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Sao Miguel Cattle Dog Breed

The breed’s name is commonly translated as the Sao Miguel Cattle dog, but it is also known as the Azores Cattle Dog. This rare working dog breed originated from the Sao Miguel Island in Azores, an island chain in the autonomous regions of Portugal. The Sao Miguel Cattle Dog was developed from the now extinct Fila de Terceira mixed with other molosser breeds. It is a medium-sized dog, standing at 19 to 24 inches and weighing between 45 to 90 pounds. Bigger than most Cattle dogs, the Sao Miguel Cattle Dog is well-proportioned with a broad head, straight back and long legs. It has a broad skull, deep chest, strong jaws and ears that are normally cut. If uncropped, the ears lie close to the head. The breed standard is for the tail to be docked, but normally the tail is long and slightly curved. The coat is short, smooth but harsh to the touch. Colours range from streaked reddish-yellow, black, gray that is also streaked and may come with white markings on the chin, chest and feet.

This rustic breed was originally bred as a cattle dog, but also makes for an excellent watch dog and protector of its owner’s property. It is very intelligent and quick to learn but it is also known for its aggressive temperament, an instinct borne from herding milk cows. Proper training and socialization must be done at a very early age if the Sao Miguel Cattle Dog is intended to be a house pet so that it will know how to respond to other animals and people who are not part of the family. The Sao Miguel Cattle Dog can live up to 15 years.

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