils, rounded, cylindrical  
  and truncated almost vertically; preferably black, may be liver coloured in yellow and  
  brown animals, but should always be darker than the coat.  
  Muzzle: Short, measuring two thirds of the skull length; almost cylindrical; the width  
  being proportional to its length and shape. Straight in profile or slightly concave.  
  Lips: Close fitting, not overlaid, almost straight, thin; firm. Edges of the same colour  
  as the nose  
  Jaws/Teeth: Normally developed, with perfect opposition of both jaws; full dentition;  
  with 42 solid white teeth; scissors bite, pincer bite accepted.  
  Eyes: Medium sized; rounded; preferably dark in colour, but may be hazelnut or  
  amber in brown and yellow animals; set level not prominent. Lively expression  
  intelligent but docile; horizontal lids black or always darker than the coat, in  
  accordance with the colour of the nose.  
  Ears: High-set; hanging and not folded; triangular. Thin and smooth skin. Medium  
  sized, of the same length and width (approximately 10 cm)  
  Harmoniously attached to head and body; of moderate lenth; straight and slightly  
  rising, moderately thick with strong muscles; without dewlap.  
  Top line: Level or slightly sloping.  
  Withers: Strong and harmoniously attached to the neck and back.  
  Back: Straight or slightly sloping and long; well muscled; almost twice as long  
  as the loin.  
  Loin: Short and arched seen in profile; broad and curved seen from the front;  
  strongly muscled and well attached to the back and croup.  
  Croup: Slightly prominent and sloping; smoothly; of medium length and width;  
  strong muscles.  
  Chest: Down to the elbows; of medium width and depth; slightly arched ribs,  
  with oval rib cage, slanting to the back; the forechest is prominent, broad,  
  well let back and ample.  
  Underline and belly: Uprising with moderately tucked up belly and slightly  
  rising flanks.  
  Set on high; pointed; reaching the hocks; tapering from the base.  
  Long and abundant hair.  
  When at rest falls between the buttocks slightly arched and curved at the tip,  
  in action it either extends the backline or may curve slightly over the top line,  
  but never curled over the back.  
  General appearance: Strong, upright when seen from the front and side and well set  
  apart, the distance from withers to elbow is slightly less than from elbow to ground.  
  Shoulder: Of medium lenth; width a 45 lay back; well muscled; scapula-humerus  
  placed at 90 Wangle.  
  Upper-arm: Strong and of medium length; set as a 45 angle; well muscled  
  Elbow: Parallel, close to the chest and with a 135 humerus-radius angle.  
  Forearm: Long; vertical and well muscled with bone of medium thickness.  
  Carpus (Pastern joint): Lean and not prominent.  
  Metacarpus (Pastern): Of medium length; and medium thickness; neither sloping  
  nor perfectly upright.  
  Forefeet: Rounded (not splayed); long and with tight and pronouncedly arched toes;  
  strong nails, black or darker than coat colour. Thick and hard pads.  
  General appearance: Medium width, upright when seen from the rear; strong;  
  giving a perfect impression of power and agility.  
  Thigh: Of medium lenth and width; well muscled; hip-femur angle approximately 105.  
  Stifle joint: Straight seen from the rear not inclined inwards or outwards.  
  Strong femur-tibia angle approximately 130.  
  Second thigh: Long; slightly inclined; well muscled; strong bones.  
  Hock joint: Of medium width; low set strong and lean; tibia-tarsus angle  
  approximately 120  
  Metatarsus (rear pastern): Of medium length and thickness, but strong; neither  
  sloping nor perfectly upright. May have single or double dewclaws.  
  Hind feet: Identical to the forefeet in all aspects.  
  Gait / Movements:  
  Predominantly it moves in a light and suspended trot, with great reach.  
  The gallop, when the work requires it, is energetic.  
  Thick, flexible; not very tight; internal and external mucous membranes  
  preferably pigmented.  
  Hair: Straight or slightly wavy; long, with slightly harsh texture preferably goat-like;  
  forming long beard, moustache and eyebrows, but not covering the eyes; dense and  
  evenly distributed over the body, including between toes; hair of medium thickness;  
  without undercoat or woolliness; very long coat on head, body and limbs,   
  including between toes.  
  Colour: yellow, brown, grey, fawn and wolf-grey, in light, medium and dark shades  
  and black; with tan markings more or less noticeable, but should never be pied, except  
  for a small white spot on the chest.  
  Height and weight:  

Height at the withers:   

Males  45-55 cm  
    Females 42-52 cm  


Males and Females 17-27 kg  
  Any departure from the foregoing points should be sondidered a fault and the  
  seriousness with which the fault should be regarded shoud be in exact proportion  
  to its degree and its effect on the health and welfare of the dog.  
  Severe faults:  
  Behaviour: Animals showing nervous, unbalanced temperament
  Jaws: Incorrect implantation of theeth, lack of two premolars (except PM1)
  Stop: Not pronounced
  Nose: Pointed
  Lips: Overlapping or pendulous
  Eyes: Light, small, slanting or not rounded
  Ears: Folded or rose-shaped
  Forechest: Too narrow
  Chest: Shallow, flat rib cage
  Top line: Saddle back or too sloping
  Croup: Horizontal or too sloping
  Underline: Too much tick-up
  Limbs: Tilted fore- or hind feet, cow hocks, and hindquarters
  must not be straight
  Tail: Low set, short or curled over back, when at rest
  Nails: White
  Hair: Not harsh enough or not long enough
  Colour: White spot on the chest too large; tan points not defined
  Gait: Not ample enough, not suspended, out at the elbows, hocks too close
    Disqualifying faults:
  Behaviour: Aggressive or overly shy
  Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified
  General appearance: Lymphatic, light boned. Serious deviations from the
  important proportions
  Head: Narrow and long
  Skull: Narrow, flat or globular
  Ears: Low set, or too wide apart, erect or semi-erect
  Muzzle: Convex profile
  Jaws: Undershot or overshot lack of more than two pre-molars (except PM1)
  Pigmentation: Total  lack of pigmentation on nose, eyelids and lips (albinism)
  Tail: Docked or absent at birth
  Hair: Short, curly, or with undercoat
  Colour: White on the extremities of limbs or pied. Lack of tan points
in brown, greu and black adults
  Gait: Too hobbled and heavy, or with serious deviations of forelegs, frailness
  Size: Oversized of Undersized
  Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended i
nto the scrotum
  Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation,
should be used for breeding
                        Would you like to print this Standard? Please click the PDF below !