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Portuguese Cattle Dog

The name directly translates as the “Dog from Castro Laboreiro” which is a small town in the far north of Portugal. Also known as Portuguese Cattle Dog or the Castro Laboreiro Livestock Guarding Dog, its origins are sketchy at best with some claims that the modern breed can perhaps be traced to the general type of livestock guard dog that was in Mesopotamia where sheep and goats were domesticated. Today, the breed is considered rare with only about 500 reported in the world and a handful of breeders in Portugal, Germany and the USA. This flock guardian weighs 50 to 75 pounds and has a height of 20 to 24 inches. A large breed, the standard is close to wolf-like in terms of physical description. It has a large and powerful skull with a long and prominent muzzle that is tapered with ears that lie close to the head. It has a thick and weather-resistant coat that lies close to the body and slightly rough to the touch. The colours include black, chest and mahogany and always solid.

The Portuguese Cattle Dog is a working breed and has very strong protective and guarding instincts. It is highly intelligent, brave and very dominant - it knows its place and it is most happy when it is working. It will only take instructions from its owners and will not tolerate any strangers around the property or the cattle it is guarding. It barks a lot but it can be trusted to do its work and still be tolerant of the children in the family.

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