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Castro Laboreiro Dog

Cattle Protector (other names: C„o de Castro Laboreiro, Castro Laboreiro Livestock Guarding Dog, Portuguese Cattle Dog)

origin:Portugal
date origin:1500s
life expectancy:13 years
classification:Herding
height:51 to 64 cm
weight:23 to 24 kg
exercise: Mediumtraining: Reasonableclimate: Temperatesize: Medium
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History [ edit ]

This dog is probably one of the most ancient dogs in the Iberian Peninsula. He got his name from Portugal´s village Castro Laboreiro, where he can be found living at variable heights in Laboreiro´s Mountains.

The origins of the Portuguese Cattle Dog are unknown, and despite the theory that defends that alike the Serra da Estrela Dog he has his origins in Tibetan´s dogs, the most accepted by locals is that he was domesticated by man.

This dog is sometimes referred to as a herding dog; however, his job wasn’t to herd but to protect livestock from predators like wolf or even humans. Tasks that today he still performs, without needing the presence of humans around.

Laboreiro maintained a great ethnic purity because of the characteristics of the village, which is  very isolated, and because it was very complete at his job, so the locals felt no need to improve the breed. His popularity has been growing since the 1980s, and it has been spreading throughout Portugal and can even be found in some parts of Spain. 
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Temperament [ edit ]

Laboreiro isn’t a dog for novice. This dog needs firm handling, but doens´t go well with harsh training. Early socialization is a must is a must. This breed is good with children from the family, but doens´t see strangers with good eyes. All people he doens´t know are suspicious to him. He only obeys to its owners and it´s extremely loyal.

Castro Laboreiro dogs are active and aren´t suited for apartment life. They need to carry out a task and will do better with a yard.
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General appearance [ edit ]

The Portuguese Cattle Dog is a sturdy dog, mastiff type, with straight lines. Very strong, some exemplars of this lupoid dog have yellow eyes.

The coat of this dog is striking: heavy and abundant, it is also smooth and resistant. Wolf colours in all shades are allowed, being dark shades the most common.

The bark of this powerful dog is quite characteristic: very loud with a low start and a long high-pitched ending, like wolves.
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