- WEIGHT: 30 to 40 lbs
- HEIGHT: 18 to 21 inches
- COLOR(S): Dark red and white. Orange and white. Tri-colored.
- BREED GROUP: Sporting
Rafeiro Do Alentejo
WEIGHT: 100 to 132 lbs
HEIGHT: 25 to 28 inches
COLOR(S): Brindle, fawn, black, yellow, gray with markings of white, and a black mask.
The Rafeiro do Alentejo, which is the Rafeiro of Alentejo, is a large dog that rather looks like a short haired Saint Bernard. They have a wide, bear like head, and are longer than they are tall. They have more length than brawn as a big dog, but are still rather bulky and loosely muscled. They have been used for centuries as a guard dog and herding dog of sheep. The name comes from the region in which they originated, the Alentejo province south of Lisbon, Portugal. Characteristic of a guard dog, this Portuguese Mastiff has great guarding tendencies and is not afraid to be aggressive if the need be. In fact, this breed rarely makes a good house dog, as it is naturally more protective than most breeds. It is also difficult to command, as it is rather willful and hard-headed. They are peaceful around family and children, but can be threatening to strangers. Their deep bark can be heard from a long way off. They need plenty of space, being used to having the outdoors as their home. The Rafeiro do Alentejo can be portrayed as "too much dog for most people." They are, however, readily trained in guarding flocks of sheep, and make a fine hunter as well.
Rafeiro do Alentejos are different from other dogs. They are not for beginners, and should only be kept by a dog-experienced person. They mature slowly and do not respond to the typical training methods. They can be trained, however, to do a job. These dogs are independent, extremely territorial, and good protectors. They will protect their household, their sheep, and their families that they feel are under their protection. They are particularly alert at night, but still vigilant during the day. They are more aggressive than the average breed, which can simply be interpreted as "protective" or "territorial". They can also be hard-headed. Although they are difficult around strangers, they are surprisingly calm around children, and affectionate with family. They can be stubborn and dominant. They are relatively docile around family and children.
Care of the coat requires only a bristle brush and slicker only once in a while. The short hair is not high maintenance, but the coat does shed heavily twice a year. It should simply be brushed out thoroughly. The ears, nails and teeth should be checked and/or trimmed periodically.
Hip dysplasia is rare. This breed is rather healthy.
This breed needs an average amount of exercise. They do not like to exert all their energy on meaningless activities, however, as they would rather save energy for protection or hunting. They should be given a regular walk to keep them in shape.
Training should begin at an early age. The importance of this training is stressed on this breed, as once they become a large dog that can become uncontrollable if not properly socialized and trained. They are stubborn, independent and therefore need to be taught as a puppy how to behave. If this is done, other training should come easier. Learning Rate: Medium. Obedience – Low. Problem Solving – Low.
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